Hohhot, the journey begins 

It’s June 15 and I just started my journey through China. In my last post I already announced the rough plan:

So now I’m in the first city, in the Inner Mongolia, which is still part of China by the way. 

Please be aware of the fact that I’m writing my blog on the cellphone now, that’s why there might be more typos than usual. Sorry for that in advance! 

So yesterday I arrived in the beautiful city Hohhot and arrived at the hostel. Well, arriving at the hostel was already a big trouble, since it was super hard to find and the shop owners next to it never heard about this place. But calling the hostel owner by phone solved the problem. If I couldn’t speak a word in Chinese, I’d never have found that place. What a lucky guy I am. 

The hostel itself opened last month, which explains why no neighbor ever heard of it before. It’s super new and I was lucky enough to have booked a bed in a 4 people’s room and no one else was there so I had a single room, which was so good after such a long flight and I didn’t have much sleep during my exam weeks anyway. 

In Hohhot, I visited some interesting places. In Xiamen it was raining when I left. In Hohhot it was relaxing 26 degrees! What a lucky guy I am. 

At first I visited the Wuta pagoda (五塔寺) and I was almost the only visitor.  The Indian-influenced, five-tiered pagoda was completed in 1732.

The second stop was the Da Zhao Monastery (大召) a monastery for lamas still,  used as a temple. 

When I left the exit of the temple complex, one Chinese woman started to talk to me and soon she found out, I could speak a few words Chinese. 

After a relaxing talk, I asked her whether she can recommend any restaurants nearby since I didn’t have dinner yet. She said, the restaurants around there are all overpriced, but how about having dinner in her home. Hesitatingly I agreed and we went to have some dinner. 

She cooked some inner-mongilian-typical noodles, made out of potatoes, if I understood that right!? Also some delicious dumplings and scrambled eggs. Super delicious. What a lucky guy I am! 

We had a fun dinner and I couldn’t believe, that on the first day, I local would invite me to her home and cook dinner for me! Inner Mongolian people seem so warm hearted! 

After the delicious dinner, I took a walk around the lively streets of Hohhot and enjoyed the atmosphere. 

It started to become dark, so I went to the great mosque(清真大寺) before heading back to the hostel

I had a very  wonderful first day in Hohhot and the next day I’ll go to a tomb, which is a little remote. Thanks for reading, stay tuned! 

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7 thoughts on “Hohhot, the journey begins 

  1. Great post on Hohhot! I’m planning a trip to Inner Mongolia at the moment & was wondering how easy it is to get around/plan your trip with very little Mandarin? We want to travel independently too rather than booking onto a group tour. Thanks in advance 🙂
    Viola xo A Piece of Viola

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    • Hey Viola, thank you for your comment!
      It’s certainly possible to travel the Inner Mongolia with only little mandarin knowledge. I’m lucky enough to be able to communicate quite fluently with the locals, so I had no problems at all (ok, finding the hostels was still a challenge, but I always plan a little more time for that).
      Are you able to read or at least recognize Chinese characters? If so, then I highly recommend to download the Chinese Google maps, Called “Baidu ditu” (百度地图). It’s super helpful in finding everything. You can also download offline maps for free there.
      Booking.com can easily find you hostels that are allowed to host foreigners (not all hostels have a permission).
      Having a lonely planet in your hand and showing the places of interests to the locals can easily bring you wherever you want.
      I’ve visited hohhot, Baotou and ordos in inner Mongolia and I didn’t have any hassle at all.
      There are several websites where you can book train tickets in advance, those websites are in English. I use ctrip.com for booking trains.
      If you have any specific questions, I’ll be happy to help you

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    • Thank you for your detailed response. I have the GCSE in Mandarin and can speak conversationally (enough to get around but by no means fluent). We want to visit the Hulunbuir grasslands – have you visited or do you know people who have been? I also want to know whether there are any specific vaccinations you got when visiting Inner Mongolia? I’m unsure as to how vital the tick-borne encephalitis jab is and whether I MUST get it or not. Thanks in advance for all your help!
      Viola xo | A Piece of Viola

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    • Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to visit the hulunbuir grasslands and I also don’t have the contaxt of anyone who am has been there. I didn’t get any special vaccination before visiting that part, you shouldn’t be worried about it. As soon as you go very south in China, such as yunnan province, you might pay attention to vaccination, as far as I’m informed.
      Please have a safe trip and keep asking questions, I hope I can help you

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