Desert Calling 

On the second day in Hohhot I visited the tomb of Zhaojun (昭君墓), which is about 9km in the south of the city. The tomb itself is about 33m high and was built to commemorate a great woman called Wang Zhaojun, who was one of the four most beautiful women in ancient China and who sacrificed herself to unify China by marrying Djingis Khan, to unite the Hun and the Han people. 

After visiting the tomb, I went to see the great mosque, since I only saw it at night the day before.

Afterwards I relaxed in the center of Hohhot, had some lunch and took some photos. 

In the night I took the train to Baotou,which only took me 2 hours. 

Again, finding the hostel wasn’t super easy but this time the neighbors all knew where it was so finally it was not very troublesome to find it. Arriving in the Hostel, I soon made friends with a 19 years old Chinese from Chengdu, Sichuan, called Xiao Li. He travels China by feet: Starting in Shanghai, going to Beijing and passing by Baotou. He saved my evening because I didn’t have dinner, so he shared an apple and bread with me.  During an exhausting travel, an apple and a bread can be so satisfying! 

In China, it’s all about 关系 (relations). Here in Baotou it was my turn to test my 关系. A friend’s aunt’s friend offered to drive me from Baotou to the desert Kubuqi, about 35km South from Baotou. Not only driving me to the desert, but also inviting me for breakfast:

After arrival in th desert, it didn’t take too long to find new friends in the cable car:

The desert offered many very convenient and fun things to do: riding a quad.. 

.. Riding a Jeep..

…or just having a walk in the seemingly infinite sand area and dunes:

The highlight was without any doubt riding a camel through the desert:

wearing these super fashionable blue shoes prevented the sand to get into the shoes:

In the end, I climbed a super high sand dune, which was super exhausting, because the sand is not the best ground to go for a hike on. But it was totally worth it, since I had a fantastic view from there. 

My friend’s aunt was waiting for me at the north end of the desert to take me back the 35km to Baotou. She invited me to a dinner with some other aunts and uncles, so we had a great family dinner! The first picture shows my friends aunt who helped me so much. Thank you so much for everything!! 

My highlight of the dinner was the super delicious lamb meat, which was prepared by one of my friend’s aunts. And for the first time in my life I ate the foot of a lamb. And it tasted really good! I know, on the picture it doesn’t really look like feet, but that’s what they told me and later I found out that this seems to be a specialty here in the inner Mongolia. 

During dinner, we had some beer, which was really refreshing after a long hike in the desert. Then suddenly, one uncle opened the 白酒 báijiu (Chinese liquor with 50% alcohol) and asked me to drink with them. So we emptied cup after cup after cup after cup.. 

If anyone is going to tell, Chinese people can’t drink any alcohol, I’ll send them to my friend’s aunt’s house!  They can! 

We had so much fun during the dinner and I was so deeply touched and happy, that I could be part of such a family dinner, with everyone being so super friendly, warm and welcoming. So now I want to confirm my hypothesis from the last post: Inner Mongolian people are indeed super welcoming and warm-hearted! No doubts about that. Thank you for such an unforgettable evening!! 

After the dinner, I went to the train station to catch the last train to Ordos. I was happy to fall into my hotel’s bed in Ordos after such a tough day, but in fact, this day was so fun, interesting and awesome! 

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