Yinchuan, Qingtongxia, Zhongwei, Guyuan
Gourmet & Wine, Outdoor & Adventure, History & Culture, Off the Beaten
Ningxia’s history dates back to ancient times, from traces of a prehistoric civilization 30,000 years ago along the Yellow River, to an important stop on the Silk Road by many ethnic groups traversing between the deserts to the north, the Central Plains of China’s interior and the West.
Take a journey through time – learn about ancient civilizations from the rock paintings of Helan Mountain; unravel the mystery of a lost ancient civilisation at the Western Xia Imperial Tombs; stay among the vineyards of the award-winning modern Xige Estate; enjoy a cup of tea with local farmers among centuries-old pear and jujube groves
Extend your trip to Xumishan Grottoes built from the 5th century, and retrace the Red Army’s Long March in Liupan Mountain for amazing landscapes.
Arrive at Yinchuan and transfer to your hotel. Yinchuan is the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region sheltered from the desert by the Helan Mountains.
Today, you will explore the city – visit the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Museum, get up close and personal with the Ningxia rock paintings in World Rock Art Museum, catch the sunset in Lanshan Park, and stroll among the locals at Huaiyuan Night Market.
Today, visit the Helan Mountains Rock Paintings and learn the history of the ancient tribes. A 30min hike takes you to Helan Waterfall, and if time permits, you could continue hiking longer whilst enjoying the lovely scenery.
Next, visit Zhenbeibu West China Film Studios, the best outpost for filming ancient and western Chinese movies. More than 60 movies and TV series were recorded here, including “A Chinese Odyssey” and “New Dragon Gate Inn”.
Visit the Western Xia Imperial Tombs, one of the largest surviving Western Xia historical sites, and gain insight into the vanished Tangut civilisation with local experts.
An hour’s drive will take you to the renowned Xige Estate near Qingtongxia Pigeon Mountain. Tour the impressive circular structure made of 200,000 Helan Mountain Stones, learn about the modern technology used and end with a tasting of one of the best wines in the region.
Depart for Zhongwei 150 km away (approximately 1.5 hours’ drive), via the ‘Grand Canyon of the Yellow River’ between the Gobi and Central Plains. Enjoy a scenic drive and boat cruise through Ningxia’s ‘Highway 66’, and pass the dramatic, desolate valley landscapes. En route, you will stop at an Old Village along the Yellow River where you can appreciate the traditional architecture of the Qing Dynasty.
Arriving at Zhongwei, which evokes the charm of Morocco along the Yellow River.
Start the day with a visit to the Prehistoric Rock Art sites at Damaidi, a vast, uninhabited area of 15 square kilometres dotted with wild jujube trees and where camels roam. This is China’s only world-class rock art site which dates back to more than 30,000 years old.
During sunset, enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner in the dessert. Watch a blanket of stars appear in the clear night sky as you sit next to the bonfire with firework sticks in your hand, a truly magical moment to end the day.
Embark on an off-road adventure across the state border to Toujing Lake Desert Wetlands in Inner Mongolia, with the thrills and bumps of cruising through the desert. Savour an afternoon tea in the desert wetlands, savouring a delightful herder’s meal.
Transfer to Zhongwei Airport or Zhongwei Train Station for your departure flight / train. If time permits, we highly recommend extending your experience in Ningxia.
Depart for Sumeru Grottoes, (193 km, approximately 2 hours’ drive), passing Tongxin Mosque, Ningxia’s oldest and largest mosque. Sumeru Grottoes is a scenic spot with more than 100 grottoes carved into the mountainsides more than 1,400 years ago.
Continue onwards to Guyuan (50km, approximately 1 hour drive) and check into your hotel. Guyuan was a major town in the eastern section of the ancient Silk Road, and a conduit for religions to the east.
Explore the Liu Pan Shan National Forest Park, retracing the steps of the Long March. A wealth of sights awaits – Yehe Valley, Xiaonanchuan, Liangdian gorge, the botanical garden, Erlong River and more. At the Liu Pan Shan Long March Memorial Museum, you can admire hundreds of cultural relics and photos from the Red Army Long March.
Alternatively, head to Huoshizhai National Park, and ascend to China’s highest and most spectacular Danxia landform. This is a haven for climbing enthusiasts looking for a challenge, as certain sections require the use of chains to ascend.
Today, visit Guyuan Museum, which features bronze relics from the Spring and Autumn period and Silk Road artefacts from the Northern Wei, North Zhou and Tang Dynasties.
If time permits, we can make a trip to the Wuliangshan Grottoes, which was dug during the Northern Song Dynasty and has two caves. While the existing carvings are not very clear, they can still be appreciated for their literary and archaeological value.
Transfer to Guyuan Liupanshan Airport for your departure flight.
JW Marriott Yinchuan • Xige Estate • Zhongwei South Bank
The hotel is centrally located in the Jinfeng District, adjacent to the People's Square and close to other landmarks in Yinchuan. Elegantly designed rooms, with 5-star facilities including a fully-equipped gym and a heated indoor swimming pool and two F&B outlets. (Opened: 2020, 279 rooms)View More
The hotel is housed in a circular building made of 200,000 Helanshan stones, creating a sleek contemporary interior with natural characteristics. Each room is named after a grape variety, with its different tastes, and views overlooking your own the vineyard. (Opened: 2017, 20 rooms)View More
Located in the Shapotou District village in a scenic location by the Yellow River and Tengger Dessert. The hotel is built in a courtyard around an open-air swimming pool, creatively staggering its 9 rooms to ensure privacy, yet maintaining the layout of the original village houses. Interiors use a blend of old local wood and polished cement to create a harmonious blend of the design with its environment, while maintaining a high quality of modern living.View More
Atour Hotel Guyuan Hotel
The hotel is located in the heart of Guyuan City on the cultural West Street, a modern hotel with a minimalist design concept with the aim to create a comfortable, simple and tranquil atmosphere for their guests. (Opened: 2018, 96 rooms)
Kindly call us at (65) 6219 1359 if you require any immediate assistance.