Must-See Sites and Attractions in Yinchuan

Must-See Sites and Attractions in Yinchuan

Yinchuan has a history of more than 1,300 years, remnants of which are still seen standing in and around the city itself. From its ancient pagodas and imperial tombs to mysterious rock carvings and desert lakes, Yinchuan offers a wide range of remarkable sites. This article takes you on a tour of the city’s major must-see attractions, ones that you won’t find duplicated anywhere else in this vast country.

1) West Xia Imperial Tombs 西夏王陵
You’ll be forgiven for momentarily thinking you’ve landed in Egypt, as the Imperial Tombs of the Western Xia Emperor do oddly resemble pyramids, hence the nickname “Oriental Pyramids”. Located 25 kilometres west of Yinchuan, excavations of the tombs have determined that the site occupies some 100,000 square metres both above and below ground. The site nowadays consists of nine major royal tombs which serve as the resting ground of past kings from the Xia Kingdom (1038-1227). The pyramid-like structures of these tombs are unlike any you’ll find elsewhere in China, so despite being a bit of a hike from the city, these tombs are a must-see when in Yinchuan.

Price: 60 RMB
Opening hours: 08:00-18:00
Getting there: best reached by hiring a local driver or taxi to take you there and back. However, you can also take one of two daily buses to the tombs, which depart at 8:30 and 9:30 from Beimen Bus Station. Buses depart from the tombs for the city centre at 13:30 or 15:30.

2) Helan Shan Rock Carvings 贺兰山岩画 View In Map
You don’t have to have a prior fascination of rock art to be enthralled by these carvings. Over 5,000 images can be seen carved into the face of rocks of the Helan Mountains, estimated to be between 3,000 and 10,000 years old. What’s truly fascinating about these carvings are the images they depict and the range of artistic styles of the carvings, since many were carved during different periods in time, over many centuries. Some are of animals, resembling cave drawings you may have seen in history books. However, others have a creepy resemblance to aliens, or at least to how we imagine aliens to look like. There’s even one carving that looks like an alien wearing a pope’s hat – conspiracy theorists take note! Another highlight of the site are the hand prints in the rock which almost look like someone’s hand melted into the rock, leaving behind its imprint. As you can imagine, quite a lot of mystery and speculation surrounds these carvings and their meanings. However, one thing is for sure: you can let your imagination run wild when visiting this captivating site.

Add: Helan County, Yinchuan
Price: 60 RMB
Opening hours: 08:00-18:00
Getting there: You can take No.2 Bus at Xinyue Square to get there directly. Also, you can hire a car at Zhenbeipu West Studios, which costs just 30 RMB and takes about 15 minutes to get there.

3) Sand Lake 沙湖 View In Map
Sand Lake is not just a lake in the sand; it’s an amusement park which offers a range of contrasting natural scenery (sand dune, lakes and an aviary), adrenalin producing rides, tame family-friendly amusements, camel rides, tourist kitsch and restaurants. While local tourist info will try to market Sand Lake for its natural appeal, the real reason most people come here is to enjoy the amusement facilities. Visitors can opt to take a rather shoddy looking water-plane, parachute, rent a speedboat, water scooter or cross-desert jeep, slide down sand dunes etc. Strike your fancy? All the info you need about Sand Lake can be found here.

Add: Pingluo County, Ningxia Province
Price: 120 RMB
Opening hours: 08:00-18:00
Getting there: Take the Travel Bus to Sand Lake eco-tourism area at North Gate in Yinchuan City with about one and half an hour's ride at fare of 10 RMB / person

4) Huaxia Western Film and Television Studio 华夏西部影视城 View In Map
Located 13 kilometres northwest of Yinchuan, Huxia Western Film Studio is the third largest film studio in China. The studio has been the site of dozens of Chinese blockbuster movies including Zhang Yimou’s Red Sorghum. The studio is comprised of a large fort-like structure, within which you’ll find several film sets which recreate markets, ancient villages, streets and buildings. Besides being able to snoop around various sets, visitors can also dress up in costumes and star in their own short video clip (for an additional fee of course).

Add: Zhenbeibu, Yinchuan
Price: 60 RMB
Opening hours: 08:30-17:30 (winter); 08:00-18:00 (summer)
Getting there: It’s best to hire a local driver to take you there and wait outside for you for 3-4 hours. Otherwise, a minibus leaves from Wenzhou Shangcheng (温州商城) in Daqing District.

5) Chengtiansi Pagoda 承天寺 View In Map
You can’t come to Yinchuan without visiting at least one pagoda (yes, there’s more than one pagoda in this city). Chengtiansi Pagoda, which is also known as “Western Pagoda”, is located within the Chengtian Temple and has been towering over the city since 1050. Standing 64.5 metres tall, the 11-story octagonal building offers visitors remarkable views of the city and the flat, dry plains beyond. The pagoda was reportedly built for the child king Li Liangzuo, who took the thrown after his father’s death when he was just one year old. Apparently, it took tens of thousands of soldiers six years to complete the building, which the king would mainly visit to hear the singing of monks. The pagoda fell into disrepair over the years and was rebuilt in 1820 to look exactly like its original design. Despite not being the original one from 1050, the building has been well preserved and is one of the best sites to see ancient cultural relics of the Western Xia Dynasty.

Add: 121 Limin Jie, Xingqing District, Yinchuan
地址: 银川市兴庆区利民街121号
Price: 22 RMB through ticket includes entrance to the temple, the museum and exhibition hall and access to the pagoda itself.
Opening hours: 08:00-17:00
Getting there: take bus no.2 from Nanmen.

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Keywords: Yinchuan attractions tourist attractions Yinchuan must-see sites Yinchuan


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