The Yinchuan Zoo (Yinchuan Dongwuyuan) is a very small and very outdated Zoo Facility. Basicly, it is a small park with several cages displaying rare animals of the regions. As is seen in other less wordly cities in China, the living conditions for the animals are horrible. Hopefully, with enough attention the zoo will be upgraded soon.
The Zoo lies in the north-west corner of the Zhangshan Park in Yinchuan City and is fairly easy to find.
Address: Zhongshan Park, Yinchuan
Landmarks, Monuments & Hotspots of Yinchuan City
The "Cultural Night Market" as it has been dubbed in foreign travel guides can be found on Zhongshan Beijie (North Street), which is just around the western corner of and
Yinchuan Amusement Park:
Nanguan Mosque (Nanguan Qingzhen Si), South Gate Mosque or 'Grand Mosque' :
Chengtian Si (承天寺) or Western Pagoda:
The Chengtian Si and Pagoda are located southwest of the old city of Yinchuan. It stands inside the temple of Chentian, hence the name, or is also known as West Xia as reference to its origins. Locally the Pagoda and Temple are known as Xi Ta, meaning west temple.
Chengtian Temple was first built in 1050 AD, notably the third year of the reign of Emperor Huanzong of Western Xia (life: 1177 AD - 1206 AD, reign: 1193 AD - 1206 AD), only a half a century before the Mongol conquest of Asia began under the leadership of their infamous Genghis Khan.
Apart from marking this ominous moment in human history, the Chentian temple and pagoda are, together with the Protect-the-nation Temple in Wuwei, Gansu Province and the Reclining Buddha Temple in Zhangye also in Gansu Province, known as the Three sacred Buddhist temples of the
Peoples Square or 'South Gate Square':
The Cultural Center of Yinchuan is the Old City, where especially South Gate Square (or officially Peoples Square) is the best place to enjoy one of the many ethnic cultural shows and performances. The South Gate or officially Nanxun Gate is one of the six gates of the historic fortified 'Fu' (Prefecture) City of Yinchuan. Today, it is the only standing gate remaining in the City.
Schematic Map of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region with the locations of Main Cities + Towns and sites of Interest.
The Yinchuan Report
Ningxia Transportation Museum:
Near the New City of Yinchuan and the Railway a recent addition opened its doors on August 22nd of 2008. The Ningxia Transportation Museum is a museum entirely dedicated to the History and influence of the Baotou to Lanzhou Railroad as well as the History of the Silk Road road Eurasian trade-routes. This new museum, the Ningxia Transportation Museum is located near Yinchuan and includes 10 exhibiting sections, presents the transportation development and achievement both in history and modern times in Ningxia. Much emphasis is placed on historic modes of transportation, such as was used during the two millennia of the history of the Silk Road. On display are many replica's of Zhou, Qin and Han Dynasty Battle wagons, Chariots and Oxen Carts, Original specimens and replica's of archeological discoveries depicting ancient modes of transport abound in this interesting Museum. Other sections pay attention to modern Chinese Development and the importance of the opening of the Baotou-Lanzhou Railway line which, since its opening in 1958 AD, has helped transform life in Ningxia.
Najiahu Mosque - Na Family Mosque :
Although located outside of the Old Town proper in Yongning County the Najiahu Mosque could be counted as the final treasure of the Old Town as it is one of the largest and oldest mosques in Ningxia Region. The original Najiahu Mosque is some 490 years old and is constructed out of wood. It is named after the Na Family, which is the clan name of the village. Today many inhabitants still belong to the Na Family (Clan).
During its existence it survived the 1731 AD Earthquake and fire-storm that laid waste to the city of Yinchuan itself. Later again it was severely threatened during the Cultural Revolution period (1966 AD - 1976 AD). According to its warden it survived unscathed due to its unique location and the powerful protection of the entire Hui enclave in Yongning and wider area. However this is incorrect. In reality the Red Guards were too many in number to be stopped. Not only was the Nanguan Mosque in Yinchuan destroyed, so was the Xi Guan (West Mosque). The Najiahu Mosque however survived in part and its main prayer hall was left untouched. Although the Najiahu Mosque was severly damaged the Hui Community still had its ancient Hall to congregate in.
Ningxia Provincial Museum (Ningxia Huizu Zizhiqu Bowuguan):
The Ningxia Provincial Museum was opened in 1988 and was housed inside a Park that is located in the Western part of the City and at the same Time is also home to the Old Chengtian Si Temple of Yinchuan and its ancient stone pagoda. A few years ago however, the main location of the Museum has moved to a larger and more modern facility. The new facility is built in the same street as Chengtian Si a few hundred meters to the East. Some exhibition rooms remain at the Chengtian Temple a.ka. West Pagoda and its Park.
The new Museum is housed inside an impressive and spacious modern facility perfect for storing, keeping and displaying the growing number of ancient relics from the Western Xia (Xi Xia or Tangut) Empire and the Northern Zhou Dynasty Archeological finds recently unearthed in nearby Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Ningxia Autonomous
Region. At current the exhibit collection of ancient Xixia and Silk Road relics is still small but nonetheless quite impressive. Among the treasures of the museum is a stunning decorative copper pouring vessel for wine clearly depicting a fighting scene with strong greek characterisics. Other treasures are 2000 year old small golden coins produced by various famous Empires along the Silk Road. Other amazing
Haibao Tao - Northern Temple & Pagoda:
There are two pagodas in Yinchuan that are part of the 'Eight Famous Sceneries of Ningxia': one is the Haibao Pagoda or Northern Pagoda in the northern suburb and the other is the Chengtiansi Pagoda in the west.
The Northern Pagoda is also known as Haibao Ta, and can be found some 2 kilometers North of the Old Cities' Center. The stone pagoda of the Temple can be recognized from afar. To the North and South of the Temple is an (artificial) lake, the Beitahu which is connected by a canal and sleuce gate running west and behind the Temple complex.
Haibao Ta has a lenghty history that
This Eastern styled Mosque with Chinese characteristics is built out of white marble with green roof tiles, doomed roofs and two minarets. It has a typical courtyard with a gatehouse, a large prayer hall, wing-rooms and bathrooms. The spacious hall can hold one thousand people. Built largely of white marble and decorated with two 'Minaret' towers with shiny golden roofings it can be recognized and appreciated from afar.
Although outside visitors often expect a huge religious complex as the cultural center of the Yinchuan community the Najiahu Mosque, although modern, is only medium sized.
There is a small museum situated underneath Main Prayer Space which holds the photos of the many foreign dignitaries who have visited Najiahu Mosque since the establishment of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Annexed to this Photo Hall is a big room housing two scale models of the grand mosques at Mecca and Medina. According to the tour these models are there in case a Chinese Citizen cannot perform the ritual 'Hadj' pilgrimage to Mecca. As a last resort at least the religiously faithful can visit the Temple and dwell upon these models of Islam's Holiest Shrines.
How to get There: Take a Taxi to Yongning which lies some 23km (14 miles) south from Yinchuan. The Mosque is located in the center of the Old Town of Yongning where even today 80% of the population are ethnic hui.
Combine a visit to Najiahu with visits to other sites.
Opening Hours: 08:00 AM to 20:00 PM daily.
Entrance Fee: Yuan/RMB 8
Lakes and Parks in- and around the City:
The Jian Hu and also Zhongshan Park (中山公园) with its Jade Spring (Yin Hu) and Wenchang Pavilion (文昌阁) offer great places to enjoy some of the city greenery and Chinese garden architecture. On the North-west corner of Zhongshan Park is the small site of the Yinchuan Zoo.
Outside of Yinchuan Aiyihe Water Park offers more greenery and watery wonders.
Yuhuang Pavilion and Drum Tower (银川鼓楼) of Yinchuan:
One of the most remarkable landmarks of Yinchuan is no doubt the so called Yuhuangge or Pavilion of the Jade Emperor. Although only modest in size the Yuhuangge is a unique ancient architectural structure most resembling an ancient city gate, with on top the array of a Temple arranged in the small space of the Top Platform.
Situated in the center of the old Town of Yinchuan city (Xingcheng District) it stands only some 200 meters due East of the Bell- and Drumtower (Zhonggulou) on Jiefang East Street. The two towers combined with the green and ponds of the small Ning Yuan - Jade Garden form a small and comfortable niche where many of the towns citizens dwell for their leisure and down time.
The Nanguan (South Gate) mosque can be found in the southeast corner of the old city proper where its conspicuous appearance, set near the South Gate and Square, put a thoroughly Islamic stamp on everyday life in Yinchuan. Centered around the current mosque are the Islamic Market Street, the Hui Restaurant Street and various shops run exclusively by Hui traders. Several shops offer traditionally Hui items, such as traditional dress, headscarfs, jade, pointy handcrafted Hui Knives and imported Arabian-styled knives, handmade carpets, local delicacies and herbs, and of course religious necesseties. There are audio CD's and DVDs of religious sermons from the Great Mosque in Xi'An, the Mosque in Hangzhou and even from Mecca and Medina. Altogether a browse inside the Mosque and in the streets surrounding it offers the best chance to get in touch with the Hui Style of Live, that is within the boundaries of the Urban City Districts of Yinchuan. Although modernity has taken over and shines with brightness in the spotlessly clean shopping zone south of the Yuhuang Pavilion and the Bell- and Drum/tower, the Hui way of Life is still going strong, with the Nanguan Mosque as its visible center. The Mosque is brightly lit in the evenings.
Full Google Map of Yinchuan centered on Chentian Si for your directions.
in the shape of a peach, shaped in antique fashion.
As one of the historic sites of the City and one of the best vantage points to see the city and surroundings daily many visitors ascend to the Top to have a distant view the old city and the landscape beyond the Great Wall. The view from the Xi Ta Pagoda is quite legendary, however in all honesty, today's view of the City is obscured in several directions by other higher constructions. Furthermore, on an average hot day the mountains are clearly visible but also rather far off. The distance to the foothills is some 50 kilometers. Last but not least, as may have been expected, the great wall is no where in sight. The remnants are simply to eroded and far away to spot. However, climbing the Pagoda and overlooking the temple and vicinity still takes one away from the busy traffic and activity surrounding the Temple. In this higher state one might ponder upon such things as the great legacy of the Xixia and the many years that Yinchuan was an outpost and a garrison city along the Great Wall of China in the West. To help the visitor in this regard, there are still some exhibits from the Provincial Museum Collection on display. Browse around the extensive Temple complex , burn some incense and pay your respects to the Buddha. Most Xixia relics are no longer on display at the temple as the Ningxia Provincial Museum is no longer located within the temple.
The Yinchuan Cathedral and Yinchuan Christian Church:
Many may be surprised to find that Yinchuan, the Capital of the Islamic Hui Autonomous Region has a Christian Church. In fact, there is both a Cathedral and a Church and there is an official Roman Catholic diocese with quite a history behind it. The current Diocese of Ningxia has 12 priests serving an estimated 10.000 Catholics in 14 parishes and prayer houses.
What can be said in general about all Christian Churches in Yinchuan is that they are housed in modern structures and their activities are open and public. Beforehand they had been closed for over 20 years. When in 1987 AD the new Yinchuan Cathedral was ready for opening an old Priest Liu Jingshan who had been severly punished under earlier communist rule, reappeared as the Church leader in the Region. He was appointed the first Bishop of Yinchuan in 1993 AD (Previously Ningxia was part of the diocese of Ba Meng). Subsequently on on December 21 of 2007 AD that 40-year-old Reverend Joseph LI Jin was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI and ordained as the 'Co-adjutor Bishop' (and successor) to the 96 year old Bishop of Yinchuan, Liu Jing Shan.
According to sources the replacement Bishop Joseph Li Jin was was born and raised in the Ba Meng diocese and ordained priest in 1996. Thereafter he went on to study for four years in Germany. Upon his return to China, he worked at the National Seminary as spiritual director, dean of studies and deputy rector.
The amusement park has a small ferris wheel and several lakes and ponds. There is no other data on the Yinchuan amusement Park. Find it North of Beijing East Road behind and North of the Ningxia International Hotel.
A Map of the North-Eastern section of Yinchuan (Beitahu) with the locations of Zhongshan Park and the Haibao pagoda & monastery.
can be traced as far back as the 5Th Century AD when, according to historical records, it was rebuilt by Helian Bobo the king of Da Xia state (407 AD - 427 AD). Thus, it is also known as the He Pagoda, today a rarely used name. Quite possibly however the first Haibao Monastery was constructed much earlier, ranking it among the oldest structures in the city and region.
Both the park and the temple are situated in green surroundings and thus a visit makes for a nice getaway from the crowded inner city. Apart from gaining in a spiritual sense, the Main attractions naturally are the view of the Pagoda tower over it splendid Temple and the additional Grand View to be had from the Top of the Tower, nine storeys high, overlooking most parts of the City and with the ridges of Helan Shan in view in the distance. The climb up the tower through narrow passages can create problems for the more bulky traveler, but the view is worth the effort.
The temple itself is abundantly green, resembling a park.
Location: Haibao Park. North of Shanghai East Road.
Opening Hours: 7 AM to 18:00 PM
Find the complete story with many photos on the Sea Treasure Monastery & Pagoda - Haibao Ta :
Map of Old City Center, the Drum Tower, Yuhuang pavilion and nearby site of the (new) Ningxia Provincial Museum.
artifacts are those collected in or near ancient Xixia Royal Tombs among them fine and small gold jewelry, impressive glazed decorative pottery and remnants of the Xixia Buddhist culture such as glazed ceramic statues, evil protecting roof liners and depictions of the buddha. To top things off there are various examples of Xixia (Tangut) printed script displayed together with carved wooden printing blocks, proving not only the advanced nature of the Xixia civilization but also that block printing was not (as it was until fairly recently held) invented in 15Th Century Europe by Johannes Gutenberg, but much earlier somewhere in China. In fact, the earliest examples of block-printing date from the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 221 AD) and the Xixia derived the knowledge through the paths of the Silk Road.
It should be noted that these are all truely unique artifacts, rare remnants of an otherwise nearly forgotten Era and Civilization. The only other large collection of Xixia Art are housed in the National Museum in Beijing and in St. Petersburg in Russia.
Xihu Amusement Park:
Xihu Amusement Park is located in the North of the City urban area, outside of Shanghai Road along Yinfeng Highway. Its name was inspired by the beauty's of Hangzhou's West Lake.
In the new museum all exhibitions are enriched with many lifelike wax figures depicting situations, practices and clothing styles of bygone Era's. Browse around or join a Chinese-language tour of some 3D artist's representations of the Xi Xia life and culture. Learn about the architectural finds and the construction of the ancient 'pyramid' tombs of the Xixia Kings or get to know more about Ningxia Region and see exhibitions about the struggle against desertification and poverty in the 1950's and 60's, and the modern achievements of the Ningxia Economy and the Ningxia People. In the first category there are the Baolan Railway of 1958 AD and the recent completion of railroads and a highway system throughout the 'province' and beyond. In the latter category there is quite a good section on the Beijing 2008 Olympic contestants, proudly representing 'Ningxia Province'.
Address: East of Renmin (Peoples') Square, and 1 and a half block south-west of Yuhuang Pavilion, at
corner Minzhu Nanjie and Liqun Dongjie. Due West of Chengtian Si & Pagoda.
Yinchuan is home to a small Antiques Market as well. Find it immediatly North of the architecturally sublime Zhongshan Park on a side-street of Beijing East Street (Beijing Dong Lu), which is the large boulevard that forms the Northern Border of the Park. Head out the North Gate of Zhongshan Park to see Baitai Xiang on your left running North-ward off the Boulevard.
Another probably better option is to browse in the warehouses adjacent the Chengtian Si (or Western Pagoda). Although most stores in sight clearly sell every day household and kitchen items, one who investigates more boldly will find that the larger multi-story buildings on Lichun West Street are in fact old style shopping malls, which inside their considerable floor spaces offer an indoor curiosa and antiques market of dim and dusty nature, but with considerable charm and unexpected items. For local residents, and probably many within the Province these little stores are the prime addresses for collectors of old coins, old cartoons, communist era collectors items, now rare antique items that have survived the cultural revolution, and possibly items of let's say unclear origins.
The Xita trading may seem like nothing much, but it is an old style antiques and curiosa market as have by now disappeared from the large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Xi'An. Old men sit around with their precious items, meanwhile exchanging stories and iddling about. The pace at the market is ultra-relaxed especially outside of the main summer season when Chinese travel groups roam about the city and province. Take your time to look about for anything you may like. The choice of items is limited at times, however outhere in the provinces at least one is not bothered with the usual mass produced ∢antique kitsch, fake Cultural Revolution Era Mao Zedong statues and the like.
The Xita Market in Yinchuan - for now- is a rural gem worth paying a visit to. No predictions of what you may find !
Address: Xita Trading City,
Lichun West Street on the flank of Western Pagoda (Chengtian Monastery).
Facade of the 'Yinchuan Christian Church' in a hamlet off Hubin East Street in Yinchuan.
The second Church in Yinchuan today is the Yinchuan Catholic Church located at Hubin East Street. Not much information is available on the internet on this particular Church. What can be reported is that is smaller than the Yinchuan Cathedral and has only a small and central tower, looks like it is a modern construction built during the late 1980's 0r 1990's and that it stands somewhat hidden inside a hamlet on the Northern side of Hubin East Street. Inside an Iron Gate leading away from Hubin East Street, there is a small front court, followed by a wide entrance hall with behind it a spacious main hall for worship. Inside the Hall are seats for at least a 100 vistors as well as a speaking council and an altar above which a simple red colored wooden cross. The Church is well visited and active today. Foreign visitors are welcomed.
How to Get There: Find the Church about two large blocks North of the Bell- and Drum- Tower on Hubin East Street. It stands adjacent and North of Kangjun Drug Store. Just to get to the right street bringing a map along is advisable as recognizable landmarks are few. Most of the visible sky is blocked by various multistory appartment blocks.
Monsignor Li was elected by the diocesan clergy in 2006, but the Holy See had already approved his name three years earlier in 2004.
According to western (Christian) sources civil authorities allowed only three other Bishops to be present at the ordination and acceptance, however more than a thousand Catholics attended the consecration ceremony and more than sixty priests concelebrated. The liturgy was followed by a festive meal and cultural program. On the occasion, a plan was announced to repair the 20-year old Cathedral and the bishop’s residence.
Among the tasks of the new Bishop will be the attempted unification of Priests and flock who are said to be divided in loyalties to either the underground Church(es), the Church of Rome and the official State Endorsed Christian Church.
Address: Jiefang West Street, Yinchuan. Across from Yinchuan Yuehao Hotel and the Hantang Time Hotel.
Bus Lines passing this point are Line 1, 11, 34, 49 and 106.
Mass Time: Monday to Saturday 7:00 AM. Sunday at 8:00 AM.
Afternoon Mass at 16:00 PM.
Walk along the south side of the street until the Church with its tower suddenly become visible on the opposite side. The Hamlet is adjacent of what is currently a branch of the ICBC Bank.
Yinchuan City Xingqing District Church
No. 153 Hubin Dongjie or Hubin East Street
Yinchuan City 750004
Tel: 86-951-6718734(Office) 6717941(Entrance)
There is even a third Church located in the Old City, known as the Yinchuan City Xixia District Church. We have no information nor photos of this Church.
No.1 Yulin Lane, Huanghe Road, Ningxia.
Facade of the 'Yinchuan Catholic Cathedral' within its courtyard off Jiefang East Street in Yinchuan.
The simple and functional main prayer hall in the Christian Church at Hubin East Street in Yinchuan (Photo: August 2010).
After visiting the Provincial Museum head down to the Xi Ta or Western Pagoda to walk among the pleasant green, enjoy the temple and some additional exhibits or climb the 13 Steps Xi Ta (Western Dagoba) for a breathtaking view of the park and surroundings.
Impression of the new facility and location of the Ningxia Provincial Museum in August 2010.
One can therefor hardly miss out on a tour of the museum when passing through Yinchuan.
The ground floor is currently reserved for examples of Hui Islamic Caligraphy which, with its elegant arabic characters provides for a refreshing new look at this ancient traditional art-form. The Hui caligraphy is truly very expressive if not extravagant, yet retaining balance and elegance.
Another section of the Museum is entirely dedicated to the local Hui Ethnic History and Culture. A Fine job is done displaying the great variations in color and style of dress within traditional Hui Culture. Other highlights are the Islamic origins of the Hui through the marime and landbound silk roads, the Kuran Holy Book and the local muslim faith. Interestingly, the rich history of ethnic uprisings in Ningxia particularly during the Qing Dynasty Reign (1644 AD - 1911 AD) is far less advertised. There is also no sign of or exhibition on the Ma Clique of Warlords, a Hui Muslim family clan who's Male members ruled both Ningxia and parts of Gansu and even a section of Qinghai Province during the so called warlord Era. The Ma Clique, although entirely corrupt more or less stood for Hui Ethnic Independence (withing a larger frame-work) and were accepted as leaders of the Hui people.
Further missing is material on a lesser episode of the Long March, which saw a battle for Yinchuan of (mainly) the 4Th Red Army in late 1935. This battle for Yinchuan occured immediatly after a serious political split within the communist leadership erupted, and the ill faited military campaign that followed saw the destruction of a powerful Red Army at the hands of the Hui warlords, and resulted in the political elimination of Zhang Guotao, Mao's main rival for ultimate leadership within the Communist Party Politburo. To say the least, the 'Ningxia Campaign' left countless young heroes dead and contributed enormously to Mao's rise to power at the end of the 'Long March'.
The Exterior Front & Gate of the current Nanguan Mosque at Jiefang Road in Yinchuan.
The Xi Ta or West Pagoda standing 11 stories above its Temple, the Chentian Si. The Temple was formerly the location of the Provincial Museum which has now moved to a brandnew building and location nearby.
To see the Xixia (Tangut relics) go to the New Provincial Museum which has recently moved to a new more modern and larger home within the New City.
Western Xia period. In fact, not much is left of the Tangut Architecture within the city.
Although earlier extensive ruins in what was once the Tangut capital of Xingqing (興慶) could be found in-and around the old city area, few if any are to be found today.
Where previously, there were foundations of palaces, temples and also a collection of private houses preserved in some state and scattered around town, today most of Yinchuan consists of modern buildings neatly arranged in the prosperity circle around the few key historic sites. All sites not excavated seem to have been swallowed by what is now the new city of Yinchuan, a city which has been experiencing a building boom in the years between 2010 and 2015.
As such, the advent of prosperity and further growth of the city since the 1980's have put an end to the situation where one could dart about the dilapidated outlying districts in search of historical scenes of the past. In 2010 a new wave of construction of luxury
Details of the Yinchuan Xi Ta Pagoda towering above the Chentian Si in Yinchuan's old city district.
apartments in the new city is putting and end to any remaining unused land. As was clear at that point, any finds of archeological value would likely be lost in the drive for profit and 'development'. The city of Yinchuan continues to expand in all directions in the year 2015.
Thus, the two Pagoda's of Yinchuan are first among the few Tangut or Xixia relics remaining within the City limits. To top things off, together with the Haibao Temple and Pagoda, the Chengtian Pagoda is part of the 'Eight Famous Sceneries of Ningxia'. Apparently built as a tribute to the child King Li Lianzuo, who was only one year old when he was enthroned after the death of his father Li Yuanhao, the founding King of Western Xia. It took tens of thousands of soldiers about six years to build the Chengtian Temple and the Chengtiansi Pagoda. When the entire complex was completed, it was the most important Temple within the Royal Capital and the young King and his mother often came here to listen to the sermons of the famous high-level monks.
Unfortunatly, the original Tangut and pagoda no longer stand today as they were entirely destroyed in the very heavy 1739 AD earthquake that levelled the entire town in that year (Read more in: 'History of Yinchuan'). It took some time for the town and region to recover and thus it took until 1820 AD before the whole complex was rebuilt in the original style.
The history of this Temple and its origins, it was first shaped under the Rule of a Foreign King, should be enough to draw attention to the complex. Its architecture however is another reason to pay a visit.
Today's stone pagoda inside the Chengtian Temple complex is constructed with bricks in an octagonal shape and stands no less than 11 stories or 64.5 meters (211+ feet) high. With this height it is the largest standing Pagoda within the Region and half a meter taller than the famed Great Goose Pagoda of the Tang Dynasty Era (618 AD - 907 AD), in the South District of Xi'An in Shaanxi Province. From the corner of its sharp and outstretching eaves hang flowershaped iron bells, which ring in the wind. The pagoda's summit consists of a green glazed triangular steeple
How to get there: Although the Xita and Chengtian Si are located close enough to the Bell- and Drumtower and Yuhuang Pavilion in practice the Temple can be hard to locate when on foot. Although the Pagoda reaches 11 stories the view of it from adjacent blocks is often obscured by abundant highrise buildings in this modern city.
Travel by Bus is often faster and more comfortable, depending on your language skills and self-confidence. The easiest way to travel is through Nanxun Xi Jie which is Nanxun West Street (Google). Try Bus Line 25, 31, 45 or 102. From Nanxun West Streets Xi Ta Bus stop walk up one block to the actual Temple and Pagoda.
In case you are not comfortable ask the driver if he passes the spot. You could write it down beforehand or ask your hotel-staff to do so, in case of
The Main Gate of the Chentian Monastery on Jinning South Street (Photo: August 2010).
uncertainty and flawed language skills. Still not sure? Another option is to rent a bicyle and tour the Old City. Traffic is not too heavy so it should be possible.
Or, simply avoid all complications and take a Taxi to your destination. It is a bit too far to walk anyway, depending on your Hotel in the Old City, some 3.5 to 2 kilometers.
Opening Hours: 07:00 AM to 18:00 PM
Entrance Fee: Yuan/RMB 5
A frontal view of the refreshing architecture of the Yinchuan Yuhuangge on Jiefang East Street across from Ning Yuan (Jade Garden).
up-street from the Yuhuang Pavilion and Ningyuan Park. Other stores offering local products can be found north and upstreet from the Yuhuang Pavilion on Yuhuangge Bei Jie (North Street). This is also the location of one of the main fruit and vegetable markets in the City. One can conveniently walk from one street to the other through the market area. Fruit and
Vegetables fresh off the land available at Yinchuan's 'Yuhuang Supermarket' on Yuhuangge Bei Jie, one of the two or three main vegetable and fruit markets in the City.
kebabs, but also sigarettes, beer and strong drinks are sold until late. It is a great place to try out the local ethnic foods, see the amazing produce of the (night) market, score some vitamins and get a taste of Hui Ningxia.
Mind you, the alternative naming of night market might suggest that the market is only open in the evening and maybe at night, however the fruit and vegetable market is open all day, starting in the early morning. The only reason why foreign travelers have dubbed it the fuit and vegetable market and some surrounding stores open until remarkably late hours. One can go down to the market and grab some peaches, grapes or a watermelon at fairly odd hours. On the other hand, the local farmers often bring their produce directly to the market from the farm and they wake failry early. Hence, the best hours to buy the freshest and best looking vegetables and fruits are in the morning. At later hours the best stuff will have been sold, and although as in other towns throughout China, the market does not empty of sellers in the afternoon, the quality of what is on sale sligtly drops. There is still enough to go around though. Ningxia, blessed by the Yellow River with fertile lands and abundant water for irrigation is one of the most important agricultural provinces in the Nation afterall.
Fun contact with the local people at the Yuhuang Supermarket aka the Fruit & Vegetable market in Yinchuan, the capital city of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
It should be noted that the Yuhuang Supermarket is by no means the only market area within Yinchuan. Within the Old City (Xingcheng) there is another main market area south and behind of the Nanguan Mosque. This street, which for its architectural style and location within the Hui District has been dubbed 'Islamic Street' and has two sections. The strictly pedestrian street behind the Nanguan Mosque also serves as a Fruit and vegetable market, although other items such as clothing , tea and household items such as pots and pans are also sold there. The second sections runs at a 90 degree angle and leads
Assorted varieties of fresh mushroom and vegetables available on the Yinchuan Yuhuangge Market.
alongside the Mosque. Here are many small Hui Islamic Restaurants, many of which serve the traditional Hui barbeque skewers. An interesting alternative in the Hui kitchen in Ningxia are the barbecued fish freshly available from nearby fish farms on the yellow river. Unfortunatly, the yellow river has been known to be incredibly polluted in the last years, so we cannot truly recommend trying a taste of this special dish.
How to Get There: Yuhuang Pavilion and Jade Garden stand one block East of the Drum Tower on a street known as Jiefang Dongji. Depending on your location, walk, rent a bicyle or take a Taxi. The Long Distance Bus Station is some two blocks to the south but of no use in travel to the Towers.
In other words, one has not visited Yinchuan if one has not been to the Nanguan Mosque and browsed around its perimeter. It is a must do, interesting, educating and well worth your while ! For a Full impression , history and backgrounds on the Mosque, click through:
Dianwansi Nuoke Taiqiu Mosque :
Apart from the widely advertised South Gate Mosque, there are many more smaller and larger Mosques in Yinchuan. In fact, new Mosques are under construction (2010) at this time, as new districts and appartment blocks rise on previously unused lands between New City and the Old Xingqing district.
One of the smaller Mosques in the Old City district however is the Dianwan (Qingzhen) Si. Often overlooked this smaller Mosque stands just South of the Bell- and Drum-Tower of Yinchuan City, a famous scenic spot. Not much is known about the Dianwansi Mosque and it is not mentioned in any of the many travel guides that include a chapter on Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
It is a much smaller Mosque but on first glance resembles the South Gate
A view of the little mentioned Dianwan Si, a lesser Mosque in Yinchuan, Ningxia with its two minarets and strong arabian characteristics.
Mosque, Nanguan Qingzhen Si, which stands somewhat to the south-east of it. The Dianwansi also has two minarets and shares the strong Arabian characteristics of the much larger and historically older South Gate Mosque. The Dianwan Si is open to visitors. Have a look around it small courtyard and check up on the Muslim Community.
How to get there: First find the Bell- and Drum-Tower (Gulou). Then simply head south on Gulou South Street. Dianwan Si stands on the corner of Gulou Nan Jie - Drum Tower South Street and Xinhua Dong Jie - New China East Street. Be patient, the Mosque only comes into view at the very last moment, but it is impossible to miss.
Xi Guan Mosque or West Gate Mosque - Xi Guan Qingzhen Si :
Another historic Mosque found in Yinchuan is the Xi Guan or West Gate Mosque. Originally constructed in the year 1880 AD (during the Qing Dynasty), it was once the second Mosque in Yinchuan and of quite some importance. Unfortunately, as with many other cultural and historical relics in the City and Region the Xi Guan Mosque was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution Era (1966 AD - 1976 AD)
At the time Ningxia was one of the destinations of the young intellectuals (and reactionaries) which Mao Zedong had famously told to 'Go to the countryside to learn from the Peasants'. Hence, the entire Ningxia Region -a model agricultural example, was awash with overzealous young communists eager to prove their worth in China's many revolutionary battles. They found their battle in temples and mosques when Mao unleashed his largest and most destructive campaign which culminated into the 'Cultural Revolution'. Organized bands of so-called Red Guards laid waste to the Xi Guan Mosque in an effort to eradicate the old traditions, of which religion was one, and it was no more until it was rebuilt in the year 1980 AD.
As one of Yinchuan's two most historical and central Mosques it is restored in function and of great importance to the Hui Community of Yinchuan today. Among things Arabic language lessons are taught at the Mosque. Some 200 to 300 students attend courses at any time throughout the year.
How to get there: No information available at this Time.
Drum Tower South Street - Commercial Area of Yinchuan:
Drum Tower South Street is the conveniently located top commercial street of Yinchuan and a good place to start your shopping and other leisurly activities or downtime in the city. Not only the best place to shop, it is also in easy walking distance of anything else you may come in need of. From the romance and the visual poetry of the beautifully ordained nearby Drum Tower (Gulou) and Yuhuang Pavilion, to the easy snacks and pleasant conversations begotten at the Jade Garden (Ning Yuan), to the Hotel you may need and even to that real cup of cofffee you will want the next morning. Find the latter just around the corner and beyond the Yinchuan Hotel. Even your fresh fruits are within easy grasp, the rural market being positioned just up the road from the nearby Yuhuang Pavilion. In short most of what you would like to see of Yinchuan's pleasant city life is all there at and around Drum Tower Street.
Get a first impression and directions from our brief review of Yinchuan Drum Tower South Street and other nearby parts of the main commercial area in downtown Yinchuan, which is the heart of the old city district.
Drum Tower and Drum Tower shopping street after hours on a summers evening.
Another location where can one ride a small Ferris wheel and some other enterianing apparatusses is the Zhongshan or Sun Yat Sen Park.
Zhongshan Park is considered the main park of the City of Yinchuan and today it can be considered to lie centrally within the large and still expanding city. For tourists however, it lies at a hiking distance from the Drum Tower and the Yuhuangge Jade Emperor Pavillion in the old city section of Yinchuan.
The Park itself is nothing as spectacular as one may find in Beijing, Kowloon in Hong Kong, Nanjing and other A Level cities. However, given the general soullessness of the outlying districts of Yinchuan surrounding the kozy old city district and real center of life, Zhongshan Park is a reasonable getaway from the business of city activities. The Haibao Ta (north Pagoda) Park is more interesting, however.
Go for a walk, or even a run in the park in the morning or afternoon to parents, children and the elderly at leisure. Check your pizza across from the south west entrance and across of the supersized Ningxia Government building at Pizza Domis, where else.
For Full Information and Photo's on Zhongshan Park, click through to: