Jon and I decided to head to Inner Mongolia for a few days during his trip over here this time. We left early on Sunday morning and arrived in Hohhot an hour later. We were met by our guide and driver and left Hohhot for the grassland in Xilamuren. We found that in the winter, there isn't much grass in the grassland. It was too cold to stay in the grassland yurts so we just spent the day there and then went to a hotel for the night back in Hohhot. While in the grassland, we had a great lunch, rode very furry horses, and drank Mongolian milk tea. I had to borrow a jacket because it was too cold.
The next day, we drove to E’erduosi City to visit the Gobi Desert. It was also very cold in the desert so again we didn't stay in the yurt we had planned on using. We decided that instead of riding the camels (Bactrian, if you were curious), we just wanted to walk in the desert for a while.
Jon had his birthday in E’erduosi City the next day. We visited Genghis Khan's mausoleum, an aobao, and went for a walk in the park across the street from our hotel. In the park, we found a pack of wild dogs, a crime scene, and an old dragon boat ride. In the evening, our driver bought Jon a cake (Yes, it says "Happy Btrsday" on it.) and a bottle of Red Star bai jiu.
We spent our last day back in Hohhot City visiting various sites. My favorite was the Dazhao Lamasery. Unfortunately, it was the coldest it had been the whole trip while we were there plus it was very windy so we didn't stay as long as I would have liked.
Jon and I did enjoy our trip and we would love to come back again... just not in winter. More photos at Flickr.
--Sarah & Jon--