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Eating Mongolian Hotpot in Inner Mongolia

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Maaate, what a day! Here I lay in Hohhot city, the capital of the Inner Mongolia Province. Both Luo Wei and I have just experienced the delights of eating Mongolian Hotpot in Inner Mongolia. I wonder though, should I actually call it Inner Mongolian Hotpot? So now I have eaten Mongolian Hotpot in both Mongolia and Inner Mongolia! Who's a happy boy huh! This morning (backing Datong) Lou Wei and I rose early and headed down stairs for the free buffet breakfast that the Feitian Hotel offers. I would list it as probably the most useless breakfast in the history of free buffet breakfasts. You are handed one boiled egg as you walk in the door and you then have a choice of three different trays and one of those trays contains small bread rolls. The other two are cabbage and some turnipy tasteless thing! What a big waste of time this breakfast was! Californian Beef Noodles was just across the road! What a bugger! Not Happy! As we crossed the road to the train we passed several buses out front and one of them was heading to Hohhot city. Little did we know then that we should have thrown our train tickets away and purchased new tickets for the bus to take us north. We both knew that we didn't have seat tickets but usually after half an hour to an hour there are plenty of seats free. Not this time mate! The train continued to get more and more packed after each station. No one was leaving the train and by two hours into the journey we both had no feet room to speak of. In fact there was no room to move at all. It was like being at a Pearl Jam gig with a promise of Chris Cornell (soundgarden) to join for a Temple of The Dog reunion. Around you are people of all ages seemingly waiting for something to happen but nothing does. No Chris Cornell, no Temple of The Dog and damn no Pearl Jam!

More and more people join the crowd because they think there is something to see. It was so hot but thankfully the train roof was lined with fans. During the journey I somehow got pushed and shoved to one side of the isle and Luo Wei was left stranded with a group of what she calls 'the smelly uncles'. These are the working class guys who take their shoes off, spit on the floor and throw rubbish out the window. Every now and then I would offer or accept water from /to Luo Wei and we of course communicated in English and one of the smelly uncles asked her a question but as he asked it in his local dialect she couldn't understand him. This then led them and the rest of the people arond us to believe she was a foreigner also and they began speaking to her in English. Mainly, hello, ok, where are you from etc. One of the guy's, who strangely held his heavy bag for two hours and then decided to put it under the seat, could actually speak English rather well. He began speaking to her and after asking several questions finally figured out she was actually Chinese so they switched to Mandarin which then left all the other 'smelly uncles' in the dark as they all only knew their local dialect. How strange it is when you are way up in Inner Mongolia and you meet a group of smelly uncles who know more English than they do actual Chinese. Once again there is a good answer as to why I haven't bothered with learning Mandarin! How strange it is also that none of them spoke to me. Afraid of making mistakes before their peers I guess. By around five hours into the journey and having to fight for even the tiniest bit of air and room to move my feet, my heels were just about to give way. Over the last few weeks I had been walking many hours each day like usual. After nearing six hours of standing and having other people stand on my feet I was more than happy when the train entered the outer suburbs of Hohhot city. Like an unwanted blast of hot air tour scouts ran to us and surrounded us yelling loudly about tours to the grasslands and other areas around they city they had to offer. We had to actually push past them to get away from the station grounds. We spent the next half an hour or so doing the hotel boogie and being refused a room due to me being a foreigner. In the end we grabbed a cab and let him do the work for us. We ended up in a great little hotel with a huge double room right on Zhongshan Donglu. Next to us was a coffee filled KFC with bright signs in English, Mongolian and Chinese!

We were going to head out for a walk around the city but woke up many hours later. We were both bursting with hunger and after a few seconds discussion we both wanted only one thing....Mongolian Hotpot! After a short walk and about half an hour we were filling our glasses with cold local beer and dipping our chopsticks into a boiling broth filled with tender lamb, vegetables and a delicious assortment of fungus and different coloured noodles. Coloured neons filled our vision as we took a short walk in the nearing empty streets. A cool breeze blew the scraps of paper that lay scattered around us and soon we lay talking about how to fill the following few days. One thing is for sure! We are in Inner Mongolia and there will be vast grasslands, horses and a few camels to be found in there somewhere! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane PS: The picture taken on the train as at the beginning of our journey. I then locked away my phone, camera for the rest of the jounrey. _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by the one and only AC/DC. Once again that is AC/DC with the late N great Bon Scott not Brian Johnson. The album was 'High Voltage' __________________________________________________________ <u>Inner Mongolia[/i] Province[/i]</b>:[/i]</b> </u></b> [/i]</b> Inner Mongolia borders, from east to west, the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and Gansu, while to the north it borders Mongolia and Russia. It is the third-largest subdivision of China spanning almost 300 million acres or 12% of China's land area. [/i] [/i] It has a population of about 24 million as of 2004.[/i] The capital is Hohhot.[/i][/i] [/i] The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, bordering to the north with both the Republic of Mongolia and Russia, is the widest province in China (by its latitude). It is the third largest Chinese province (over 1.1 million square kilometers or 424,736 square miles) but not very populated. The province has about 24 million inhabitants. Many ethnic groups are living in this area including Mongolian, Daur, Oroqen, Ewenki, Hui, Han, Korea and Manchu. Hohhot is the capital of Inner Mongolia. [/i] [/i] <u>When to go</u>[/i]</b> [/i] Climate in Inner Mongolia is very different during the year. Winter is cold and can be very long, with frequent blizzards. Usually summer is short and warm. The climate changes from arid to semi-humid from west to east, and to humid in the northeast. The annual rainfall is 80 - 450 millimeters, also increasing from west to east. The main feature of the climate here is that the different in temperature between days and nights is very big, so tourists should wear layer of clothes when traveling here. [/i] [/i] <u>What to see</u>[/i]</b> [/i] Inner Mongolia has a peculiar natural scenery, long history and brilliant culture. There are many historic sites in this area. Some of the key historic sites are: [/i] [/i] Wudangzhao Monastery in Baotou is a vast complex and used to be the residence of the highest ranking lama in Inner Mongolia and now it is the only intact Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Inner Mongolia. [/i] [/i] Inner Mongolia is the hometown of Genghis Khan (1162-1227), the great leader of Mongolians. His Mausoleum, located 185 kilometers (about 71 miles) south of Baotou, holds his clothing buried in his memory. [/i] [/i] [/i] Dazhao Temple is one of the biggest and best-preserved temples in Hohhot. Xilituzhao Palace is the largest surviving Lama temple in Hohhot. [/i][/i] [/i] Zhaojun Tomb, six miles to the south of Hohhot, is located on one of the most beautiful scenes of ancient times. A legend says that each year, when it turned cold and grass became yellow, only this tomb remained green and so it got the name Green Tomb (Qing Zhong). [/i] [/i] Wanbu Huayanjin Pagoda, also called White Pagoda, used to be a place where nearly ten thousand volumes of Huayan Scripture were preserved. It is an exquisite and magnificent brick-wood structure about one hundred and fifty feet tall. [/i] [/i] But what is most attractive about Inner Mongolia is its natural beauty. Vast grasslands, including the Xilamuren Grassland, Gegentala Grassland and Huitengxile Grassland are all good places for a grassland experience. The mushroom-like yurts, bright sky, fresh air, rolling grass and the flocks and herds moving like white clouds on the remote grassland, all contribute to make the scenery a very relaxing one. While visiting Inner Mongolia you may try different activities such as Mongolian wrestling, horse & camel riding, rodeo competitions, archery, visiting traditional families and enjoying the graceful Mongolian singing and dancing.

The best time to visit the grassland is definitely during the traditional Mongolian Nadam Festival period when there is a better chance to both participate and feel the lively atmosphere of the grassland life. [/i] [/i] You can also visit deserts in Inner Mongolia. The deserts are located in the western part of the province: the most famous and visited ones are the Badain Jaran Desert, Tengger Desert and Kubuqi Desert. Early autumn (from the middle of August to the end of September) is the best time to explore the desert as the temperatures are very temperate. [/i] [/i] <u>Hohhot[/i] City[/i]:</b></u></b>[/i]</b> [/i]</b> Although Hohhot has only been the capital of Inner Mongolia since 1947, it has taken on the role with ease and with a rapidly growing population (currently at around 1.6 million) it has begun to challenge Baotou as the region's industrial and economic powerhouse. Despite the fact that only around 11% of the city's population are indigenous Mongols, Mongolian Buddhism (an offshoot of Tibetan Buddhism) continues to thrive and Mongolian culture is actively preserved. As a new capital, the city lacks an abundance of historical and tourist sites. However, it is still definitely worth visiting if in the area. The city is at its greenest and most pleasant in Spring and early Summer. [/i] [/i] Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in northern China, lies between the Yinshan Mountain and the Yellow River. [/i] [/i] Hohhot, which is Mongolian for "green city", dates from 306 B.C. and throughout its long history has been an important cultural centre of the region. Today it is the most important city in Inner Mongolia and is home to 36 different ethnic groups. Notable among these are Mongolian, Han, Manchu, Hui, Tibetan, Dawoer, Elunchun, Ewenke and Korean, etc. [/i][/i] [/i] The city zone covers 17,224 square kilometers (6,650.19 square miles). With a population exceeding 1,400,000.[/i] [/i] Hohhot is an ideal place to relax away from modern day pressure thanks to the magnificent natural beauty of the Gegentala and Xilamuren Grasslands as well as fantastic cultural sites such as the Dazhao Temple , Five-Pagoda Temple and the Xilituzhao Palace . Mongolian folk songs and wrestling are popular entertainments while ethnic delicacies and the clemency of the local people add to the enjoyment of a stay here. [/i] [/i] Travelers can enjoy a wide variety of activities including horse riding, or maybe visiting the home of a herdsman's family or roaming over the vast grassland and of course there is the thrilling Nadam Fair. [/i] [/i] As a tourist resort, Hohhot has a modern reliable transport network, excellent hotels and large shopping centers. The city brings together specialties from all over Inner Mongolia, ranging from Mongolian silverwares, carpets, cashmere, camel hair products, traditional knives,decorative deer antlers, narrow-leaved oleaster curtain, oatmeal and various dairy products to fancy Mongolian costumes. [/i] [/i] A trip to Hohhot will leave you in a peaceful state of mind after what is sure to be an unforgettable experience. [/i][/i]

Inner Mongolian Hotpot

Inner Mongolian Hotpot


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1-Inner Mongolian Hotpot


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2-Inner Mongolian Hotpot


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6-Inner Mongolian Hotpot


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9-Inner Mongolian Hotpot


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10-Inner Mongolian Hotpot


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12-Inner Mongolian Hotpot


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16-Inner Mongolian Hotpot


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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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