Ningxia Province's

ZHONGWEI

Global Mark : 13.28

Ratings by criteria : 

Charm Scener. Parks Culture Minor. Market Relax Fiesta 

Cost

AVER.
3 4 1 4 2 4 3 2

3

11.56

Ratings by backpackers :

Surveyed Liked  Comeback  Recommend Range AVER.
1 100%  (1) 100%  (1) 100%  (1) 15 15.00


Description :
A little town with an unusual temple, unusual surroundings scenery and unusual relax atmosphere...

Comments : This place has been blessed by the travelers' gods : great temple, great scenery, great food, great accommodations and great people !

What to do : Check all the corners, rooms and divinities of the amazing temple / See where sand dunes meet the river and farm fields / Slide down the dunes or ride camel on them / Walk the superb greenery corridor between the river and the desert / Descend the river on leather boat / Eat too much at the night market / Relax in your comfortable room

What you may not like : The motorcycle drivers' eagerness to take you to the desert sights / The unimpressive dunes if you come from Dunhuang / The horn of the vehicles which contrast with the otherwise very laid back atmosphere of the place / The tourism development at Shapotou (karaoke and cable car at your service...) 

How long ? One day is unfortunately enough...


Where to stay ?

  • Zhongtie Binguan (7031 948), on the left when you exit the Train station / Dorm 15(4) without bathroom / Bed 28(3) or 40(2) with bathroom / OK toilets / No common shower / HW 24 hrs // Go there for the great rooms with great bathrooms at great prices (especially after negotiation). / What you may not like : the noise from the busy street and railway station, the absence of common shower

  • Railway Hotel (701 1441), just opposite the above / Bed 20(3) or 30(2) with bathroom / Sgl 60 with bathroom / HW 24 hrs // Go there for the same reasons as above plus cheaper "official" prices / What you may not like : idem except that all the rooms here have bathrooms...

  • Zhongwei Fandian (710 2219),  400m from the Station on Bei Dajie / Dorm 13(4), 18(3), 22-25(2) without bath / Sgl without bath 35 / Bed 32(3) or 35(2) with bath / Bad toilets / Common shower / HW 20:30 to 24 // Go there for the cheapest rate in town, the nice big rooms with bath, the view toward the temple in some of the rooms, the relative quietness,... / What you may not like : the sanitary

  • Dongguan Fandian (701 2364), opposite the bus station, in the station for minibus, east side of the town / Dorm 15(3) without bath / 28 or 30 in Dbl with bath or shower's bathroom / Bad toilets / Common shower of the minibus station outside / HW on request  // Go there if you arrive at the bus Station and are lazy to walk 20mn to the Train Station and  the comfortable rooms. / What you may not like : the noise from the bus station and the inconvenience to walk it half-naked to go to the shower place.

 
Zhongtie Hotel zhongtie binguan

Railway Hotel

tielu binguan

Zhongwei Fandian

zhongwei fandian

Dongguan Fandian

dongguan fandian


What to see/visit :

  • Gao Temple : Y5 

Arguably one of the most original and nicest temple in China. First built during the 15th century, it remains a place of worship for the three main religions (Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism), all housed under the same roofs... 

 

  • Shapotou : free, Bus 4 or 5Y, Motorcycle 15Y one way or 30Y return

The best way to go would be to take a minibus heading to Gantang from the Bus Station as they use the fast road next to the railway, arrive within 30mn, fill up faster and leave you at the top of the dunes for a panoramic view...

After you visited the touristy and karaoke areas, walk the beautiful fields toward east (pass the gate and walk straight for 45mn, until one village where you need to turn right), on the road used by the minibus to/from Shapotou. Calculate your timing so that the bus catch up with you when the road start to loose its interest, after around one hour walk (allow more time for side walks in the greenery or sand dunes).  Buses leave the touristy area at 8:10, 9:30, 12, 14, 16:30 & 18:30 and take one hour to reach Zhongwei via small villages on a bumpy road.


Where to eat ?
  Whatever you do during the day, you have to spend the evening at the night market ! There, you will find excellent dishes, great choice, big portions and remarkably low prices (3Y for a huge plate of pasta or a filling hotpot with meat)


Bus Schedules :

To Price Type Duration Time Nb Freq.
Yinchuan 13 big 3h30 6:30 to 17:30 ++ 30mn
Xi'an 70 sleep 18 14:00 1 if people
Lanzhou 40 sleep 7 22:30 1 if people
Zhangye 90 sleep 14 18:00 1 na
Shapotou 4 big 30mn 8:30/10/11/14/15:30 5 na

Note : Bus to Gantang via Shapotou

Trains


The trip to Yinchuan :
Train / SS / Y13 / 3 hours

There is no need to buy the ticket in advance as seats are not reserved. Instead, it is better to buy it last minute after checking that the train is not delayed... After all the passengers extinguished their cigarettes, the ride was as usual in trains : smooth, comfortable and slow. The train station in Yinchuan is in the new city, 7km from the old city, the bus station and the best hotel so if you plan to spend a night in Yinchuan, taking an early bus from Zhongwei also make sense...

See also trip from Xi'an to Zhongwei...