Monday, September 27, 2010

Inner Mongolia in Oct 2010

Next month RY and myself will be going to Inner Mongolia for a short holiday.
I'm looking forward to the trip to view the beautiful landscape and sample the roasted lamb there!

Inner Mongolia is a large region stretched across the northern edge of China. It has a relatively low population density the majority of which are Han Chinese. About 17% of the population is ethnic Mongolian. The region is officially an Autonomous Region for the Mongolian people within China. The east of Inner Mongolia consists of wide grass meadow lands, forests and mountains. The west of the region is made up of scorching hot dry deserts. Traditional Mongolian nomadic lifestyle can still be seen in the region and yurts (mongolian tents) are not an uncommon site in the wide spaces between the cities.

The main religion in the area practiced by the Mongol minority is Lamaist Buddhism, similar to that found in Tibet and the Republic of Mongolia. Lama temples are common throughout the region.

Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) (酒泉卫星发射中心) is in Inner Mongolia and is the site of most of China's rocket launches. It is in a remote area and not open to the public. (The city of Jiuquan lies over 100km away in the neighboring province of Gansu.)

Mongolian and Mandarin Chinese are the two official languages in the area. There are different dialects of both spoken throughout the region.

There are nine public airports in Inner Mongolia. Most only receive domestic flights so requiring foreign visitors to transfer at one of the major cities of China before reaching Inner Mongolia. There are international flights form Hohhot to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia run by MIAT Mongolian Airlines.

Traditional Mongolian food is found throughout Inner Mongolia. This is typically high in dairy produce such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. The traditional Mongolian milk tea is exceptionally good. Meats, especially lamb, form most meals. The meat is usually roasted with a coating of spices to give a strong distinctive flavour. Similar with many areas of China, the Hotpot is a popular style of cooking. Mongolian hotpot usually has a well flavoured soup but without the hot spices of central China.

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