PWD Register

Capital city of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Hohhot was established by Altan Kahn around the year 1580 as Guisui. It was not until 1954 that it was given the current name of Hohhot.

The city is a popular tourist destination during the summer months, with a cooler climate and picturesque setting. With the Daqing mountains in the north and the Hetao plateau in the south, the skies are clear and blue, though sandstorms occasionally blow in from the desert.

The majority of people in Hohhot are Han Chinese, with just 10 percent of the city's population made up of Mongolians.

Hohhot has a number of typical Chinese department stores and shopping centers where you can find a range of clothing and other goods, though far more interesting are the markets and roadside stalls where visitors can bargain for interesting local products. Of note are the hand-forged and decorated Mongolian knives, the quintessential souvenir from the region. Also interesting are the beautiful wool carpets, woven by hand and colored with natural mineral and plant dyes. Mongolia is also famous for fine quality cashmere, available throughout the region.

Mongolian cuisine developed from the nomadic herding lifestyle of the Mongolian people, and incorporates a lot of meat and hardy grains, with fruit and vegetables a relatively recent addition, brought along with the Han migration to the region. Roast lamb and mutton are the most common meat dishes, though Mongolian hotpot is a local favorite as well (and one that has been exported to the rest of the country).

Mongolians are a friendly people who will welcome visitors into their homes with cups of milk tea or fermented mare's milk, and it is possible to spend a night or two in a nomadic family's yurt, an interesting cultural experience.

The grasslands get very cold in the winter, with temperatures falling to -30oC and below (though in Hohhot city the January minimum is a balmy -18C). Summer is really quite pleasant, with average July temperatures around the mid 20s. June to October is the best time to visit.
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