On the grassland, there a beautiful city named Chifeng which boasts unique landscape, tempting food, peculiar peaks, vast grassland, blue sky, white sand, crystal-clear lake, long-standing history and an abundance of historical sites. As the fourth largest city of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Chifeng is an outstanding tourist city of China.
Most areas of Chifeng remain the pristine state without industrial or municipal pollution. Chifeng used to be the activity center of all the ethnic minorities in North China and the cradle of grassland bronze culture as well as Qidan culture. With the history of 10 thousand years, Chifeng is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization.
Chifeng is located in the southeast of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the west of Northeast China Region and the intersection of Inner Mongolia, Hebei and Liaoning Province. It’s the transitional zone from Mongolian Plateau to Liaohe Plain and the nearest grassland of Inner Mongolia to Beijing. Chifeng enjoys favorable location and convenient transportation, which is 260 kilometers from Jinzhou Port and 300 kilometers from Suizhong Port.
Chifeng enjoys the temperate semiarid continental monsoon climate, with long and cold winter, dry and windy spring, short and burning hot summer as well as short and cool autumn. The annual average temperature in most areas ranges from 0 to 7℃. The coldest month is January with the average temperature of -10℃ and the lowest temperature of -27℃. The hottest month is July with the average temperature of 20 to 24℃.
The food of Chifeng features the flavor of Inner Mongolia grassland. The local flavor food include Hada baked wheaten cakes, Hada pastry, meat pie, sesame seed cakes with meat inside, mutton eaten with hands, millet stir-fried in butter, roast whole lamb and milk products. The famous local dishes include beef tendon braised in brown sauce, oxtail braised in brown sauce and dry fried fish. The popular local drinks include Aohan almond milk, Kaqi kumiss, Chifeng beer, Ningcheng aged wine and sea buckthorn beverage.
For years, Chifeng pays stress on local environmental protection, ecological construction and the construction of natural reserves, which contributes to the increase and protection of local wild animal resources. Chifeng has abundant wild animal resources of a large variety. According to the general survey, there are 551 species of wild animals containing the national first and second-grade protected animals. The national first-grade protected animals include sika deer, red-crowned crane, white stork, black stork and white crane. The national second-grade protected animals include leopard, argali, lynx, red deer, whooper swan, mute swan, mandarin duck, black crane, Mongolian gazelle, blue sheep, sable, otter, lark and red-billed ducks.
The lighting festival is held on October 25th of the lunar calendar every year. When evening falls, butter lamps are lighted in every household in celebration of the festival. In some counties such as Hoboksar Mongol Autonomous County and Emin County, local people hold a variety of activities in celebration instead of lighting butter lamps. The traditional activities of Mongol ethnic minority consist of horse racing, camel racing, wrestling, archery, shooting, tug of war, folk dances and solo dance.
Nadam Fair is a traditional festival of Mongolian people, which is usually held in July or autumn annually. Nadam means entertainment or recreation. At present, Nadam Fair has become a comprehensive grand gathering on the grassland which integrates entertainment, sports, economy and culture. You can enjoy and appreciate a variety of activities of Mongolian flavor, such as horse racing, wrestling, archery, playing Mongolian chess, track and field, sports balls, tug of war, swing, springboard, bicycle, shooting, motorcycle, group calisthenics and martial arts. When night falls, there burns the flame and rise and dance in a happy mood.
In Chifeng, there are abundant tourism resources including natural landscape and places of historic figures and cultural heritage, such as Site of the Upper Capital of the Liao Dynasty, Site of the Middle Capital of the Liao Dynasty in Tianyi Town of Ningcheng County, Baiyin Ovoo Natural Reserve in the northwest of Hexigten, limestone karst caves featuring stalactite, stalagmite and various karst forms, Quaternary period remnants of glaciation which is the most widely distributed in China, spectacular sand landscape, about one hundred lakes and over 20 reservoirs, hot spring and mineral spring which are rich in trace elements, vast grassland, mountains and forests, ice and snow resources including skiing, snow sculpture, ice sculpture and iceboating, Ma An Shan National Forest Park, Hexigten Global Geopark, Gautama Buddha stupas, Hongshan National Forest Park, Xibo River, Longquan Temple, Huifu Temple, Heilihe National Natural Reserve and glacial pothole landscape.
Best Time to Visit
As Chifeng is located in the transitional area from warm temperate zone to Frigid Zone, it features cold and dry winter and rainy summer. The best time to visit Chifeng is from June to September. In late summer and early autumn, it’s also the best period to appreciate vast desert, setting sun and the landscape beyond the Great Wall, experiencing folk customs.
Chifeng features mostly desert and grassland with strong sunshine. Thus, you’d better bring sunblock. Besides, due to the large temperature difference between morning and night, you need to prepare warm coats.