Ordos Grassland Tourist Area

Last updated by drwi at 2014/5/1

The Ordos Grassland area, a montane grassland, is situated south of the Yin Shan mountain range (the cities of Baotou and Hohhot lie on the northern rim of the grassland, just south of the Yin Shan mountains) and north of the northern reaches of the Baiyu Shan mountain range. The cities of Dongsheng, Narin and Lamawan lie just beyond the southern reaches of the grassland, where grassland gives way to mountainous area, i.e., where the Baiyu Shan mountains begin. Because of the mountains that enclose it to the north and to the south, the Ordos Grassland area is crisscrossed by rivers and streams, bringing much-needed water to the area. The soil of the grassland is a mixture of sand and clay, rendering it unsuited to any purpose other than pastoral use. Overgrazing has already caused hardship in the region, and has resulted in the importation of cashmere from Outer Mongolia in order to to supply the wool-processing plants of the Ordos region, which boasts the largest cashmere processing plant in the world.

The Ordos Grassland Tourist Area can be described as one large Mongolian camp that comprises some some 200 yurts. The area is subdivided into various theme sections in order to better promote tourism and facilitate trade. There is an area for open-air performances of singing and dancing, an area for the traditional open-air Mongolian "manly sports" such as horseback riding, archery and wrestling, an area that caters to dining, an area that caters to business interests (clinching trade deals, etc.), an area that is dedicated to temple life, etc. The Ordos Grasslands is also the venue for an annual Arts Festival.

One of the most famous international musicians, Urna Chahar-Tugchi, singer and leader of an international ensemble that includes the likes of Zoltan Lantos, the Hungarian violinist, as well as musicians from Poland, Iran and India, stems from the Ordos Grassland. Urna's music is a blend of the traditional music of the grassland with folk and classical influences from around the world. Urna Chahar-Tugchi is considered one of the top Asian female vocalists. Her evocative music is always only a step removed from the music of her beloved Ordos homeland.

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The only way to get to the grassland is by taxi or by rented vehicle. The largest nearby city offering such services is the city of Ordos.

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Since this is semi-arid, big-sky country with little precipitation, there is correspondingly little cloud cover, especially at night, and as everyone who knows the desert knows, deserts are baking hot by day and freezing cold by night. Therefore visitors are advised to bring along clothing suited to both extremes, as they will be used on a daily basis. Layered clothing is a good idea in the early mornings and again in late afternoon, i.e., during the rapid transition periods. It is also a good idea to bring along suntan lotion and skin moisturizers, just as it is a good idea to keep an adequate supply of drinking liquids on hand, as the area is quite arid, especially in the midday heat.


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