Baotou Tourist Attractions
Autonomous region of Inner MongoliaBaotou lies in the center of Inner Mongolia, some 140km/87mi west of Hohhot, the regional capital, on the north bank of the Huanghe river.Baotou is an important rail station on the Beijing- Lanzhou line, which also passes through Hohhot.As a result of the growth of many branches of industry, including iron-smelting in particular, Baotou has become the economic center of Inner Mongolia. Together with Anshan, Wushan, Shanghai and Beijing it is one of China's major producers of steel.People lived in this region back in the Tang dynasty (618-907), but only in recent centuries did it develop into a trading center. This development was accelerated by the construction of the rail link with Beijing in 1923, when it became the major trading hub of Mongolia and western China. Transport facilities were improved still further by the construction of the rail route to Lanzhou in the 1950s. Since then Baotou has become a center of the steel industry, which utilizes the rich iron-ore deposits found in Bayo Obo.
Willow Tree Monastery
The ''Willow Tree Monastery'', a lamasery situated 70km/44mi northeast of Baotou, is one of the best-preserved of any in Inner Mongolia. Built under the Kangxi Emperor (reigned 1661-1722), it was restored in 1749. At one time more than 1000 monks lived here. The complex of 2500 rooms covers an area of 20ha/50 acres and embraces some twelve temple buildings in which statues of Shakyamuni and other Buddhist saints are worshipped.
Tomb of Genghis Khan
Covering an area of 5.5ha/13.754 acres this mausoleum, said to contain the remains of Genghis Khan, lies in beautiful surroundings 120km/75mi south of Baotou and 15km/9mi southeast of the town of Atengxilian. It was moved here in 1954 from Kumbum Monastery (Ta Er Si) near Xining. The mausoleum consists of three magnificent halls with roofs of gilt-glazed tiles. The great ruler and his three wives lie at rest in the main hall, where a statue of him also stands. The two side-halls contain Mongol costumes and weapons. In the southeastern part of the complex stands the Palace of the Great Khan. The nearby museum village portrays the life led by the Mongols in the time of Genghis Khan.
This temple, built in the Qing period (1644-1911) in a style reminiscent of that of Tibet, consists of flat-roofed buildings of two storys. The complex also includes the White Pagoda (Bai Ta), surmounted by a stupa. The Awang Fu, a large ''gateway of honor'', is also worthy of note.
Mongolian Nadam Autumn Festival
The famous Mongolian Nadam Autumn Festival, which was celebrated originally to honor the gods of the hills and mountain paths, has become a popular festival with riding, wrestling and archery competitions as well as musical and theatrical performances.