Baotou Travel Guide
Baotou, also known as the “Deer City” and the “City of Steel in the Gobi,” is a significant city located in the western part of Inner Mongolia, China, with a rich history tracing back over 200 years as a prominent trade hub between China and Mongolia.
With a population of approximately 2.7 million people, Baotou is situated on the northern bank of the Yellow River and is renowned for being an essential industrial base for coal, rare-earth metals, and steel, which are widely used across various industries.
Moreover, Baotou is a gateway to several natural and cultural attractions, such as grasslands, wetlands, deserts, temples, and museums. The city experiences a continental climate with four distinct seasons and a significant temperature fluctuation between day and night. The best time to visit Baotou is from May to October, during the pleasant weather when the grasslands are green.
Chinese: 包头 bāo tóu
Location: Midwest Inner Mongolia
Population (urban area): 2,740,000
Basic Facts about Baotou
- Location: in the west of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, northern China, on the north bank of the Yellow River
- Population: over 2.7 million
- Nickname: Deer City, because its Mongolian name means “place with deer”
- Attractions: grasslands, wetlands, deserts, temples, and museums
Top Things to Do in Baotou
Experience the nomadic lifestyle on the vast grasslands: Baotou is home to the Xilamuren Grassland and Saihantala Ecological Park, where visitors can ride horses, stay in traditional yurts, and savor the local Mongolian cuisine and culture. These grasslands offer a peaceful retreat from city life and a chance to reconnect with nature.
Immerse yourself in Tibetan culture: Wudangzhao Lamasery is the largest and most well-preserved Tibetan lamasery in Inner Mongolia. This historical site boasts beautiful temples, pagodas, and prayer halls, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore Tibetan culture and art.
Explore the oldest Great Wall: Zhao Greatwall Ruins, dating back to the 4th century BC, is the oldest Great Wall in China and is made of rammed earth. Visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the historical significance of this iconic landmark.
Learn about China’s modern military industry: Northern Weapons Park is a unique museum that showcases China’s modern military industry. Visitors can view various weapons and military vehicles on display, including tanks, missiles, and aircraft, providing insight into China’s military prowess.
Pay homage to Genghis Khan: The Genghis Khan Mausoleum is a grand complex dedicated to the legendary Mongol ruler and his accomplishments. This site features stunning architecture and cultural exhibits, allowing visitors to learn about the history and culture of Mongolia.
Baotou experiences a semi-arid continental climate characterized by hot summers, long frozen winters, and significant temperature differences between seasons and day and night. The annual average temperature is 7.2°C, with the coldest month being January with an average temperature of -11°C, and the hottest month being July with an average temperature of 23°C. The annual rainfall is around 270 mm, with most of it concentrated in July and August2. Baotou is also known for being a windy city, with sandstorms being a possibility in the spring season.
The ideal time to visit Baotou is from June to October, during the summer and early autumn season when the weather is the most pleasant, and the grasslands are in their best condition. This is the perfect time to enjoy the Mongolian culture and scenery, visit the Tibetan lamasery, and explore the historical sections of the Great Wall.
How to Get to Baotou
By air: Baotou International Airport (BAV) is located about 20 kilometers east of the city center and is the most convenient way to reach Baotou. The airport has direct flights from major cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xi’an.
By train: Baotou Railway Station is located in the city center and serves as a major transportation hub in Inner Mongolia. It has direct trains to many cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, and Chengdu.
By bus: Baotou has several long-distance bus stations that offer regular bus services to nearby cities and towns in Inner Mongolia and other provinces in China.
By car: Baotou is well-connected by highways and can be reached by car from nearby cities and towns. However, driving in China can be challenging for foreigners due to the language barrier and different traffic laws.
By taxi: Taxis are a convenient and affordable way to get around Baotou. Taxis are metered, and fares start at around 6 RMB (less than $1 USD). However, it is recommended to have your destination written in Chinese characters since not all taxi drivers speak English.
By bus: Baotou has an extensive bus network that covers most areas of the city. Buses are cheap, with fares starting at around 1 RMB (less than $0.20 USD). However, navigating the bus system can be challenging for foreigners, as most signs and announcements are in Chinese.
By bicycle: Baotou has a public bike-sharing system, which allows visitors to rent bicycles at various locations throughout the city. The cost of renting a bike is around 1 RMB (less than $0.20 USD) per hour, and the bikes can be returned at any designated bike parking area.
By car: Renting a car is an option for visitors who prefer to explore Baotou at their own pace. However, driving in China can be challenging for foreigners due to the language barrier and different traffic laws.