Lonely Planet section on Hohhot
Favorite thing: Unusually, the Lonely Planet guidebook to China is extremely poor on Hohhot (actually the last three versions!).
Some places are located in the wrong place (e.g. the railway hotel) and some places listed on the wrong street (e.g. Xilitu).
I left it in the hotel room.
The most glaring error (and the only one likely to cause a real problem) is that they describe the Wusutu temple as being 20km west of Hohhot. It is not. It is in the northern suburbs. Where they visited (or did they....the description suggests that they were told about it by a local tour guide) was the Lamadong lamasery, which is definitely worth visiting, and the landscape is not arid!!
Note that the 'Atlas of China Knowledge' (available in many Xinhua outlets, but not in the one in Hohhot!) has a very good street map of Hohot and also a good map of the Tumdchuan Plain.
Favorite thing: There's not all that much to do in Hohhot, in my mind, other than wander around and enjoy the architecture... it's a nice bit of refreshment from the block style of the rest of China... But they still have the blocks, don't worry.
Part of the uniqueness of the architecture comes from the Islamic style, as Hohhot has many Muslims (just like Xi'An).
Good tour guide in Hohhot
Favorite thing: I will provide the phone number of a good tour guide in Hohhot upon request.
She speaks good English and passable Japanese.
She and a friend accompanied me (and arranged a god car and driver) to Dayaocun and then to the Zhao wall at Wusutu. They all clearly enjoyed getting out of town and were very keen to learn, and took copious notes as we travelled around.
She is an agriculture specialist and so I learned a lot about agriculture in the area, which was fascinating.
She is employed by a tour agency which charges RMB300 per day (plus travel) for a city tour and pays her RMB15. I booked her directly for the trips further afield so she got all the money.