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A big modern building, 15km east of the city, near Baita. A modern expressway takes you out there very quickly (just 10 minutes once you are on it), but alow plenty of time for crossing Hohhot city centre.
All very quick and efficient. Some hotels offer a bus shuttle service.
Written Aug 30, 2004
Obviously Muslims don't eat pork, so don't expect to find it in the Muslim parts. But they do have lots of other meat, beef and mutton (sheep) or goat being the most common, as well as chicken, of course.
Written Apr 7, 2008
Hohhot's a safe place as far as crime goes - a friend had someone fishing in her bag outside the Holiday Inn, but he backed off when confronted, and otherwise I've heard no reports of any trouble.
Like in most Chinese cities, you have to be careful crossing the road, but there are no special dangers that I know of.
The real problem's the weather. If you come in spring, get a 'pollution mask' from a chemist (see illustration - the Mongolian cowboy hat is optional). There are sudden, unpleasant dust storms and you need some protection - dark glasses are also useful if you have sensitive eyes (and if you have Dry Eye Syndrome bring plenty of medication).
Don't come in winter - it can get to 30 (F) below. Or if you do, pack several layers of very warm clothing. And you'll still need your mask, as there's coal heaters everywhere and the air gets very polluted.
Updated May 26, 2005
There are two Lamaseries, Xilitu Zhao and Da Zhao, across the street from each other. Da is the larger of the two and the second one you should visit. It isn't as real in feeling, and costs more to go in. Xilitu is smaller and in some ways more interesting. It's prayer places are more atmospheric, and when we were there, there seemed to be a healing ritual or ceremony in progress. It felt more authentic, with no window for ticket purchases.
Unique Suggestions: It's not that you shouldn't see these places. They do cost a bit to go in, but if you only want to see one, see the Xilitu Zhao.
The monks might have been real, they might have been performers. The Adidas athletic shoes and non-traditional pants didn't add to the realism of the place, but maybe it did add to the realism of an old, traditional religion in a land of commercialism.
Written Oct 8, 2007