Autonomous Regions in China

There are five Autonomous Regions in China designated minority areas, including Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous RegionTibet Autonomous RegionInner Mongolia Autonomous RegionGuangxi Zhuang Autonomous RegionNingxia Hui Autonomous Region

Map of Autonomous Regions in China

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

Bordering Tibet Autonomous Region and the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is located in the northwest of the country, which is the largest Chinese administrative division and the eighth largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2(640,000 square miles). 

The rugged Karakoram, Kunlun, and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang’s borders, as well as its western and southern regions. The most well-known route of the historical Silk Road ran through the territory from the east to its northwestern border.

Xinjiang is home to a number of ethnic groups, including the Uyghur, Han, Kazakhs, Tibetans, Hui, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Mongols, Russians and Xibe. There are more than ten ethnic autonomous prefectures and counties in Xinjiang. 

As a significant region in the ancient Silk Road, Xinjiang is blessed with all sorts of resources, which enjoys more than 1,100 tourist attractions which makes it the place that has the most tourist destinations in China. There are a variety of magnificent natural scenery like deserts, prairie, snow-capped mountains, glacier, well as cultural sites with profound history.

Recommended Xinjiang Tours:
1 Day Urumqi City Tour with Heavenly Lake and Grand Bazaar
4 Days Urumqi City Tour
7 Days Xinjiang Highlights Tour
8 Days Silk Road Highlights Tour from Dunhuang to Urumqi

See more Xinjiang Tours.

Tibet Autonomous Region

The Tibet Autonomous Region is located in southwest China on the Tibetan Plateau, the highest region on earth. In northern Tibet elevations reach an average of over 4,572 metres (15,000 ft). Mount Everest is located on Tibet’s border with Nepal. Formally established in 1965, it is the second-largest province-level division of China by area, spanning over 1,200,000 km2(460,000sq mi). 

China’s provincial-level areas of XinjiangQinghai and Sichuan lie to the north, northeast, and east, respectively, of the Tibet. There is also a short border with Yunnan province to the southeast. 

Historically, the population of Tibet is mainly Tibetan. Other ethnic minorities with large populations or living in Tibet include the Bai, Blang, Bonan, Dongxiang, Hui, Lhoba, Lisu, Miao, Mongolian, Tu, Monpa, Mosuo, Naxi, Qiang, Nu, Pumi, Salar and Yi.

Presently the only way for foreigners to enter is via Tibet Entry Permit. The main attraction is the Potala Palace in Lhasa, there are many other popular tourist destinations including the Jokhang TempleNamtso Lake, and Tashilhunpo Monastery.

Recommended Tibet Tours:
4 Days Lhasa Impression Small Group Tour
6 Days Central Tibet Culture Small Group Tour
8 Days Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Small Group Tour
11 Days China Classic Tour with Mysterious Tibet

See more Tibet Tours.

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

Inner Mongolia, is short for the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region which is one of the autonomous regions of the People’s Republic of China, located in the north of the country. With the capital city located in Hohhot, it covers an area of 1,200,000 kilometers, making it the third largest Chinese subdivision. The Autonomous Region was established in 1947.

The majority of the population in the region are Han Chinese, with a sizeable titular Mongol minority. About 17% of the population is ethnic Mongolian, providing unique and charming ethnic culture along their historical development. Most of Inner Mongolia is a plateau averaging around 1,200 metres (3,940 ft) in altitude and covered by extensive loess and sand deposits. 

Boasting such a large territory, Inner Mongolia is most impressive in its vast grasslands, particularly the world-famous Hulunbuir Grassland, the Horqin Grassland and the Xilin Gol Grassland which has the most well protected vegetation.

Recommended Inner Mongolia Tours:
3 Days Inner Mongolia Grassland & Desert Tour
4 Days Inner Mongolia Naadam Festival Tour with Hohhot Sightseeing
5 Days Hulunbuir Grassland and Folk Culture Tour
8 Days Beijing & Inner Mongolia Adventure Tour

See more Inner Mongolia Tours.

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

Located in the southern part of the country, Guangxi is bordered by Yunnan to the west, Guizhou to the north, Hunan to the northeast, and Guangdong to the east and southeast. It is also bordered by Vietnam in the southwest and the Beibu Gulf in the south. Guangxi is partly a mountainous region. The Nanling Mountains form the north-east border, with the Yuecheng and Haiyang Mountains branching from them.

Guangxi is an autonomous region inhabited by many ethnic groups. The inhabitants include 12 ethnic groups, including Han, ZhuangYaoMiaoDongMulaoMaonanHuiGinYiShui, and Gelao, in addition to ManMongolBai, and TibetanLi and other ethnic elements. The Zhuang population accounts for 31.39% of the total population. Zhuang is the most populous minority in China.

Characterized by spectacular landscapes, charming natural scenery and diverse ethnic customs, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is an impressive region to visit. Longji Rice Terraces shall be on the list of Guangxi Travel, and it has different beauties in four seasons. Li River Cruise is a must-do activity when you come to Guangxi. 

Recommended Guangxi Tours:
1 Day Guilin Li River Cruise Tour
3 Days Guilin and Yangshuo Highlights Tour
9 Days Beijing-Xian-Guilin-Yangshuo-Guilin Group Tour

See more Guangxi Tours.

Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, is an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China located in the northwest part of the country. It is bounded by Shaanxi to the east, Gansu to the south and west, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to the north and has an area of around 66,400 square kilometres. 

Ningxia is a relatively dry, desert-like region and features a diverse geography of forested mountains and hills, table lands, deserts, flood plains and basins cut through by the Yellow River. Wolfberries is a commonly consumed fruit throughout the region. 

One of Ningxia’s main tourist spots is the internationally renowned Xixia Tombs site located 30 km (19 mi) west of Yinchuan. The remnants of nine Western Xia emperors’ tombs and two hundred other tombs lie within a 50 km2 (19 sq mi) area. Other famous sites in Ningxia include the Helan Mountains, the mysterious 108 stupas, the twin pagodas of Baisikou and the desert research outpost at Shapotou

Recommended Ningxia Tours:
3 Days Yinchuan City Tour
6 Days Ningxia and Qinghai Overland Tour from Yinchuan to Xining
8 Days Northwest China Tour to Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Xian

See more Ningxia Tours

Minority Discovery with China Dragon Tours

On this vast land, there are 55 ethnic minority groups who have colorful costumes, different flavors of food, unique etiquette, and a variety of festivals. They are mainly distributed in the southwest, northwest and northeast areas. The most popular destinations for minority discovery are YunnanGuizhouGuangxi, Xinjiang and Tibet, which also boasts amazing natural scenery at the same time. Yunnan province has the largest number of ethnic population in China with 25 ethnic minorities. Join our minority discovery tours, and you definitely will have great fun by discovering the ethnic villages, enjoying the local performance and taking parting in the local big event.

Recommended Tours:
4 Days XishuangBanna Water Splashing Festival Celebration Tour
5 Days Guizhou Miao & Dong Minority Tour
6 Days Xilingol Grassland and Chengde Culture Tour from Beijing
9 Days Best Yunnan Minorities Discovery
16 Days Yunnan-Guizhou-Guangxi Minorities Discovery by Speed Train