Ordos Overview

Ordos in Inner Mongolia is a hot destination attracting more and more visitors, and famous its grassland tour and desert tour provided to tourists. Ethnic culture tour with profound Mongolian charm also plays an important role. Ordos Overview offers infomation about Ordos such as  location, climate, attractions, food, shopping, festivals and travel tips, etc.

Basic Information

  • Chinese Name: 鄂尔多斯
  • Location:Southwest of Inner Mongolia, Northwest of China
  • Government Seat: Kangbashi District 
  • Area:86752 square kilometers
  • Population: 2,078,400 (2018)
  • Minorities: Han, Mongol, Hui, Manchu, Daur, Evenki, Oroqen, Korean, etc.
  • Language: Mongolian, Mandarin
  • Airport: Ordos Ejin Horo Airport 
  • Railway Stations: Ordos Railway Station, East Dongsheng Railway Station, West Dongsheng Railway Station 
  • Famous Attractions:  Ordos Grassland, Yijinhuoluo GrasslandXiangshawan (Whistling Dune Bay), Kubuqi Desert and Mausoleum of Genghis Khan


Located in the southwest of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in the hinterland of the Ordos plateau,  Ordos city borders Hohhot to the east, Baotou to the northeast, Bayan Nur to the north, Alxa League to the northwest, Wuhai to the west, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region to its southwest, and the provinces of Shaanxi and Shanxi to the south. The area of Ordos city can roughly be divided into a hilly area in the east, high plateaus in the west and center, sandy deserts in the north and south, and plains at the southern bank of the Yellow River, with the highest elevation, at 2,149 m in the west, the lowest point, at 850 m in the east. 

The land form of Ordos: Ordos city is geographically characterized by complicated landform with ups and downs, high in the northwest and low in the southeast, surrounded on three sides by the Yellow River in the northeast and west, and connected with the Loess Plateau in the south. It boasts various types of landforms, including grassy grasslands and open undulating plateaus, which can be divided into five types: the plain accounts for 4.33% of the total land area, the hilly and mountainous areas account for 18.91% of the total land area, the maidan accounts for 28.81% of the total land area, wherein the Maowusu desert accounts for 28.78% of the total land area, and the Kubuqi desert accounts for 19.17% of the total land area.


Ordos boasts a typical temperate continental climate with four distinctive seasons. Spring usually experiences sudden temperature rise with less precipitation and large evaporation, resulting in drought and dry climate. Summer is warm, with relatively concentrated rainfall, causing regional hail and frequent flood disaster. The temperature drops fast in autumn, companying by earlier frost and chilly weather. The winter is long, cold and windy with less snow. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Ordos is from May to October, in which period tourists can either avoids dust storms raging across the Ordos or appreciating gulls fly from north to the Bojiang Lake. In addition, August is the time for Nadam Festival to be held on the Ordos Prairie. The different activities held to worship the great Mongolian hero, Genghis Khan, on March 21st, May 15th, August 12th, and October 3rd in front of the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, are traditional Mongolian folk culture activities, which should not be missed by tourists. 

Administrative Divisions

Up to 2018, Ordos has jurisdiction over 2 municipal districts, 7 banners, the goverment seat located in Kangbashi District.

2 Municipal Districts:  Dongsheng Distrcit(东胜区), Kangbashi District(康巴什区)

7 BannersDalad Banner(达拉特旗), Jungar Banner(准格尔旗), Otog Front Banner(鄂托克前旗), Otog Banner (鄂托克旗), Hanggin Banner(杭锦旗), Uxin Banner (乌审旗), Ejin Horo Banner (伊金霍洛旗)

Ethnic Culture

Home to 19 ethnic groups, Ordos is one of the regions with the most complete preservation of Mongolian traditional culture, customs and etiquette. Tourists can enjoy themselves at Ordos festivals such as Bonfire Festival, Horse Milk Festival and cultural activities like Ice and Snow Cultural Festival. Besides, traditional Ordos wedding ceremony and Hada welcoming ceremony are also attractive items to visitors. 


Visitors can get in and out Ordos by air, by train and by long-distance bus, they usually arrive in Hohhot first, then transfer to Ordos, for Orods tour is mostly done with Hohhot tour and Hulunbuir tour. There are one airport, five railway stations and two long-distance bus station in Ordos including Ordos Ejin Horo Airport , Ordos Railway Station , East Dongsheng Railway Station, West Dongsheng Railway Station, Jungar Railway Station ,  West Dalate Railway Station  , Ordos Passenger Transport Terminal, Dongsheng Passenger Terminal. All those offer tourists with convenient transportaion ways to travel in Ordos. 

Things to Do in Ordos

Ordos Grassland Resort (鄂尔多斯草原)

Built in 2004, Ordos Grassland Resort is a national 4A-level tourist attraction, located in Hangjin Banner of Ordos city, covering an area of 16000 mu, making it one of the largest grassland recreation and reception destinations in the central and western inner Mongolia. The Ordos Grassland Resort can be described as one large Mongolian camp that comprises some some 200 yurts. It provides five themed cultural products: Nadam Live Equestrian Show, Zhama Banquet, Bonfire Party, Flying Grassland Performance and Ordos Wedding Ceremony Show. Tourists can have a comprehensive experience to the prairie culture while enjoying grassland scenery. 

Xiangshawan (Whistling Dune Bay)  响沙湾

Located in the Kubuqi Desert, Dalad Banner of Ordos City, Whistling Dune Bay–the first Desert Resort destination in China–is the large-scaled comprehensive tourism place where you take sightseeing or have fun. The dunes are crescent-shaped with a height of 90 meters and a gradient of 45-degrees.  Now, the Xiangshawan Tourist Area offers a variety of desert entertainment facilities, tourists can participate in sand-surfing boards, desert karts, desert motorcycles, desert surfing cars and desert paragliders, as well as other forms of entertainment such as horse and camel riding. Whistling Dune Bay is also the home of the world's photographers for its gorgeous landscape.  

Kubuqi Desert (库布齐沙漠)

Located in the north Ordor highland, the Kubuqi Desert is the nearest desert from Beijing and seventh biggest desert in China. The word "kubuqi" means "bow" in the Mongolian language. This desert is looked like a golden bow in the earth. If provides tourists with rich travel resources such as the desert, lakes, grasslands, wetlands and oasis. Tourists can have enjoyable oasis tour and exciting desert tour in the Kubuqi Desert.   

Mausoleum of Genghis Khan (成吉思汗陵)

Located in the Gandeli Grassland in Ordos City, Mausoleum of Genghis Khan is a national heritage site to memorize the hero. Although the hero Genghis Khan is not buried here, visitors can get close touch with the famous historic figure Genghis Khan, and if you plan your Ordos tour in October, there is a grand sacrificial ceremony held at the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, you shouldn’t miss it.

Ordos History

As early as 70,000 years ago, the ancient Hetao people started to live here and created the famous "Salawusu culture". During the thousands of years from dynasties of Xia, Shang, Spring and Autumn to Qin, Han, Tang and Song, dozens of northern tribes and ethnic groups have been living here, forming a bronze culture represented by "Ordos bronze ware". In the middle of the Ming Dynasty, the "Eight White Houses" of Genghis Khan, a great hero of Inner Mongolia, migrated to Ordos, and the Mongolian royal family also moved to Ordos. The essence of Mongolian culture gathered and passed on in Ordos, gradually forming a rich Mongolian and Yuan culture. Since modern times, a large number of Han people from Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces have moved to Ordos region to live with the Mongolians there. Farming culture and grassland culture gained better integration in Ordos, forming the "Xikou culture". Nowadays Ordos, with its historical foundation and regional features, is walking toward the whole country and the world.

Natural Resources

Ordos is rich in resources including mineral resources, plant resources and animal resources. Ordos is an important energy base in China, with more than 50 kinds of discovered mineral deposits, boasting 201, 7 billion tons of coal reserves, accounting for about 1/6 of the whole country and 1/2 of Inner Mongolia. The total reserves are predicted to be over 1 trillion tons of high-quality coal with low ash, low sulfur, low phosphorus and high calorific value. The amount of discovered natural gas reserves are 801.7 billion cubic meters, accounting for about one third of the country's total. Ordos is abound in Albas white cashmere which is called "fiber gem" and "soft gold". The city's cashmere products output accounts for about 1/3 of the country and 1/4 of the world. Ordos is also endowed with huge reserves of Kaolin, trona, salt, mirabilite, gypsum, limestone, purple clay and other resources. The total arable land in the city is 6.85 million mu, including 4.5 million mu of irrigated land. The total grassland area is 100.687 million mu, of which about 90 million mu can be exploited.


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