Join YPT for full-on urban exploration in the ghost city of Kangbashi!
If you’ve ever spent any time in a Chinese city you’ll be well used to the throng, walking the night markets where it seems like every conceivable snack is on offer or pushing your way through people trying to sell you things outside train stations. Kangbashi is different, and it is almost a welcome novelty having almost a whole city square, a hospital, train station or apartment complex to ourselves.
Kangbashi ghost city shot to international prominence with a number of articles by Al Jazeera and other international media. Having grown rich overnight on the profits of coal and natural gas, by 2012 the money had run out and the city was in high levels of debt. Kangbashi therefore is not an abandoned city but a new city waiting for people to come.
The YPT Kangbashi ghost city tour is a chance for us to explore the urban infrastructure in varied levels of completedness. It is a chance to explore and as tourists you can have input into exactly what we do. If a building or particular complex catches your eye we can go and check it out!
On the tour, we check out the mosque – built for Muslims who might come in the future – as well as a mansion complex, abandoned halfway through construction, and a brand new hospital, although it’s not the type of hospital you’d want to go to for emergency treatment! Our guide will also take you on a walking tour through Kangbashi city centre, the huge sand dunes overlooking the city with the odd camel wandering around and rows of empty residential complexes standing to the side and the random buildings dotted around the Genghis Khan Mausoleum complex.
We leave from the airport, built in the shape of a Mongol yurt, where we generally take time to admire the ceiling murals depicting all kinds of ethnic Mongolian scenes, a sight which can even be enjoyed from the McDonald’s! Though not before we eat in Ordos’s very own North Korean restaurant, where the Korean waitresses are particularly chatty and feast on Mongolian barbecue.
This intriguing trip can be done as one of our planned extensions from our current tours, or as a flexible independent package escorted by one of our expert YPT guides.
Note: For those wishing to start or finish in a city other than Beijing, please get in touch.
If you’ve got a few days spare in China before the tour, join us for all-out urban exploration in Ordos ghost city in Inner Mongolia!
We board the late afternoon flight from Nanyuan Airport in Beijing.
Arrival at Yijinhuoluo Airport in Ordos.
On the airport bus to Ordos, we catch our first glimpse of Kangbashi ghost city and pass numerous vacant residential blocks.
Arrive in Ordos, check into hotel and eat North Korean food.
Night-time exploration of Ordos.
Monday 4th September
Up nice and early to begin the day of exploration. Our first stop is the empty cultural square in Ordos city itself.
Trip Highlight – our driver picks us up at the hotel and we then visit the mosque before heading out to the abandoned mansion complex and new but empty hospital.
Visit the 60,000-seater Kangbashi stadium, gymnasium and swimming pool on the way from Ordos, built to hold the 2015 Chinese Ethnic Minority Olympic Games but usually empty.
Lunch in Kangbashi after checking into hotel.
Trip Highlight – walking tour of Kangbashi city centre, from Genghis Khan Square with its giant Mongol statues past the museum built in the shape of a beret and the library built to resemble three books on a shelf and on to the skyscrapers on the riverfront.
Watch the sunset on the giant sand dune to the southeast of the city with a great view of the whole city, unfinished residential tower blocks and a family of camels roaming around!
Check back to the hotel to freshen up before hitting the town for local Mongolian food and exploring the nightlife of a ghost town.
Tuesday 5th September
Trip Highlight – Head out to the area around the Genghis Khan Mausoleum. The mausoleum is an optional extra at 150RMB, but the area around it is full of riches. We pass by the Mongol Yuan Dynasty film set before exploring the seemingly random abandoned buildings dotted around the countryside.
Lunch in a local restaurant.
Make our way to Yijinhuoluo airport, the departures floor is built to resemble a Mongol yurt and the ceiling is decorated with ethnic murals.
Please Note: Flights may vary depending on days and departure cities. We will inform you of your best time to fly to fit into our itinerary.