Inner-Mongolia is one of the most misunderstood regions in the world, with many not realizing even what the difference between Inner and Outer Mongolia is. In short, the difference between Inner and Outer Mongolia is that Inner-Mongolia is a province of China, whilst outer Mongolia is an independent sovereign country.
For more on the differences between the two, check this article.
Inner-Mongolia is also one of the least understood and off the beaten track regions of China, featuring the mausoleum of Ghengis Khan, the ghost city of Ordos and sadly, some of the most polluted cities on earth.
Check out this Video of YPT’s John McGovern exploring Ordos Inner Mongolia below
Inner Mongolia (内蒙古, Nèi Měnggǔ or in Mongolian, Öbür mongɣul) is a Mongol Autonomous Region in northern China. It borders a number of Chinese provinces, such as Shanxi, Gansu, and Mongolia’s independent nation.
Inner-Mongolia is one of the most scarcely populated provinces of China. Don’t be confused by the name as the majority of the population are now Han Chinese. Of the 25 million people that live in Inner-Mongolia, around 17% are ethnic Mongolians.
Cities in Inner-Mongolia
Hohhot – The capital city and a bit of an industrial wasteland. Not all that much going on here, but it makes a pleasant stop if you are heading on to Ulan-Bator in Mongolia.
Ordos and Kangbashi – The twin ghost cities of China and one of our favorite places to visit. Check out our Ordos tours here.
Ejina – Located in the mystical Gobi Desert.
Erlian – Not all that much going on here, but enough to warrant a night if you are travelling through.
Languages of inner-Mongolia
Officials at least Mongolian and Mandarin are both official languages, but in reality, Chinese will serve you better. If you would like to learn a few handy Mongolia phrases, check out our handy guide (link).
What is there to do in Inner-Mongolia?
Each part of Inner-Mongolia has its own things, themes and charms, but unless you are planning on visiting Outer-Mongolia, this represents the next best thing. Stay in Yurts, and home-stays, eat Mongolian food, camel riding. Plenty of rustic experiences await the intrepid traveler here!
Safety concerns in Inner-Mongolia
There are periodically cases of the bubonic plague that affect the area. Make sure you watch travel advisories for the region and have travel insurance. Crime tends to be low level and opportunistic.