The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, in the eastern part of northwestern China, covers an area of 66,400 square kilometers, with an elevation ranging from 1,100 to 2,200 meters. It borders Shaanxi Province in the east, Gansu Province in the southwest, and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the northwest. With a total population of 5.3 million, Ningxia has three cities, 16 counties, two county-level cities, and six prefectures. Yinchuan is the capital.
Ningxia is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. It has been proved that human activities existed here 30,000 years ago, leaving behind a rich heritage combining the cultures of Western Xia State, the migrants, the boundary areas, and Islam. Ningxia has many historic sites, such as the mystic royal mausoleums of the Western Xia State - often called the Pyramids of China - and the cliff carvings on Mt. Helan. Bird Island, the magnificent Mt. Helan, the boundless deserts, and the splendid Huanghe (Yellow) River make Ningxia a final destination for holidaymakers.
Ningxia's population includes more than 20 ethnic minorities, one third of whom are the Hui. The Huis in Ningxia account for one sixth of all the Huis in China. Thus, Ningxia is also known as the Home of the Hui People. Ningxia has become an important window in China displaying the religion, the lifestyle, and the culture of the Hui people.
Ningxia has two state-level scenic spots, three provincial-level scenic spots, five key units of relics under state protection, one state-level ancient cultural city, and one scenic spot on UNESCO's list of the World's Top 500 Scenic Spots. Travelers can choose among the many tourist activities, such as riding camels through the Tengger Desert and rafting along the Huanghe River.
Ningxia enjoys natural advantages along the banks of the Huanghe River. Ningxia, an old, mystical tract of land, has become more attractive for its rich tourist resources and convenient telecommunications and transportation.
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