Baotou  (包头; Bāotóu) is a city on the Yellow River (Huáng Hé) in Inner Mongolia. The metropolitan area has a population of over two million.
The largest city in Inner Mongolia, Baotou used to be an arid region inhabited by Mongolian herders and their sheep. The town that has since grown up has four main parts
- Donghe — the old part of town and lies to the east
- Qingshan — part of the new city with a small and depressing walking street
- Kunqu (Kandulun) — major part of the new city and is the main shopping and entertainment area with all the western restaurants near Baobaidalou (a large walking street and shopping area)
The new city is bisected by Gangtie St, a large road that goes from the east in Qingshan to the west in Kunqu.
Baotou Airport (IATA: BAV) has flights from Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Wuhan, Xi'an and Yulin.
- Beijing - takes about 10 hours, night train, around ¥150
- Hohhot - takes about 2 hours, around ¥25
Buses to Baotou (Donghe) include
- Beijing - takes about 10 hours
- Dongsheng - takes about 3 hours
- Hohhot - takes about 3 hours
- Wudangzhao Lamasery (五当召; Wǔdāngzhào), (70 km northeast of Baotou, buses from the East Bus Station will take you there in four hours). Largest and best preserved Tibetian lamasery in Inner Mongolia. ¥20.
- Resonant Sand Bay, (50 km south of Baotou). Sand dune that emits sounds when someone rides down the side or the wind blows across.
- Guyang County Section of the Great Wall, (50 km northeast of Baotou in Guyang County (固阳县; Gùyángxiàn)).
- Shiguai District Section of the Great Wall, (30 km east of Baotou in Shiguai District (石拐区; Shíguǎiqū)). Claimed to be the oldest remaining part of the Great Wall.
Try Mongolian hot pot with mutton, especially in the winter. Any mutton dish is worth trying as they raise sheep up in the mountains.
- Little Sheep Restaurant (小肥羊大厦; Xiǎoféiyáng Dàshà), 9 Wulandao, Kun District (昆区乌兰道9号; Kūnqū Wūlándào) (near Baotou Hotel), ☎ +86 472 5137998 (fax: +86 472 5115998), . This is the flagship restaurant of this world wide hot pot chain.
- Seven Pizza & Bar, North 249 East Songmei St, Kun District (most taxi drivers are familiar with Zhongyang St (Zhōngyáng Dàdào), if not then just go to Baobai Pedestrian St (Bǎobái Bùxíngjiē), then head south to the roundabout), ☎ 18947221215, . Operated by a Filipino (Marse Mindo), an American (Aaron Bailergeon) and two Chinese businessmen (Gao and Du Mao). This resto serves old home-made style pizza. It also claims to be the only real pub and bar in Baotou.
- Baotou Golden Snail Hotel (包头金蜗牛酒店; Bāotóu Jīnwōniú Jiǔdiàn), D1 Pedestrian St, Jiuyuan District (九原区步行街D1; Jiǔyuánqū Bùxíngjiē). Small rooms with free internet. No breakfast available. Listed rates for doubles from ¥159, discounted from ¥95.
- Hengwei Holiday (Qingshan Branch) (包头恒为假日酒店 (青山分店); Bāotóu Héngwéijiàrì Jiǔdiàn (Qīngshān Fēndiàn)), 8 Gangtie Ave, Qingshan District (青山区钢铁大街8号; Qīngshānqū Gāngtiědàjiē), ☎ +86 472 2885588. Rooms with free internet. Restaurant and cafe available. Listed rates for doubles from ¥168, discounted from ¥113, including breakfast.
- Qingshan Hotel Baotou, 1 Yingbin Rd, Qingshan District, ☎ +86 472 3331199 (fax: +86 472 5156001).
- Tianwaitian Hotel Baotou, 50 Hudemulin Avenue, Qingshan District, ☎ +86 472 3137766 (fax: +86 472 3131771).
- Shangri-La Hotel Baotou (包头香格里拉大酒店; Bāotóu Xiānggélǐlā Dàjiǔdiàn), 66 Minzu East Rd, Qingshan District (青山区民族东路66号; Qīngshānqū Mínzúdōnglù), ☎ +86 472 5998888 (email@example.com, fax: +86 472 5998999), . Large rooms with free internet, satellite tv, minibar, coffee equipment, safe, bathrobes and hair dryer. Business center, currency exchange, ticket office, night club and indoor swimming pool available. Chinese and Western restaurants as well as room service. Listed rates ¥1,688-2,286, breakfast ¥101 but included for more expensive rooms.