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Yinchuan (银川; Yínchuān) is the capital of Ningxia Autonomous Region. Located on the Yellow River, it was once the capital of the Western Xia Empire. Currently the city has a population or around 750,000.


Nicknamed the Phoenix City, Yinchuan is a rising northwest Chinese industrial city and the capital of Ningxia Autonomous Region. Being one of a very few parts of China where an ethnic minority (Hui people) hold the power of governance, it is a treasure of Chinese-Muslim culture.

Yinchuan has two parts - the new city, with all of the industry, universities and colleges, is huddled around the main train station while the old city, the more livable of the two, lies 8 km to the east. Rapid growth over recent years has been quickly drawing these two distinct centers together as foreign investment grows.

Yinchuan historically served as a trade rout town made large for it's convenient location between Western Chinese cities such as Urumqi and the Eastern ones such as Beijing and Harbin.

Get in

By plane

Yinchuan People's Airport (IATA: INN) is located 25 km from Yinchuan and has flights to Beijing, Chengdu, Dunhuang, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Xian, and Zhengzhou.

By train

Yinchuan Huoche Zhan - located on Xingzhou Lu in the New Town

  • Baotou - takes about 8 hours
  • Beijing - takes about 19 hours
  • Hohhot - takes about 11 hours
  • Lanzhou - takes about 9 hours
  • Pingliang - takes about 11 hours
  • Shanghai - takes about 36 hours
  • Xian - takes about 15 hours
  • Xining - takes about 13 hours
  • Zhongwei - takes about 3-4 hours

By bus

Long-Distance Bus Station Location: across square from South Gate

  • Baotou - takes about 14 hours
  • Guyuan - takes about 5-7 hours
  • Lanzhou - takes about 7 hours
  • Taiyuan - takes about 15 hours
  • Xian - takes about 11-14 hours
  • Yanan - takes about 8-12 hours
  • Zhongwei - takes about 2-4 hours

Get around


  • West Pagoda (XiTa) - A nice little enclosure in the middle of 'Old Town', they will charge you 8 RMB/person to go to the top of the pagoda. The view from the top is one of the best you will get of Yinchuan.
  • East Pagoda (BeiTa) - little outside the 'Old Town' you will have to take a taxi to get there.
  • The Western Xia Tombs - These are 193 tombs of High officials of the Xia Kingdom.
  • You can also visit a section of the Ningxia Great Wall located approximately 60 km south-west of the city. Travel agencies will offer tours for around 300 RMB or alternately you can take public transit from in front of A La Shun Hotel/Restaurant for approximately 8 RMB/passenger. Public buses going there do not have numbers but are white with blue lettering and travel between Yinchuan and Zuo Qi. Get off the bus at San Guan Kou (the wall is clearly visible from the highway). This part of the wall is in various states of decay, but maintains some impressive examples ancient masonry. Sections of the Ningxia Great Wall originate primarily from the Ming Dynasty. It is about 1km in length. Well worth the trip, but be forwarned, brightly coloured clothes will attract butterflies!


  • There is an annual Motorcycle Tourist Festival [1] in late June.
  • The King Divine Luck Club (known as KaDiLong) and Baby Face are the two most popular clubs in town featuring dancers and a very impressive layout. Booths and box seats have a higher minimum purchase.
  • Xin Hua Street at the center of 'Old Town' is the economic centre of Yinchuan with many large malls and all the large clothing chains. Don't expect to bargain here.


  • Xinhua Street is the shopping center of Yinchuan featuring many large department stores and the main brand name clothing shops (Nike, Disney, Jack Jones, etc). It is gathered along the walking mall and other other large squares.
  • Eight Treasures Tea is a muslim specialty and in good supply around Yinchuan
  • Wolfberries found in Yinchuan are said to be the best in the world.


  • UBC Coffee House (Shangdao Kafei Ting) - 84 Zhongshan Bei Jie, for when you need a Western food break thats consistant wherever you are.
  • Robin's Pizza is the only real American style pizza in Yinchuan. Co-Owned by Robin, a Korean-Chinese man, and an American couple you can find authentic home pizza for about 50RMB. The Meat Lovers, Vegetarian and Pepperoni pizzas are all full marks. The staff speak very good English here. (It's also the only place in town to find Dr. Pepper) Phone: 13895316985 (they deliver in New Town and Old Town Areas)
  • Emanuelle's is a wonderful ESL school/Christian bookstore/library/teahouse/restaurant run by one of China's top entrepreneurs. It provides a retreat from the chaos of the city and serves a variety of foreign foods. Recommended platters are the chicken curry and the beef with rice soup (which is chinese food directed at western tongues).
  • Napoli Italian Cuisine is a curious blend of western dishes and chinese ingredients. Though it is well marketed the food in Napoli generally does not appeal to foreigners. If you're looking for something to remind you of home, you're better off finding and alternative.


  • Lian Yuan Bar located a couple blocks South of the XiXia district commercial center (look for the KFC sign) is a well decorated bar, and the best in 'New Town'. The staff is very relaxed and friendly, and there are unobtrusive musical performances every night starting around 8pm or 9pm. The drinks here are a little more expensive than some other places.
  • Fall in Love Bar & Marry Bar is found on Hubin Dong Jie near all the main hotels. Boasting comfortable seating and a younger crowd, you can sit back with any of the local beers and relax. Xixia Beer is locally produced and is comparable to a decent Canadian brew.
  • Although traditional western coffee is hard to come by, the Come Back drink chain (which can be found almost everywhere in Yinchuan) sells their version of a coffee drink that can be served hot or cold. While it is still not western style coffee, it is quite good- somewhat similar to Starbucks' caramel macchiato.



Mid range

  • International Hotel, 25 East Beihuan Rd., Yinchuan, (0951)6728688 (fax: (0951)6711808).
  • HelanShan Hotel Yinchuan, 1 Shoufang Rd., Xinshi District, Yinchuan, (0951)2077301 (fax: (0951)2077075).
  • Kaida Hotel, (0951)6021698.
  • Ningxia Hotel, 3 Park St., Yinchuan, (0951)5045131 (fax: (0951)5044338).


Get out

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