Map of Ningxia Inner Mongolia Shaanxi Gansu Shaanxi Gansu

Ningxia Province

Name (nìng xià) ['better' 'summer'] Old Name Ningsia WG
CapitalYinchuan
Population6.579 million (0.48 %) [30th] comparison table
Area66,000 km2 [25,483 mile2] (0.69 %) [27th]
GDP41,834 (1.10 %) [17th]
Position of Ningxia in China
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Google map of Ningxia
Beijing Tianjin Shanghai Hong Kong Xinjiang Tibet Qinghai Gansu Inner Mongolia Heilongjiang Jilin Liaoning Yunnan Sichuan Guangxi Hainan Taiwan Guangdong Guizhou Chongqing Ningxia Shandong Fujian Zhejiang Shaanxi Shanxi Hebei Henan Hunan Hubei Jiangxi Anhui Jiangsu

Neighbors

Inner Mongolia Shaanxi Gansu

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Ningxia is more formally known as the ‘Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region’, and so is not strictly a province of China; the designation reflects the high (34%) proportion of Hui people that make it ethnically diverse. It was created in 1928 to govern a larger area (including parts of Mongolia) only to disappear in 1954 before re-creation in 1958. It is situated on the bend of the Yellow River (Huang He) as it heads north towards Mongolia. Apart from the waters of the river it is a dry and dusty place with thick loess deposits.

The Great Wall marks its northern boundary, its southern border follows the basin of the Qingshui river. It is a poor province, only moderately industrialized; although recent discovery of oil; coal and gas fields has brought rapid development in places.

Settled as early as the Xia dynasty Ningxia flourished as the Yellow River offered reliable irrigation - here the river is not so prone to flooding here as it is further downstream. The Xintongxia Dam 铜峡 and Qintong Gorge (1968) hydro-electric dams on the Yellow River have helped to control river flow and generate electricity.

Yinchuan

Yinchuan ( Yín chuān) or ‘Phoenix City’ was once the capital of the Xixia (Western Xia) kingdom in the 11th century. The city is split into the modern part (Xincheng) and the old part (Laocheng) to the east. There are many sites for tourists to visit in Ningxia including the Western Xia Tombs which are mini pyramids at Helan Shan; Baisikou Twin Tower ; Haibao Tower; Chengtian Xita; Nanguan mosque and colorful markets.

Ningxia, Great Wall, ruin
The ruins of the Great Wall, this section is a mud built wall that was erected during the rule of the Ming Dynasty, Ningxia

The Hui (Muslim) people are descended from traders along the Silk Route who settled here and then by Central Asian immigrants during the Yuan dynasty. Portions of the rammed earth portion of the Great Wall can be seen at several locations along this vital defensive segment of the wall defending the arterial Silk Road. Complex irrigation schemes created as early as the Han dynasty have allowed agriculture to flourish in the river valleys. To the south of Yinchuan lies Qingtongxia Zhen with 108 dagobas of Western Xia or Yuan dynasty date.

Ningxia, mosque, muslim
Mosque for Hui people, Ningxia
For more on the important influence of Islam in China please see our Religions of China section.

Southern Ningxia

The southern portion of Ningxia province is generally poorer with a high proportion of Muslims. Liupin mountain is a scenic area. Xumi shan has a great many carved figures. Tongxin has one of the largest mosques in the province, and is built in the Chinese style. To the west near Zhongwei, Shapotou is set on the fringes of the Tengger Desert and here the sand can be heard to ‘sing’ in the wind.

Ningxia is famous for growing Wolfberries or ‘goji’ berries that have been touted as a health or super food in Europe and America. It is one of the ingredients of a local specialty eight treasure tea babaocha. Licorice root is also grown in this area.

Ningxia, desert
Sand sculptures in Desert Lake scenic spot near Zhongwei, Ningxia. August 2008.
Image by Fanghong available under a Creative Commons license

Ningxia Climate

Ningxia belongs to the dry north as far as climate is concerned, it has cold winters and short but hot summers with little rainfall.

Ningxia Climate

Temperature axisClimate ChartRainfall axis
Climate chart for Ningxia
Both Temp Rainfall ° C/mms ° F/ins Key
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Major CitiesPopulation
Shizuishan 320,594
Yinchuan 516,567

Airports

Yinchuan Hedong Airport 银川河东机场 INC IATA / ZLIC ICAO
The airport has 1 terminal and is located 15.5 miles (25.0 kms) from Yinchuan
See map of location Yinchuan Hedong Airport
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Citation information: Chinasage, 'Ningxia Autonomous Region, China', last updated 8 Oct 2015, Web, http://www.chinasage.info/maps/ningxia.htm.

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