Yinchuan is the capital city of Ningxia Autonomous Region, located on the Yellow River. It's possible that you have never heard of it. Before this trip, I was among the people who had never heard about this place either. 
My friend travels to this place quite often and refers to it as a "mini vacation" because this trip lasts from anywhere from 4-7 days. So it's really like a mini holiday. Mine was for almost 5 days in total including the short flight in between. 

The thing that I find the hardest when I fly to China is that I don't like the local food at all. It has different spices and taste I am not used to, way too far from all the Chinese restaurants we have in Europe. So I am basically starving each time I have a layover in China haha. Other than that I am very happy to be able to travel to all these different places, China included. 

As I already said, we had a lot of time to explore Yinchuan, since it wasn't only a 24h layover. The first day we arrived, me and one other crew went to a local shopping mall just to buy some stuff. The funny thing was the we couldn't find it at all even though we had a paper map and gps on our phone. It was supposed to be a 20minute walk, we ended up walking for more than 1,5h. The main problem was that we couldn't ask for directions because literally no one spoke any English. When we finally found the mall, huge part of it was under reconstruction and was closed and when we eventually found a single restaurant and ordered the food, we didn't like it at all. That sums up the first day in Yinchuan. 

We had a turnaround flight on the second day which took almost the whole day. So the proper exploring of this city started on the 3.day of this trip. We (3 of us) booked a hotel driver who took us to different places of our choice. We started with a ride to Chateau Changyu Moser XV where we had wine tasting and walked around. Could you believe that we were the only visitors? After that the driver took us to the mountains. I thought we were going to the national park with the famous bridge in between but these mountains were somewhere else, but still beautiful. There was a world rock art museum, wild animals running around and we went on a very nice walk. The weather was beautiful during the whole trip. The last stop for us was the Sand Lake. We took a boat to the other side of the river and were surprised to see camels waiting for us. We took like a 3minute ride on them, jumped in the sand (like we didn't have enough of it here in Dubai) and when the sun started to go down, we headed back to the other side of the river again and took the car back to the hotel. 

We had a whole day for exploring, didn't have to be back in time to catch up on some sleep before the flight back, which was a nice change. This layover really was like a mini holiday.

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