We arrived at Hohhot Airport late in the afternoon. Hohhot means a green city, previously grassland. It is the capital state of Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Outer Mongolia declared independence when China was at its weakest; it’s ex-colonial state of Russia. Inner Mongolia has 3 million Mongols, Outer has 2.5 million, despite a much bigger geographical area, and is much poorer than Inner. Hohhot has 300,000 Mongols, which is only 10% of the total population here; the rest are predominantly Han Chinese. It is a well planned city, compared with many parts of China, and the “Happiness Index” here is relatively higher. City is clean and pollution is less, marred by heavy industry here. Most of the buildings are relatively new.
Traffic from airport to the city took more than 1.5 hours. We dined at a local restaurant, before check-in
to our hotel, Sheraton, upgraded without paying extra. In fact our tour agency, Desmond, has been very generous all the time, upgrading most of the food and hotel without asking for more.
In China, we are told that newly weds celebrate their dine before 12.noon; second wedding celebrate theirs in the evening (for Hans only). The Ang Pows (cash gifts) are usually much bigger than in Malaysia, in 500 RMB. or above.