08 November 2010

Visit to Hohhot

Hohhot, capitol city of the province of Inner Mongolia, was the spot for a weekend visit. We boarded the train at the Baotou station for the 2 1/2 hour journey. Train travel is quick, cheap (about $2 for our trip) and very crowded. We've learned that as soon as the gates open there's a great surge and scramble for seats.
We met up with a couple of other Amity teachers to see the sights and compare notes on the joys and challenges of teaching in China.
A visit to the Museum of Inner Mongolia where Daniel pointed out Baotou's spot on a map of mineral resources. Half the global supply of rare earth minerals comes from the Baotou area.
While visiting the Temple of Five Pagodas (1732) we discovered many rooms like this with large statues of Buddha surrounded by burning incense and offerings of food. There's also a rare Mongolian cosmological map carved into stone.
Hohhot is home to a large Muslim community. We arrived at the Grand Mosque as groups of boys were getting ready for school; scaffolds in the background are for the new dome being built. There's a resurgence of religion in China as evidenced by the growth of mosques, temples, and churches.