Go to Hohhot, China, 255 mi/410 km northwest of Beijing, to see what life in Inner Mongolia is like. Tours can be arranged to visit the Gegentala Steppe to the north. The best months to visit the area are July and August, when temperatures are mild and the grass is tall. You can also arrange accommodations in a traditional yurt (felt hut) and see a Mongolian rodeo or ride camels or horses for the day.

The area teems with herds of horses, sheep and cattle—and more than 340,000 nomadic shepherds. In town, visit the Five Pagodas Temple and the mosque.

Restaurants with green or yellow signs are usually Halal and don't serve pork, a nod to Hohhot's large Muslim population. Rather than insult the owner by asking for it, relish this opportunity to try mutton instead.

Excursions to Hohhot are recommended for the more experienced or adventurous traveler.

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