Pinyin: Yín chuān
English: Silver river
Coordinates: 38°26'1"N 106°16'24"E
Yinchuan is the capital city of Ningxia. Ningxia is home to about 1.5 million people. Yinchuan is located in the northern part of Ningxia on the Yellow River in the middle of the Ningxia Plain. Yinchuan has a desert climate with cold winters, hot summers, and little rain.
Yinchuan is a good base for exploring the Ningxia Great Wall. Many interesting Great Wall locations in Ningxia are easy to reach from Yinchuan. Starting about 22 kilometers (14 miles) southeast of downtown Yinchuan, on the east side of the Yellow River near Hengchengcun, the main line of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall, including numerous and closely spaced towers, leads southeast. To the west of the city, the Great Wall follows the border between Ningxia and Inner Mongolia. This part of the wall has a long, continuous span from Sanguankou to the south.
Yinchuan has one of the few remaining Sui Dynasty Great Walls relics. To reach it, take the G20 Qingyin Expressway heading east from Yinchuan. About 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from Lijing street on the east side of Yinchuan, and about 6 kilometers (4 miles) past the river, on the north (left) side, the Sui wall begins and runs roughly parallel to the expressway on its north side. It continues for over 123 kilometers (77 miles) towards the east. There are over thirty towers along this span of the wall. For about the first half of its length, it runs very close to the Ming Dynasty Great Wall before bearing off to the north but remaining approximately parallel to the Ming wall.
In addition, the Western Xia Imperial Tombs are located about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) west of the city. The tombs are a popular tourist destination.
Location summary: Yinchuan is about 890 kilometers (553 miles) west of downtown Beijing. It is about 142 kilometers (88 miles) northeast of Zhongwei.
Driving directions: Drive southwest from Beijing's third ring road on the G4 expressway for 65 kilometers (40 miles). Drive west on the Langzhuo Expressway for 27 kilometers (17 miles) and then continue onto G5 for 442 kilometers (275 miles). Continue onto G20 and drive for another 634 kilometers (394 miles) to Yinchuan.