The Helan Mountain is in northwestern Yinchuan. The word "Helan" is Mongolian for "fine horses." Helan Mounain is over 6,561 feet above sea level with a peak 11,666 feet. It is an ideal summer resort for tourists.
Suyukou Forest Reserve
This scenic forest reserve reposed in the eastern side of the Hanlan Mountain 40 kilometers northwest of Yinchuan had already made a name for itself in ancient times for the liveliness of its scenery. The scenic zone includes such gorgeous sights as the Baiyu Vale, the Guest-Reception Pine, the Twin Waterfalls, the maze of winding footpaths in a forest of fir trees, fossilized plants, the Sky in a Slip, the Dasi Canyon, the Stone Descended from Heaven, and the Mushroom-shaped Rock. With its peaks hidden shyly behind a thick pall of clouds, and the ravines enveloped in an ethereal mist, the Helan Mountain is indeed a sight to behold.
The Rock Painting
The grand and precipitous Helan Mountain has been inhabited by various nationalities-Xirong, Xiongnu, Xianbei, Chile, Tujue, Huihu, Dangxiang and Mongolian-in northern China since the ancient times. The ancient people who lived and worded there also carved their lives and dreams on rock paintings. The rock paintings in Helan Mountain are the works done by different nationalities of different times, as early as in the Shang and the Zhou dynasties and as late as the Xixia and the Yuan dynasties. These rock paintings have various themes which include: nomadic life, sacrifice to gods, animals and human images as well as knives, axes, stone chains, traps and carts. The paintings involve a rich variety of themes such as astronomy, human activities and geography. What are especially eye-catching are those on myths and legends and genital worship. These artistic signs, which are the crystals combining human beings' thinking in images with abstract thinking, can well be regarded as an encyclopedia of ancient Chinese nomadic nationalities.
The Gunzhong Pass
The Gunzhong Pass (Gunzhong kou) is a beautiful area that is a part of the Helan Mountain Range. This is a perfect area for hiking and admiring the scenery of one of China's least travelled provinces. Gunzhong literally translates as "rolling bell", and the pass was so named because it resembles a lying bell, with the bell mouth opened to the east, and the mountains forming the bell surface in the other three points of the compass. This is one of Helan Shan's most famous sights, about 35km northwest of Yinchuan.
The actual pass itself is well known as an enjoyable summer resort, with some interesting buildings, including the Laojun Hall, the Doumu Palace, Xiaodongtian, the Helan Temple and the Wancui Pavilion. The Chinese locals here are fond of pointing out the various rockforms that apparently resemble lions and tigers, although only in the very imaginative.
There are walking trails up into the surrounding hills which provide travellers with plenty of opportunities for hiking around and admiring the views. (Photo Source: baidu.com)