One of the trips away from the vibrant Beijing that I made during my stay in China was to Inner Mongolia. The idea of the journey was to go and visit the Gobi Desert, which covers some areas of the west of this Chinese province. This was the closest my friends and I could get to, without leaving China and having to apply for a visa.

Details such as bilingual signs, both in Chinese and Mongolian, and a mixed race population could be seen in the developing city of Hohhot. Once we left towards the desert, we could start appreciating the natural landscapes that are rarely seen in big Chinese cities. The air felt cleaner and the temperatures were milder, even feeling quite chilly at night.

The first day we walked along the sand dunes of the Gobi Desert, after entering with locals in their Jeep cars. We stayed over for the nigh in their typical tents, knows as Yurtas. The food they eat is mainly based on noodles and rice, such as in Chinese cuisine, but they rely more on goat and camel meat, as these herds are common in the surroundings.

The second day we changed the arid landscape for a greener one, at the grasslands. Horses grazed along the area, which are used as one of the main local’s mean of transport. They are milked as their milk is believed to be very nutritious, but are never killed for their meat, as this is a sign of respect towards their companion in battles and in everyday life.