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The capital of Ningxia, YINCHUAN (银川, yínchuān) is a bland modern city possessing little of tourist interest, and is frustratingly spread out, even by Chinese standards. However, it’s worth dropping by to see some excellent historical sights on the city’s periphery: from 1038 Yinchuan (then Xingqing) was capital of the Western Xia kingdom, an independent state which survived for less than two hundred years. It was virtually forgotten about until the early twentieth century, when the archeological remains of the kingdom started being recognized for what they were; you should definitely make a visit to their weathered mausoleums, some 20km outside the city.

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