The whole area is a stretch of south-north narrow land, with the high south and the low north. The average elevation is 1,100 to 2,000 meters. The highest part in the region is Helan Mountain with the elevation of 3,556 meters, which serves as a natural shield for Yinchuan Plains. The Yellow River runs through the central and northern parts of the region, spanning 397 km.
It has a temperate continental climate of long, cold winters and short, hot summers with the temperature being lowest in January, averaging from -10 to -7 degrees Celsius and highest in July, averaging from 17 to 24 degrees Celsius. Annual rainfall averages from 190-700 millimeters.
It is one of the five autonomous regions within China mainly due to the large number of ethnic Hui people of muslim faith who live in the southern part. These people are descended from the central european and middle eastern traders who plied their trade at this major trading border.
Yinchuan City (also called 'Phoenix City') is the capital of the region situated in the remote northwest of China. The 1000-year-old city is a famous cultural city beyond the Great Wall. The old sector of Yinchuan City to the west is green and peaceful, and contains all the places of interest. It includes the 1500-year-old Haibao Pagoda; the famous Buddhist architecture from the West Xia Kingdom Chengtiansi Pagoda; and the West Xia Imperial Tombs known as the 'Pyramids of China'. One can also find there the mystic Helan Mountain Cliff Painting, created by the ancient nomads who dwelled in the regions of the Helan Mountains in northwest Ningxia. They used a bold and descriptive chiseling and drawing technique, to which they added dazzling colors, to depict the history of a splendid Chinese civilization.
Liupan Mountain is located in south Ningxia. This is an area famous for its picturesque scenery and it certainly lives up to its reputation as the 'green islet'.
Sand Lake Scenic Resort is the national tourist trump card for those looking for a place with a lake, sand dunes, reeds, birds and fish. During the May-September period, the lake becomes a veritable paradise for a dozen or so varieties of precious bird species, such as swans, white and grey cranes, black storks, and wild geese.
Shapotou on the southern rim of the Tengger Desert: There one will find the Desert Research Centre, established in 1956 to find ways of preventing the sands from encroaching onto the railways, and one of China's four singing sand dunes. Sliding down the sand dune gives one the ethereal feeling of descending from the sky. The peculiar geological structure of the place causes the sand to emit a resonance that reverberates like the tolling of a huge bell or the beating of a big drum. Limpid water flows gently in a knee-deep stream at the foot of the dune.
The "Five Treasures of Ningxia" are the famous special products in five colours, including the fruit of Chinese wolfberry in red, the licorice root in yellow, the inkstone in blue, the Tan-sheepskin in white and the flagelliform nostoc in black.