As the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Yinchuan is a national historical and cultural city, as well as a top tourist city. With an area of 9,560 sq km, Yinchuan now has three districts, two counties and one city under its jurisdiction. Located in the Yinchuan Plain, which is known as "the Bright Pearl of the Frontier Region", the city borders the Yellow River to the east and Helan Mountains to the west. As a result, it was given such names as "the Water City in the Frontier Region" and "the Lake City in the Frontier Region".
The population of Yinchuan is 1.49 million and about 30 percent of the total is the Hui Muslins. The Hui is one of the largest ethnic groups in China. They are descendents of the Arabic traders coming to China in the 7th Century.
As an ancient frontier city, Yinchuan's history dates back to the Old Stone Age about 30,000 years ago. In 1038, Li Yuanhao, the leader of the Dangxiang Clan established a kingdom there, which is called the "Western Xia Kingdom". Besides the Western Xia culture, various cultures have gathered here as time passed by. The Central Plains culture, the frontier culture, the Hetao culture, the Silk Road culture and the Islam culture blend with each other, making Yinchuan a fascinating place for tourists.