About one-third of Xīníng’s population is Muslim and there are more than 80 mosques across the city. It's not the prettiest, but in fact, it’s one of the largest mosques in China. Friday lunchtime prayers regularly attract 50,000 worshippers who spill out onto the streets before and afterwards. And during Ramadan as many as 300,000 come here to pray, with police closing off the streets to traffic.
The mosque was first built during the late 14th century and has since been restored into its current manic state: a traveller we met described it's architectural style as being a cross between an asylum and a temple. It’s also worth visiting in early evening when the whole building is lit up with flashing neon lights. Non-Muslims can’t enter the main prayer hall but can stroll around the grounds.