Urumqi Travel Guide
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The city lies in the shadow of the lofty ice-capped Bogda Peak with vast Salt Lake to the east, rolling pine-covered Southern Hill to the south, and alternating fields and sand dunes of Zunggar Basin to the northwest. With shorter spring and autumn but longer winter and summer, May to October is the golden season for travel, when flowers are in full bloom and the fruits, like melons and grape, are ripe with fragrance. The 2 hours' time difference between Xinjiang and Beijing lead to local working time starting from 9:30 or 10:00. The temperature varies widely between day and night. Considering this, you're advised to set out on your travels around noon each day.
It is a hub linking China with East Asia and also Europe. As such Urumqi Airport plays a significant role for traveling to cities in China, East Asia, European countries and other destinations within Xinjiang. Long-distance buses to most attractions are available from the city. The Lanzhou-Urumqi high-speed train makes train trip to Xinjiang fast, convenient and comfortable.
Almost all cuisines of China can be found here, so there is no need to worry about eating. Eating food from different local ethnic groups is a must-do activity. Kebabs, Nang and Xinjiang Noodles of Uyghur, cheese and Boiled Lamb from Mongolia, bread and dairy-products from Russia ensure that you will not help having a try of some if not all that is on offer. Various local fruits and nuts will leave you a sweet memory.
Coming here will not let you return to your country empty-handed. Shopping in the International Grand Bazaar is a pleasant experience. Bargain hunting for handicraft souvenirs such as rugs, carpets, Uygur-style hats and knitted sweaters, ethnic costumes, hand-made embroideries and carved jade, will definitely draw your intense interest.
Nightlife here provides a multiple-range of choices such as watching the ethnic song-and-dance show, tasting native delicacies in the night market, or simply hanging out in bars. Shopping along Zhongshan Road or at Er Dao Qiao Market is sure to make your night interesting. Or one can climb the Red Hill to appreciate the beautiful night view of the whole city.
The most important local festivals are the annual Corban Festival and Lesser Bairam. Corban Festival, also known as “Sacrifice Festival”, falls on December 10th in the Islamic calendar and lasts three days. During that time, ethnic activities, thumping singing and dancing parties will be held in both urban and rural areas. All homes serve their visitors delicious mutton. Lesser Bairam, also called “Fast Breaking Festival”, is the New Year’s Day of the Hui nationality as well as some other ethnic groups. It is the holiday at the end of Ramadan. The annual Silk Road Snow Folk Festival, from December to the next March, allows visitors to enjoy the fun of skiing.
Although it is remote, its history can be traced back to the Neolithic Age. It used to be a residence of some northern nomadic people. From1755 onwards, the start of fast development got underway in this area and the city got the name “Urumqi”. In 1884, it changed its name to “Dihua” and was regarded as a political center. From 1954, it reverted to its original name and is the capital city of Xinjiang.
Some fast facts and practical information provided below will facilitate your life and trip in the city.
- Area & Zip Code
- Useful Phone Numbers
- Post Office
- Money Exchange
- Famous University