Cosmopolitan Ürümqi

On the way to Ürümqi.

On the way to Ürümqi.

Ürümqi is the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, a city of Han Chinese, Uyghur, Hui and other nationalities.  The climate is very dry (laundry always dries within a day) with plenty of sunshine as it’s located furthest from any ocean coastline of any other city on the planet.

Ürümqi's location via Google Earth.

I visited Ürümqi twice, staying for one week in total during my traveling period: the first time as a transit stop on the way to Kashgar and the second time on the return journey from Kashgar.

Fire in the desert on the way to Ürümqi.

Ürümqi’s multi-lingual, multi-national, multi-ethnic character is clearly obvious in the varied scripts: Chinese characters, Cyrillic Russian, and the Uyghur alphabet are visible throughout the city.  Walking the streets of Ürümqi, the diversity of the people seems to rival a global city such as New York City.  Ürümqi shatters the impression of Xinjiang as a sparsely populated desert; it’s a surprisingly developed metropolis with KFCs, Carrefour and a Sheraton Hotel (but no Starbucks nor McDonalds).

Ürümqi People's Square, it reminded me of downtown Boston, USA.

Ürümqi's International Bazaar.

The city’s major attractions that I visited are the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum, which has on display mummies found in the Xinjiang region dating to more than 3 millennia ago and the International Bazaar, a shopping complex built in traditional Uyghur architecture with a KFC and Carrefour on site, a historical 红山 (Red Mountain) park with panoramic views of the city and a thriving night market offering everything from food to souvenirs and fashion items.

Baked lamb at the night market.

Grilled fish at the night market.

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum.

Ürümqi skyline from Red Mountain park.

The outdoors surrounding Ürümqi feature natural sights.  The largest glacier close to a major city in China is near Ürümqi, named the Number 1 Glacier; I did not visit the Number 1 Glacier but did visit the mountainous 白杨沟 region.

Ürümqi‘s nearby 白杨沟.

At 白杨沟.

Detail of a road sign at 白杨沟.

The back of the same road sign.

Another skyline view from Red Mountain.

Pagoda at 红山.

Ürümqi not only serves as a transit stop to other regions in Xinjiang and central Asia, but features worthwhile attractions in and of itself.

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3 Responses to Cosmopolitan Ürümqi

  1. Taiwan MTB Fan says:

    But where are all those beautiful & sexy Xinjiang girls????!!!!!

  2. Pingback: Silk Road Oasis – Kashgar (Part 2) | Robert Wang's Blog

  3. Pingback: What Time? It’s Dunhuang 敢時間嗎?這裡是敦煌 | Robert Wang's Blog

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