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Urumqi Travel Guide

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  • Urumqi City
    Urumqi City
  • Xinjiang Dance Show
    Xinjiang Dance Show
  • Street Scene, Urumqi
    Street Scene, Urumqi
  • Nanshan Grassland
    Nanshan Grassland
  • Urumqi Hongshan Park
    Urumqi Hongshan Park
  • Pamir Plateau
    Pamir Plateau
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Phone Code: 0991
Postal Code: 830002
Area: 14,000 square kilometers (5,404 square miles)
Population: 3.1103 million (statistics in 2010)
Nationalities: Han, Uigur, Hui, Kazak, Manchu, Xibe, Mongolian, Kirgiz, Tajik, Tatar, Uzbek, and Russian.
Neighboring Areas: Gansu and Qinghai Provinces, Tibet Autonomous Region
Location: Urumqi is located in the north of Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region. The latitude is between 42°45′-44°08′N, and the longitude is between 86° 37′-88°58′E.

 Physical Features: It lies entirely into the hinterland of Eurasian continent at the north foot of the Tianshan Range and in the south margin of Junggar Basin. It is said that the city is farthest from the sea in the world. High in the southeast and low in the northwest, it is surrounded by the mountains on three sides, and the plain in the north is vast. Basically, mountain area makes up to 50% of the whole land. The elevation of Urumqi city is 800 meters (2,624 feet).

 History: The name ‘Urumqi’ was firstly recorded in a book in Khatan-Saka language in 925 AD, and it means a beautiful pasture land in Mongolian. The history of this city dates back to Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD), when over ten nomads scattered around. During the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), this area was once called ‘Luntai County’, and the ruin of this county seat still remains. Large-scale development and construction of Urumqi began in 1755 of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). Emperor Qianlong gave this city a name ‘Dihua’ when the extension project was finished in 1763. In 1884, the city was established as the capital of Xinjiang Province.

 Recommended Urumqi Tour Itineraries:
China Silk Road Tour: 14-Day of Beijing - Urumqi - Kashgar - Urumqi - Turpan - Dunhuang - Xian - Shanghai 
Silk Road Adventure Tour: 22-Day of Beijing - Urumqi - Korla - Kuqa - Aksu - Kashgar - Hetian - Minfeng - Korla - Turpan - Dunhuang - Xian - Shanghai

Urumqi Map
Urumchi Maps

 Attractions: Urumqi is a good place for travel in China since it possesses both enchanting natural environment and cultures of ethnic minorities. The landscape of ice peak, snow field, boundless forest, and vast expanse of desert is peculiar to it. Red Hill made of aubergine rocks, Yamalike Hill stands facing the Red Hill, together with the pagoda in between become the symbols of the city. Shuimo Valley Scenic Area in the northeast outskirt of the city has been made into a tourist attraction since the Qing Dynasty. In the middle of Bogda Peak, Heavenly Lake is regarded as the "pearl of Heavenly Mountain (Tianshan Mountain)”. Alamo Gulch at the north foot of Karawushen Mountain is a summer resort where visitors can also enjoy the culture of Kazak minority. Shaanxi Great Mosque, the biggest Islamic mosque there deserves a visit as well. Being a key transport junction on the ancient Silk Road, it is good for sightseeing along the route. Moreover, it is worthy of being mentioned that the geographical center of Asia is in Urumqi, and the landmark tower is set up now. Other famous attractions are Kanas Nature Reserve, Southern Pasture, Xinjiang Regional Museum, and the Pamir Mountains nearby.

 Air: Urumqi International Airport (Diwopu Airport) is 16 km (10 miles) northwest of the city center. It operates more than 100 airlines to cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Nanjing and Hangzhou, and to foreign cities like Bishkek, Kabul, Novosibirsk, and Dushanbe.
 Train: As the tower portal of bridge, it is significant in value along the New Euro-Asian Continental Bridge. There are trains from Urumqi to Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Xian, Lanzhou, Chengdu, Kuitun, Liuyuan, Korla, Akesu, and Ala Mountain Pass.   

 Bus: Urumqi has relatively developed road transportation. From 4 major bus stations, visitors can take buses to other counties in the city. Besides, the Nianzigou Long-distance Bus Station operates buses to most cities in Xinjiang, such as Yining, Kashi, Shihezi, and Hami.
 Taxi: The minimum taxi fare is CNY6 and CNY 1.3 per km exceeding 3 km (1.9 miles).

 Weather: Under control of semiarid continental climate of middle temperate zone, Urumqi’s temperature difference between day and night is distinct. Rainfall decreases vertically and is unevenly distributed in four seasons. The best time to Urumqi is in August and September.

 Dining and Shopping:
Almost all delicacies of Middle Asian can be found in Urumqi. Featured Uygur foods are Zhua Fan (Rice Eaten with Hands), Nang (Roasted Flat Bread), La Mian (Xinjiang Pulled Noodles), Kao Yang Rou Chuan (Xinjiang Kebabs), Kao Baozi (Roasted Stuffed Buns), You Ta Zi (Oily Pyramids), milk tea and Fresh yoghourt. The best places for dining are Er Dao Qiao, the streets around People’s Cinema, streets around Urumqi Railway Administration, Jingyi Road and Jing'er Road near to the Railway Station.

The business center of Urumqi is located at the crossroads of Jiefang Street, Minzhu Street and Zhongshan Street. But for traditional crafts by local minorities, the place not to be missed is Er Dao Qiao, where Uygur reside and open up their markets. Local products there are various with special characteristics, such as Uygur embroidered hat, hand embroidery, jade carvings, carpet, boots, pipes of ethnic Xibo, and the Enjisha knives. Antlers, donkey-hide gelatin, raisins, Yili Tequ Liquor (known as the first wine in Xinjiang) are popular among travelers as well. Fresh fruits are also attractive, like grape, cantaloupe, guava, fig, flat peach, Korla fragrant pear, Kuche apricot, and Yili apples. In addition, big shopping centers, department stores and supermarkets have been set up all over the city during recent years, such as the Century Ginwa Shopping Center in Youhao North Road and Parkson Shopping Center in Youhao South Road.

Questions & Answers on Urumqi Travel Guide
  • Sending a postcard to Urumqi Tatar mosque.
    Would you happen to have the mailing address.

    Asked By Noel Christopher Hanna (United States of America) | Sep. 10, 2018 15:14
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • 1.Is there a bus from kanasi to hemu?and If we want to rent a car,is there a car from kanasi directly to hemu?
    2.from Hemu to buerjin,is there a bus or sth?
    3.from Buerjin to wuerhe ,I have read that there is a bus but i cant find much information about it,anyone know bus schedule and how long the bus will take?Im not sure that I have to take the bus to Karamay first and then I have to take taxi to visit ghost city ?
    4.from wuerhe to nalati grassland,I cant find information about bus going directly to nalati grassland so I guess maybe I have to arrive yining or kuitun before,however I'm not sure about bus and which city should I transfer.

    Best regards,

    Asked By Budsarat Prasitsumrit (Thailand) | Aug. 30, 2016 22:26
    2 AnswersAnswer Question
  • Asked By Kwek HC (Singapore) | Mar. 15, 2015 09:56
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • Asked By H Thockloth (Australia) | Apr. 11, 2013 06:38
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • My trip will start from

    Plan A == Urumuqi - Nalati - Kuytun - Karamay - Burgin [ Kanas and Hemu ] - Urumqi

    If we don't rent a car [ 5 persons ] , it's possible to get on bus or train from Urumuqi direct to Nalati
    or will go to Yining first and then to Nalati? or

    Go to Yining and rent a car from there to Nalati and send it back at Kuytun or Karamay. From there
    will get on bus to Burgin?

    When we finish sightseeing at Kanas and Hemu, get on the bus back to Urumuqi from Alti or Burgin
    is the best choice?

    With appreciate and regards,

    Asked By Samerjai Kosanlawat (Thailand) | Aug. 21, 2012 02:39
    4 AnswersAnswer Question
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