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Urumqi Tour

Internatinal Grand Bazaar in Urumqi
(wū lǔ mù qí 乌鲁木齐), capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has developed its economy, industry, culture as well as tourism and transportation. It is the most inland city in China even in the world as the most remote city from any sea. Urumqi is the "Shining Pearl on the Ancient Silk Road", so there are breathtaking views and sweet smell of fruits drift in the air to make it a special tourist destination. Nowadays, it serves as a starting point where travelers can make all the necessary preparations for various trips through Xinjiang. 

Although ürümqi is situated near the northern route of the Silk Road, it is a relatively young city. During the 22nd year of Emperor Taizong's (táng tài zōng 唐太宗) reign in the Tang Dynasty (táng cháo 唐朝), AD 648, the Tang government set up the town of Luntai (lún tái xiàn 轮台县) in the ancient town seat of Urabo, 10 kilometers from the southern suburb of present-day ürümqi. Ancient Luntai Town was a seat of local government, and collected taxes from the caravans along the northern route of the Silk Road.

Little is heard of the region following the Tang Dynasty until the conquest of Dzungaria in 1755 under the Emperor Qianlong (qián lóng huáng dì 乾隆皇帝) of the Qing Dynasty (qīng cháo 清朝). The Dzungars were deliberately exterminated in a brutal campaign of ethnic genocide. One writer, Wei Yuan, described the resulting desolation in what is now northern Xinjiang as: "an empty plain for a thousand li, with no trace of man." After 1759 state farms were established, "especially in the vicinity of Urumchi, where there was fertile, well-watered land and few people." It has been estimated that more than a million people were slaughtered, and it took generations for it to recover.

During the Qing Dynasty (1763) the Qianlong Emperor named the expanded town of Luntai "Dihua" (dí huà 迪化), meaning "to enlighten." In 1884, the Guangxu Emperor (guāng xù huáng dì 光绪皇帝) established Xinjiang as a Province, with Dihua as its capital.
Following the founding of the People's Republic of China, on 1 February 1954, the city was renamed ürümqi, meaning "beautiful pasture" in the Mongolian language of the Dzungar people.

Tourist Attractions:
The Tianshan Mountain
The Tianshan MountainThe Tianshan Mountain (tiān shān 天山), renowned for its natural beauty, lies in the middle of the vast area of China’s Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region (xīn jiāng wéi wú ěr zì zhì qū 新疆维吾尔自治区). There the far-stretching Gobi Desert (gē bì shā mò 戈壁沙漠), grand icy peaks and snow-covered mountains, quiet valleys and vast expanse of grassland plus the hospitable, music and dance-loving ethnic minorities with different folk customs are major attractions for tourists to explore mysteries on the Silk Road.
Entrance Charge: CNY 100 (Apr. to Oct.);
                         CNY 40 (Nov. to Mar.)
Cable Car: CNY 35
Barge Tour: CNY 30
Electric Bus: CNY 10

Tianchi Lake (Heavenly Lake)
Tianchi LakeTianchi Lake (Heavenly Lake) is located on the halfway up the Peak Bogeda. A renowned scenic spot, Tianchi, also called Jasper Lake in ancient times, is said to be the place where Emperor Zhoumu (zhōu mù wáng 周穆王) and the Queen Mother of the West (xī wáng mǔ 西王母) held court feasts. Tianchi is embraced by snowy mountains which are covered by towering dragon spruces.
Admission Fee: 100 CNY

Xinjiang Silk Road Museum
Xinjiang Silk Road MuseumXinjiang Silk Road Museum (xīn jiāng sī chóu zhī lù bó wù guǎn 新疆丝绸之路博物馆) is the only provincial museum to receive national approval for its unique theme. There are three special halls and four basic exhibition halls, which are comprehensive hall, ethic groups' hall, grassland arts hall and jade culture hall. Through those displaying articles, one can have some knowledge about nomadism culture and the history of west regions in Tang and Han Dynasties; one can also enjoy silk arts as well as huge rock paintings about generative adoration in ancient times.
Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00
Admission Fee: 5 CNY

Other Scenic Spots: Southern Pasture, Red Hill Park (Hongshan Park) , Water Paradise, etc.

Urumqi has built up a transportation network based mainly on the rural highway, working together with the railway and airport. There is the circle route that connects southern and northern Xinjiang, and the main route of provincial highways such as the Qinghai-Xinjiang highway and the Xinjiang-Tibet highway. Which centres in Urumqi, starts from Stars Strait in the east, ends at t Huoerguosi in the west, reaches Altai in the north and stretches to Hetian (hé tián 和田) in the south. The arterial railway---Languor--- Xinjiang line-- is the terminal of-most transportation between Xinjiang and the inland regions. The waterways here are home to the seasonal barges and shipping routes on the Ili and Ertix Rivers.

By Taxi
All the taxi fee start from CNY 6 for the first 3 kilometers, and when the distance goes up, the price will be CNY 1.6 per extra kilometers. At night, it is CNY 1.8 per extra kilometers. According to the statistics in the end of 2007, there are about 7,147 taxis with the models of Santana, Most of the taxis in Urumqi are the Santana, Jetta, Fukang and Chery, which includes 3,680 of Santana, 1,858 of Jetta and 486 of Fukang.

By Train
Urumqi Railway Station was called Urumqi Railway Southern Station before which is located at the foot of the Yamarick Mountain in the southeastern Saybagh district in Urumqi. It is the bridgehead of the second Eurasian Continental Bridge. It can hold about 7,000 passengers once. There are advanced facilities such as the building automation system, the information management system and electronic ticketing system, etc. which are helpful for the passengers and also to the security management. The routes from Urumqi to Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Xi’an, Lanzhou, Chengdu, and the route from Korla to Xi’an have been opened. Also there is international route from Urumqi to Alma Ata. The routes in the area of Xinjiang directs from Urumqi to Korla, Aksu, Ala Shan Kou, Kuitun and Willow Park. You can take the buses 2, 8, 10, 16, 20, 36, 44, 50, 52, 58, 903, 906, 909, and 915 to the railway station from the center of Urumqi.

By Bus
There are more than 130 public bus lines in Urumqi, so it is very convenient to take bus here. The ticket price is CNY 1, and after 22:00 at night, it is CNY 1.5. For the big lines, it is not necessary to wait for a long time. Generally, there is bus in 3 minutes at average. But for the small ones, it is hard to say.

Local FoodMost of the Uyghur dishes adopt lamb and mutton as the main ingredient, being cooked in different manners.  Urumchi is keeping assimilating distinctive food culture from other areas in China and even some foreign countries. At present, people who travel to the place do not need to worry about the maladjustment to food. Furthermore, Xinjiang is also justly famous for its melons, pomegranates and grapes, which thrive in the dry, hot climate.

Traditional Chinese food—often Sichuan Cuisine—is available in restaurants of any size in Urumchi which generally cater to Chinese and foreign tour groups. Moreover, Western fast food has made inroads into such a nimroity land. Therefore, for those foreigners who are less adveturous, western-style restaurants are the most appropriate choice for them. Whereas for those tourists who have an intention to enjoy the local dishes or snacks, the noshery  can meet your need with a reasonable price, a delicious taste and an everlasting aftertaste.

All the famous specialities of Xinjiang can be purchased in Urumchi. There are various souvenirs worth bringing home, among which are jade carvings, national musical instruments and clothes. Urumqi possesses abundance of shopping places. The interlink of Jiefang Road, Mingzhu Road and Zhongshan Road are the greatest business center of Urumqi. In the southeast part of the city lies the "Mid-Asian International Bazaar". Erdaoqiao is the most nationality-colored  business street and the neighboring International Bazaar where tourists can not only purchase various local specialities, but also savoring all kinds of snacks. Do remember you can bargin with the local salesmen which might first offer a relatively higher price to the tourists.

As the development of tourism industry in Urumqi, the hotel industry has been developing vigorously. From the Five Star hotels like Hoi Tak Hotel, Xinjiang, Yin Du Hotel and Hong Fu Hotel; the Four Star hotels like Hotel World Plaza, Xinjiang Hotel, and Three Star hotel like Islam Hotel, Xinjiang City Hotel and Bogda Hotel, etc. to the inferior hotel that is suitable for the backpackers like Eurasian Hotel, etc. In brief, there are hotels and hostels at every level to meet the requirements of the tourists.
If you are looking for some cheap accommodation options in Urumqi, we have built a list of popular hostels in Urumqi.

Popular Hostels in Urumqi
Silver Birches Hostel
Address: No. 28, Nanhu Road, Urumqi
Phone: 0991-4881428 13809943984
Fax: 0991-4881428
Transportation: 8, 58, 73, 104, 61 and 537
Maitian International Youth Hostel
Address: No. 726, South Youhao Road, Urumqi
Phone: 0991- 4591488 4596296 13999883785
Fax: 0991-4547581
Transportation: 917, 153, 907, 7, 68, 57, 551, 537, 52 and 525
Xinjiang Sheng Hui International Hostel
Address: No. 14, Yinchuan Road, Urumqi
Phone: 0991-4339266
Transportation: 61, 56, 43, 304, 302, 1, 13, 103, 101, 203 and 306

Xinjiang DanceAs we all know that Xinjiang's residents Uyghur and Kazakhs are the minority groups who show strong passion for dancing and singing performances and also are good at performing them out. Almost at every night in Urumqi, the sounds of their singing, the rhythms of various musical instruments are blaring passionately in every corner. It is definitely a wonderful choice to spare a night's time to enjoy some performances, at the same time, have some snacks of local flavour. For those who are experiencing a Uyghur fatigue, they can find some other entertainment places, being relatively more fashionable, such as KTV, disco, bowling and billiards. and as the economic and tourism industry develops rapidly, a maze of western- style bars become increasingly popular among tourists.

Travel Tips:
1. There is a great difference in temperature during the day and night in Urumqi. Tourists should prepare a sweater or overcoat in summer, and in winter, you should prepare heavy woolen overcoat or feather down garment.
2. The national minorities like the Uygur, the Hui, and the Kazak, etc. believe in Islam. They do not eat the foods made from pork, nor talk about the things about pig, so doing that in front of them is a taboo.
3. People in Urumqi adopt both Urumqi Time and Beijing Time, and the former is 2 hours later than the latter. People usually start to work at 10 p. m. and have their lunch at 2 p. m., supper at 8 p.m. or 9 p.m.
4. In Urumqi, when people buy commodities in the market, they usually use the metric system. For example, when they measure the weight of the articles, they use kilogram, not gram.

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 August 2010 21:27

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