Karamay Devil City aka Urehe Devil City aka City of the Dead

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July 1st 2022
Published: July 20th 2022
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Devil City or Ghost City

Well it isn't even a real city. Today was a long drive again. We left the hotel and hit the road. The City is an arid dry hot area of strange landforms. The land has been sculpted by the wind and eroded by the dust blown in the wind. Strange forms and shapes resemble "animals" and have been given names. When the wind blows it creates noises and sounds that the local inhabitants described as the cries of the dead, hence the name. Displays have been set up to serve as attractions for tourists. One can get camel rides, there are displays of horsemen and even (fake) dinosaur bones. To get between the different displays and activity areas there is a hop on hop off "train" to ferry people around.

Beyond the Ghost City are oilfields with many "nodding donkeys" pumping the oil out of the ground.

This place provides a rest stop for long distance travelers. While it is interesting I am not certain of its value for tourism. I felt like we visited "because it was there" rather than for any other purpose.


I think that the drive took longer than our driver had anticipated. We were supposed to see the Rainbow Beach but it was getting to late afternoon when we got to the turnoff. Travel time and exploring time his was going to add about 2.5 to 3 hours to the day. After some discussion we decided to miss out on the attraction and get to our accommodation. We hit a Police Check shortly after, then another one in Burqin. We arrived at our hotel about 6:00 ish. As a group we were happy that we had not been arriving at 9pm or later.

Burqin has a Tower Bridge! What a hoot.

Burqin has a Russian street and also many Russian influenced buildings. The Russian border is not far away and even the language that the locals spoke sounded Russian based on the way vowels and consonants were pronounced. I was assured it was merely the accent.

After checking in we headed out for some food. It turned out a bit too early for the Russian Street, I had hoped for some Steak Tartar but we did find an open restaurant selling once again delicious shasliks and other local foods.

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