Blogs from Urumqi, Xinjiang, China, Asia


Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi June 22nd 2022

Timezones This was now day three of our tour. We had started to get familiar with police checks, covid checks, long drives and late arrivals at our accommodation. This province is a long way west of Beijing. China time is based on Beijing and the country does not recognise internal time zones. So according to our clocks the sun was rising about 8 am and not setting until 10pm. Everything runs later here. Office workers start at 9am or even later. Many people were just going out for their evening meals at 9 pm when we were all ready for bed. Therefore to the tour guide and driver there was nothing strange in arriving at the hotel at 10 pm at night. To us it was an issue as our body clocks were saying that we ... read more

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi June 20th 2022

Sightseeing on the way to Turpan. In the morning of our first day we met our tour guide Ayesha while eating breakfast. Packed our bags into a small van and headed off in an easterly direction to Turpan. On the drive we passed some of the arid desert lands that I had spotted from the plane. To my right in the distance were snow capped mountains. The van passed though massive wind farms. The Chinese Government seems to have invested a lot of money here. In fact the city of Urumqi is a city built where none existed before. It was built to service the oilfields, mining industries and administer the province and nomadic communities that previously were the only inhabitants. Police checks and Covid Checks On the way we had our first experience of police ... read more
Noodles for lunch

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi June 19th 2022

Travel Day This day was a travel day, memorable for very little other than getting from Hefei, where I currently live, to Urumqi where I was to meet my companions and join the tour. The flight was a direct flight about 4 hours long. The airline food was not spectacular. Out of the window I could see lots of dry arid land. The normal signs of human habitation, roads and buildings, small towns. At one stage a series of what I took to be wind power generators and oil fields. On the approach into Urumqi there were snow capped mountains. (It is currently the height of summer). Back on the ground I was first off the plane, called out by the airline staff while the other passengers waited. It was my first introduction to the local ... read more

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi July 7th 2016

Octobre 2015, " Bon, on est d'accord, on ne connait pas vraiment notre itinéraire, mais une chose est sûre, on n'ira pas en Chine hein?" , " Oui, oui, ça ne me dis rien, et puis c'est vraiment trop compliqué la paperasse dans ce pays!" Juillet 2016: Après un mois à traverser la Chine du Sud Est à l'extrême Ouest, après avoir parcouru la Grande Muraille, après avoir traversé le désert de Gobi, après avoir mangé plus de nouilles en un mois que c'est 24 dernière années, nous pouvons le crier haut et fort: " LA CHINE EST EXTRAORDINAIRE"! Vous nous auriez vu lors de notre arrivée, sans argent, sans internet, sans carte, sans dictionnaire et sans aucun vocabulaire pour se faire comprendre à la frontière la plus perdu du Sud du pays... et bien vous ... read more
Tianshan Natural Park
Gobi Desert

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi September 30th 2015

Discover the "Beautiful Pasture" Are you tired of having holidays near the sea? Or do you refuse to travel to most visited places just only because you are a nonconformist? If yes, then this blog about magnificent Urumqi city is just for you! Urumqi is a capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China... The population is about 3,112, 559...blah...blah...blah...and other information that can be found in Wikipedia... The only catchy information for me from the Internet is that Urumqi is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the city farthest from any ocean or sea. The most exciting place for me in Urumqi is HongShan Park. The park is named HongShan, which means Red Hill, because there is a hill in the center of the city with a red brick pagoda calleb Zhen ... read more
HongShan Park
Zhen Long Ta

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi June 12th 2014

Urumqi We have arrived in Urumqi, the largest city in Northwest China (5+ M). The drive down the new road could have been pretty much anywhere in the world, except for the new cities and power plants being built everywhere. There is a huge mall next door with all the most expensive stores, and a block away are the traditional hole in the wall shops. The contrasts are amazing. It is getting hot again We are expecting 100+ tomorrow in Turpan.... read more

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi September 3rd 2013

My last day in Urumqi was spent wandering around the city. On the onset, Urumqi looks like any other Chinese city. A city that has been pumping up development, especially in the last few years and is relatively young. According to wikipedia it used to be a major part of the silk route and since the 1990's has been developed economically and is a transport node. It is the gateway into China from the West. More than anything else, Urumqi's unique location and its influence on the city, can be understood by taking a closer look at its demography. As I mentioned in a post before this,'The other side of China', there is a 75.3 % population of the Han chinese, 12% Uighers and others, Mongols, Kazhaks, Uzbeks, Russians, Tibetian, Manchu among others make the rest. ... read more
Walking under the vines

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi August 31st 2013

When this trip was first mentioned I had no idea what I was getting into. The landscape, the people, the food, the languages, everything is so unexpected and mixed up. Prepare to be surprised. The 5 hour flight from Shanghai to Urumqi crosses some of the most exquisite topography. If you are lucky to be flying there on a clear day, as we were, on the later half of the flight, you could see glimpses of the Tibetan plateau and the rugged mountains of the Tian Shan change into the forbidding Taklamakan (In Hindi one could translate that as bald man's house :P) desert. The significance of this region on the silk route suddenly rings loud and clear. This was the buffer zone between Europe and China. The traders, merchants and travelers all trans versed this ... read more
Raisins and more raisins !
Afghani bread/nan

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi July 21st 2013

I could have stayed longer in Urumuqi eating amazing sweet Uyghur pastries, devouring more meat dishes, strolling through the Uyghur area a bit more, taking more pictures of the lively streets and enjoying the comfort of Becky’s home… But Becky had to go back to work in Beijing and I had to get back on the road. And what a road! To go south, I had 2 choices: I could either take the smooth road through Turpan (expressway) or what looked like the shorter way through the mountains on a smaller road. Because we had already visited Turpan, I chose the road through the Tian Shan Mountains. Becky’s Mom had warned me it would go up and down and the riding would probably be difficult (like many people from the city, she has never taken this ... read more
Entering the Tian Shan
Road 216
after a few hours of riding I met these gentlemen from Urumuqi

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi July 17th 2013

I arrived in Urumuqi very early on July 1 and Becky met me at the train station. No need to say how great it felt to see her smile again and hold her hand after a month on the road. I often try to imagine how different this journey would be if we were traveling together, both riding a bike. Riding a bicycle through the mountains and the desert has been tough, challenging, exhausting both physically and mentally. Could she keep up? Will we travel this way together someday? The big step for me in Urumuqi was to meet Becky’s Mom. I think it went well and we talked a lot from the very first day. She is a nice and caring lady who spoiled us with great food of all kinds. She baked bread for ... read more
Becky and her Mom
Grand Bazaar
Uyghur neighborhood

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