Blogs from Urumqi, Xinjiang, China, Asia - page 3


Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi July 22nd 2012

Ominous names for places to go for sure. Both of which lived up to expectations. I arrived to Heaven Lake late in the afternoon (sun goes down at 10pm or so, so its not a problem). I rode in on the bus from the city to the national park. City became desert, desert became hills of sand, hills became alpine mountains, and up and up we went. Getting off the bus, I hiked in to the lake and was greeted with awesome views: deep torquoise water, alpine mountains all around. With no particular place to stay, I had heard that their were yurts around the lake, so I hiked to the far Eastern end (the direction of the BIG mountains and my destination for the following day). Upon reaching the eastern edge of the lake, I ... read more
Hiking up
Close as I could get

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi July 20th 2012

Hi Everyone! Well I arrived in Urumqi a couple of nights ago and found my hostel without too much of a problem. Not a bad spot for 45RMB per night. It is right next to a big public square and a park. Good for people watching in the evening. Urumqi is an outstanding city. It is very diverse and you can see 4 different languages on street signs and restaurants. They use Chinese characters, Russian alphabet, Arabic script, and english. Its pretty cool to see. There are a lot of Kazakh people around town and they have a heavy influence on the food. There is also the Chinese muslim population (Uigher) and they have cuisine all their own. So far the highlight has been the food. Everything is different and everything is outstanding. Much different than ... read more
Urumqi Food
Ping Pong in People's Park
Scorpion Salesman

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi July 20th 2012

Here are some photos of my first few weeks here.... read more
Sarah's Birthday

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi August 22nd 2011

The last week of this month-long trip around northern Asia certainly was the most challenging. After three weeks in Mongolia and Siberia, I had anticipated that Xinjiang would be very different from Beijing or Russia, but I hadn’t imagined it would be such a different world. In ways it was amazing, particularly the scenery on the Old Silk Road, but in other ways I found it depressing. My background is in sociology and I find this blending/clash of ethnicities in China, and the role the government plays in promoting it, to be very interesting. I’ll try to explain as I tell you about the week day-by-day. But first, a little background courtesy of The Rough Guide: “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region” is one of the most exciting parts of China, an extreme terrain, more than 3,000km ... read more
wind turbines en route
on the road to Turpan
Muslim culture seen everywhere

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi August 3rd 2011

After spending the night in Urumqi, the capital of the Uighur minority Xinjiang province, we headed 2 hours out of town to Tian Chi – Heavenly Lake. We arrived to the most spectacular sight…a huge lake in shades of blue I can not describe, rolling green hills covered in Fur trees and snow capped mountains on the horizon. We quickly escaped from the tour group masses and made our way down to the rocky shore line, from there we passed the concrete touristy yurts (traditional round tents used by Kazakhs) until we were totally alone in the beautiful quite wilderness. After around 2 hours as we rounded another lush green cove there was a simultaneous gasp as we saw across the lake the place we would spend the night. A perfect green valley dotted with trees, ... read more
Heaven Lake
Heaven Lake
Heaven Lake

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi July 14th 2011

So they let us back in... After cramming in and out of jeeps and getting pushed through lines at the border, we crossed back into China at the city of Erlian. No problem getting a bus to Hohhot where we had hoped to get a train ticket for that night to our first official stop back in China - Pingyao. Two days and 16 hours on a hard seat on a packed train later, we arrived in the old city of Pingyao. We got in super early and had not really slept, so when a tout with a vehicle offered us a free ride to a guest house we took the offer. Well there were lots of tourists there, but we got a super cheap room - right next to the toilets, yeah right next to ... read more
Ancient Tractor
Ancient Wall Pingyao

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi September 2nd 2010

Chinese trains usually fill up early, and we were disappointed not to be able to get tickets to Xi'an from Urumqi for another great ride across the desert. But we were pleased to get airplane tickets,which, although somewhat expensive, promised us a 3-hour trip to Xi'an, instead of 36, and giving us an extra day there that we hadn't planned on. Well, things in China don't usually work out as promised, and, indeed we ended up arriving in Xi'an just about when we would have on the train, weary and haggard and with some new stories to tell. Our first surprise was not finding our flight on the departure board at the Urumqi airport when we arrived early Wednesday afternoon. That was because although we thought we were on Hainan Airlines, a somewhat known and ... read more
How many of these places an you identify?
Waiting out Day 2 in the terminal with our Kazakh friend, Sasha
Tianjin airlines logo on the side of our plane, a Brazilian Embraer 190

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi August 31st 2010

Like all other western Chinese cities we have visited, Urumqi is in the midst of an economic boom, fueled by resource development, domestic tourism, and migration of people from the eastern part of the country. The central and northern sections of the city could almost be anywhere else in China with much new construction of apartments, food from all parts of the country, trendy shops reminiscent of Robson Street in Vancouver, and some opulence in the form of four- and five-star hotels and even foreign restaurants that serve sashimi in this place that is farther from the nearest ocean than anywhere else on Earth. But the south side of Urumqi is another city altogether. This is the city of the Uyghurs and some Hui muslims with different language, food, religion, and manner of dress than ... read more
South end street scene
Wall painting of happy Uyghurs welcoming Chinese troops
In the shop where bread stamps are made and sold

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi August 13th 2010

The dates on my blog are somewhat off but oh well. I remember that we went to Tianchi on my birthday! It was a really good way to spend my birthday, but actually I kept forgetting that it was my birthday, and I didn't think to do anything to celebrate it. A week or so earlier, my parents had me a wonderful and very thoughtful "birthday in a box." It really brightened my day back in Beijing and I ate some frosting, though I couldn't find an oven anywhere. As I was saying to Dan online today, China seems like a strange dream world. American holidays don't seem to happen and it's really odd to be hearing about tEp rush and other start-of-school things right now. Anyway, from Urumqi, we took a public bus to a ... read more
Cool mountain road
Us and the Kazakhs
Obstacle #1

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi August 10th 2010

T-bag and his girlfriend met us at the Urumqi train station and helped us get a cab and make our way to our hostel. We ended up staying at the White Birch Hostel, which was nice and clean, good facilities, comfortable beds. I LOVED and continue to love sleeping with sheets! All this summer I slept on a straw mat on top of the sheets and also a smaller straw mat on the pillow. When it stayed in the high 80’s all night (and maybe higher in the house because my host mother had some thing about keeping the windows closed and the shades open during the day like a greenhouse) the straw mat was soooo sticky, when I wanted to move around while sleeping I had to like peel my skin off of it. Anyway, ... read more
Dude With Dried Fruits
Lots of Knives

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