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Urumqi

Urumqi is located on the western slope of the central Tianshan Mountain and at the southern margin of the Junggar Basin within the North Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It adjoins Changji Hui Ethnic Autonomous Prefecture in the west and east, Bayinguoleng Mongol Autonomous Prefecture in the south and borders the Turpan area in the southeast. It is situated at the geographical center of the Asian continent, is a vital city in central Eurasia and also the second largest city after Almaty in Central Asia. Pure Tianchi in the Tianshan Mountain, the smiling Uighur girls and passion-filled Urumqi are the best reasons to visit the Western Regions.

Tianshan Mountain

Tianshan Mountain, a mountain range in east Central Asia, traverses the central section of Xinjiang in China and stretches into Kazakhstan in the west. Here lie many renowned attractions in Xinjiang, such as Mount Bogda with its ever-present snow and Tianchi which is formed by melting ice and snow. It is also the origin of the notable Chinese medicinal herb 'Tianshan Snow Lotus'. There are many rare birds and animals in the Tianshan Mountain. The peaks, deep jungles in the mountainous areas and its plain 3,000 meters above sea level are natural places for various animals' inhabitation and reproduction. Tianshan marmots, argali, snow leopards, Tianshan deer and Tianshan antelope are all wild animals under protection here.

Address:Dengcaogou Village, Banfanggou Township, Urumqi City, Urumqi County.

Salt Lake

Xinjiang Salt Lake is located 72 km away from the urban area of Urumqi City and 110 km from Turpan City, with an area of 23.7 square kilometers. Its salinity is nearly a hundred times that of sea water. The salt crystals in the Salt Lake Ecological Tourist Zone are pure, smooth and transparent when exposed to the sunlight. The lake is full of crude salt and mirabilite with a unique static scenery.The salt is made into many kinds of edible and highly ornamental products by the Xinjiang people, making a great contribution to Xinjiang's tourism development.

Address:Salt Lake, eastern outskirts of Daban District, Urumqi City.

Nanshan Natural Scenic Spot

It is one of Urumqi's must-visit places. Nanshan Natural Scenic Spot is located to the south of Urumqi City and the vast mountainous areas within the jurisdiction of Urumqi County and to the north of the ridgelines of Kara Wucheng Mountain within the north area of Tianshan Mountain. Here are snowy mountains reaching the shy, crystal-clear glaciers, winding mountains, lush grasses, gurgling waterfalls, fresh air and fascinating scenery. It is the perfect summer resort and tourist attraction and also suitable for skiing in winter.

Address:Located in the mountainous areas to the north of a branch range of North Tianshan Mountain, Kara Wucheng Mountain.

There are many Uighur-featured stores mainly selling handicrafts including Uighur flower hats, hand-made stitchworks, gold and silver jewelry, jade products, carpets, wood carvings, claw whips, Xibe pipes, boots, Ai Reese silk, Yengisar knives and Hotan carpets.

Erdaoqiao area

Erdaoqiao area is Urumqi's commercial street with the strongest ethnic characteristics. This area is not only a residential area for the Uighur people but also the location of Xinjiang's famous Grand Bazaar. Xinjiang local specialties, ethnic clothing, handicrafts, fresh and dried fruit as well as ethnic snacks are available here. You can also see Uighur's unique Dawaz performances and Xinjiang song and dance performances with strong ethnic characteristics. The assortment of ethnic goods, agate necklaces with a Western style, gemstone rings, craft knives, boots, tapestries and other goods dazzle tourists' eyes and stimulate their minds.

Address:37 South Jiefang Road, Tianshan District, Urumqi City.

Urumqi's food culture is very unique, containing flavors from all around the country and the special cuisine of all the ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Saute Spicy Chicken

Xinjiang Saute Spicy Chicken originated in the early 1990s with chicken and potatoes as the main food materials. In addition to the main materials, Pidai noodles are needed for the dish. Saute Spicy Chicken is beautiful in color with smooth and spicy chicken as well as soft and sweet potatoes. It is fragrant, spicy and delicate.

Recommended restaurants:Mirage (Yan'an Road headquarters)

Address: Eighth Route Army office, No. 6, Lane 2, Shengli Road, Urumqi City.

Kebab

A most distinctive food is the Xinjiang kebab. Unlike those found in other places, the Xinjiang kebab is grilled on a tailor-made metal trough. It is cooked by roasting with a charcoal fire while sprinkling ingredients such as salt, paprika and cumin powder. After 3–5 minutes, the other side should be roasted. The price is very cheap with delicious large portions of meat.

Recommended restaurants:Small Ga Sub Pepper Chicken (South Gate store)

Address: Near the south gate of Tianshan District, Urumqi City.

Hand pilaf

Hand pilaf is the premium local cuisine for hosting visitors, called 'Pora' in Uighur which means enjoying cuisine with clean hands. The main materials include rice, lamb, carrots, onions and vegetable oil. It consists of rice stewed with a mixture of these materials, and is shiny, scented and delicious.

Recommended restaurants:The 17th pilaf Wang (Hongqi Road store)

Address: Near Youhao Parkson, 726 South Youhao Road, Urumqi City.

Bus

Urumqi bus lines are ideal. In addition to the urban area bus lines in various locations, there are three BRT rapid bus lines with their own lanes for speediness. It should be noted that all bus lines in the urban areas prohibit passengers from getting on with liquor, lighters, unidentified powders, etc.

Taxi

The number of taxis in Urumqi is so large there is no difficulty getting a taxi in the rush hours. The starting price is 10 yuan for 3 km then 1.3 yuan for each kilometer over 3 km. Nearly all the drivers are of Han nationality.

Currency:RMB (CNY)

Power consumption: 220 V/50 Hz

Telephone area code:+860991

Climate

May to October is the golden season of tourism in Urumqi, because during this time flowers are blooming and fruits are in season. Urumqi, the farthest city from any ocean in the world, has a temperate continental arid climate. The hottest month is July, with an average temperature of 26℃. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of -15℃ and a large temperature difference between morning and evening. The annual average rainfall is 294 mm.

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