The ancient Silk Road brought Xinjiang a mix of eastern and western cultures which left behind stunning relics. Long caravan lines crossing endless deserts and rolling sand dunes lit by harsh afternoon sunlight. This is the timeless image of the legendary Silk Road. Though trade caravans today are rarely seen, the allure of retracing the steps of the ancient Silk Road continues to draw travelers from the world over - all for the opportunity to uncover glimpses of a glorious past since buried under sand and time.
Xinjiang retains much of the distinct culture that makes for one of China's most memorable visits. Foremost is its diverse ethnic makeup that includes Han Chinese, Turkic speaking Uighur, Kazakhs and other Muslim Turkic groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the world today can one find a juxtaposition of such divergent traditions that have not only managed to co-exist side-by-side, but also visibly influence one another and form a truly unique hybrid lifestyle. One notable example is the influence of Buddhism throughout this region, dating back to a time when Buddhism was first introduced via the Silk Road and when Xinjiang was itself a Buddhist stronghold. In a setting that is otherwise largely outwardly Islamic today, Buddhist caves and art remain perfectly intact and Buddhist themes have been incorporated seamlessly into the local Islam art and architecture.
Xinjiang offers travelers an exciting taste of Central Asia that combines lively bazaars, intricate Islamic and Buddhist architecture, and spicy cuisine full of the flavors of Middle East - yet all within the confines and stability of China. Beyond the town areas, the mystery and intrigue of the Silk Road beckons. Further in the north, towering mountain ranges hide beautiful alpine forests and unspoiled lakes. However you choose to spend your time traveling in Xinjiang, the sights and scenes of this remarkable region will be indelibly etched into your memory long after you leave it.
Urumqi is the capital of Xinjiang and the most 'inland' city in the world. Tourist resources of Urumqi have its own advantages and distinctions, which are strategically important in the ancient Silk Road that assembles the cultures of both eastern and western countries. Nightlife in Urumqi provides multiple-range of choices such as watching the ethnic sing-and-dance show, tasting native delicacies in the night market, or simply hanging out in bars. Shopping in the International Grand Bazaar is a pleasant experience. Bargain hunting for handicraft souvenirs such as rugs, carpets, Uygur-style hats, knitted sweaters, ethnic costumes, hand-made embroideries and jade carvings, will definitely draw your intense interest. Coming to Urumqi will not let you return to your country empty-handed.
Turpan means 'the lowest place' in the Uygur language and 'the fertile land' in Turki. Lying in the Turpan Basin, it is the city with the lowest elevation and the hottest place in China. The abundant sunshine here gives the melons and grapes ideal conditions to grow. The fruit here is widely known for its high sugar content, especially the grapes. Turpan is praised as the 'Hometown of Grapes' and the Grape Valley is a good place to enjoy the grapes of hundreds of varieties. Apart from that, the locals are quite fond of sand therapy which has a history of hundreds of years in Turpan. Besides, Turpan has been a key point on the Silk Road since ancient times, with a great number of historical relics as well as unique landscapes.
Tours in Xinjiang: