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This store would be a mother’s worst nightmare. All four walls are stacked from floor to ceiling with glass teapots, bowls and dishes leaving just a tiny square in the middle from which to browse the collection. It feels as if the whole display is only one sneeze away from total chaos. The local Muslim […]Read More ▸
I’d like to have some fun introducing Xinjiang’s famous two-humped animal. Camels are practically useless in our concrete culture but here, despite modernization, the camel still plays an important, albeit usually symbolic, role.Read More ▸
I’d like to introduce you to one of the most popular buildings in Karamay, a small city of only 200,000 people here in Xinjiang. It represents the only place of worship that is not only accepted by the local government but also boasts a large membership from their ranks.Read More ▸
Every Friday (or sometimes Sunday) in cities all over Xinjiang, small blocks in the middle of the city are transformed into a maze of stalls, carts, and mobile kitchens. For the entire afternoon the buzz of marketplace activity breathes life into what during the rest of the week is usually an empty lot. You can […]Read More ▸
These signs are just too much! As a recently legalized “China driver” I took notice of some that have been put up in many of the Xinjiang bus stations. The rules they convey are nothing new for any person who has a driver’s license, but I found the pictures to be entertaining and interesting.Read More ▸
Maybe you already knew that Xinjiang is the largest province in China or that Urumqi is known in the Guinness Book of World Records as the farthest city from any major sea. Or perhaps you have no clue where to find Xinjiang or Urumqi on a map. The fact that you’re reading this indicates that […]Read More ▸
Within the narrow alleyways of this Old Town lie thousands of years of Kashgar’s history. Aged wooden doors and cobblestone paths have witnessed the passage of innumerable donkey carts, small Uyghur children and, in recent times, many foreign tourists. On the outside, these mud-brick walls seem at peace with their place in history but just […]Read More ▸
Mention the name “Xinjiang” and most people who know their Chinese geography picture vast deserts crossed by dirty looking camels and a beating sun. It’s a nostalgic picture that was made popular by the famous Silk Road but it’s a stereotype Xinjiang can’t seem to shake. The truth is that these immense deserts are locked […]Read More ▸
Looking for examples of Xinjiang food? Check out the Xinjiang food category! For the past few days I’ve been factchecking the Xinjiang/Silk Road portion of the latest edition of DK’s Eyewitness Travel China guide and I’ve run into an interesting translation problem. Or maybe it’s a cultural difference. Either way, I’m now unsure how to […]Read More ▸
I received some interesting mail from the US today. The letters were nothing special save two minor – yet surprising – details: 1) they used only one 42 cent stamp each instead of the necessary 90 cent stamps and 2) somehow we sent them to ourselves.Read More ▸