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5 Beautiful Views of Urumqi, Capital of Xinjiang

April 21 | No Comments

Urumqi, the capital of China’s western region of Xinjiang, is not as bad as everybody says it is. At least I don’t think so and I hope to prove that to you with these recent photos I’ve taken.

View of Urumqi, Xinjiang at dusk from Yamalike Hill

Travel guides generally steer you away from Urumqi in favor of other Silk Road outposts and unfortunately with all the bad international press the city has received lately many people never get a chance to see the beautiful side of the capital.

I’m not going to lie and say that Urumqi is my favorite city in Xinjiang even though I live here, but I believe in making the best out of my current circumstances.

Urumqi Skyline during the day

Earlier this week I took another trek up the Yamalike Hill on the southeastern portion of Urumqi.

It was a clear day and my goal was to capture this photo of the city at dusk with the beautiful TianShan range in the background.

A panoramic view of Urumqi, Xinjiang with the Tian Shan in the background

From a higher vantage point, here is a panoramic shot of the city – and this is just the bottom half of Urumqi!

Now if I could only find this same photo taken 20 years ago, that would be incredible to compare!

A view of the Urumqi highway system at night

One of the most visible sign of Urumqi’s recent growth is series of connecting elevated highways that encircle the city.

Mostly they’re eyesores but I’ve found that at night when it is lit up and backed by a beautiful, clear blue sky…it’s actually quite nice.

Looking up at a pagoda in Urumqi, capital of China's Xinjiang province

Did you know that Urumqi has two of these pagodas? The most famous is in Hong Shan Park, of course, but a kilometer to the west there is another pagoda.

The Urumqi river, which has since dried up, used to flow between the two massive rocks where these pagodas now live.

About Josh Summers

Josh is the author of Xinjiang | A Traveler's Guide to Far West China, the most highly-reviewed and comprehensive travel guide on China's western region of Xinjiang. He lived, studied and run a business in Xinjiang, China for more than 10 years, earning recognition for his work from CCTV, BBC, Lonely Planet and many others.

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