A Xinjiang Winter in Pictures

Xinjiang Winter in Beautiful Pictures

February 2 | 6 Comments

Nothing quite compares to winter in Xinjiang. Because of the province’s sheer size, describing this season of the year with one blanket statement is nearly impossible. Pictures are the only thing that do Xinjiang’s winter justice.

People often ask me if it’s possible to travel to Xinjiang during the winter months and I’m happy to say that more and more this is becoming true. Over the past 5 years many places which were once off-limits due to dangerous road conditions are now accessible in the winter.

I still caution you, however, to think about traveling here during the winter. It is bitterly cold and travel is much slower than during the summer. And despite what they tell you, the roads are still dangerous.

But how else would you be able to get pictures like these?

Xinjiang's Hemu village during the winter

Hemu village during winter, thanks to Xinjiang and Me

Xinjiang's Kanas Lake during the winter

Kanas Lake during winter. It looks frozen, but the “lake” is actually still flowing.

Turpan's Jiaohe ruins in Xinjiang during the winter

The Jiaohe ruins in Turpan

Tianchi, or "Heavenly Lake" in Xinjiang, China during winter

Tianchi “Heavenly Lake”…and yes, it gets frozen over so that you can actually walk across the lake! Thanks again to Xinjiang and Me.

Xinjiang's Ghost City in winter

Karamay’s “Ghost City” during the winter months.

A tiny shred of light peeks over the Xinjiang horizon

A winter sunset in Yili, Xinjiang

Why Travel to Xinjiang?

Check out some great reasons to travel to Xinjiang and get your butt out to beautiful Central Asia!

About Josh Summers

Josh is a writer, musician and entrepreneur who currently resides in Urumqi, capital of China's western province of Xinjiang. He has been traveling and writing about this region since 2006 and has no plans to stop in the near future.

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  1. Hi!
    Speaking of winter, it begins from what month until what month? I’ve always thought late April would be spring, but only recently I read somewhere that Spring only starts in June in Kanas. Can you justify this? Is it applicable to all Xinjiang or Northen part only, or in the mountains only? (I’m also curious about Tianchi and Nanshan area.. how bad can it be to visit in second half of April?)

    By the way, we dont mind snow and possibly can survive the cold around 0 degree celcius and above.

    Please advise! Thanks!


    Josh on March 5th, 2012 at 7:32 am

    The answer is that it’s different everywhere in Xinjiang :) The province is so large and the terrain varies so much that it’s impossible to make a sweeping statement.

    That said, I think it’s safe to say that spring begins around April in most places in northern Xinjiang and creeps into March for areas in the south. When you’re dealing with mountains (Kanas, Karakoram, etc.) it’s more like May-June. As long as you’re willing to brave a little bit of cold, especially at night, I wouldn’t be worried about planning a trip around April.

    Hope that helps!


  2. I travelled to Xinjiang and visited Tianchi Lake in 2007. I spent about Sixty days in the area and you can see some pictures on my website. chinaphotos.asia. I would have loved to experience the winter season! Although there has been a lot of trouble in Kashgar we didn’t have any problems back in 2007 but there has been violence since then. Best to check the travel advise before going to Kashgar.


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