Urumqi Archives | Xinjiang: Far West China

Xinjiang Road Trip | Stunning Highway 216

May 17, 2016 | 37 Comments

It all started with a single WeChat message, a kind of Chinese social media, from a friend that lived in Korla. I was planning to drive out his way from the capital of Urumqi and he insisted that my Xinjiang road trip include Highway 216. He told me it was an extremely bumpy ride but the […]

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Celebrating Qurban in Urumqi, Xinjiang

September 24, 2015 | 35 Comments

It’s Qurban Festival in Xinjiang (aka “Corban” or “古尔邦节”) and I decided to take a walk through my local neighborhoods here in Urumqi to capture some photos. Unlike other parts of China – even other majority Muslim regions like Ningxia, Gansu and others – Xinjiang recognizes Qurban as an official holiday. When you consider that we’re getting […]

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Visiting Xinjiang’s Jurassic Park (aka “Tianshan Safari Park”)

April 9, 2015 | 11 Comments

Driving our car through the high, double gates of the Xinjiang Tianshan Safari Park, it was hard not to think that we had just entered Jurassic Park. The guard tower was vacant and not a single park ranger was in sight. My family and a couple friends had decided to make our first visit to this park an […]

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Urumqi Walking Tour | The REAL Xinjiang

July 25, 2014 | 4 Comments

If you have a little extra time in Urumqi and you don’t quite know what there is to do, I have a suggestion for you. Perhaps you’ve already bought all the souvenirs you need at the Urumqi Grand Bazaar and you’ve said hello to the mummies on display at the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum – but that […]

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Review of Urumqi’s Foreign Restaurants

June 19, 2014 | 20 Comments

My son is a little over two years old now and I couldn’t help but laugh yesterday when I asked him what he wanted to eat for lunch. Without hesitation he calmly turned to me and says: “Pollo, daddy. I want to eat pollo.” My son doesn’t want pizza, he doesn’t want a hamburger or […]

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5 Beautiful Views of Urumqi, Capital of Xinjiang

May 30, 2014 | 10 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. Travel guides generally steer you away from Urumqi in favor of other Silk Road outposts and unfortunately […]

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Traveler’s Guide to Xinjiang’s Heavenly Lake

May 5, 2014 | 20 Comments

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t have high expectations for my visit to Xinjiang’s Heavenly Lake this last weekend. Wonderful experiences at Karakul Lake and Sayram Lake, not to mention the gorgeous Kanas Lake had set the bar high. Fortunately, my expectations were exceeded.

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Urumqi NanShan in Winter | 乌鲁木齐南山

February 7, 2014 | 9 Comments

I’m a bit ashamed to say that it’s taken me years of living in Xinjiang to actually visit the Urumqi NanShan. It’s part of the TianShan range, which I’ve hiked on a couple different occasions, but never NanShan.

Now I’ve done it in the winter, and the pictures are awesome, beautiful proof!

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Urumqi BRT & K Buses: How to Navigate Urumqi Traffic

January 28, 2014 | 7 Comments

Ever since the Urumqi BRT opened in 2011, I’ve been incredibly curious to find out how it would improve the terrible traffic in Xinjiang’s capital. Now that I call Urumqi, Xinjiang my home I’ve had a chance to try it out first hand and I must say that it’s a vast improvement over the congestion […]

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Day Hike Around Urumqi | Yamalike Park 雅玛里克山

January 24, 2014 | 6 Comments

The pollution in and around Urumqi Xinjiang is getting about as bad as any other major city in China. The thought of any sort of exercise – whether that’s running, basketball or any other sport – just doesn’t feel like a good idea. So when the opportunity to join some Uyghur locals to hike the Tian Shan mountains that surround Xinjiang’s capital, I was thrilled.

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The 2015 Xinjiang travel guide is here!