Xinjiang Highway Rest Stop: Pic of the Week

May 14 | 1 Comment

A restaurant on the side of a Xinjiang, China highway

Rest Stop by 老百姓

Seeing this picture me want to hop on my motorcycle and start exploring again!  Rest stops like the one you see above are scattered all along the Xinjiang highway system and despite their crude appearance they really have grown on me.

Restaurants here rarely provide indoor seating, preferring instead to set up tables outside where one can sit and soak in the atmosphere.  The dishes on the menu are quick, cheap and sometimes even famous.  One joint about an hour south of Karamay was so well known for its Da Pan Ji (Big Plate Chicken) that many locals would actually travel out on the weekend to enjoy the food.

I must warn you, however, that the bathrooms in places like these are generally not great.  Usually it consists of a shed out back built on top of a small dirt hill that offers very little privacy.  Strangely, at one location I actually had to pay to use the drab facilities.

If your travel to Xinjiang includes taking a long-distance bus anywhere, expect to make a stop at one of these restaurants.  Enjoy yourself, look around, and talk with the locals including Han, Uyghur, Hui and others.  Before you know it, the sight of hanging carcasses won’t gross you out as much as you might think.

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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