Changji TripJune 26, 2009
Today was a busy day for all the participants for the Fifth Xinjiang Tourism Festival. At 9:00am we started from our hotel to Yaxin Square in the heart of Changji City to attend the opening ceremony. On the way to the square, our tour guide gave us a brief introduction to the city of Changji. Changji has a population of half million. It is located in the center of Xinjiang, north of Tianshan Mountains. It is on the northern route of the silk road in China. It is a Hui autonomous prefecture, now under the jurisdiction of Urumqi. Urumqi is surrounded by the mountains in the three sides - east, south and north. Changji is 40km to the west of Urumqi. So developing Changji is the best way to upgrade the further development of Urumqi as well as Changji itself, on a win-win basis.
Opening Ceremony Started at 10:30
Today was also a big thing for the local people. Probably the local Changji people have seldom seen so many buses and special tourists from many parts of China as well as foreign participants. Where we went today was clearly under traffic control. It seems the local government has spent a lot of money and time to make a successful opening ceremony of the Fifth Xinjiang Tourism Festival.
At the opening ceremony, Mr Hu Wei, deputy Chairman of Xinjiang Ulgur Autonomous Region delivered a short speech. He said June' Xinjiang enjoys the smell of fruit and melons. In this nice season people see the grand opening ceremony of the 5th Xinjiang International Tiourism Festival of China. He pointed out that this year happens to be the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. He said that the tourism of Xinjiang has made outstanding progress during the 30 years under the support provided the National Tourism Bureau, friends from tourism circles both home and abroad. In 2008, 450,000 foreign tourists visited Xinjiang and 22 million people from other brother provinces of China. This year's international tourism festival will stick to its value of letting the world understand Xinjiang and let Xinjiang move on to the world. He added that the opening ceremony for this year's tourism festival was hosted by Changji Prefecture.
Later, the vice governor of Changji City also gave a speech to promote Changji. He said that Changji has an area of 72,700 square km and 42 ethnic groups such as Hui, Han, Ulgur, Kazark. He wished the 5th Xinjiang tourism Festival a big success.
11:00 - 10:40 View the performance
A well prepared welcoming performance was presented after the opening speech. It is said that Uyghur people are able to sing before speaking and dance before walking. They are good at singing and dancing. The 40-minute performance was very impressive.
11:30 - 13:00 Tourism Business Contract Signing Ceremony and Local Travel Trade Show
After the grand opening ceremony, we were transferred to the local government affairs center of Changji to see the travel contract signing ceremony between buyers and sellers for the inbound travel in Xinjiang. The travel contracts contain the number of tourists some foreign or domestic tour operators will send to Xinjiang. I think the ceremony is a gesture of Xinjiang tour promotion rather than a practical measure.
15:30 - 18:30 Visiting Dushi Scenic Area, a resort east of Changji
After lunch, we had no time even for a short break to fresh up. We continued to visit a local holiday and merry-making park - Dushi Scenic Area, which has been graded "AAAA" attraction by National Tourism Bureau. It was a pleasant walk in the park after a big buffet lunch. The park is very nice. It is sectioned into several themed parts - Water Playing, Singing and Dancing, lakes, green belts and etc. It is a good place for weekend hoiday makers, but not suitable for international tourists seeking things more historical and cultural value.
18:30 - 19:30 Visit Changji Muaseum
In china, almost each city has its own museum and Changji has no exception. It is a three-storey building, showcasing Changji's history, economic deveplement, local conditions and customs.
20:00 - 22:00 Banquet entertained by the Changji Government
It was a huge feast! Too much yummy food! We were treated as a king for the whole day. The warmth and enthusiasm on the part of the local people and local government really moved us. In return, we should do something for Changji and Xinjiang!
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