Xinjiang TripJune 25, 2009
Though it is my third time to visit Xinjiang, I still quite expect the trip. As you know, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region occupies an area of 1.6 million square km with a population 20.95 million (2007), one sixth of China in size, equivalent of 160 "Beijings", an area the size of France, Germany, Spain and the UK combined. Xinjiang has a huge number of unique natural and cultural resources and no one can digest them all.
For this trip I'm invited by Xinjiang government to participate the Fifth International Tourism Festival Xinjiang China. After the tourism festival, all the delegates will be divided into two groups on the two fam trips - Northern Xinjiang and Southern Xinjiang. I choose the Northern Xinjiang trip since I have made a short tour of the Southern Xinjiang 5 years before. The northern Xinjing trip takes us to Burjin, Kanas Lake, Kelamayi, Urumqi and even we will have a day trip to Turpan.
Officially the tour of Xinjiang is sectioned into fours parts: Northern Xinjjiang, Southern Xinjiang, West Tianshan and East Tianshan. Each part has its own characteristics:
1. Northern Xinjiang Route
Kanas Lake Natural Reserve Ecotourism. Kanas Lake is classified by UNESCO as "mankind's last piece of pure land. Not just Kanas Lake, you have more to see, to feel, to touch along the semicircle Northern Xinjiang route around the Junggar Basin touring Fuyun, Altay, Burjin, Kelamayi...
2. Southern Xinjiang Route
Explore the ancient middle and south silk roads along the Tarim Basin betwenn Tianshan Mountains and Kunlun Mountains and experience the minority culture, custom in Southern Xinjing by visiting such ancient places - Korla, Luntai, Kuqa, Aksu, Artush, Kashgar, Tashkurgan, Yengisar, Yakand, Hotan, Minfeng, Quemo, Ruoqiang etc.
3. East Tianshan Route
Experience the east ancient silk road - Turpan, Hami: Jiaohe Ruins, Gaochang Ruins, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Wubao Ancient Tombs, Lapuqiaoke Ancient City, Hui King Mausoleum and more.
4. West Tianshan Route
Get lost in the beauty of the pure and primitiveg grassland - Nalati Grassland and Buyanbulak Grassland; Travel Sarim Lake, Swan Lake and visiting the City of Bole and Yining.
In 1993 I visited the East Tianshan part; 2005 I traveled the Southern Xinjiang. Now this time I will have a long-expected tour of Kanas Lake and much more on the Northern Xinjang fam trip. Maybe, next time, if I have the chance, I will visit the west Tianshan area.
Beijing - Urumqi by flight CZ6901
This morning I took the earliest flight from Beijing to Urumqi. The 3.45-hour flight was smooth and on time. On the long flight I did nothing but reading a book about Xinjiang trying to make up more knowledge on Xinjiang in a short time.
Upon arrival, I was transferred to my hotel - Dongsheng Hongfu Hotel in Changji, 40km west of Urumqi. Changji is a a satellite city of Urumqi Changji. The opening ceremony of the tourism festival will be grandly held in the city square of Changji city tomorrow morning. The local Changji government pays great attention to the festival in hope of using the opportunity to upgrade the local tourism.
Dongsheng Hongfu Hotel is a nice 4 star hotel, maybe the best hotel in Changji, I think. After quick registration, I was urshed to our room ( NO.1702) on the 17th floor. Entering the room, I was really shocked at the size of the room, too huge for me! Everything in the room is huge, huge TV, huge bed, huge lounge, and huge washing room!
I feel we are treated like a king. What a job the local government has done for us! I feel flattered. Hope this will not spoil me. Do something for Xinjiang tour!
After yummy buffet dinner on the fourth floor, we were arranged to attend the First Hua'Er Art Festival Changji and enjoy dainty snacks of Hui nationalities inside a walled Hui Snacks Street in the center of the city. About 35% of the Changji population is Hui nationality. Changji is a Hui Autonomous Prefecture under the jurisdiction of Urumqi. Hua'Er means " Flower", a kind of Hui performing art form. I quite enjoyed the performance and the snacks too.
The banner"Warmly Welcome to The International Tourism Festival of Xinjiang" is hung above the entrance to Dongsheng Hongfu Hotel.
All the delegated are treated as VIP.
Very efficient registration service offered in the hotel lobby
Two beds - one king-sized, one queen-size in my room!
Very spacious place in front of the two beds.
The big entrance gate to the Changji Hui Snacks Street is built in the Hui-style.
To add some colour to the tourism festival, the local government is sponsoring the First Hua' Er Art Festival at the same time.
Local barbecued muttoms
Enjoying the local snack!
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