Archive for the ‘Xinjiang Travel’ Category

Best Xinjiang Photos

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
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Plan your  Urumqi tour? Xinjiang is a good place, the largest provincial-level region in China, officially named Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Xinjiang spans 1.6 million km2 ( comparable in size to 3 Frances), and covers an area of about one sixth of the China’s territory.

The charm of Xinjiang lies on its diversified ethnic cultures, and unique geography and topography. The best time to explore Xinjiang is between June and October. Follow me to have a virtual photo tour of Xinjiang.
Nestled high and below the snow-capped Bogda Peak in the Tianshan Mountains, 66 kilometers to the northeast of Urumqi.
The Kanas Lake is nestled in a valley of the Altai Mountains, to the northern tip of Xinjiang, bordering with Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia.
The Kanas Lake

The Kanas Lake

The Area around Kanas Lake is mainly inhabited by the ehtnic group called “Kazakhs” in Xinjiang who speak Kazakh, which is the Kipchak branch of the Turkic language sect in the Altaic language Family. Kazakh nomads migrate seasonally looking for pastures to feed their livestock.
Kazakh nomads migrate seasonally looking for pastures to feed their livestock

Kazakh nomads migrate seasonally looking for pastures to feed their livestock

Kazakh nomads’ Summer House. Kazakhs stay on the high moutains in summer and settled down to the village in winter.
azakh nomads' Summer House

azakh nomads’ Summer House

5-colored hills, or Rainbow Beach of Xinjiang. The international river – the Irtysh (Ertix) River passing through in northern Xinjiang.
Rainbow Beach of Xinjiang

Rainbow Beach of Xinjiang

Turpan is well known for its Flaming Mountain, which are barren, eroded, red sandstone hills near the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert and east of the city of Turpan.
Turpan is well known for its Flaming Mountain

Turpan is well known for its Flaming Mountain

The iconic crescent-shaped lake in an oasis, 6 km south of the city of Dunhuang.
Turpan is well known for its Flaming Mountain

Turpan is well known for its Flaming Mountain

Camel riding is a good way to experience the silk road culture and traditional customs.
Camel riding is a good way to experience the silk road culture and traditional customs.

Camel riding is a good way to experience the silk road culture and traditional customs.

Jiayuguan Pass at the western tip of the Great Wall of China starting from the eastern tip of Laolongtou section of the Great Wall that meets the sea.
The Jiayuguin Pass at the western tip of the Great Wall of China

The Jiayuguin Pass at the western tip of the Great Wall of China

The Yellow River cuts through the city of Lanzhou
The Yellow River cuts through the city of Lanzhou

The Yellow River cuts through the city of Lanzhou

The Gaochang ruins. Gaochang Ancient City is located at the east of Turpan.
The Gaochang ruins.

The Gaochang ruins.

Xinjiang Boys palying at Erdaoqiao, Urumqi
Xinjiang Boys palying at Erdaoqiao, Urumqi

Xinjiang Boys palying at Erdaoqiao, Urumqi

Xinjiang Mother and Baby
Xinjiang Mother and Baby

Xinjiang Mother and Baby

Tip:  Hassle-free Urumqi Guided Tours
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If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Urumqi Guided Tours:

Urumqi Highlight Day Tour  from US$119 p/p
Urumqi Pasture Excursion Day Tour  from US$89 p/p
Urumqi 4 Day Tour    from US$419 p/p
Urumqi Turpan 4-Day Tour  from US$325  p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Urumqi
Best Urumqi Photos
How to get from Beijing to Urumqi

Any questions, just drop a line.

Taklamakan Desert: the Largest Desert in China

Friday, April 13th, 2012
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Plan your Xinjiang tour? One of the coldest regions in China is also one of the most sparsely populated areas as well. This region, however, has been a known place since ancient times. The travelers from far off countries traveled through the Taklamakan Desert: on the “Silk Route”.

Though today all those towns mentioned in the folklores are nothing but ruins, history has been found in the desert in the form of relics thousands of years old. It remains an extremely cold place to date, with extreme cold temperatures.

 The History of Takla Makan

Study abroad programsand gap year jobstake one to places around the world which are totally different from one’s own country. The learning that one gains from these travels can never be gained in the classroom. This is why almost all gap year programsinvolve a comprehensive itinerary which exhibits the natural treasures of a nation. 

Chinese language programsare no different. When one travels to China, there are many places one can visit. There are all sorts of places in China. There are places which have a warm tropical kind of climate like those in the three river delta region. Then there are mountainous regions like in the Tibet autonomous region.

 There are also places like the Yunnan Province which has a mild comfortable climate throughout the year and Yunnan also houses fifty one out of the fifty-two ethnic minorities of the country.

 Similarly, there is also an extreme place in the country which is largely unpopulated and is still one of the most difficult places to live. This is the Takla Makan Desert which is the biggest desert in the country. 

The name itself is an enigma. It can mean a lot things including “the desert of death”, “the place of ruins” etc. In the Uigur language, Taklamakan means “You can get in but you cannot come out.” This is a cold desert that takes the brunt of the Siberian winds and has temperatures dipping to as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit during winters.

 This desert however lies on the “Silk Route” of ancient times. There are ruins of many old towns which used to thrive during those times. Those who would be learning Chinesein the country would also come to know about some big treasures that have been found in the desert. Also, there have been tombs which revealed mummies as old as 4000 years.

Taklamakan Desert is located in the center of Tarim Basin, in the south of Xinjiang Province.

Taklamakan Desert is located in the center of Tarim Basin, in the south of Xinjiang Province

Taklamakan Desert is 337600 square km ( 1000km long from east to west and 400km wide from north to south),  the largest in China and second largest desert in the world.  In addition, it is the largest mobile desert in the world. 

Taklamakan Desert is the largest in China

A convoy of camels  on the Taklamakan Desert.

A convoy of camels moving on Taklamakan Desert

Trekking in Taklamakan Desert

trekking in Taklamakan Desert

 

Brave and strong trekkers trudging through the Taklimakan desert 

Brave and strong trekkers trudging through the Taklimakan desert

There is an interesting story about the origin of the desert. According to Chinese folklore, there was a supernatural being a very long time ago who decided to offer help to people living in this area who were suffering considerably. He had a golden axe and a golden key, both of which were magical. He gave the golden axe to the Kazakah who split the Altai Mountain and directed water to their fields.

The golden key was given to the Uigur so that they could reap the benefits of the Tarim Basin. But the youngest daughter of the chieftain lost the key. This made this ‘being’ so angry that he imprisoned her in the Tarim Basin region without allowing the Uigur to benefit from it. Over a period of time, the region became barren and the Takla Makan desert was formed.

 Today, all those who are in the country for gap year jobscan take time out and go for desert treks in the region.

Further Readings


Top 10 Places in Xinjiang.
See Autumn Leaves in Xinjiang .
Sayram Lake .
Karamay Ghost Town .
Taklamakan Desert  .
Top 10 Attractions in Urumqi .

 

Any questions, just drop a  line.

Urumqi Airport, Urumqi diwopu international airport

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011
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Urumqi airport, officially named Urumqi Diwopu International Airport (IATA:URC, ICAO:ZWWW) is located in Diwopu, 16km northwest of Urumqi city center. At present, Urumqi airport has 3 terminals – T1, T2 and T3.
Terminal 1 is mainly for international flights on Urumqi – the countries in the middle Asia line, like Kazakhstan, Uzbekstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghnistan and more.

Terminal 1 for Middle Asia Flight Lines

Terminal 2 is focused on Air China. If you take a flight from Air China, you arrive at or leave from Terminal 3 of Urumqi airport.

Terminal 2 focused on Air China flights

Terminal 3 is newly built largely for China Southern Airline as well as the flights in and out on Urumqi Hong Kong and Macao lines.

Terminal 3 for China Southern Airline

The best way for Urumqi airport and Urumqi downtown transfer is to take a taxi. The Urumqi Taxi fare is about RMB 30 per cab.

 

Urumqi taxi at Urumqi airport

 

 

Departure at the second floor of the Terminal 2