Located at the northern foot of the eastern section of the Tianshan mountains and on the southeastern edge of Jungar Basin, Urumqi is the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. With an arid climate of the temperate zone, Urumqi is inhabited by the Han, Uygur, Kazak, Mongolia and other nationalities of over 40, totaling over 1.5 million in population.Urumqi is the political, economic and cultural center of Xinjiang. Urumqi means "beautiful pasture" in Mongol, and it's the furthest city from ocean in the world, and it's also the geographic center in Asia.
Urumqi is surrounded by mountains in three directions with ancient Urumqi River passing the city center from south to north. With giant Bogda Peak in the east, magnificent Tianshan Mountains in the south and Xishan Mountain in its west, Urumqi has a vast and flat plain in north. Grassland, forest, waterfall, snow mountain, all these wild and stunning sceneries can be seen in Urumqi.Ethnic cultures, arts and customs of each nationality compose the most beautiful cultural landscapes in Urumqi.
Urumqi cityUrumqi is a good place to start a tour of Xinjiang.Xinjiang has a tragic and interesting history, going through lots of changes of rule since the time of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). A Silk Road route went through the city. Xinjiang has large and very high mountain ranges, the Silk Road city of Kashgar which retains the atmosphere of its major trading post days, and arid Turpan, the lowest land in China, with its ancient ruins and irrigation system, and grape production.
Urumqi is a base for touring the area, and the local highlights include the Uyghur Regional Museum with ancient Caucasian artifacts and mummies, the International Bazaar as an interesting place to shop, and the nearby Tianshan Mountains that have beautiful, forested mountains, lakes, and glaciers like the Alps.The deserts are bigger, the basins are deeper, and the mountains are higher and emptier than anywhere except Tibet. The ancient remains left by Caucasian people are highly unusual. There has been a big mix of races, cultures and religions in the area, and all those tribes and empires left behind exotic remains. Since the region is so big and empty, hiking and camping there would offer a truly wild experience.
Urumqi itself is basically a Chinese city. About ten percent of the population are ethnic minority people, mostly Uyghur. The International Bazaar, also called the Big Bazaar (Da Baza /dah bah-dzah/) or Erdaoqiao Market, is especially lively on summer evenings, and you can see a lot of local and regional products for sale. A lot of uniformed security guards and police are stationed around it. Next to the bazaar is Xinjiang Silk Road Museum at 160 Shengli Road. You can learn about the ancient Silk Road and about the region and its history. Bus 110 stops very close to it. The Urumqi Museum is located at 123 Nanhu South Road. The Xinjiang Uighur Regional Museum has Caucasian mummies that date from about 2,000 BC to 400 AD. They are thought be part of the biggest archeological discoveries of the past hundred years because they shed new light on the history of Eurasia.
Urumchi Travel Map
Urumchi Travel Tours
Urumchi scenic spots
Heavenly lake | Nanshan Pasture | Urumchi Bazaar | Tianshan Mountain