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Things To Do in Urumqi City


Xinjiang Travel Guide

I extended my stay at Urumqi, Xinjiang China for another 4 days for self-tour exploration. I have been spending 8 days with the driver and tour guide. I felt suffocated to travel with people following me around. Yes! It's more convenient but just feel obliged and have no freedom to travel with people. 

When I said to my tour guide, that I would be spending the next 4 days at Urumqi, he was like....are you kidding me? What are you going to do here? Most of the attractions in Xinjiang aren't in Urumqi. It's always a distance travel by car or flight. For me, 4 days isn't long considering my health condition limitation. I couldn't walk as fast and longer than those glorious youthful days. 

Things To Do if you are in the mood for a tour of Urumqi City

Xinjiang Museum

1. Xinjiang Regional Museum

Is it really worth it to visit the Xinjiang Museum? Well...absolutely! Where else do you want to visit around Urumqi if you have some time to spare? Furthermore, it's a free entrance. To be honest, this Xinjiang Museum has the most impressive exhibition compared to the other museums, I have visited in China. If you have little time to wander around, the main attraction here is the Tarim Basin Mummies. Just go up to the second floor and you will find the collections of over 4,000 years old mummies. Each of the mummies has a unique story and is well preserved from the facial to the tattoo. The most famous of the mummies is the Beauty of Loulan.

Then if you have more time to spare, don't miss out on the first floor where you can explore some artefacts from the Stone Age to the Han & Qing Dynasty. Tang Dynasty Art of the Xinjiang Museum, exhibits some exquisite and impressive collections there. 

I can't really walk. I could easily spend half a day in this Museum if I had more strength to walk. So, I just stopped at these 2 floors.

Xinjiang Regional Museum (Name in Chinese : 新疆维吾尔自治区博物馆 )

Address: No. 581, Xibei Road, Saybag District, Urumqi Xinjiang


Tickets: Free (Just remember to bring your passport or you will be turned down)

Operation hours: 10:30am to 18:00 (close on Monday)

Recommended visiting time: 2 to 3 hours

How to go to Xinjiang Regional Museum?

Recommended to go there by Taxi. Just show the Chinese word to the driver. They will take you there.

Urumqi Things To Do

2. Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar

This place is huge. They have indoor and outdoor shopping areas too. Most of the booth sells almost similar items on display. Mostly, Nuts, fruits, dried fruits, tea, herbs, musical instruments, carpets and even knives. As for the food you will see must-try local delicacies such as Lamb kebab, Naan, Meat pie, Pilaf, Milk, Pomegranate juice and many more. I couldn't point out to you which store is the best here because I enjoy the Xinjiang food elsewhere in Urumqi. I will share it with you in my next post. 

I am not a site-shopping person (sort of online shopping Queen) because bargaining is not my cup of tea. I rather buy what I want from the supermarket or grocery store. Choose, pick and pay! I just don't like talking to the seller much or having people or eyes follow me when I shop. A serious case of introvert! hahaha....

You can check out the banquet and performance theatre at night if you enjoy watching performances. 

Although many people said this is the place to eat most of the local delicacies and shopping, but not for me. 

Xinjiang Shopping

Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar (Name in Chinese:  新疆国际大巴扎 )

Address: located near Erdaoqiao at South Jiefang Road

Recommended visiting time: You can spend half a 2 to 3 hours here.

How to go to Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar?

Recommended to take Taxi. Just tell the driver Xijiang Guoji Dabazha or just show the Chinese name) They do have many buses 

Operation hours: 9:00am - 20:00pm

Urumqi Travel

3. Red Hill (Hongshan Park)

I visited Hongshan Park during early summer which is almost the end of May. It's a good place for a quiet stroll fro cool off and enjoy the natural shade from the shady green trees.  Located in the centre of Urumqi. I took the electric car up and then walked around at the top. This park is considered as important in Urumqi because it few attractions such as The Tower of Reflecting the Setting Sun, Distant Viewing Tower, Heroic Steles, Tiger Head Cliffs, Wulong Fountain and many more. You can capture a good panoramic view of Urumqi City.

Hongshan Park

Red Hill (Hongshan Park)

Address: No. 40, North Lane of Hongshan Road, Shuimogou District, Urumqi, Xinjiang


Urumqi Travel

4. People's Park 人民公园

There are so many people dancing, exercising, and playing at this park. The parks are so vibrant and packed with locals doing their leisure activities. Take a nice walk here or sit down while watching the locals happily dancing and playing chess. I have a good time sitting here after a delicious dinner at one of the local stores. Don't hesitate to walk around this neighbourhood too. So many places to discover around here. There is a big department store at the opposite of People's Park. 


Tianshan Xinjiang

5. Heavenly Lake or Tianshan Tianchi Lake

Always take advantage of this breathtaking Alpine Gem of Tianshan. It takes only an hour's drive from Urumqi to Tianchi Lake. Then buy a ticket for the entrance fee and shuttle bus. Take the shuttle bus for 40 to 50 minutes up. After that, you can choose to either walk or take a battery chart to the lake. I chose to walk up and down. It was a great leisurely walk. I took the sightseeing cruise and then rented a cute electric bike to explore the lake. 

Tips: You should start your journey early. If you come during peak season the will be a long line to just purchase the entrance ticket. Not to mention the long line for the shuttle bus too.

You can join a group tour or hire a car to Tianchi Lake. 

Heavenly Lake

Tianchi Lake or Heavenly Lake of Tianshan Mountains

Address : Fukang City, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang


Uygur Mosque

Uygur Mosque

I visited some mosques in Urumqi City but was a bit disappointed because all are not open to the public. As a Muslim, I personally think it's a good move to close it to the public. It's a holy site anyway. Just keep it private.

Urumqi city travel guide and tips

My flight from Kashgar reached Urumqi around 4 O'clock in the afternoon. I took a cab from the Urumqi to the hotel that I booked from It was a decent hotel with good food in just walking distance and the shopping street was just opposite. I have to walk quite a bit. In general, the best and fastest transportation for me is taking a cab and the fee starts from CNY10. As long as I have the place to go in Chinese wordings and WeChat Pay. Everything will be fine!

Please don't forget to carry your passport in the bag when you step out of the hotel. This is from my experience. My first to eighth-day hotel was booked under the travel agent. As for the check-in, my guide was always a day to help me during the check-in. The hotel will take your passport for registration purposes and your passport will be ready for collection 30 minutes later. Usually, I will just tell them, I will come down to collect later. 

I extended my trip and stayed at the Urumqi for four more nights because I wanted to experience a free and easy exploration of Urumqi City. For the remaining four nights, I booked under my personal name. The process is still the same. It was just one the first night the police came knocking on my room door for verification. I just showed my passport and the departure flight details. Only on the first night and they never come again on the rest of the nights. It is just a bit annoying because it was at 10:30pm when I was about to fall asleep.

Security at Urumqi is top-notch. You feel really safe everywhere you go. Don't feel intimidated if you see securities at every nook and croony of the city. I never get stopped by any of them but I feel super duper safe with their present. Local people are generally friendly and helpful. It is just hard to find one that can speak English. It will be a challenge for a non-mandarin speaker, like me. I have no problem ordering food because I use the Papa Go app for menu translation to English. Not bad. As for conversation, I just speak in English with lots of hand gestures. They did the same to me too. hahaha. Both still understand each other with that kind of communication. 

If you are reading news about the Uygur living in poor conditions in Xinjiang, be honest from what I saw during this trip, such news is a big liar and propaganda against China.

As a Muslim myself, I get what the China government trying to do here. Personally, I think the China government is doing a good job for the Muslims here, which is control for their own benefit. Most Uygur whom I met here are very entrepreneurial, hardworking, polite, and friendly and are living peacefully in their own community. As for the religious practice. I would say most of them freely practice their own religion. It just does it quietly, not like in Malaysia or any other Muslim country. I think it's good for them too. Many extremists will use the religion name to create havoc, and trouble just to gain control. This kind of people are evil. From what I know the Uygur in Xinjiang has more privileges in many sectors too. 

Don't ever trust what you read watch or hear 100%. See and experience it yourself then analyse. 

Southern Xinjiang Ultimate Itinerary click here.


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