In January 2020 I visited Urumqi the capital of the Xinjiang province. It is the Uygur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of the People's Republic of China and on the border with Russia and Kazakhstan. With 640.000 square meters Xinjiang is the largest province of China. It is the area where Uyghur people live. The Uyghurs are one of China's 55 officially recognized ethnic minorities. They are recognized by the Chinese government as a regional minority within a multicultural nation. In the street you can easily recognize the Uyghur people as they have different looks with other groups in China.
Urumqi itself is a big city with more than 3.5 million people and lot of industries. It is a very dry area. The nearest sea is at 2500 kilometers from the city. Urumqi is one of the driest places in the world.
I visited in wintertime and then it is very cold with a lot of snow spread all over the area. In wintertime, you must bring warm clothes. In summer it can be very hot.
I spend several days in Urumqi. One of the most interesting places I visited was the International Bazar. You can find a number of local specialities. Delicious traditional Xinjiang gourmet food, minority costumes and seeing the performance of national dancers. It is a very vibrant atmosphere.
I also visited the Tianshan grand canyon. This about 50 kilometres east of Urumqi. It is an extraordinary place with high mountain, huge forests. For a city girl like me a wonderful place to be. Although it was very cold we made long walks and enjoy the beautiful views. As I said before everything was covered with snow and the water of the stream that will turn into a river was now turned into ice.
Another impressive place I was the Xinjiang historic relics exhibition. Here I saw several desiccated corpses in that are thousands of years old. Because the climate in Xinjiang is very dry all the time corpse will be preserved forever. I had never seen before and was very impressed.
Xinjiang is fare away from Shanghai. But it is an ancient and mysterious city. Very interesting to visit and waiting for lots of people to explore and discover.