Xinjiang Travel Guide

Xinjiang Travel Guide

Xinjiang Map
Click to enlarge the above map

Xinjiang Facts:

Chinese Name: 新疆 (xīn jiāng)
Abbreviation: 新 (Xin)
Administration Type: Autonomous Region
Capital: Urumqi
Location: 34°25' to 48°10' N, 73°40' to 96°18' E
Climate: temperate continental arid/ semiarid climate
Average Annual Rainfall: 165.6 millimeter
Area: 1,664,900 km² (about 642,821 mi²)
Population (2019): 25,232,200
Major Ethnic Group: Uygur

 Area Code & Zip Code
 Xinjiang Pictures

Cities in Xinjiang

Recommended Xinjiang Itineraries

  • Gobi Desert Adventure: 7 Days Private Tour of Urumqi - Turpan - Kumtag Desert - Urumqi - Kashgar
  • Classical Silk Road: 14 days of Beijing - Urumqi - Kashgar - Urumqi - Turpan - Dunhuang - Xi'an – Shanghai

Famous Attractions

 Top 10 Things to Do in Xinjiang 

Xinjiang Introduction

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is located in the central part of the Eurasian Continent, on the northwest border of China. It covers about one-sixth of the country's total territory, 1,664,900 square kilometers (about 642,821 square miles), making it the largest administrative division with also the longest land frontier and most neighboring countries in the country. However, only about 4.3% of its territory is habitable. The rest is mostly desert such as Gobi, snow-capped mountains and glaciers. China's largest desert, Takla Makan Desert, is in this region. But in these unpopulated areas are scattered some special landscapes and unique natural scenery like Flaming Mountains and Yadan Spectacle.

The region has a unique landscape which is called 'three mountains surrounding two basins'. These features are, from north to south, Altai Mountains, Dzungarian Basin, Tianshan Mountains, Tarim Basin and Kunlun Mountains. The Tianshan Mountains, in the middle, divides this Autonomous Region into two totally different parts - the north part and the south part. If the north part means mountains and grasslands like the Kanas Nature Reserve and Narat Grassland, the south part means desert and Gobi such as the Takla Makan Desert; if north part means a pasture-based culture, the south part means an agricultural society; if north part means fine horses and the sounds of singing, the south part means dances such as Mukamu (the most popular local dance). The capital city, Urumqi, is located in the north part. The city has many gorgeous landscape features such as Red Hill and Southern Pasture, as well as featured cultural relics like Tartar Mosque and Qinghai Mosque. Urumqi is also an important city along the world-famous Silk Road, an historically important international trade route between China and the Mediterranean, which extended as far as present-day Rome. Some other important cities in the Autonomous Region along the Silk Road include Kashgar and Turpan, which boast places of interest like the Id Kah Mosque, Karakuri Lake and Karez System.

Situated far from the sea and encircled by high mountains, Xinjiang has a typical continental climate with a low annual rainfall, long sunshine duration and a large diurnal temperature variation. These weather conditions are favorable for sugar accumulation in fruit, so the area is richly cultivated with fruit including melons. It is famous as a 'hometown of fruit and melons'. The most well-known fruit are grapes and honeydew melon. In general, winters are very cold, springs are often windy, and summers are extremely hot here. The best time to visit is early autumn, when the days are long, the sky is clear, and the temperature is more bearable. Another excellent reason to visit at that time is the abundance of delicious melons and fruits, which are available then.

 People & Life
Xinjiang is hometown to 47 ethnic minorities, which together account for 60% of its total population. Of the 47 ethnic minorities, 13 are native, including the Uygur, the major ethnic group living here. The Uygur have their own language and religious belief, Islam. Their traditional clothes are long gowns called 'Qiapan'. As well, they wear small, beautifully embroidered hats called 'Duopa'. The main foods of the Uygur are Nang (a kind of crusty pancake) and hand-drawn noodles. Hand pilaf and roast meat are usually offered during festivals or to guests. Their roast mutton chop is famous all over the country and can be found in almost every city in the country. The Uygur residence is flat-topped with a skylight. Inside the residence, there are usually a fireplace and recess, the one used for cooking and keeping warm, while the other used for storing daily articles. Both the inside and outside of the residence are decorated with colorful ornamentation. The most famous traditional festivals of the Uygur are Rozah and Corban Festival. Rozah is the fast-breaking festival of the Islam, while the Corban Festival is the New Year's Day of the Islamic calendar. Last, but not least, the Uygur are very good at dancing and singing. Sainaimu is one of the most popular dances and their '12 Mukamu' is renowned as the 'treasure of eastern music'.

- Last updated on Jun. 07, 2023 by Brenda Lian -
Questions & Answers on Xinjiang Travel
Asked by Mark from CHINA | Jul. 26, 2023 11:01Reply
what's the distance between Urumqi T2 and T3?
I can't seem to get a pod at T3. only available pod is at T2. I have an over-night stay on my departure and later arrival into China. Im travelling from hangzhou to urumqi then urumqi to abroad with china southern and same route return. visa etc isn't an issue. thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Emma | Jul. 27, 2023 00:19

The distance is about 400-500 meters and it takes about 10 minutes to walk.
Asked by Essakhan from PAKISTAN | Jul. 05, 2023 23:36Reply
Can I get to know what are the transportation charges of Goods from kashger to guangzhou?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mia | Jul. 07, 2023 00:52

It largely depends on the types and weight of goods. For normal express service, it generally takes about CNY 12-20 per kg.
Asked by Chi-yuen Wang from USA | Jul. 23, 2022 18:13Reply
Has precipitation in Xinjiang increased in recent years?
Many people said that precipitation in Xinjiang has increased in recent years. Would you please provide me with some statistics on this issue? Thank you.
Answers (2)
Answered by Dave | Jul. 26, 2022 02:50

It likes so.
Answered by Dave | Jul. 26, 2022 02:50

It likes so.
Asked by Carlos | Jun. 15, 2021 05:57Reply
Xinjiang covid test, travel permit
Hello. I'm a foreigner working in China. Also, vaccinated. I'm planning to visit Xinjiang this July. Do I have to show a negative Covid test to travel to Xinjiang? Do I need a travel permit? If so, where should I get it? At the city near the site or in Urumqi? My first stop is Urumqi.
Answers (1)
Answered by Alice | Jun. 20, 2021 20:49

As I know, you need to show a negative Covid test to travel to Xinjiang. But for the travel permit, I am not sure.
Asked by Eong from MALAYSIA | Mar. 04, 2020 18:51Reply
Please advise any bus from Dunhuang Railway Station to Mogao Caves? price & duration please
Answers (1)
Answered by Boonie from CANADA | Mar. 06, 2020 19:08

Well, there is no direct public bus that operates between these two places. For your convenience, you are suggested to take a taxi or hire a private car to the scenic area directly. It cost around CNY 50 to 60 with the duration of 25 mins.
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