Urumqi has the status of a major economic and political center of the XUAR and is famous among tourists for the many attractions located on its territory. In the city you can see not only historical monuments, but also natural objects included in the list of specially protected in China.
Holiday season in Urumqi
Fans of a comfortable stay, it is better to plan a trip for the period from May to September. It is at this time that stable warm weather is observed in the city. May will meet you with an air temperature of + 18-20 degrees, and in June-August the air warms up to + 27-32 degrees. In September, the thermometer is kept at around +20 degrees, which allows you to move freely around the city and take long walks. The climatic phase May-September has several advantages:
- The minimum amount of precipitation;
- Lack of intense heat;
- The ability to combine different types of tourism (educational, ecological, urban).
It starts to get cold in Urumqi in October: strong wind, temperature drop to +6 degrees, inclement weather. During the winter months, the air cools down to -15-17 degrees, and this can interfere with a full vacation. The average air temperature in January is -17 degrees.
In March, the first warming up to + 8-10 degrees is noticeable, after which the air gradually heats up and becomes hotter every day.
TOP 10 interesting places in Urumqi
Red Mountain (Hongshan)
The natural site is considered the hallmark of the city and is located in its center. The name of the mountain consists of hieroglyphs for red. Therefore, the locals used to call it “red”. Hongshan received its original color scheme due to the structure of unusual sandstone.
At the top of the mountain there is a picturesque garden in which a pagoda was erected. A red sandstone brick was used as a material for the construction. This idea of the architects harmoniously blended into the surrounding landscape. A recreation area has been created in the vicinity of the pagoda, where locals and guests of the city love to spend time.
In addition to the pagoda, there is a complex of temples on Hongshan Mountain, which is under strict state protection. The buildings were erected in different periods of Urumqi's history, but most of them were almost completely destroyed during the era of the Cultural Revolution. Only in the 20th century, the buildings were reconstructed, giving them a new look.
The only architectural structure preserved in its original form since then is a three-tiered pavilion made of wood. Its façade is decorated with red drawings depicting scenes from Chinese mythology.
The complex is notable for the fact that in 1923 the artist and philosopher N. K. Roerich with his family. Roerich was so impressed by the beauty of temples and nature that after the trip he wrote a cycle of paintings and dedicated it to what he saw.
Visitors call Urumqi "the city of bazaars", among which the oldest market, which has existed for more than 140 years, stands out. The bazaar is located on South Jiefang Street and includes two pavilions built in 1982 and 2001.
The first pavilion is made in the traditional Chinese style, and the second is in the Muslim one. Representatives of not only the Chinese nation, but also the Uyghur, who are actively involved in trade, live in the capital of the XUAR. Therefore, the bazaar is divided into two blocks, where you can find goods for every taste. Textile products, handicrafts, items were, clothes, accessories, shoes, souvenirs, antiques - all this forms the basis of a wide range.
In the evening Erdatsyao turns into a noisy area with illuminated lights. Those wishing to watch colorful performances with the participation of the best bands of the city flock to the bazaar.
State Museum of XUAR
Xiabei Lu Street is famous for being the most important cultural institution of Urumqi. The museum was founded on the initiative of the city authorities in 1953, and it opened its doors to visitors in 1963.
The unique collection covers an area of 79,000 square meters, which testifies to the scale of the project. In total, there are three exhibition halls with different themes. In the first hall there is an exposition dedicated to the life, customs, rituals and culture of the peoples who have ever lived in the XUAR.
The second room is filled with artifacts found during archaeological excavations at the site where the Great Silk Road previously ran. At the same time, the age of some objects dates back to 5000 years. The third room is considered the most visited, as its collection includes 3800-year-old mummies.
If you drive 70 kilometers from Urumqi, you will find yourself in an amazing nature reserve where there is a salt lake. The Chinese nicknamed this place the "Dead Sea" and annually rest here in order to improve their health.
Tourists are invited to visit the park, the theme of which is the salt industry. Also, be sure to go through a course of procedures aimed at general recovery of the body. These include a visit to a salt cave, baths with healing water, and a relaxing stone massage.
After the tour, you can dine in a cafe and buy souvenirs made from salt crystals.
Temple of Confucius
To find this ancient structure, it is enough to move north from the People's Square. At the end of the street, you will see a low-rise building in traditional Chinese style. The temple was built in 1767 during the reign of the Qin dynasty.
The main room has three red arched aisles and a roof with pointed rounded bases, symbolizing the aspiration to infinity in Buddhism. The entrance to the temple is guarded by stone lions - the eternal guardians of Chinese shrines. Red lanterns are suspended from the roof, which, according to legend, scared away evil spirits.
Today, 3 exhibitions have been opened on the basis of the temple: historical, cultural and museum. All exhibitions are associated with the name of the outstanding Chinese thinker and teacher Confucius.
This park is located 70 kilometers from Urumqi and is definitely worth your attention. First, you will be amazed by beautiful meadows with dense green vegetation, mountain springs, waterfalls, gorges and mesmerizing glaciers. If you wish, local guides will take you to the area of the Western Bayan Gorge - the pearl of this protected area.
Secondly, you will have a great chance to enjoy the view of the glacier, which is about two kilometers long. Such natural formations are considered unique, as they have been preserved in their original state. Near the glacier, a mountain river with a waterfall of 20 meters flows, forming a magnificent landscape.
Thirdly, you will enter an open-air museum and get acquainted with the national culture of the nomadic peoples of the XUAR. The excursion program includes visits to mass events, holidays, as well as tasting Kazakh-Uyghur cuisine prepared according to an old recipe.
Ancient city of Wulabo
At a distance of 10 kilometers from Urumqi, on the coast of the Urabo reservoir, there is an important historical value of the region. An urban settlement measuring only 500 by 470 meters, a circumference of 2 kilometers was discovered by archaeologists in the middle of the 20th century. The site was built during the reign of the Tang dynasty, and the peak of development of Urabo falls on the period when the Yuan dynasty seized power in China.
A well-preserved part of the wall, which performs a defensive function, remained from the city. The massive bricks are carved with hieroglyphs, images of lotuses, birds, animals and battle scenes. Not far from the remains of Urabo, a miniature museum was built, where the found exhibits are periodically brought. The exposition mainly consists of earthenware with inlaid stones, jade jewelry and tableware.
Representatives of different religions, including Muslim, live in Urumqi. For this reason, the city has both Buddhist temples and Muslim mosques. One of them, built in the years 1736-1794 (Qin dynasty), is still an aesthetic example.
The mosque is called so because in 1906 a wealthy man from Shaanxi province invested in the restoration of the shrine. After this event, the building was given a new name.
As for the architectural embodiment of the mosque, it corresponds to the canons of combining Chinese palace architecture with traditional Islamic architecture. This is evidenced by pavilions with wooden columns, spacious galleries along the prayer hall, roofs with green tiles, walls decorated with carvings.
Outdoor enthusiasts should visit this park, which is the largest open-air entertainment facility in North China. The location near the lake is an important advantage of the park, thanks to which there is an area with water attractions. In addition, in summer, visitors can take a boat ride and try their hand at water sports.
All attractions are located in such a way that it is convenient for tourists to move around. It should be noted that the age restrictions are strictly observed by the park management. For this reason, a separate area has been created for children to ensure maximum safety. Adults can ride in the part where roller coasters of different heights are installed, a Ferris wheel, and also go-kart platforms.
In a separate area of the park, ideal conditions have been created for a quiet pastime. For this, soft green lawns were planted, spacious gazebos were built and original sculptural compositions were installed.