Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regions , an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China ,in the northwest of the country. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2. It is home to a number of ethnic groups including the Uyghur, Han, Kazakh, Tajiks, Hui, Kyrgyz, and Mongol, with a majority of the population adhering to Islam.
Officially, Xinjiang is on the same time zone as the rest of China, Beijing Time (UTC+8). However, being in roughly two time zones west of the capital, some residents follow their own unofficial Xinjiang Time (UTC+6).The division follows ethnic lines, with Han tending to use Beijing Time and Uyghurs tending to use Xinjiang Time; this is seen as a form of resistance to the central government. Regardless of the ethnicity of their proprietors, most businesses and schools open and close according to Xinjiang time, i.e. two hours later than their equivalents in other regions of China.
As regards travelling in Xinjiang, it has been equipped with advanced transport network consisting of highway, railway and air service, very convenient for visiting local tourist attractions. If you would like to have a tour to historic sites such as Loulan, Niya, high-altitude peaks, desert expedition and pass-through, assistance from special travel service or cultural relics authority will be necessary.
Urumqi airport offers domestic flights to all major cities of China, and international flights to Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Pakistan. In Xinjiang there are available flights from Urumqi to Kashgar (Kashi), Yining, Aksu, Kuqa, Altay, Tacheng, Korla, Qiemo, Hotan, Kanas and Narat.
Xinjiang also has very convenient railway service at present. In the north of Xinjiang railway connects Yining and Beitun; in the south railway extended to Korla, Kashi and Hotan.
Xinjiang is the most distant from ocean place in the World, has continental climate characterized by 4 distinctive seasons and all-year-round high day-night temperature difference, up to 10oC – 15oC.
Xinjiang enjoys long sunlight time, low precipitation and dry air in a year. Winter is the longest season; January is the coldest, with average temperature under -20oC. The lowest temperature in January was recorded as -50oC in Fuyun County in the northern brink of Junggar Basin. July is the hottest month, usually temperature rises to 28oC. Turpan is the hottest region in a desert called “flaming region”, temperature rises to 35-39oC. In most parts of Xinjiang day and night temperature differs quite a lot. Inhabitants say: “Wearing fur-lined jackets in the morning, gauze at noon, eating watermelon around stove”. For winter tourism in Xinjiang, measures should be taken to keep warm. In summer, tourists in Xinjiang should drink water more and pay attention to hot dry weather. Even having a tour to an alpine or lake area in summer, warm clothes are an absolute must, as such areas may have a temperature of only 0oC-15oC at that time.
Some areas of Xinjiang have high altitude and strong ultraviolet. So relevant travelers should prepare sufficient sun protection, take ultraviolet umbrella, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
Xinjiang boasts more deserts, mountains and grasslands; they mean high requirements of shoes. In May – October tourists can wear sports sandals in daylight. On bad roads or paths climbing boot or thick bottom shoes should be worn.
If you have any disease, you’d better to take medicines with you. Sightseeing in Xinjiang usually means long distance travel, so common medicines such as a practical cold remedy, stomach medicine, carsick medicine and antiallergic agent should be taken. Also you should take repellent floral water or insect repellent with you to prevent mosquitoes from biting.
Take some chocolate sweets with you for more heat or as a present for children of local farmers.
For special tourism such as climbing mountains, excursion and self-driving tours, corresponding special equipment should be taken.
Xinjiang is very scenic place, which is nice for taking photos. There are some places where it is prohibited to take photos, or allowed only after paying a fee in such places like mosques and Buddhist temples. Hidden picture-taking may cause very serious consequence. If you want some photos, please, follow local rules correspondingly. If you want to take picture with an inhabitant you should ask for his permission first.
Following these tips will make your travel in Xinjiang more comfortable. We wish you a good trip!
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