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Xinjiang Travel Guide

Xinjiang Overview

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the border area of northwest China covers about 1.66 million square km, accounting for one sixth of the Chinese territory. The GDP of Xinjiang exceeded 400 billion yuan ($58.9 billion) in 2008.

The major religions in Xinjiang are Islam, Buddhism (including Tibetan Buddhism), Protestantism, Catholicism and Taoism. Shamanism still has considerable influence among some ethnic groups.

Since the Han Dynasty established the Western Regions Frontier Command in Xinjiang in 60 B.C., the Chinese central governments of all historical periods exercised military and administrative jurisdiction over the region.

Xinjiang Facts

Basic Information

Chinese Name: 新疆

Location: Xinjiang is situated in the northeastern border area of China.

Provincial capital: Urumqi

Area: Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region covers about 1.66 million square km

Population: Xinjiang region has a population of about 21 million, among whom 60 percent are ethnic minorities. There are 47 ethnic groups in Xinjiang, mainly the Uygur, Han, Kazak, Hui, Mongolian, Kirgiz, Xinjiang Location MapXibe, Tajik, Ozbek, Manchu, Daur, Tatar and Russian.

Administrative Division: Xinjiang region has five autonomous prefectures for four ethnic groups - Kazak, Hui, Kirgiz and Mongolian; six autonomous counties and 43 ethnic townships.

Famous Cities: Urumqi, Turpan, Kashgar


Xinjiang is situated in the northeastern border area of China. It borders Mongolia, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, among others. In China, it adjoins Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu and other provinces. Its geographical position is at 73° 41' - 96° 18' east longitude and 34° 25' - 49° north latitude.


Xinjiang is a multi-ethnic populated area where there are a total of 47 ethnic compositions, including minorities of Han, Uygur, Kazak, Hui, Kirgiz, Mongolian, Tajik and Xibe, Manchu, Uzbek, Russians, Daur, Tatar and other native minorities of 13. Now there are the rest of the Dongxiang, Zhuang, Salar, Tibetan, Yi, Buyi, Korean and other 55 ethnic groups.

Xinjiang is an area with different religion. Main religion is Islam, Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism), Buddhism, Christianity, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox and the Shamanism, which Islam is the religious that Uygur, Kazak, Hui, Kirgiz, Tajik, Uzbek, Tatar, Sarah, Dongxiang, Bao’an and so on more than 10 minorities believe in. Islam in Xinjiang has important effects on the social life. Mainly religious organizations in Xinjiang are Islamic association, Islamic theology Academy and the Buddhism association, etc.

Corban Festival is the grand festival of Hui, Uygur, Kazak, Uzbek, Tajik, Tatar, Kirgiz, Salar, Dongxiang, Baoan and other minority. "Corban" in Arabic called Eid al-Adha. Eid is the meaning of the festival. Corban contains the meaning of "sacrifice" and "dedication", so general called the festival "Eid-ul-Adha" or "Eid al-Adha”. Corban festival is one of the grandest festivals, China's Xinjiang Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz minorities would transliterate it into "Kurban festival". Corban Festival opened in the Islamic calendar December 10; people celebrated this festival by holding ceremony, slaughtering goat and cow, and dine together. During the holiday, Kazak, Kirgiz, Tajik.

Xinjiang Transportation

Xinjiang is located in the northwest frontiers with vast territory; the traffic problem has long been one of the bottlenecks of its economic development. Through more than 50 years of construction Xinjiang has initially formed on the basis of highway, railway as the backbone, including civil aviation, the oil and gas pipeline and so on four modes of transportation, connected areas around Xinjiang (state, city and county) and outreached the eastern region and neighboring countries integrated transport network. in the west. By the end of 2005, the Xinjiang highway traffic total mileage reached 89500 kilometers, the highway 541 kilometers, and the first class road 883 kilometers.


Xinjiang Aviation Company was established in 1985, and in 2002 Xinjiang airlines incorporated into China southern airlines. Xinjiang has 22 airports (including new construction, and relocation), the Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, Kashgar International Airport, Hotan airport, Yarkand Airport (new), Tazhong Airport (new), and so on, it is the province that has the largest number of airports in the domestic. The Urumqi Diwopu International Airport has become China's fourth largest international airport.

Urumqi, Xinjiang has opened to air traffic with 51 cities in mainland and six countries and regions. Urumqi has opened up flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Haikou, Harbin, Dalian, Qingdao, Jinan, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Wuhan, Xi'an, Zhengzhou, Chengdu, Kunming, Zhangjiajie and Dunhuang of 55 domestic routes, etc. And it has opened up flights from Urumqi to Almaty, Novosibirsk, Moscow, Islamabad, Bishkek, Yekaterinburg six international routes. The air line are 140000 miles.


On November 16, 2014, Lanxin high speed rail (from south Urumqi to Hami) was opened; marked Xinjiang officially went into the era of high-speed rail. After the high speed rail being operation its speed was 200 km that the running time from Urumqi to hami was cut down from 5 hours to 3 hours.

Xinjiang Climate & Weather

Xinjiang is far away from the ocean with the mountains all around that forms the temperate continental climate.

Generally speaking, the south is warmer than the north in winter and hotter than the north in summer. Most of the areas feature a big temperature difference of days and nights in spring and summer and the alternation of fall and winter. In the coldest month January, the average temperature in the Dzungarian Basin is 20ºC below freezing point.

The Fuyun County on the northern edge of the Basin made a national record and had the lowest temperature once amounted to 50.15ºC below freezing point, claimed one of the coldest areas in the nation. The hottest month July, Turpan known as "the Fire Continent", the average temperature is above 33 ºC. The highest temperature once reached to 49.6ºC that comes first of the nation.

Tips for Xinjiang Weather

Best season to visit Xinjiang:
The best time to travel in Xinjiang is in autumn, especially the August, September and October. In spring, due to the invasion of the cold air, there often appear high winds. Summer (June to August) is considered peak season and hottest season. The autumn months between September and November have the best weather and fewer tourists. In winter, Xinjiang has a high quality of snow and a long snowy period.

Clothes for travelling:
Spring in Xinjiang is dry and strong wind weather with strong ultraviolet ray, you'd better put on thin sweater or coat. Summer is too hot in Xinjiang, just take your T-shirt with you. Xinjiang is too cold in winter, so tourists need to wear sweatet or thick coat.

Avoid Peak Holidays:
It is not a good idea to travel in China during Chinese holidays when huge numbers of Chinese people are travelling around. The busiest three national holidays in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07).. Spring Festival is an especially crowded time to travel. The advantage of being in China at this time is that you will get the opportunity to experience "first hand" the significance of these celebrations in Chinese culture.

Other Tips:
Because of the less rainfall and the dry air, travelers must pay special attention to moisture supplement while traveling in Xinjiang.

Temperature difference is great in most regions of Xinjiang, please bring enough clothes with you.

Best Places for Xinjiang Travel

Taklimakan Desert
Taklimakan Desert is a desert in Central Asia, located in the central of Tarim Basin, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Prefecture, China. Covering a total area of 270,000 square kilometers, this desert is the 17th largest desert in the world. In Uyghur language, "Taklimakan" means "a place to leave behind". Some accounts even claim that "Taklimakan" means "go in and you will never go out".

As the name suggests, Taklimakan Desert is harsh and hazardous to cross because there is very little water in the desert. Taklimakan Desert is home to several oasis towns along the famous Silk Road. Many archeological treasures were found here buried under the sand. Mummies, some 4,000 years old, have also been found in the region.

Urumqi is an isolated out-post of the ancient Silk Road. The city once was an important transportation hub on the Silk Road, and now serves as the capital city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. In here, you can visit to Tianchi Lake, Southern Pasture and Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar.

Turpan, an oasis city, is located at the southern foot of Bogda Peak and in the center of Turpan Depression. Because of the drastic 5,000-meter difference in height between the mountain tops and the bottom of the depression, the scenery too, varies greatly at different altitudes from perpetual snow at the summits to green oasis at the foot of the mountains. In here, you can visit to Jiaohe Ancient City, Grape Valley, and Flaming Mountain to experience different aspect of Xinjiang.

Kashgar has been an important trading center since the days of the Silk Road, and still is today. The road from Eastern and Central China branches out to both the north and south of the Taklamakan Desert, and Kashgar is where the two branches meet again in the western part of the desert. In here, you can visit to Apak Hoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque, and Karakul Lake to enjoy the local culture and custom.

Xinjiang Tours & Tings to Do