China Vacations Info – Urumqi Travel Info

Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is located in an alluvial fan-shaped basin on the northern slope of the Tianshan Mountains. The city opens on to the Junggar Basin in the north. In the Mongolian language, Urumqi means “Beautiful Meadow.”

To get here, you can take the plane and this trip is about 5 hours (from Shanghai to Urumqi). The airfare is not cheap: 2850 rmb for one way if you are not able to get some discount. (info for your China travel and vacations)

If this is your first time to Urumqi, you will find that it is very different as what you thought. Actually, Urumqi is very similar as other big cities of China (like Beijing, Shanghai, etc). You can find nice pubs, bars, shopping malls, supermarkets and all kinds of modern things here.

One thing you will need to pay attention in Urumqi is the time difference. Urumqi is in the very west of China but there is only one time zone in China – Beijing time zone. This makes the office hours here a little bit weird: people start to work at 10:30, have lunch on 14:00, sleep on 2:00. Pretty interesting, 🙂 We all know that there are several time zones in the U.S. , the American people don’t have this kind of bother but there will be some other confusions too in U.S. because of using different time zones.(helpful info for your China vacations and tours)

In Urumqi, you can find lots of delicious food. The most famous ones here are: Xinjiang BBQ, Dapanji Chicken, Shouzhuafan Rice. I like the Xinjiang BBQ very much. (cost 2-3 rmb for one tring) The Shouzhuafan Rice is also called the “hand-fed dinner”. You can try this unique dinner if you like.

Dapanji Chicken has another name – “Big-plate chicken” ‘ a big plate is about 15″ in diameter and is enough for 8 people! Chicken, potatoes, medium chillies, garlic and usually onions in a really fragrant sauce with star anise and Sichuan Pepper. (useful info for your China vacations and trips)

Here in Urumqi, the flavours are slightly different and the dish has more onion, but still with the principal spicing of chilli, Sichuan pepper, and, most importantly, Star anise. Less chilli oil as a base, so the sauce is less red in colour. At Urumqi, they will serve the dapanji on a bed of “nang” bread like this, if you wish. The bread soaks up the sauce and is exceedingly “more-ish”.


Ongshan Mountain is the highest spot in the center of the city. Hongshan’s main peak is 464 meters above sea level. With towering crags, the mountain was named after the cliffs, which gleam red in the sun’s rays every morning and evening. The upper part of the mountain looks like the head of a tiger, so it is also called “Tiger Head Mountain.” It faces Yamalike Mountain, less than 1,000 meters away. At the foot of the mountain is the Urumqi River, flowing from north to south. On the top of Hongshan Mountain is a statue of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) national hero Lin Zexu. Standing at the “Yuantiao (looking far into the distance) Tower” on the mountain, one can view the whole city.

No.1 Glacier:

No.1 Glacier is the source of the Urumqi River, located 120 kilometers form Urumqi on Mount Tiangar. It is 3,800 meters to 4,000 meters above sea level, 2.4 kilometers long, averages 500 meters wide and covers an area of 19,500 square kilometers. Surrounding it are 76 large and small younger glaciers.