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—  Prefecture-level city  —
Chinese transcription(s)
 - Simplified Chinese 乌鲁木齐
 - Traditional Chinese 烏魯木齊
 - Pinyin Wūlǔmùqí
Uyghur transcription(s)
 - Uyghur Ereb Yéziqi ئۈرۈمچی
 - Uyghur Latin Yéziqi Ürümchi
 - Yengi Yeziķ Ürümqi
 - pronunciation in IPA [yrymˈtʃi]
From top: A panoramic view of Ürümqi's CBD, Red Mountain (Hong Shan), Ürümqi Night Market, and a view of Tian Shan from Ürümqi
Ürümqi (red) in Xinjiang province (orange) and China
Coordinates: 43°48′N 87°35′E / 43.8°N 87.583°E / 43.8; 87.583
Country China
Province Xinjiang
County-level divisions 8
 - CPC Committee Secretary Zhu Hailun[1]
 - Mayor Jerla Isamudin (吉尔拉·衣沙木丁)/جەرۇللاھ ھېسامىدىن
 - Total 10,989 km2 (4,242.9 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 - Total 2,681,834
 Density 244/km2 (632.1/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard Time (UTC+8)
Postal code 830000
Area code(s) 991
License plate prefixes 新A
GDP (2008) CNY 102 billion
 - per capita CNY 43,211
ISO 3166-2 CN-65-01
Website (Chinese)

Ürümqi or Ürümchi (English pronunciation: /uːˈruːmtʃi/; Uyghur: ئۈرۈمچی‎, Ürümchi?; simplified Chinese: 乌鲁木齐traditional Chinese: 烏魯木齊pinyin: Wūlǔmùqí), formerly Dihua (simplified Chinese: 迪化), is the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, in the northwest of the country.

With an urban population of over 2.5 million people, Ürümqi, whose name means "beautiful pasture" in the Mongolian language of the Dzungar people,[2] is by far the largest city on China's vast Western interior. Since the 1990s Ürümqi has become gradually developed economically and now serves as a regional transport node and commercial centre.



Although Ürümqi is situated near the northern route of the Silk Road, it is a relatively young city. During the 22nd year of Emperor Taizong's reign in the Tang Dynasty, AD 648, the Tang government set up the town of Luntai in the ancient town seat of Urabo,[3] 10 kilometers from the southern suburb of present-day Ürümqi. Ancient Luntai Town was a seat of local government, and collected taxes from the caravans along the northern route of the Silk Road.

Little is heard of the region following the Tang Dynasty until the conquest of Dzungaria in 1755 under the Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. The Dzungars were deliberately exterminated in a brutal campaign of ethnic genocide. One writer, Wei Yuan, described the resulting desolation in what is now northern Xinjiang as: "an empty plain for a thousand li, with no trace of man." After 1759 state farms were established, "especially in the vicinity of Urumchi, where there was fertile, well-watered land and few people."[4] It has been estimated that more than a million people were slaughtered, and it took generations for it to recover.[5]

During the Qing Dynasty (1763) the Qianlong Emperor named the expanded town of Luntai "Dihua" (Chinese:迪化; pinyin: Díhuà; Manchu: Wen de dahabure fu), meaning "to enlighten." In 1884, the Guangxu Emperor established Xinjiang as a Province, with Dihua as its capital.[6]

Following the founding of the People's Republic of China, on February 1, 1954, the city was renamed Ürümqi, meaning "beautiful pasture" in the Mongolian language of the Dzungar people.

The city was the site of major rioting in July 2009 due to conflicts between Han and Uyghur ethnic groups in which nearly 200 people were left dead; most of the victims were Han-Chinese. Reports of extensive police retaliation against the Uyghur minority have circulated ever since, despite the Chinese government having shut down access to emails and overseas phone calls.[citation needed]


According to the 2000 census, Ürümqi has 2,081,834 inhabitants, with a population density of 174.53 inhabitants/km².[7]

Ethnicity Population Percentage
Han 1.567.562 75.3%
Uyghur 266.342 12.79%
Hui 167.148 8.03%
Kazakhs 48.772 2.34%
Manchu 7.682 0.37%
Mongol 7.252 0.35%
Xibe 3.674 0.18%
Russian 2.603 0.13%
Tujia 1.613 0.08%
Kyrgyz 1.436 0.07%
Uzbek 1.406 0.07%
Zhuang 878 0.04%
Tatar 767 0.04%
Tibetan 665 0.03%
Dongxiang 621 0.03%
Miao 620 0.03%
Korean 588 0.03%
Other 2.205 0.09%

Administrative divisions

Ürümqi currently comprises 8 administrative sub-divisions, county-level units, of these, 7 are districts and 1 is a county.

Urumqi mcp.png
# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Uyghur
(kona yezik̡)
Uyghur Latin
(yengi yezik̡)
Population (2003 est.) Area (km²) Density (/km²)
1 Tianshan District 天山区 Tiānshān Qū تىيانشان رايونى Tiyanshan Rayoni 490,000 171 2,865
2 Saybagh District 沙依巴克区 Shāyībākè Qū سايباغ رايونى Saybagh Rayoni 450,000 422 1,066
3 Xinshi District 新市区 Xīnshì Qū 390,000 143 2,727
4 Shuimogou District 水磨沟区 Shuǐmògōu Qū شۇيموگۇ رايونى Shuymogu Rayoni 180,000 92 1,957
5 Toutunhe District 头屯河区 Tóutúnhé Qū تۇدۇڭخابا رايونى Tudungxaba Rayoni 120,000 276 435
6 Dabancheng District 达坂城区 Dábǎnchéng Qū د اۋانچىڭ رايونى 40,000 5,188 8
7 Midong District 米东区 Mǐdōng Qū 290,000 3,594 56
8 Ürümqi County 乌鲁木齐县 Wūlǔmùqí Xiàn ئۈرۈمچى ناھىيىسى Ürümchi Nahiyisi 80,000 4,332 18

Geography and climate

The largest city in the western half of the People's Republic of China, Ürümqi has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most remote city from any sea in the world. It is about 1,400 miles (2,500 km) from the nearest coastline (Ürümqi being the city closest to the Eurasian[citation needed] Pole of inaccessibility). The city has an area of 10,989 km². The average elevation is 800 meters.

In Ürümqi a cold steppe climate prevails. Ürümqi features hot summers in July with average temperatures of 24°C (75°F) as well as very cold winters with average temperatures in January of -16 °C (3 °F). The annual average temperature is 5.4 °C (41.7 °F). Ürümqi is semiarid, with its summers slightly wetter than its winters. Its annual precipitation is about 240 mm.

Ürümqi with the Tian Shan mountain range in the distance
Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: World Weather Information Service


Outer ring road bridges in Urumqi at night

Ürümqi is a major industrial center within Xinjiang. Ürümqi, together with Karamay and Bayingolin, account for 64.5% of the total industrial output of Xinjiang. Ürümqi is also the largest consumer center in the region, recording ¥41.9 billion retail sales of consumer goods in 2008, an increase of 26% from 2007. The GDP per capita reached US$6,222 in 2008.[8] According to statistics, Urumqi ranked 7th in 2008 by the disposable income for urban residents among cities in Western China.[9] Ürümqi has been a central developmental target for the China Western Development project that the Central Government is pursuing.

Partial panorama of Urumqi at dusk, April 2008

The Urumqi Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Fair (Chinese: 乌洽会) has been held annually since 1991. Its purpose is to promote domestic and foreign markets. The 17th Fair has attracted participants from the Ministry of Commerce and the China Council for Promotion of International Trade.[10]

As the economic center, Urumqi has expanded its urban area since the 1990s. The CBDs in the city increased rapidly all around the major districts. Zhong Tian Plaza, located in one of the CBDs in North Xinhua Road, is the tallest building in Urumqi and Xinjiang; with a height of 229 metres, it is also the tallest in Northwestern China and Central Asia. Lacking a subway, the city built an outer ring road (外环路) in 2003, which considerably facilitates transport. Zhongshan Road (Sun Yat-sen Road, Chinese: 中山路) in Urumqi has been one of the ten most famous commercial streets in the People's Republic of China since 2005 (through official appraisals). The others are Wangfujing, etc. The commercial street of Zhongshan Road has the largest computer, mobile phone and consumer electronics market, i.e Baihuacun, Ccyber Digital Plaza and Fountain Plaza, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; it is believed to be the focal point of technological products in Urumqi.


  • The International Grand Bazaar Xinjiang (Chinese: 新疆国际大巴扎, Uyghur: شىنجاڭ خەلقئارا چوڭ بازىرى) is an Islamic bazaar located on South Jiefang Road (解放南路). It is one of the most attractive tour sites in Xinjiang and Urumqi.
  • Hong Shan Mountain (红山) is the symbolic scenic spot of Urumqi, located in the Hong Shan Park.
  • Glacier No. 1 (一号冰川), origin of Urumqi River, is the largest glacier located near a city in China.
  • People's Square (人民广场)
  • Nanhu Square (南湖广场)
  • Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum (新疆维吾尔自治区博物馆)
  • Shuimugou Hot Springs (水磨沟温泉) is located 5 km northeast of Urumqi.
  • Xinjiang Silk Road Museum (新疆丝绸之路博物馆) [1] is located right next to the Grand Bazaar at No.160 Shengli Road. Bus No.110 stops very close to it. It is located on the fourth and fifth floor of a very large European style building which houses a shopping complex as well. The admission charge is 30 Yuan per person. Most of the exhibits have English names as well and some of their guides speak some English.
  • Ürümqi City Museum (乌鲁木齐博物馆) is located at South Nanhu Road 123 (南湖南路 123).


Urumqi has many educational campuses including Xinjiang University, Xinjiang Normal University, Xinjiang Agricultural University , Xinjiang Medical University and many others.


High schools

  • Urumqi No.1 High School (乌鲁木齐市第一中学)
  • Urumqi No.8 Middle School (乌鲁木齐市第八中学)
  • Xinjiang Experimental High School (新疆实验中学)
  • Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps No.2 High School (新疆生产建设兵团第二中学)
  • Senior High School of Urumqi (乌鲁木齐市高级中学)
  • Bayi Middle School of Urumqi (乌鲁木齐市八一中学)



Ürümqi is served by the Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport. The airport is one of the five major airports in the People's Republic of China. It is also a hub for China Southern Airlines. It has been rumored that a new airline China Central Airlines will start operations at the airport sometime in late 2010.




Logo of Urumqi Television Station, shaped after Hong Shan

The Xinjiang Networking Transmission Limited operates the Urumqi People's Broadcasting Station and the Xinjiang People's Broadcasting Station, broadcasting in the Mandarin, Uyghur, Kazakh, Mongolian, Russian and the Kyrgyz languages.

The Xinjiang Television Station (XJTV), located in Urumqi, is the major TV broadcasting station in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The local television station for Urumqi city is Urumqi Television Station (UTV)(乌鲁木齐电视台).


International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Ürümqi is twinned with:

References and footnotes

External links

Coordinates: 43°44′N 87°34′E / 43.733°N 87.567°E / 43.733; 87.567

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Travel Warning

WARNING: In July 2009, ethnic riots erupted between the Uighur ethnic group, the Han Chinese ethnic group, and the security forces. There is a lot of security around town (lots of (bored) soldiers, bag searches when entering public buildings etc.) and as of late October 2009 the internet in the entire region and city has been blocked, together with text messaging and international calls in and out. Caution is advised.


Urumqi (Pronounced: Ürümqi) (乌鲁木齐; Wūlǔmùqí; Uyghur: ئۈرۈمچی) is the capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. The city has a population of around 1.6 million and is in the Tian Shan mountains.


Urumqi is quite famous for its claim that it is the most inland major city in the world, that being the furthest from any ocean.

There are two major ethnic groups, the Han Chinese and the Uyghur. Other ethnic groups in Urumqi include Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Mongols and Hui Muslims.,

Most people in Urumqi can speak some level of Mandarin Chinese, albeit possibly with an accent, and Uyghur, a Turkic language. If you do not speak Mandarin or Uyghur, you may have difficulties in Urumqi. Few people speak English, even in some of the large hotels. When taking a taxi, it is a good idea to be armed with a piece of paper with the name of your destination written in Mandarin.

City skyline from Hongshan Park
City skyline from Hongshan Park

Despite what some of the guidebooks say, Urumqi has a lot to offer and can provide a great introduction to Xinjiang.

Get in

By plane

Ürümqi is served by the Urumqi Diwopu International Airport (乌鲁木齐国际机场; Wūlǔmùqí Guójìjīchǎng; IATA: URC,) which is located 20km northwest of the city center with regular domestic flights from Beijing, Shanghai (Hongqiao), Guangzhou, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Dunhuang, Hangzhou, Jilin, Kunming, Lanzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Sanya, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, Xiamen, Xi'an, Xining, Yinchuan, and Zhengzhou.

Urumqi also offers flights from Almaty, Astana, Baku, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Islamabad, Kabul, Moscow (Sheremetyevo), Novosibirsk, Osh, Seoul (Incheon), Tashkent, and Tehran (Imam Khomeini)

Xinjiang destinations include Aksu, Aletai, Hotan, Kashgar, Kuche, Tacheng and Yining.

A taxi costs about ¥35 by meter to the city, although most taxidrivers will try for more. Travel time is about 20 minutes without traffic.

Airport shuttles available for yen;10.

By train

Wulumuqi Railway Station (乌鲁木齐火车站; Wūlǔmùqí Huǒchēzhàn) is at Qingfeng Road.

  • Beijing - takes about 42 hours (¥631)
  • Chengdu - takes about 49 hours
  • Dunhuang - takes about 14 hours (as of September 2009 no trains were running on the branch line to Dunhuang)
  • Hami - takes about 9h30
  • Jiayuguan - about 16 hours
  • Kashgar - takes about 33 hours
  • Kuche - takes about 14 hours
  • Lanzhou - takes about 21 hours (¥338)
  • Shanghai - takes about 44 hours
  • Turpan - takes about 2 hours
  • Xi'an - takes about 34 hours
  • Almaty, Kazakhstan - takes 32-48 hours

By bus

The Northern Long-Distance Bus Station is at Heilongjiang Road

  • Almaty, Kazakhstan (via Korgas) - takes about 24 hours and costs ¥440, tickets can be bought at the Bianjiang Hotel, room 2121 (边疆宾馆2121号房间) or at the international bus station at Nianzigou (碾子沟国际客运站). Time spent clearing customs at Korgas make the travel time rather variable.
  • Burqin - takes about 13 hours
  • Korgas - takes about 14 hours
  • Lanzhou - takes about 40 hours
  • Tacheng - takes about 12 hours
  • Yining - takes about 11 to 14 hours and costs ¥165, July 2008

The Southern Long-Distance Bus Station (南郊客运站) is in the southern part of city (across from the Shuishang Amusement Park (水上乐园))

  • Hotan - takes 19-26 hours
  • Kashgar - takes about 24 hours
  • Korla - takes about 10 hours
  • Kuche - takes about 17 hours
  • Turpan - takes about 3 hours (heading for Gansu, will need to change buses for Hami)

By car

China Highway 312 is a motorway crossing Xinjiang from Gansu to the border with Kazakhstan. Most destinations within Xinjiang can be accessed via private car. Drivers tend to congregate near the bus stations and will often approach passengers shouting their destination. Drivers usually try to fill the car with four passengers, but you can also rent the whole car (包车; bāochē). In almost every case, a car will save hours of travel time over a bus.

Get around

On foot

The city centre is big, and seperated in to different 'centres'. You can walk, but distances are large, roads are wide, and ongoing building work will block your path. Furthermore, in summer it gets very hot and in winter it can drop to -35 degrees C at night.

By taxi

Metered taxi fares start at yen;6. There are also black taxis, usually driven by Uyghur men. Fares for these are negotiable and they definitely come in handy during rush hour when metered taxis are tough to come by. Regardless, you should never pay more than yen;20 for a ride within the city.

By bus

Bus number 52 goes from the round about near the airport to the museum. Other useful routes running generally north-south are 101, 61 and 63.

  • Xinjiang Uygur Regional Museum (Qu Bowuguan, 自治区博物馆)- - 132 Xi Bei Lu / West North Road. Located behind the Sheraton Hotel. Highlights include a few mummies on display and other artifacts. Admission is free.
  • People's Square (人民广场)
  • Hongshan (红山) - Red Mountain. This pleasant park has, among other things, a Ferris wheel, a Buddhist temple and great views over the city. The park itself has a free entrance but you have to pay for some of the attractions.
  • Shuimugou Hot Springs (水磨沟)
  • Da Bazar / Erdaoqio market (大吧扎) - The Big Bazaar, a traditional Islamic market area and the main Uyghur enclave in downtown – definitely worth a visit in the evenings for some food and people watching. Currently (Sept. 2009) lots of security around, which again is interesting to see. In the summer time, the Da Bazar at night is a rather lively place, if you come just as it is getting dark you can see tight rope walkers walking from one side of two the next with the tall minaret in the background.
  • Xinjiang Silk Road Museum (新疆丝绸之路博物馆) [1] Easy to find - located right next to the Grand Bazaar at No.160 Shengli Road. Bus No.110 stops very close to it. It is on the fifth and sixth floor of a very large European style building which houses a shopping complex as well. The admission charge is 30 Yuan per person. Most of the exhibits have English names as well and some of their guides speak some English.


The Grand Bazaar (aka Erdaoqio) is a great place not only for regional specialty items, but also has many goods from nearby countries such as Russia and Mongolia. It is a popular tourist destination although somewhat of a tourist trap these days. However, the surrounding area is the heart of the Uyghur community and makes visiting worthwhile.

  • Imported delicacies can be found at the Youhao supermarket in the basement of the Tianshan Shopping Center (天山百货), located across from the People's Square.
  • A number of stores selling outdoor gear, camping supplies (户外用品) etc. can be found on Renmin Lu, east of Nanmen.
  • Hualin (华凌市场)is a huge trade complex selling almost anything you can think of. Shangmao Cheng (商贸城)is a similar huge bazaar in the south of the city.

Please beware pickpockets and watch your possessions carefully.


Food is one of the things that Xinjiang is famous for. Fresh naan, spicy kababs, steaming pilaf, or famous hand streched noodles — there are a lot of choices, and lots of variety.


Local restaurants are available throughout the city, although most Uyghur restaurants are concentrated in Erdaoqiao, around the Grand Bazaar - there are plenty of restaurants on the street behind the mosque offering a nice alternative to standard Chinese cuisine. A standard price for a plate of hand-streched noodles with vegetable meat topping (laghman/bànmiàn) is about 9 RMB (1.4 USD)--if you are still hungry, you can request more noodles (jiāmiàn). Melon slices also make an excellent snack, at about 1 rmb a slice from a street vendor. Among other common Uyghur foods are dumplings of mutton and onions (samsa), Uyghur fried rice (polo), dumpling soup (chuchura), meat pies (Gush Nan) and Opke Hessip (lungs and stuffed intestines) for the brave. Local specialty drinks include Kawas (carbonated drink flavored with honey) and Dogh (a mixture of crushed ice, yoghurt and honey available in summer). The best known Hui dish is big plate chicken (dàpánjī), a spicy mixture of chicken and potatoes. Personal experience leads me to recommend the following:

  • Bodun (博盾), 42 Heping Rd. N. (Less than five minutes south of the People's Square). Delicious and cheap Uyghur staples. Good location in the city center.  edit
  • Avral, 60 Shengli Rd. (In Erdaoqiao (二道桥), across from large mosque.). Delicious and finely decorated, Avral is also well known for its Uyghur ice cream (marozhni). This location is currently undergoing renovation, but there delicious ice cream shows up in other restaurants.  edit

Hui and Uyghur food can be very spicy, and it is a good idea unless you like very spicy food to tell them "búyào là de", or for Uyghurs "kizil mooch salmang!".

One warning before you go out and get local food though. Not everyone can stay healthy eating Uyghur and Hui food. Often it is cooked with a large amount of oil. Sanitary conditions are also perhaps not what you would have expected. If you have a weak stomach, or gall bladder problems it might be a good idea to try some of the other options. Or just stick to naan and kebab.


In town there are several mid-range options available for western food.

  • Rendezvous, 958 Yan'an Road (right by the Silk Road Hotel, on the 16, 61, and 912 bus routes), (0991) 255-5003. American-run. Also offers an excellent breakfast menu (at the moment only on the weekends) and their wraps are quite delicious. For the money, the best and cheapest Western food in Urumqi.  edit
  • The Texas Cafe (德州咖啡屋), Nanmen Mashixiaoqu (near Nanmen down the grapevine covered alley across from the south entrance to the computer market), (0991) 281-0025. 1PM to midnight. A Tex-Mex and classic American café. For comfort food try their fajita plates or tacos. They've got refried beans and homemade taco shells. The place is decorated with a lot of Texas memorabilia and it's somewhat of an Tex-mex oasis there in Xinjiang. Also, they have a good selection of English books.  edit
  • Vine Coffeehouse (德蔓咖啡屋), 65 Minzhu Rd. (Down a small street near the People's Theater (人民电影院, Rénmín Diànyǐngyuàn)), (0991) 230-4831. A Caribbean cafe serving a wide array of western and Caribbean specialty dishes. Somewhat overpriced with small portions, but the little steaks are nice. Closed Mondays.  edit
  • Edo No Sakura, 65 Guangming Rd. (On first floor of brightly colored high rise near Hongshan Park). For those intrigued by the prospect of eating sushi in the city furthest from an ocean. It is a bit pricey as can be expected. Next door is also a Brazilian Barbeque Restaurant, Sabbath.  edit
  • Tashkent (塔什干; Ташкент), 47 Xinhua Rd. S., near the Huaqiao Hotel(华侨宾馆).. Nicely decorated Uzbek restaurant serving a variety of Central Asian and Russian cuisine. The clientele is an eclectic mix of Afghans, Pakistanis, Russian traders and other Central Asians, making for a unique atmosphere. Prices are cheap compared to other foreign restaurants and they now have free wifi as well. Next door is Madina serving Pakistani and Afghan food with an English menu and English speaking staff (look for the golden arches on the sign).  edit
  • Ice Mountain Creamery (美国冰淇淋), 乌市人民路车市 H9 (wu shi ren min lu che shi H9), near the center of town. American-owned icecream shop selling delicious icecream. They have a very small window in the center of town but you can also buy it at the Texas Cafe. .  edit
  • There are also a number of Russian restaurants near the Bianjiang Trade Complex (边疆商贸城)on Yan'an Rd.

Han Chinese dishes places, available all around town also fall into the mid-range category.

A good local Chinese chain is Shunming (顺明), serving Uyghur and Chinese food for a reasonable price. They are open twenty four hours and have several locations around town including at the People's Square (人民广场) and the People's Theater (人民电影院)

  • Vegan Yuanqi Vegetarian Restaurant, 2 Altay Road, 0991-8735001/8487563. A Buddhist restaurant located near the junction of Altay Road and Xinyi Road. Walk about 200 meters north from the jucntion. On the left side of the road stands a big apartment block with two buildings. Restaurant is located 50 meters inside a little alley between A and B wings. The staff are charming but speak no English, the menu is entirely in Chinese.  edit

Another option is fast food, which has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants(肯德基)have sprung up all around town and are located at the Grand Bazaar, People's Square, Hongshan, and the Children's Park among other locations. There are also two Pizza Huts (必胜客, located at Zhongshan Rd. (中山路) and Youhao Shopping Mall (友好商场)), and several smaller Chinese fast food chains--specifically Dicos (德克士) & Fast Food Burgers (百富烤霸, also known as Roast King). The quality in these fast food places isn't quite American, but it's not that bad either.


The buffet at the China Southern Airlines Hotel is an ideal place to splurge. The head Chef is Austrian, and the food is very authentic Western fare, with some local dishes as well. Dinner costs 88RMB plus 15%, and includes tea, coffee, and a glass of red wine. The buffet at the Urumqi Sheraton ought to be rather good. It costs about 130 RMB per person.

  • Korgan, (located next to the Grand Bazaar (Dà Bāzhā) in Erdaoqiao). Luxuriously decorated Uyghur restaurant. Very good Uyghur food if somewhat inflated prices.  edit
  • Fubar, 40 Gongyuan St. N. (Gongyuan St. N. runs along the People's Park, and Fubar is about 100 metres from the back gate), 0991 5844498 (), [2]. A western owned restaurant in the centre, run by 3 expats(Irish, New Zealander, & Japanese), you can get imported beers, Pizza, Fish & chips & much more. The vegetarian pizza is wonderful - tabasco sauce is on hand. A great place to meet resident expats, and locals alike. Fubar also has a pool and Foosball table, as well as darts, and is the best place to get travel information, as the guys are both helpful and knowlegeable. The beer selection is frankly ridonkulous for this part of China.  edit
  • Victoria, 94 Shengli Rd., 0991-8555556. 11-1AM. A popular hangout with hip Uyghurs, Central Asians and Russians. The dancing and atmosphere are good but the prices blow goats. Small beers start at 25 yuan (local beer by comparison is 2 yuan), and most entrees begin around 60 yuan. Drink elsewhere and then come for the dancing. Great place for watching (or joining) the aforementioned folk dish out their groove - short skirts included.  edit
  • Almaly Club (苹果之父), 38 Renmin Rd. (F5, Xinhongxin Mansion, 新宏信大厦5楼) (On Renmin Rd. right before the highway overpass.), 0991-2334189. Newly opened in a very nice new venue, this Kazakh themed restaurant and club serves a wide variety of Kazakh and Russian dishes. After 10PM Beijing time there is live music and dancing(but also a minimum expense of 200 yuan per party).  edit
  • Maitian International Youth Hostel, 726 Youhao Rd. S., near Parkson 友好南路726号,友好百盛旁边., 0991-459-1488, 13999883785. In an alley next to the Parkson shopping center (Bǎishèng). Dorms: 8-bed ¥40 6-bed ¥50 Double with private bath ¥120. Discounts for HI members.  edit
  • Peace Hotel (Hépíng Dàshà), 15 Cangfanggou Rd. (仓防沟路) (near Heping Bridge 和平桥), (0991) 581-9666. 24 hrs. Hot water. Big café bar right next door, more in the neighbourhood - dito foot massage (20 Y) Triples + Quads w/o bath and Aircon 100 yuan; Triples with bath, w/o Aircon 120 yuan; Dbl with bath and Aircon 150-180 yuan..  edit
  • Silver Birches International Hostel (Xinjiang International Youth Hostel), 186 Nanhu Rd. (From the airport you can take the shuttle which costs 10RMB per person and will go directly to Youhao Lu, then take a taxi which should cost 6RMB in low traffic to the Nanhu Urumqi County Court, the hostel is across the street. Alternatively you can take the taxi straight from the airport which should cost 40RMB, you should tell the taxi to take this route: Wàihuán(外环)- Běijīng Lù(北京路) - Sūzhōu Lù(苏州路) - Shìzhèngfǔ(市政府)Nánhú(南湖). From the train station you can take either the number 8 or 58 bus to Beimen Medicine Company and then take the number 73 bus; You can also take the taxi for 15RMB to 186 Nanhu Road South), 0991-4881428 / 13809943984 (), [3]. checkout: 12:00. A nice hostel with a good atmosphere, a nice common area and a good lawn. Laundry, travel information, free internet and free water are available. Both the large and small dorms can be feel a bit cramped when they are full. Dorms: 10-bed 30 RMB, 5-bed ¥45. Discounts for HI members..  edit
  • Islam Grand Hotel, 22 Zhongshan Rd., Urumqi, (0991)2811017 (fax: (0991)2811513).  edit
  • China Southern Airlines Hotel (南航饭店), Youhao Road North (Near Parkson Department store). Another high quality foreign hotel. Formerly known as the Kempinski Hotel.  edit
  • Hoi Tak Hotel (海德宾馆), 1 Dongfeng Street, +86 0991 2322828. Broadband internet access, and satellite TV. 5 stars hotel in centre.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Urumqi (假日饭店), 168 Xinhua Road North, +86 0991 2818788 (fax: (0991)2817422).  edit
  • Hung Fu hotel, 160 WuYi Road. A downtown 5 star hotel that can offer good value in comparison to the upmarket chains. Opened in 1998 it is starting to show its age just a little (weak a/c, temperamental showers). Service is excellent however. Rooms are modern and have some character, and occupy floors 12-28 hence offer nice views of the city. From RMB600 per night through an agent.  edit
  • Sheraton Hotel (喜来登酒店), 669 Youhao Road North, +86 0991 6999999. Broadband internet access, and satellite tv. Five star hotel north of the city center. There's super luxurious shopping next door now too.  edit
  • Yindu Hotel Urumqi (银都酒店), 39 Xibei Road, +86 0991 4536688 (fax: (0991)45171663), [4]. Broadband internet access, and satellite TV. Located in the business district, 312 rooms, six restaurants, exercise equipment, spa, sauna, massage, swimming pool, night club, KTV rooms.  edit

Stay safe

In general Xinjiang is a rather safe place. However, in the bigger bazaars and on public transportation pickpockets do operate so be sure to secure your valuables. Rionts over the summer also necessitate extra caution. While there is currently a large police and military presence in the city, protests and other violence has broken out sporadically since then. Communications are severely restricted with internet access and all international calls in and out of the region blocked by the government. It is unclear when these restrictions will be relaxed with some mention of blocks lasting until spring festival in march 2010. That said, calls are able to be placed from the bianjiang binguan (边疆宾馆 mentioned above) for 5 yuan per minute (approx. $0.74) and possibly also from post offices 邮电局 for 2-3 yuan per minute. Keep these restrictions in mind before traveling. Also be prepared to be stopped by security personnel suspicious of foreigners.


In most Islamic cultures, naan (bread), is very important. It is not a good idea to throw it away. If you drop it, pick it up and carry it with you. Do not step on naan--It is important to treat it with some respect. Also, if you decide to eat naan while walking, break off a piece, and eat that. Do not bite into the whole loaf.

  • Kazakhstan, 216 Kunming Rd.. M-Th 10:00-13:00. Visas issued in two working-days. Cost varies depending on nationality: British and American ¥261. Visa collection from 12:00-13:00.  edit
  • Kyrgyzstan, 58 Hetan Rd. N. (The consulate is in the Central Asian Hotel, the entrance is the blueish door left from the main door of the hotel.), 518-9980 (fax: 518-9985). Visa applications 11:00-13:30, picking up visas 13:30-14:00. EU nationals (and some others)are required to attach one passport size photo and a copy of the passport to the application. You will also be asked to write a letter explaining who you are and what are your reasons for traveling to Kyrgyzstan. Normal time required for processing is one week. 460 RMB (some EU nationals), 520 RMB (British).  edit

Unfortunately, these are the only two consulates in Urumqi. For those heading to other destinations in Central Asia, instead of returning to Beijing, a good bet would be to pick up visas for those locations in Almaty, Kazakhstan or Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

  • Tianshan Tianchi National Park (天池) - scenic with prismatic splendor. Tickets are approximately 100 yuan.
  • Nan Shan (南山) - Picturesque mountains south of Urumqi. In summer the valleys are populated with Kazakh Yurts, which accept travellers for 50-100 yuan per night including food. Excellent for hiking and horseback riding. Cheap buses (8-25 yuan) leave for the area throughout the day from the bus station south of People's Park (Renmin Gongyuan). Particularly recommended is Juhua Tai (菊花台, chysanthemum terrace), with plenty of food and sleeping options along with mountain pastures filled with alpine flowers.
  • Number One Glacier (一号冰川) - Located in the far south of Nan Shan is this fast disappearing glacier, the first in China to be thoroughly researched. The area is in the higher peaks in the Nan Shan range (over 14,000 ft)and boasts spectacular views along with few tourists. The glacier can be reached after first taking the Nan Shan bus to Hou Xia (后峡, 12.6 yuan), and then finding a driver in the town to take you to the glacier(150-200 yuan one way, about an hour). Several kilometers from the glacier are Kazakh families that rent their yurts to tourists for 20 yuan. Polo (fried rice), bread, kebabs and tea are also available for about 15 yuan or so. Coming back, you should be able to hitch a ride for free with trucks returning to town from a nearby mine.
  • Heart of Asia Monument - South of Urumqi is a monument supposedly marking the center of the Eurasian landmass, underscoring just how far from the ocean you really are.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to Ürümqi article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



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Alternative spellings


  • IPA: /uːˈruːmtʃi/

Proper noun




  1. Capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (or simply Xinjiang) of the People’s Republic of China.


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