Best things to do in Xinjiang and sightseeing in Xinjiang
Karakoram Highway - Xinjiang
Karakoram Highway which leads over Khunjerab Pass (14,400 ft.) to Pakistan is the perilous route used by caravans for centuries along the Silk Road. Khunjerab means ‘valley of blood’, reliving the terror of bandits who took advantage of the terrain to steal the wealth of the caravans and slaughter the merchants.
Kashgar - Xinjiang
Exotic. Mysterious. A pulsating maze of colors, sights and smells, more Middle Eastern than Chinese. How do you begin to describe this mesmerizing 3000 year old oasis and trading mecca along the Silk Road?? An ethnic blend of Uyghurs, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and Han Chinese, some things in the Old Town of Kashgar haven’t changed since medieval times. Every narrow lane beckons you to explore the bazaars full of shimmering silk, knives, jewelry and carpets all moving to the rhythmic beat of metalworkers, cobblers, and weavers producing quality wares by hand; trades passed from generation to generation.
Turpan - Xinjiang
From Dunhuang we headed towards Tirpan in Xinjiang. We explored the crossroads market, the mysterious Afghani style Emin Minaret and Mosque, the ancient ruins of Jiaohe, and the kanez or the 5000 km of underground irrigation canals that transform this desert into a cornucopia of vineyards, orchards and lush gardens. The result is melons so crisp and sweet that they literally melt in your mouth. In fact all the fruits and vegetables are scrumptious! The city was alive with old men wearing fez, women draped in scarves and veils, hot bread from clay ovens, donkey carts laden with fresh produce and hay wagons piled higher than double-decker buses.
Urumqi - Xinjiang
Next, we spent a night in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province. It has a great night market and besides the night market, we visited the museum displaying ancient corpses. The 4000 year old mummies! Perfectly preserved in the arid climate and saline soil, with skin and hair intact, these mummies prove that European nomads migrated over the Himalayas thousands of years ago. Intriguing! The makings of a new sequel "Mummy III"!