Xinjiang Autonomous Region's

URUMQI

Global Mark : 10.81

Ratings by criteria : 

Charm Scenery Parks Culture Minor. Market Relax Fiesta 

Cost

AVER.
2 2 3 4 4 4 2 2

2

11.11

Ratings by backpackers :

Surveyed Liked  Comeback  Recommend Range AVER.
14 64%  (9) 21%  (3) 29%  (4) 5 to 15 10.50


Description :
A huge multi-minorities cities with  a colorful market, a good exposition, the nearby alpine scenery at Tianchi and the bus or plane tickets to Kashgar...

Comments : For most travelers, Urumqi is only a quick stopover on the way to more attractive sights

What to do : See impressive mommies / Organize your trip ahead as some destinations have to be booked well in advance / Relax in the parks in the morning / Do roller coaster in the parks in the afternoon  / Forget in the swimming pool that Urumqi is the world's furthest city from the sea  /

What you may not like : The cost of most accommodations / The busy and noisy streets / The double price for some bus tickets (especially at the Main Bus Station) / The pushing at the train station as there is no queuing lines /

How long ? Before and after Tianchi or while waiting for your plane or bus...


Where to stay ?  

Hotels  << Get precise info, book online and save money !

Near the Tianchi buses :

  • Bogda Hotel (282 3910), on Guangming Lu / New bldg : Dorm 45(5) with outside correct toilet and common shower / North Building (walk around the main bldg on the left, two big red characters) : Dorm 32(3) with bathroom or 62 in 2+2 bed's rooms with basic living room and bath / Dbl with bath 120 / HW 24 hours / Go there for the best deal in town for comfortable dorm with bath, for the cheapest Dbl with bath in town, for the good location,... / What you may not like : the staff at the new building telling you that you can not stay in the north building and have to take a 45Y bed (if this happen, go straight to the North Bldg as they have their own reception)

  • Hongshan Hotel (281 6018), 10mn walk on the east of Bogda Hotel, at the intersection with Xinhua Nanlu / Dorm 40(3) / Dbl 112 without bath, 150 with bath / OK toilets / Individual shower / HW 8:30 to 20 or 24hrs in rooms / Go there if the Bogda Hotel is full or unwilling to accept you, for the excellent location if going to Tianchi / What you may not like : being with a lot of people, the bad lighting of the rooms, the not so clean shower outside, the noise from the street, the small Dbl with tiny bath,...

  • Luyou Hotel (282 1788), a bit south on Xinhua Nanlu / Dbl 130 (158HS) / HW 24 hrs / Go there for the size of the rooms and the good view from the top floors

Near the train station :

  • Xinjiang Hotel (585 6699), 5mn walk from the station / Dorm 17(6), 22(5), 20-24(4), 24(3) or 35(2) / Dbl with bath 170 / Bad toilets / OK shower / HW 24 hrs / Go there for the best rate in town for dorm and dbl without bath,... / What you may not like : the busy street below

  • Ya'ou Hotel (585 6699), on the left of the station / Dorm in the old wing 20(4) / In the main bldg : Dorm 40(4) or 50-60(3) / Dbl 158 (Sgl occupancy 130) / OK toilets / Shower in main building / HW 19 to 22 / Go there for the convenience next to the station, to easily buy sleeper ticket as the hotel is owned by the Ministry of Railway, the good view from the top floors of the main building,... / What you may not like : the bad lightning and maintenance of the rooms in the old wings, the noise from the station below,...


Backpacker's Tips : Boonrasri Boonchana, Thailand (May 02)
« The Hongshan Hotel is confirmed closed. »

Backpacker's Tips : Anonymous (Oct 01)
« The Hongshan and the Luyou are apparently closed. Another option is the Wulumuqi Daxia, at the SE corner of Renmin Lu and Hetan Nanlu. It costs around Y80-100 for a Sgl. »

Bogda Hotel bogeda binguan

Hongshan Hotel

hongshan binguan

Luyou Hotel

luyou binguan

Xinjiang Hotel

xinjiang fandian

Ya’ou Hotel

ya’ou binguan


Internet ?
  A few places around town provide internet facilities for 10Y per hour. Among those : Xinjiang Galaxy "169" net bar, 8 Guang Ming road, next to Bogda Hotel, open 24/24 hours, 10Y per hour (minimum), Y5 if student, Y7 from 2am to 9am, 18 computers


Backpacker's Tips : Matthew Woelfle, USA (July 02)
« There is no more John's Information Cafe in town. However, if you crave Western food, there is a very nice restaurant called The Vine (0991-2304831) at 65 MinZhu Rd. It's owned and operated by foreigners and features a great menu of salads, sandwiches, coffee, baked goods, and other fare. It also features good music and an English corner every night of the week. »


What to see/visit ?

  • Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum : (5), Y12 / The impressive mommies are certainly worth the trip ! The minorities section is also interesting. 

  • Erdaoqiao Market : (4), free, especially nice on Sunday morning

  • Renmin Park : (3), Y5

  • Hongshan Park : (3), Y10


Backpacker's Tips : Sandrine Prioux, France (July 01)
« Bogda Hotel : good dorm for 25y with one shower a day (from 9h30 to 22h) / The Museum has been destroyed. Exposition for 25y with the mommies and various artifacts. I was furious there was nothing left about the minorities and, after complaining for 30mn, got a 5y discount. The new museum will be ready in three years. Anyway, considering the cost of the sights in Turpan, this expo is quite good.»


Bus Schedules :

To Price Type Duration Time Nb Freq.
Kashgar 214down, 185up, 116seat sleeper 30 11/14/16/18/19:30 5 na
Turpan 24 ordi 2.5 8:40 to 20 ++ 30mn
Tianchi 25/20 return small/big 2 to 3  around 9:30 few na
Almaty 450 S /ordi 24 18:00 1 daily
Xuqa 216down,188up sleeper 24 17:00 1 na
Hami 134down,114up sleeper 12 21:00 1 na
Altai 216down,188up sleeper 14 18:00 1 na
Yining 196down,174up sleeper 16 9 to 21 ++ hour

Notes : To Kashgar : from Kashgar Bus Station near the Train Station, one air cond... bus every two days at the same price, double price from the main Bus Station (5pm) / To Turpan : from Turpan Bus Station / To Tianchi : from the North entrance of Renmin Park /To Almaty, daily except Saturday /  To Xuqa, Hami, Altai or Yining : special "laowai" prices at window No8 !

Trains  << Click there

Note : The South Xinjiang Railway line from Urumqi to Kashgar was officially open on December 6, 1999.  It should prove to be a good alternative to the 30 hours bus ride... 


The trip to Tianchi :
Big Bus / SSSS / R / Y20 / 3 hrs

You have no real choice : the departure time is once a day at around 9:30 and you have to purchase a return ticket that is only valid for the day... If you spend some nights in Tianchi (what the Chinese tourists fortunately do not do too much), you will have to buy another ticket. You however have the choice of small (25Y) or big buses (20Y). With the small buses, make sure that they go all the way up the lake (some might stop at the ticketing office, 4km away). With the big bus, there is no worry as you buy your entrance ticket (Y24) and insurance (2Y) with your bus ticket... The fact that the big bus takes longer is also not a big deal considering the nice scenery along the way, once out of Urumqi's suburbs...

There is another option for Tianchi but it is not an easy one :  take a bus to Fukang (every 10mn, 1h30, 5Y) and then change for an infrequent bus to Tianchi (10Y). Buses to Fukang are leaving from the Fukang Bus Station, in the North of town (at Bus No101 terminus). This way, you can avoid spending a night in Urumqi on your way from Turpan to Tianchi but it is still advisable to arrive in Fukang early (say around noon) to guarantee a connecting bus. Considering the fuss, it might make more sense to spend one day in Urumqi to see the sights and buy (or reserve) your onward train or plane ticket...

The trip to Lanzhou : Train No508 / Night & SS / Y216 / 34 hrs

An old but cheap train for a long long journey back to China... Store on snacks before leaving.

See also the Trip from Turpan to Urumqi...