Xinjiang travel blog — A journey to the paradise of earth

If there existed a “heaven on earth” in China, it would undoubtedly be Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan province. However, if you’ve ever been to Xinjiang, the scenery of the most well-known path of the old Silk Road, you’ll see that Jiuzhaigou pales in contrast to an even finer paradise. Let us explore this lovely region with this Xinjiang travel blog.

Tashkurgan_Xinjiang travel blog china

Xinjang’s secret scenery is slowly being exposed to many tourists through reports of a free nomadic lifestyle, miraculous blue lakes, and white mountain ranges topped with snow all year round. Furthermore, seasonal color changes enhance the environment, creating a beautiful paradise on Earth.

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Tashkurgan, Xinjiang, China

Xinjiang, a Chinese autonomous province, features a distinct geography produced by three mountains: Kunlun Mountain, Pamir Mountain, and Tianshan Mountain. In the 7th century, Chinese Buddhist monk Chen Xuanzang paused in this region before embarking on his trip to Tianzhu (an old Chinese name for India) to bring a collection of Buddhist texts back to China. The Silk Road was developed and expanded before to that period, when Guangwudi of the Han dynasty dominated the region west up to the border of current Afghanistan. Xinjiang became a bustling commercial crossroads where local specialties from all over the world were exchanged.

Tashkurgan_Xinjiang travel blog china (1)

Tashkurgan_Xinjiang travel blog china 1

Tashkurgan_Xinjiang travel blog china (1)

Landscape of Uyghur people

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Xinjiang Village

 

Xinjiang animals market
Xinjiang animals market

The north of Tianshan Mountain is entirely settled by the Uyghur people and some other ethnic groups. In history, “Uyghur” was used to talk about ethnic groups that spoke Turkish as their language in the Altay mountain range. Although Xinjiang and Turkey are two different regions, Uyghur and Turkish people share similar language and culture because they were both originated from Turkic groups.

Tashkurgan_Xinjiang travel blog china 2

Tashkurgan_Xinjiang travel blog china 2

Visitors often start their journey at the gateway of Xinjiang, Urumqi capital city, also known as the “land farthest from the sea”. This city, which is the home of different ethnic groups, including Han, Uyghur, Hui and Kazakhs, enchants tourists with its crowded atmosphere provided by a large number of traders who crowd the city just as they 2000 years ago.

Urumqi Grand Bazaar, China
Urumqi Grand Bazaar, China

 

Urumqi, Xinjiang province
Urumqi, Xinjiang province

Uyghur ethnic group make up around 45 percent of Xinjiang’s total population and have a variety of looks. Some people are short and have dark complexion, black hair, and tiny eyes, whereas others are tall and have light skin, colored eyes, straight noses, and blonde or brown hair. These are the consequences of almost a thousand years of Arabian, Roman, Greek, and Persian inhabitants on the Silk Road. The vivid and unique culture of the Uyghur people is the result of a historic cultural mingling of Turkish-Central Asian dances and current Han traditional dances. The Uyghur people used to be a battle-tested, courageous, and strong army that could ride horses and wield bows like Mongolians.

Uyghur ethnic people
Uyghur ethnic people

Uyghur ethnic people 2

Diverse and multi-colored culture

Xinjiang china 2 Credit: xinjiang travel blog.
Credit: xinjiang travel blog.

Xinjiang means “new boundary” in Chinese, and it has held that name since the 18th century, under the Qing era. This region has a varied topography characterized by lush Mongol grasslands interspersed with nomadic tents of indigenous inhabitants. This area has the look of Central Asia, with remnants of old citadels, the presence of Europe, with brilliant color carpets, and the presence of the Middle East, with somber mosques.

Kanas Lake, Xinjiang
Kanas Lake, Xinjiang. Credit: xinjiang travel blog.

 

tarim river Image: xinjiang travel guide blog.
Tarim river. Image: xinjiang travel guide blog.

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Xinjiang tarim river

Every season, Xinjiang dons a new coat. Spring is adorned with peach and plum blooms, while summer is adorned with the purple color of scented lavender flowers in Ili (a Xinjiang prefecture) and yellow sunflowers and sugar-beet flowers in the sun. Tarim River is breathtaking in fall, with yellow and crimson leaf carpets reflected in blue lakes. The stunning environment is shown in exquisite hues, the beauty of which no painter can adequately describe in their work.

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Xinjiang in spring season. Credit: xinjiang travel blog.

Meanwhile, tourists to Xinjiang are astounded by photos of livestock shriveled up next to cozy fabric tents at the foot of enormous snowy mountains during the winter. Xinjiang is enigmatic and pure because of its natural hues of flora, lakes, and massive snowy mountains, as well as exceptional tectonic areas that have been inscribed into tales. Mounds of varying heights and many Middle Ages castles pique one’s imagination regarding the appearance of the “devil.” According to legend, these castles were created by arid climate and sand storms. Strong winds sculpted stone formations that resembled towering desert castles or a large ship battling heavy waves. However, some stones were shaped as disgusting faces of devils.

Snow scenery of Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang
Snow scenery of Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang. Image: xinjiang travel guide blog.

 

Muztagh Tower peak and sheep, Pamir Mountains, Karakoram Highway. Xinjiang province, China. Photo by: xinjiang travel itinerary blog.

Xinjiang Uyghur animals

In modern days, although Xinjiang is an outback landscape that is strictly controlled by Chinese government, it can’t stop tourists flocking to this destination to unlock a true paradise on earth.

Xinjiang-lavender fields

Xinjiang Ili River Valley
Xinjiang Ili River Valley. Image by: western china travel blog.

10 moments that makes Xinjiang a paradise on earth.

1. Viewing sunset at Five-color Bay
2. Witnessing Hemu village in the morning dew
3. Trekking around Kanas lake
4. Visiting lavender fields in Ili
5. Riding a horse on the Bayanbulak plateau
6. Sleeping in a nomadic tent in the style of the Uyghur people
7. Boating on Tianchi lake
8. Looking at Chang Jiang river from the bird’s-eye view
9. Riding a camel in Devil city, Urho
10. Walking along the Swan lake and Esoteric Buddhism monastery.

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