Halfway between central Asia and China
Urumqi, China, 2008-07-23 12:00 by Laerke
We had a short stop over in Urumqi, a city with a population of around 1.6 million. It is quite famous for its claim that is the most inland city in the world, that being the furthest from any ocean. It served us as a good transition point between Central Asia and China, as the city is heavily influenced by both regions, the people looked pretty Chinese but all the men were wearing little Muslim scull caps, and some of the woman wore a scarf loosely tied around their heads. We visited the downtown bazaar area, which reminded us a lot of bazaar and souqs in Syria and Morocco. There was a great vibe there, as we sat down to eat at a busy, open food market people smiled and laughed to us/at us, they seemed amused to see foreigners. The food was delicious, served steaming hot with plenty of fresh coriander on top – yum! Here we also experienced out first moment of being sneak photographed, something the Chinese really seem to master we have found out :-) As we walked around the city we noticed how English could only muster up to be the fourth language here, the street signs were in Chinese and Arabic, and a few places we saw Russian writing too. Western influences seem a world away, the only signs are plentiful KFCs...


Silk Road
Central Asia