Urumqi is the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the most 'inland' city in the world. With a population of two million gaily-dressed ethnic inhabitants, the city is likened to a piece of emerald embedded at the foot of the Tianshan Mountains. It lies in the lofty ice-capped Bogda Peak and vast Salt Lake in the east; in the rolling pine-covered Southern hill, a well-known scenic district, in the south; and in the alternating fields and sand dunes of Zunggar Basin in the northwest.
The temperature in Urumqi widely ranges between day and night as it belongs to the semi-arid continental climate of middle temperate zone. The climate is extremely arid due to long period of sunlight and bare precipitation. It has shorter spring and autumn; and longer winter and summer. May to October is the golden season for traveling to Urumqi, when flowers are in full bloom and the fruits, like melons, are ripe with its fragrance. Here we should indicate that there are two hours time difference between Xinjiang and Beijing. The local working time is usually from 09:30 or 10:00. You had better not start your travel plan before 08:00 in the morning since it is still dark at that time.
Tourist resources of Urumqi have its own advantages and distinctions, which are strategically important in the ancient Silk Road that assembles the cultures of both eastern and western countries. The most famous tourist spots among the numerous cultural relics and natural landscapes include the Heavenly Lake, the Southern Pastures, the Red Hill, the Southern Mosque, the Tartar Mosque, and the Xinjiang Regional Museum.
In recent years, the city of Urumqi has continuously developed its economy, industry, culture as well as tourism and transportation. More choices for accommodation and dining, ranging from luxury hotels to budget hostels and from western restaurants to the local food street have been established. Nightlife in Urumqi provides multiple-range of choices such as watching the ethnic sing-and-dance show, tasting native delicacies in the night market, or simply hanging out in bars. Coming to Urumqi will not let you return to your country empty-handed. Shopping in the International Grand Bazaar is a pleasant experience. Bargain hunting for handicraft souvenirs such as rugs, carpets, Uygur-style hats, knitted sweaters, ethnic costumes, hand-made embroideries and jade carvings, will definitely draw your intense interest.