The best time to see the Islamic culture of Xinjiang is during the Islamic holidays: Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha (usually called Qurban Festival in China), when celebrations take place throughout the cities and countryside. In 2009, the Eid ul-Fitr will be around Sep 21, and Eid al-Adha around Nov 28.
The high tourist season in Xinjiang is from July to September. In the low season, accommodation rates and airfares usually drop sharply.
Transportation in Xinjiang includes air, railway and road. While railways only reach the eastern (like Turpan and Hami) and southwestern parts (like Kuqa, Aksu and Kashgar) of Xinjiang, roads are well developed. Major cities in Xinjiang, such as Yining, Kashgar and Hotan, are connected with Urumqi by air. To go to less popular spots like Tuyugou, you need to rent a car or go in a shared taxi from the nearby city.
In Xinjiang, while air flights and trains use Beijing time, long-distance buses often follow the Urumqi time, which is two hours later than Beijing time.
There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses in the cities but in rural areas sometimes you can only stay in local households. Rates for accommodation and food are negotiable, and usually low.
When visiting a Muslim family, simple gifts, such as tea and sugar, are recommended. It is advisable not to hand over or receive things with the left hand, which is considered unclean in Islam.