A Step Forward to China (3)
A Stop along the Ancient Silk Road
❖ Ürümqi(烏魯木齊, 우루무치)
Ürümqi is the colorful, busy capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in Western China. Ürümqi has been a hub for transport and commerce in the Xinjiang region for two thousand years ever since travelers first forged the northern route of the Silk Road across China. It now acts as a hinge for visitors to the entire Xinjiang region, and is the political, economic and cultural center of Xinjiang. Ürümqi has also earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most remote city from any sea in the world.
The most famous scenic spots among the numerous cultural relics and natural landscapes include Hong Shan(Red Mountain) Park, Tianchi (Heavenly Lake) and Da Bazar(Grand Bazaar).
❖ Hong Shan Park(紅山公園 , Hong Shan, Red Mountain Park, 홍산공원)
Hong Shan Park is in the center of Ürümqi and contains a 1391-meter-high mountain. The park has, among other things, a Ferris wheel, a Buddhist temple and great views over the city.
The temple lying on the hilltop is called Yu Huang Ge ("Chamber of Heavenly King") and is said to have been built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.)
❖ Tian Shan Tianchi (天山 天池, Heavenly Lake of Tian Shan, 천산 천지)
There are two ‘Tianchi’ in China. One is in Mt. Baekdu(白頭山), and the other is in Xinjiang.
Tianchi (天池, 천지) is an alpine lake in Xinjiang. The name ‘天池’ literally means "Heaven Lake" or "Heavenly Lake". This lake is classified as a AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.
❖ Da Bazar(Grand Bazaar, 국제바자르)
The Grand Bazaar, a traditional Islamic market area and the main Uyghur enclave in downtown – definitely worth a visit in the evenings for some food and people watching. In the summer time, the Da Bazar at night is a rather lively place, if you come just as it is getting dark you can see tight rope walkers walking from one side of two the next with the tall minaret in the background.
The Da Bazar is the largest bazaar in the world by scale combining Islamic culture, architecture, ethnic commerce, tourism and entertainment. It is also one of the most famous landmarks in Ürümqi
❖ Ban mian(拌面, 빤미엔)
Many of the local cuisine dishes here have Central Asian seasonings rather than more obviously Chinese flavors and much of the food is halal, due to the large Muslim population. Spicy food is very popular and the staple carbohydrate of choice is noodles, not rice as found in most other Chinese cities: dishes such as la mian and ban mian(noodles with mutton and spicy vegetable stew) are found all over the region. Skewered meat kebabs roasted over charcoal are a simple & cheap street-food that can be found on the corner of any busy street, as are stuffed buns and rice filled sausages.
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