When speaking of Xinjiang, most people think of exotic faces, shashlik (skewered meat) or the Silk Road, but there is much more to endear visitors to the vast northwestern land.
Covering 1,660,000 square km, Xinjiang is the largest provincial region of China, covering an area three times the size of France, nine times the size of Guangdong province or 100 times the size of Beijing. Its capital Urumqi lies in the centre of the Asian continent and is the farthest city from the sea in the world.
Area: 1/6 China
Not all residents of Xinjiang are Uygurs. There are 47 ethnic groups represented in the region including Han, Hui, Xibe and Kazak.
Household names born in Xinjiang: CCTV host Nigmat Rahman (Uygur), director Lu Chuan (Han), actor Li Yapeng (Han), actress Jiang Xin (Hui) and Tong Liya (Xibe).
Using horses or camels for transportation is history. Xinjiang is now no different from other places. People can choose airplanes, high-speed trains or private cars. Xinjiang has 16 airports, the most in all provincial regions, and the longest airline routes in China.
Xinjiang enjoys beautiful landscapes that are among the most varied in China. Marvel at the Insukati Valley, Flaming Mountains, Taklimakan desert, Kanas Lake and Nalat Grassland.
Xinjiang also tempts its visitors with traditional food such as sauté spicy chicken, hand pilaf, shashlik, nang (crusty pancake) and pulled noodles, some of which are popular across China.
Renowned Xinjiang specialties include cotton, tomato, lavender, mutton, beef, jujube and various fruits.
Xinjiang has the richest mineral resources in China, with 138 varieties accounting for 80.7% of the total discovered in the country.
It's still not dark at 10 pm in summer? Don't be surprised. Although Xinjiang uses Beijing time, it spans two time zones which are different from that of Beijing, and lags two or three hours behind Beijing time.
Source - en.people.cn