Travel to Far West China (Xinjiang) – Episode 515

categories: asia travel

Travel to Far West China (Xinjiang) - What to Do, See and Eat in this Ancient Crossroads of Many Cultures


Hear about travel to Far West China (Xinjiang) as theAmateur Traveler talks to Josh Summers from about his adopted home where China meets Central Asia.

Josh says, “there’s a lot about China as a whole that draws people in, but I feel like Xinjiang is the hidden pearl that people miss, partly because it’s so far out there and very few people just have the time to come out here. But the fact is that there is so much hidden beauty. I am talking about not just natural beauty but we’ve got the second largest desert and the second largest mountain in all the world. K2 comes up against Xinjiang. But we also have some of the most interesting cultures. We have the Uyghur culture, we have the Hui culture, Kazakh, all of Central Asia just comes to a head here in Xinjiang.”

“The Xinjiang region makes up 1/6 of China’s total land area so it is a massive place.” We start in the capital of Ürümqi which has both air and high speed train access from the rest of China. From there us down to cities in or near the Taklamakan Desert like Turpan with its historic karez water system that waters the desert from the nearby mountains. We talk about mummies and bout the Uyghur who are a turkic people who make up a large amount of the population in Xinjiang.

We pass by the Flaming Mountains, the Jiaohe Ruins to Tuyoq which is a village that early European explorers would still recognize.

Josh talks about the city of Kashgar known for the Id Kah Mosque which is the largest mosque in China and the Afaq Khoja Mausoleum where you can visit the burial site of the “Fragrant Concubine” (maybe) .

The Josh heads us south along the beautiful Karakoram Highway towards Pakistan. Snow capped mountains, grasslands and yurts give entirely different vistas in this area near the border with Central Asia. If you are lucky maybe you will see a game of Buzkashi which will give you at least one more idea of what to do with the carcass of a dead goat.

Xinjiang is going to challenge your notion of what China is like.

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Show Notes
Taklamakan Desert
Travel the Silk Road in China’s Gansu Province – Episode 436
Urumqi’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum
Astana Cemetery
Tarim mummies (Loulan Beauty)
Han Chinese
Turpan water system (karez)
Jiaohe Ruins
Tuyoq Valley
Aurel Stein
Why is there tension between China and the Uighurs?
Id Kah Mosque
Afaq Khoja Mausoleum
Fragrant Concubine
Riding the Night Train in China
Tian Shan (mountains)
Kanas Lake
Karakoram Highway
K2 Hostel Tashkurgan
K2 Hostel Tashkurgan (reviews)
Tashkurgan Hotels
July 2009 Ürümqi riots


Jere wrote:

You need to update your story on Naples and the Almafi… We have spent several months living in Napoli over the past two years… taxis are now well regulated (fixed prices to the train, airport, etc.) and I have never seen garbage. Repeating these old tapes have a negative effect on travelers who will otherwise miss a wonderful city and people

Eamonn wrote that he would like to see shows on “Algeria, Russia’s North Caucuses, Kosovo [we have one], Mauritania! Really enjoying the podcasts. Listened to the Sudan, Colombia, Medellin, Panama and Western Sahara episodes this evening. Great insights.”

Travel to Far West China (Xinjiang) - What to Do, See and Eat in this Ancient Crossroads of Many Cultures

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

One Response to “Travel to Far West China (Xinjiang) – Episode 515”

Hanuman Chalisa


Thanks for sharing another podcast! China is a wonderful country!

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