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Advice for travelling to Urumqi

by caroltanyw Online Now Nov 18, 2004 at 6:01 AM

Dear All, I am thinking of visiting Urumqi during this coming Christmas. I wish to find out information related to the following things. 1. what is the weather like in Urumqi during Christmas? 2. What should i bring given that i depart from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (tropical country, summer all year round) ? 3. How much money should i bring? Does credit card help to get around in Urumqi? 4. How do i get to travel to Tian mountain and Tian "Pond" from Urumqi? 5. I will be travelling alone. Is it safe to travel alone? 6. If i depart from KL, in which city i should land in China that enables me to get a connecting flight the easiest way? Sorry for whole bundle of questions, would appreaciate if all experienced travellers could advise me on the above mentioned areas. Thanks & look forward to hearing your reply! Cheers, CT

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  • dipendra's Profile Photo

    Re: Advice for travelling to Urumqi

    by dipendra Online Now Nov 18, 2004 at 5:29 PM

    hi there, 1. it gonna be very cold, it's freezing. 2. bring enough winter coat. since u come from Malyasia, i'm not sure how much cold u can stand. anyway, if u don't bring enough cloth, it's easy to get some at Urumqi. 3. for the expense, it depends. where do u plan to stay? a 5 star hotel? or hostel? for most of the time, u can use credit card to withdraw money from ATM only. 4. for Tian mountain and pond, it gonna be nippy and windy. there is day trip arranged by tour agency. 5. u're safe. but be aware of the pick pocket. and if u don't want to buy sth., don't bargain with the shop owner. 6. for the flight, u may check www.ctrip.com how long u plan to stay there ? personally, i don't think it's an good idea to travel around xing jiang at winter. if u want, u can try for ski close to Urumqi. Autumn is the best season.

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  • Re: Re: Advice for travelling to Urumqi

    by caroltanyw Online Now Nov 18, 2004 at 10:48 PM

    thank you wang yang. the www.ctrip.com website is indeed very informative. do you know if i would need special visa to get into urumqi? i read in the lonely planet that to some areas visas would be required..and sometimes it takes 3days to 2 weeks to process? (The "Official invitation" ) thanks very much for your help.

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  • dipendra's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Advice for travelling to Urumqi

    by dipendra Online Now Nov 18, 2004 at 11:57 PM

    Sorry, for this question, i'm not 100% sure, course, i'm Chinese. as far as i know, u don't need special permission for travel at Urumqi. but some places close to the border, u may need to apply the permission from the local government or the tour agency can help u by charge some handling fees. for how to apply it and which kinds of paper u need to bring, sorry , i have no idea, i'm not foreigner. xingjiang is a fantastic places, but for winter..... what can i say. have a nice trip

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  • tangerinetheory's Profile Photo

    Re: Advice for travelling to Urumqi

    by tangerinetheory Online Now Nov 19, 2004 at 12:19 AM

    I was in urumqi about 2 years ago and got a flight out from beijing to urumqi. Urumqi, the city, is ok for a visit but and I wasn't too excited about it. I also went to the Tian Mountains and it was very memorable (this was during the summer months). We just hired a car from Urumiqi to the mountains and the trip was about 1 hour if my memory is correct. The car hire was about20 us. At the mountains/lake we stayed with a Khazhagstan family inside a yurt and iw was really a great experience...try drinking the goat milk and if your really adventurous, go for some horse milk.. We stayed for about 1 week there. Don't know what its like in winter but we took a hike all the way up the mountains, half on horseback, half hike and when we got to the top it was amazing....seeing snow in summer weather. If you have time, I would suggest making a visit to Khasghar...it has much more to offer than urumiqi...and you have to try the kabobs there.

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  • Re: Advice for travelling to Urumqi

    by mke1963 Online Now Nov 21, 2004 at 7:06 AM

    Urumqi willbe very cold with a little snow on the ground. I was there on December 1st last year, and it was -20deg Celsius, and very windy making it the coldest place I have ever felt. I travelled outside the city to Ulanbay and it was bitterly, bitterly cold....I was frozen to the core after 3 minutes outside the car. Credit cards are utterly hopeless for anything other than 4 and 5 star hotels. I bought carpets with my credit card and it took 5 attempts over two days with some witless woman from the Bank of China called in by the shop to process it. (The credit card was treated lie something from outer space). In the meantime my card was twice blocked as, when it failed the first time, she just entered the merchant account details for other shops in other cities: this obviously showed up as almost simultaneous transactions in different cities. Foreign ATM cards work in machines which show a Mastercard, Visa or Cirrus sign by the machine. How much money do you spend? Urumqi, like every corner of China except my chilren's bedrooms, is safe at all times of day and night. China is a respectful, safe country. Urumqi is no different. You do not need special permission at all, except for a very small number of places close to sensitive military areas or borders. From KL, easiest way is probably via Beijing. Shanghai has flights to Urumqi but you would need to transit to Hongqiao from Pudong. Another alternative would be through Guangzhou. Get a travel agent to check best connections. As far as the heavenly lakes, it is possible that access is limited or difficult during the winter months, because of ice. However, good trips would be to places like Turfan, Kashgar (Kashi) or even as far as Dunhuang in Gansu. I found Urumqi a friendly, warm city once you get out of the wind. -Mark

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