The Silk Road

Back to Urumqi

Some surprises were in store as we arrived back in Urumqi.  

Urumqi minaret

This is a minaret in the central area of Urumqi. Again the patterns in the brickwork are a testimonial to the skills of the bricklayers.

Urumqi mosque

Here is Sakorn in the central area of Urumqi with a large mosque in the background.

dried fruit

Inside the Urumqi bazaar this stall sells a variety of dried fruits.

musical instruments

Another stall sells a strange combination of musical instruments, leather saddles and fancy knives.

wood carving

This carved treestump must weigh a ton. It is obviously intended for a rich local tourist or an extremely rich foreigner. It would cost a lot to ship back home.

Urumqi street scene

A typical street scene with wide roads, well-directed traffic and a very broad footpath. The footpath area is shared with carparking.



Street scene2

People hurry to get home as a sandstorm approaches.


The air is filled with flying sand driven by a strong wind.

Hotel bedroom

Surprise number one was our accommodation. It was by far the best that we have ever had, with a bedroom with a flat-screen TV, an on-suite bathroom, a dressing room and a lounge room with a second toilet and TV.


This is the lounge suite.

Work desk

This is the work desk in the lounge room with the TV mounted on a fancy glass wall.


Surprise number two was that the sandstorm became a snowstorm overnight. The storm closed the airport so we had to stay an extra night. Unfortunately we didn't get to stay in the same hotel. The tour company paid for the extra night but in a cheaper hotel.

Sakorn and snow

Sakorn standing next to a snow covered car while snow is still falling.

Snow in the park

We were quite pleased with the extra day. We got to play in the snow.

Pink blossoms in snow

These pink blossoms, covered with snow, caught my eye.

snow maidens

Sakorn and friends pose with reindeer in the background.

Sakorn, snow and city

The park where we enjoyed the snow is on a hill in the city.


These icicles seemed well developed considering that it had only started snowing during the night.

Sakorn and chedi

Sakorn with a Chinese style chedi in the background.

sakor and snow

I took one last shot of Sakorn with snow falling in the background.

This was a good trip. We enjoyed it a lot. The places that we covered and the people we encountered were very different to those we had seen on our trips to other parts of China. The region, despite its long Buddhist history, is now predominantly Moslem. Our trip covered only part of the Chinese section of the Silk Road. We hope to get back to China in the next year or two to see the eastern end of the Silk Road which ends in Xi'an, the home of the Terra Cotta Warriors, in Shaanxi province.