Urumqi International Airport is a modern aerocomplex located in one of the remote settlements in the west of China. Many Russian travelers who have visited these regions compare Urumqi with Magadan. The city is surrounded by vast wastelands.
On the approach to it from the window of the porthole are seen the bare peaks of the mountain range of Hongshan. In winter, they blind their eyes with puffy ice-cold peaks, tearing up fluffy, dull clouds.
Do not believe me? Look at the airport in Urumqi, whose photo is abundantly laid out on the web. The town of Urumqi is located at an altitude of eight hundred meters above sea level. The maximum height of the local rocks is three and a half thousand meters.
Abode of stone and sand
Here, in the realm of the mountains and silent silence, the territory of the national park, the business card of the Xinjiang Uyghur region extends. However, the airport of Urumqi itself can not be called a crowded place. He welcomes travelers to the shiny steel surfaces of the information pillars and escalators, empty chairs and spacious corridors.
Since the main population of the city is represented by several nationalities at the same time, Urumqi airport also broadcasts its news in all four languages: Uighur, Russian, English and Arabic. An excellent example of tolerance and concern for citizens.
Officially Urumqi airport is called "Dyvop". Here, the most important air arteries of the world intersect and join: routes from Europe, South-East Asia and China in particular. The terminal consists of several passenger terminals.
Infrastructure of the terminal
In the main hall of the complex there are cafes, snack bars and an abundance of souvenir shops. Even in the duty-free zone, there is practically no one day or night.
In those days when there were no direct planes from Moscow to Guangzhou, many transit passengers from Russia chose Urumqi airport for transplantation. Reviews about him, by the way, were very controversial.
Traditionally from the airport to the city you can get either by taxi or by public transport. Both of them regularly shuttle between the air gates of western China and the Urumqi settlement. The nearby residential area pleasantly surprises with cleanliness and accuracy.
Tour of Urumqi
If you are lucky with the weather, the city meets travelers slowly strolling in the parks and on the streets with couples, retirees and noisy children. If you have more than ten hours at your disposal, the hotel at Urumqi Airport can easily be changed to rest in a small hotel located somewhere in the city center.
Even being on the outskirts of the city, in just ten minutes you will find yourself in the very epicenter. Exactly so much takes the road from the airport. Urumqi is a city, by Chinese standards, quite small, compact and very cozy. But for Russians it is a real metropolis. It's a joke, it has more than three million people.
As well as at the airport, advertising signs are duplicated not only in English, but also in broken Russian and, of course, Arabic. Despite its status as a "millionaire", the city can not boast of the dynamic life of the metropolis. Time in it flows slowly and slowly.
Eclecticism of the East
Whether the local market is Yes Bazaar! He is as gay as an oriental guest, hospitable and cheerful. They come here to talk, exchange news and drink a cup of strong and insanely aromatic coffee. A cloud of spices that envelops the market square, with an unaccustomed dope and turns his head. What is there not! Spices in canvas bags, outlandish dishes, meat and dairy products.
In addition to small private shops, the city has several large network hypermarkets. Prices in them are much cheaper. What do housewives do in Urumqi? Guests are treated to a bright yellow plov, sharp lagman, juicy kebab and even yogurt! Many catering establishments operate on the All Inclusive system.
At the entrance visitors are given metal kitchen utensils, in which they will have to cook their own lunch or dinner. In the menu of restaurants a lot of exotic fruits. Rambutans are particularly appreciated in Urumqi.
Moving around the city on your own transport is not profitable. Gasoline there is much more expensive than in Russia. But in a taxi - inexpensive and comfortable. In Urumqi, there are almost no traffic jams. The city literally drowns in various kinds of traffic junctions and overpasses. The minimum number of storeys of highways is two levels.
To try real local cuisine, you need to retire from the main business and tourist areas of the metropolis. Five minutes walk - and you are in an absolutely unfamiliar place, flamboyant Uighur color. Naturally, the title of Queen in the local restaurants belongs to her Majesty noodles. There are several hundred ways to prepare it. Local chefs know them all!
About Central Asia in Urumqi is reminiscent not only of Arabian ligature, but also typical adobe constructions, surrounded on all sides by massive fences, the tops of which are crowned by the lush green of fruit trees. In the distance, the blue domes of the minarets are visible, and in the mornings the inhabitants of the surrounding streets, that snakes scatter in different directions from the mosques, wake up the mournful songs of the muezzins.
In general, the city is very different from the central part of China. It's all a bit different. The mentality of its inhabitants is much closer and more understandable to our Siberians, for whom Urumqi became the center of shuttle trade in the troubled nineties, and now it is a reliable and reliable economic partner. To hear Russian speeches on its prospectuses is as simple as during a walk through the cities of Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan.