Best Places to Visit in Northwest China | Travel Guide (2024) | Things to Do, See & Eat
Northwest China Travel Guide
Quick overview of Northwest China with essential tips and insights. Jump to any section.
- Northwest China Travel Videos
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- Best Places To Visit In Northwest China
- Hotels Map Of Northwest China
- Tours And Activities In Northwest China
- Food And Drinks To Try In Northwest China
- Best Time To Visit Northwest China
- Flight Calendar For Northwest China
- Transportation To Northwest China
Welcome to Northwest China, a region known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant history. Located in the western part of China, this vast region encompasses provinces such as Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang. Northwest China is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the country, including the Terracotta Army in Xi'an, the majestic Yellow River, the mystical Silk Road, and the stunning landscapes of the Gobi Desert and the Tibetan Plateau. With its diverse ethnic groups, ancient ruins, and natural wonders, Northwest China offers a truly unique and immersive travel experience. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a history enthusiast, or a nature lover, this region has something to offer for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting Northwest China.
Northwest China Travel Videos
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Best Places To Visit in Northwest China
1. Xi'an: Located in the heart of Northwest China, Xi'an is a city steeped in history and culture. It is most famous for the Terracotta Army, an incredible archaeological site that showcases thousands of life-sized clay soldiers. Visitors can also explore the ancient city walls, visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and indulge in delicious local cuisine, such as Xi'an's famous dumplings.
2. Lanzhou: Situated on the banks of the Yellow River, Lanzhou is a vibrant city known for its stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage. One of the highlights is the Bingling Temple Grottoes, a series of caves adorned with intricate Buddhist sculptures and murals. Additionally, visitors can enjoy a stroll along the Yellow River Scenic Area, sample local delicacies like Lanzhou beef noodles, and visit the Gansu Provincial Museum to learn more about the region's history.
3. Dunhuang: Nestled in the Gobi Desert, Dunhuang is a captivating oasis town that served as a crucial stop on the ancient Silk Road. The Mogao Caves are the main attraction, housing a vast collection of Buddhist art spanning over a thousand years. Adventure enthusiasts can also explore the mesmerizing Singing Sand Dunes and take a camel ride through the Crescent Lake. Don't miss the opportunity to try the local specialty, Dunhuang-style lamb skewers.
4. Urumqi: As the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Urumqi is a melting pot of cultures and a gateway to the stunning landscapes of Northwest China. The Xinjiang Regional Museum offers a fascinating insight into the region's diverse ethnic groups, while the Heavenly Lake provides a serene escape surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Visitors can also explore the bustling Grand Bazaar, where they can shop for traditional crafts and savor delicious Uighur cuisine.
5. Turpan: Known as the "Land of Fire," Turpan boasts a unique landscape and a rich history. The Flaming Mountains offer a surreal sight with their red sandstone cliffs, while the Grape Valley showcases the region's agricultural prowess. History buffs can explore the ancient ruins of Jiaohe and Gaochang, which were once important Silk Road cities. Don't forget to try the local specialty, Turpan raisins, and indulge in a relaxing soak at the Emin Minaret.
6. Kashgar: Located near the borders of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Kashgar is a city that exudes a vibrant blend of Central Asian and Chinese cultures. The Id Kah Mosque is a must-visit, as it is one of the largest mosques in China and a symbol of the city's Islamic heritage. The Sunday Market is a bustling affair where visitors can immerse themselves in the local atmosphere and shop for traditional crafts and spices. Exploring the Old Town is like stepping back in time, with its narrow alleys and traditional Uighur houses.
7. Zhangye: Zhangye is home to one of China's most breathtaking natural wonders, the Rainbow Mountains. These colorful rock formations create a surreal landscape that is truly awe-inspiring. The Giant Buddha Temple is another highlight, housing a massive reclining Buddha statue that dates back to the Western Xia Dynasty. Visitors can also explore the Danxia National Geological Park and witness the stunning beauty of the Zhangye Danxia Landform.
8. Jiayuguan: Known as the "First Pass Under Heaven," Jiayuguan is an important historical site that marks the western end of the Great Wall of China. The Jiayuguan Pass is a well-preserved section of the wall and offers panoramic views of the surrounding desert. The Overhanging Great Wall is another architectural marvel, with its precarious position on a steep cliff. History enthusiasts can also visit the Jiayuguan Museum to learn more about the city's strategic significance.
9. Yinchuan: Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, is a city that seamlessly blends traditional Chinese culture with Islamic influences. The Western Xia Tombs are a major attraction, housing the mausoleums of the Western Xia Dynasty rulers. The Nanguan Mosque is a beautiful example of Islamic architecture, while the Helan Mountains offer stunning natural scenery and opportunities for hiking and photography.
10. Hami: Situated in the eastern part of Xinjiang, Hami is known for its unique desert landscapes and delicious Hami melons. The Hami King's Mausoleum is a historical site that showcases the city's past as an important stop on the Silk Road. Visitors can also explore the Hami Museum to learn more about the region's history and culture. The Yiwu Ancient City is another must-visit, with its well-preserved ancient buildings and charming atmosphere.
Hotels Map Of Northwest China
All-in-one Map to find Best Hotels, Vacation Rentals, Tours, Activities and Restaurants in Northwest China.
Tours And Activities In Northwest China
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Food & Drinks To Try In Northwest China
1. Lanzhou Beef Noodles: Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province in Northwest China, is famous for its delicious beef noodles. These noodles are made from hand-pulled wheat dough and served in a flavorful beef broth with tender slices of beef, green onions, and various spices. The dish is known for its rich and hearty flavors, making it a must-try when visiting Northwest China.
2. Xinjiang Lamb Skewers: Xinjiang, a region in Northwest China, is renowned for its flavorful lamb skewers. These skewers are made by marinating chunks of lamb in a mixture of spices such as cumin, chili powder, and Sichuan peppercorns, and then grilling them over an open flame. The result is tender and juicy pieces of meat with a smoky and aromatic flavor that is simply irresistible.
3. Nang Bread: Nang bread is a traditional staple in Xinjiang cuisine. It is a type of flatbread that is baked in a tandoor oven and often topped with sesame seeds or other seasonings. Nang bread can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for various dishes, such as kebabs or stews. Its crispy exterior and soft interior make it a delightful addition to any meal.
4. Yogurt: Northwest China is known for its delicious and creamy yogurt. The region's unique climate and grazing lands provide ideal conditions for dairy farming, resulting in high-quality milk and yogurt products. The yogurt in this region is often made from sheep's milk and has a slightly tangy flavor. It is commonly served as a refreshing drink or used as an ingredient in desserts and sauces.
5. Fruit and Nut Mix: Northwest China is also famous for its wide variety of dried fruits and nuts. The region's dry climate and fertile soil make it an ideal place for growing fruits such as raisins, apricots, and goji berries. These dried fruits are often combined with nuts like walnuts, almonds, and pistachios to create a delicious and nutritious snack. The fruit and nut mix is a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.
6. Jujube Tea: Jujube, also known as Chinese date, is a fruit that is commonly grown in Northwest China. Jujube tea is made by steeping dried jujube fruits in hot water, resulting in a sweet and fragrant beverage. It is believed to have various health benefits, such as improving digestion and boosting the immune system. Jujube tea is a popular drink in Northwest China and is often enjoyed during the colder months.
7. Gansu-style Dumplings: Gansu province in Northwest China has its own unique style of dumplings. These dumplings are typically larger in size and filled with a variety of ingredients, such as minced meat, vegetables, and spices. They are often served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, and chili oil. Gansu-style dumplings are a delicious and satisfying meal option that should not be missed.
8. Liangpi: Liangpi is a popular cold noodle dish in Northwest China. It is made from wheat or rice flour and served with a variety of toppings, such as cucumber, bean sprouts, and chili oil. The noodles are typically dressed with a tangy and spicy sauce made from vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Liangpi is a refreshing and flavorful dish that is perfect for hot summer days.
9. Ganbao Tea: Ganbao tea is a traditional herbal tea that is popular in Northwest China. It is made by brewing a mixture of various herbs, such as chrysanthemum flowers, honeysuckle, and licorice root. Ganbao tea is believed to have cooling properties and is often consumed during the summer months to help alleviate heat-related ailments. It has a mild and soothing flavor that is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
10. Gansu-style Noodles: Gansu province is also known for its unique style of noodles. These noodles are typically made from wheat flour and have a chewy and springy texture. They are often served in a flavorful broth with various toppings, such as minced meat, vegetables, and herbs. Gansu-style noodles are a comforting and satisfying dish that showcases the region's culinary heritage.
Best Time To Visit Northwest China
The best time to visit Northwest China, China is during the spring and autumn seasons. The region experiences extreme temperatures during the summer and winter, with scorching heat and freezing cold respectively. In spring, which lasts from March to May, the weather is mild and pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the region's natural beauty. Autumn, from September to November, also offers comfortable temperatures and stunning landscapes as the leaves change color. It is important to note that Northwest China is a vast region with varying climates, so it is advisable to check the specific weather conditions of the cities or areas you plan to visit.
Flight Calendar For Northwest China
Discover the Cheapest Days and Months to Book Flight Tickets to Northwest China.
Transportation To Northwest China
There are several transportation options to Northwest China, China.
1. Airplane: The most convenient way to reach Northwest China is by flying to one of the major airports in the region, such as Xi'an Xianyang International Airport or Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport. From there, you can take domestic flights to various cities in Northwest China.
2. Train: China has an extensive railway network, and there are several train routes that connect to Northwest China. You can take a train from major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou to cities in Northwest China, such as Xi'an or Lanzhou.
3. Bus: Long-distance buses are also available to travel to Northwest China from other parts of China. There are bus services that connect major cities to Northwest China, but the journey can be quite long and time-consuming.
4. Car: If you prefer a more flexible mode of transportation, you can also drive to Northwest China. China has a well-developed highway system, and you can rent a car or hire a driver to explore the region at your own pace.
It is important to note that Northwest China is a vast region, and transportation options may vary depending on the specific city or destination within Northwest China that you are planning to visit.