Some facts about Urumqi:
- Burqa’s are forbidden. Women can wear headscarves and colorful traditional outfits that are modest, but they must show their faces.
- The government frowns upon fasting during Ramadan. They insist that all restaurants stay open all day long. From what I could tell many Muslims, didn’t fast as they were eating throughout the day.
- There’s security everywhere — as I’ve written and it’s so tiring.
- Uighurs drink tea with jam in it to sweeten it. It’s very tasty. Try it at home!
- In Urumqi by the Grand Bazaar a man sells wonderful cups of soft-serve orange sherbet that tastes like soft Dreamsicles™.
- Young men are forbidden by law to wear beards. Old men can wear them, though.
- The Uighurs pretty much live in the south part of the city and the Han and other Chinese ethnic groups stick to the north.
- No water, yogurt or lighters are allowed on the BRT buses.
- You have to go through two security checkpoints at the airport: one when you enter and another after you check in.
- People in Xinjiang don’t smile much, but I’m not surprised.
- Uighurs make good meat pockets that make for good snacks or lunch. You can buy them on the street.
- Uighurs are famous for their bread.