What to buy
Xinjiang is the birthplace of carpets of the whole world. Xinjiang Carpet, also known as Orient Carpet, is a traditional and national artwork of Xinjiang. Xinjiang Carpet is famous around the whole world thanks to its exquisite craftsmanship and brilliant artistic style. People in Xinjiang began to weave carpets about 2,000 years ago. The design and color of Xinjiang Carpet reflect both national and regional features. They are all woven manually by the Uygur people, and are generally made of wool. Xinjiang carpets can be used in many places, such as living rooms, corridors, or exhibition halls. Xinjiang Carpets have advantages of good pull endurance, pressure endurance and high intensity.
Hotan has long been known as the epicenter of the central Asian and Chinese jade trade. Located at the southwest of Xinjiang, Hotan is famous for its pure white and flawless jade - Hotan jade. Hotan jade, Lantian jade, Nanyang jade, Jiuquan jade and Xiuyan jade are five famous jades in China. Hotan jade is one of the best jades in quality among them. Hotan jade has a history of more than 2,000 years. There are many kinds of Hotan jade, including white jade, carbuncle, topaz, sapphire, purple jade, black jade, etc. The white jade is the most precious, and Yangzhi jade is considered the best of the white jade. When you buy Hotan jade in Urumqi, you should choose it carefully. Some fakes are also sold in market. Maybe you can go with a connoisseur. According to current statistics, the annual output of Hotan jade is around 20 to 30 tons.
Xinjiang soil pottery has a quite long history, as people began to produce soil pottery in the Neolithic Age. The colored pottery produced in Han and Jin dynasties is provided with old and unique national style. There are two types of Xinjiang soil pottery: glazed pottery and white pottery which is not glazed. Glazed potteries are abundant in variety. Urns in large size which are used to keep the water cool are usually made of white pottery.
Wandering in Urumqi, you will likely be attracted by the colored caps full of the street. Most Uygur people wear caps that are rich in colors, such as red, pink, blue, yellow, white, brown, and so on. There are sometimes flowers on the caps to make them more beautiful. The caps are not only practical, but also a kind of handicraft with ornamental aesthetic feeling. Most of the caps are not expensive; you can buy some before you leave there. The cap can be used in daily life, and the wonderful presents to your friends.
Tianshan Snow Lotus
Tianshan Snow Lotus, also known as "Snow Water Lily", belongs to the species of herbs. Uygur people call it "Tagle Tirith", which means "the King of Herbs". It will take six to eight years from germination to blossom. When the last summer comes in July and August, Snow Lotus blossoms on cliffs in the Tianshan Mountain. As a rare and valuable alpine plant native to the region, Tianshan Snow Lotus grows in areas at least 3,000 meters above the sea level, and with a very low reproductive rate. Tianshan Snow Lotus is considered as the best of medicinal herbs in Xinjiang.
Where to buy
As the largest bazaar of ethnic minority goods in Urumqi, Erdaoqiao bazaar is located along Jiefang Road. Erdaoqiao Bazaar is one of the best starting points for visitors’ sightseeing in Xinjiang. You can find a bustling market filled with clothing, fruits, crafts, carpets and more things here. When you are tired of shopping, the bazaar also provides places to eat or replenish your energy. You had better go there on Sunday, because there are more goods to buy on that day. Erdaoqiao bazaar is crowd almost every day. It is very important for you to be careful with your belongings.
International Grand Bazaar
International Grand Bazaar, which was founded in 2003, is the largest bazaar in the world. The International Grand Bazaar integrates Islamic culture, architecture, national trade, entertainment and dining. International Grand Bazaar is a great place not only for regional specialty items, but also has many goods from nearby countries such as Russia and Mongolia. The International Grand Bazaar is a popular tourist destination although somewhat of a tourist trap these days. However, the surrounding area is the heart of the Uygur community and makes it worth seeing.
Zhongshan Street used to the center of Xinjiang in history. It was a flourishing area as early as 1773. In 2005, the commercial streets of Zhongshan Street was graded as "one of the most famous commercial streets in China". Nowadays, you can almost buy everything in the markets of Zhongshan Street. There are eight famous top 500 global corporations and 125 markets in Zhongshan Street. There is no doubt that Zhongshan Street has already become "Wangfujing of Urumqi".