As the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Urumqi is fast-growing Central Aisan hub, as well as a popular tourist city. Covering an area of 14,200 square kilometers, Urumqi now has seven districts, one county and two national development zones under its jurisdiction. Located in the geographical center of the mainland of Asia, the city borders the Turpan Basin to the east and Tianshan Mountains to the north.
During the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907), the central government built a city wall at Urumqi and gradually the city became a vital point on the northern route of the Silk Road. The city was destroyed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and rebuilt in 1763 during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. Several hundred years later, the once picturesque pastureland has become a metropolis with streets lined with modern high buildings and bustling commercial establishments. Today, Urumqi is the political, economic, cultural and transportation center of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. High-rise apartments and tower blocks form a modern skyline that will soon dash any thoughts of spotting wandering camels and ancient caravanserais.
Urumqi has over two million residents, among which are many minorities, such as Uighur and Kazak. The Uighur is one of the largest ethnic groups in China. Various ethnic groups get together, communicating with each other and furthering their development, making Urumqi a fascinating place for multi-ethnic cultures.
The most famous attractions in Urumqi include the Heavenly Lake, the Southern Pastures, the Red Hill, the Southern Mosque, the Tartar Mosque, and the Xinjiang Regional Museum and so on. Besides, shopping in the International Grand Bazaar is a pleasant experience.