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  • Day8

    Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar

    October 21, 2017 in Malaysia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    We woke up later than usual today on purpose. Today's plan was just to visit the Grand Bazaar and do some souvenir shopping. One of our travelmate has to catch a flight back today so we decided this was the best thing to do. It gives us all a chance to do some shopping as other days mostly involve alot of sightseeing.

    We left the hostel at around 10am. It took around 20 minutes by taxi from our hostel and costed us about ¥15 to this place. Once there, we were subjected to security checks (again) before entering.

    You would think this bazaar is an important part of the Silk Road, but no, it was only built in 2003. It is the biggest bazaar in the world apparently. Smack in the middle of it is a 80 metre sightseeing tower. There is also a mosque within the vicinity.

    The bazaar has goods consisting mainly of dried fruit, figurines, jewellery, carpets and scarves. We wandered around for a bit before meeting an English speaking Uyghur shop owner who sold dried fruit. We asked him where to eat around the bazaar area and instead of just telling us, he brought us to the shop and even helped us in ordering food. The restaurant was called Alim Characteristic Polo (Yea I know, doesn't sound like a restaurant). We had polo, also known as pilaf (rice cooked in seasoned broth and had dried fruit, meat and spices) which is an Uyghur traditional dish. We also ordered barbequed mutton ribs coated in some local spices.

    After lunch, we headed back to the hostel as our travelmate needed to get packing and head to the airport. And then there was only two of us continuing the journey upto Tashkurgan. We also had overnight train to catch at 8.20pm today, so we left our hostel at around 7pm. That was a bad idea because when we got to Urumqi South station, there was a huge crowd undergoing security checks. After a series of security checks, we made it to our waiting hall at 8pm only to realize our train was delayed to 8.55pm. Since we didn't have time for dinner, we bought instant noodles and ate them in the train.

    The soft sleeper bunk beds are really comfortable and we shared it with a Japanese couple who were quiet the whole night. We will be reaching Kuqa (Kuche) at 6.33am tomorrow. Can't wait!
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