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Urumqi Grand Bazaar

Urumqi Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar (also called Erdaoqiao in Chinese or the International Bazaar) is a place to get and look at regional products, and there are also imported products from nearby Russia and Mongolia and the new states to the west. 

  • Large market and store area in the Uighur district of Urumqi.
  • Xinjiang regional products and products from around Central Asia.
  • A large mosque is close by.
  • Next to the Xinjiang Silk Road Museum and near other museums.
dried grape

To attract attention, people stage entertainment like tightrope walking, and you can try the local food. Try Uighur fruitcakes and dried fruits. There is also a building where people can have banquets while watching staged theaters or musical performances. Most of Urumqi is a regular Chinese city, but to see some regional culture and shop, the Grand Bazaar and the Uighur area around it is an interesting place to go.

If you have only a few hours to spend in Urumqi and want to get to know the region and its culture, this might be the best place to go in the city because there is a large mosque, a museum about the Silk Road and the region of Xinjiang, and a lot of Uighur businesses.

Before the riots a few years ago, it is said that as many as 100,000 people shopped there each day. Just after the riots, a few hundred people visited the stores. Now, there are lots of guards and police watching and patrolling.

The Xinjiang Silk Road Museum (新疆丝绸之路博物馆) is easy to find since it is located adjacent to the Grand Bazaar at No. 160 Shengli Road. It is in a large European-style building that also has a shopping complex. You can learn about the history of the ancient Han and Tang Dynasty civilization along the Silk Road in Xinjiang and get acquainted with the customs of the people presently living in the vast region.

Things to Do

grand bazzar

Shop for local and regional products. You can bargain for handicraft souvenirs such as rugs, carpets, Uygur-style hats, ethnic musical instruments, knitted sweaters, ethnic costumes, hand-made embroideries and carvings. Take a look at imported Russian manufactured products such as binoculars and Mongolian goods.

Dine in the restaurants or try the snacks. Uighur nutty fruitcakes are good if they are well made. It is a place to stock up on dried fruit like raisins, prunes, and figs and many other kinds of dried fruit in China. If you are new to China, try a plate of the Uighur beef or lamb noodles. You can add hot sauce to taste.

Go to the adjacent Silk Road Museum on the 5th and 6th floors of the large European-style building at 160 Shengli Road. Bus 110 stops next to it. You can learn about the history of the Silk Road and the ethnic people.

Travel Essentials

  • Location: Shengli Road in southern Urumqi.
  • How to go there: Many buses including Bus No. 110 go there.
  • When to go: When it is warm from May to October is best. In the summer, the area is more active in the evenings. Because of curfews, the shops might close early.
  • Beware of pickpockets.

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