Grand China Travel

Home Turpan Travel Guide Night Life in Turpan

Night Life And Entertainment In Turpan

Xinjiang's resident Uighur and Kazakhs have well-earned reputations for enjoying song, dance and festivities. The turpan nightlifesounds of Central Asia are everywhere in Uighur sections of Urumqi, blaring from street-side restaurants and boom boxes: insistent, upbeat complex rhythms propel songs passionately sung and played on percussion, string and wind instruments. A good night out on the town involves ample food and performances of song, dance and acrobatics. Of course, much of today's Urumqi has been settled by Han Chinese, so if you're experiencing a touch of Uighur fatigue after weeks of touring Xinjiang or going through C-pop withdrawal, you can easily find a range of entertainment options familiar to the east of China-KTV (karaoke), disco, bowling, billiards and nightclubs. And as international tourism and trade increase, Western-style clubs, bars and restaurants are growing in number.
Nightlife aside, it's the local heritage and history-Uighur, Kazakh and Mongolian as well as Han-that makes Urumqi unique. Visits to the city's museums and local festivals are great ways to get in touch with the area's rich and diverse cultural offerings. Festivals are a good time to catch such favorite regional pastimes as horse racing, wrestling and diaoyang, a sort of Central Asian rodeo-polo hybrid involving crackerjack horsemanship and a hapless goat.
Bars & Clubs
Jiefang Nan Lu hosts a number of pubs, cafes and clubs for those seeking nightlife along Western-style and modern Chinese lines. Teahouses are a better place to find a more authentic local scene. Generally the Muslim Uighur are quite liberal when it comes to alcohol, but never simply assume it's available or that it's all right to bring your own into a Uighur establishment.
Performing Arts
Local song, dance and acrobatics performances can be found in marketplaces and restaurants in the southern part of town. The International Bazaar and Erdaoqiao Market and May First Night Market (Wuyi Yeshi) are the best bets. Despite its modern transportation links, the remoteness of the world's most-landlocked city keeps most international touring acts from visiting Urumqi.
Museums & Galleries
The Xinjiang Museum (Xinjiang Bowuguan) is a must for anyone interested in the history of the region and the Silk Road, featuring excellent exhibits on Uyghur, Mongolian and Kazakh history and culture as well as the unique oasis culture where for centuries East and West met as traders braved the expanses of Asia. Fascinating evidence of the region's role as something of a Central Asian melting pot comes in the form of the famous Xinjiang mummies, some well over 2,000 years old and clearly displaying Indo-European features.
Festivals & Events
The Corban Festival, celebrated by Hui, Uyghur, Kazak, Uzbek, Tajik, Tatar, Kirgiz, Salar, Dongxiang, and Bonan peoples, is well worth catching if you're in town in late fall. 'Corban' comes from the Arabic and has to do with the sacrifice of livestock; in Urumqi, people come from all over the region to sell and trade goods, feast, dance and watch horse races, diaoyang and wrestling matches. The Farsi name of the Rouzi Aiti Festival (also known as Bairam, it follows the Islamic holy day Ramadan) offers further insight into both the culturally hybrid nature of Xinjiang and into the Islamic faith that connects it to points west as much as centuries of Chinese influence connect it to Xian and Beijing to the east. In the spring, the Nuoluzi Festival puts a Turkic spin on the traditional Chinese Spring Festival. For these and other local festivals, you'll need to check dates as they are scheduled according to either the Islamic or Chinese lunar calendars.
Login to post comments