Why You Should Visit Xinjiang

The adjective most commonly applied to Xinjiang* is “restive”. After a series of recent attacks attributed to the region’s Uyghur separatists, it was with some trepidation back in June that I agreed to arrange a trip to the area for friends.

However, happily for our small group, Xinjiang was at its beautiful autumnal best for us – early snow dumps notwithstanding – and the Uyghur people we met and stayed with were, without exception, incredibly warm and welcoming and kind.

I’m biased, suffering as I do from chronic Cental Asian wanderlust, but you really should go. Just make sure you have a good appetite for mutton and enough space in your bags for a Kashgari carpet or two…**

Soundtrack: 《姑娘我爱你》 (“Girl, I love you”) by Sonam Tashi

* For the uninitiated, Xinjiang is here:Where is Xinjiang?

**I’m still vaguely hoping that mine will turn out to be a magic one – anything to avoid domestic flights in China…

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