Urumqi: On the street

One of the things we enjoyed most about Urumqi was the relaxed feel on the street.  While we got our share of second glances, almost all of the looks were simply curious (after all, the Han majority population pays a fine of over $10,000 per child after one and we have four kids) looks followed with a smile.  

If you find yourself headed to Urumqi anytime soon, I highly recommend the Hong Fu hotel.  There were a few drawbacks ~ no tubs and difficulty communicating that our family of six required more than two towels each day ~ but for a standard room it was spacious and the breakfast buffet was quite expansive. 
The Hong Fu
Just across from the hotel was a nightly food market.  During the day it was a parking area, but starting around 5pm the cars moved, large rolls of wood looking linoleum were rolled out, tables and chairs appeared, and food carts started appearing from who knows where.  

One of the kebab stalls
Little charcoal grills on some of the table tops.

But at others you pointed to what kebab you want and they cook it for you.

These smelled SO GOOD but we weren't sure what type of meat they were or exactly where you ordered them.

And if kebabs aren't your style, there were plenty of other options too.  

 Seafood cart anyone?

In addition to those, there was the bread guy who put some mixture of ground lamb, spices and onion into a dough ball, twisted it, flattened it, and cooked it right there.  These were our dinner one night.  

 The stuffed bread guy.

And then of course there were the fruit stalls.

  Wagon style carts full of fruits
Carts loaded with apricots.

Another melon stand.  Note the traditional uyghur clothing.

There were many, many fruit stands, but there was something about "our fruit guy" that kept us coming back to his stand each night.

Maybe it was because he personally would taste a melon and then let us taste it too before he'd sell it to us.  Maybe it was just his reserved smile.  Maybe it was that he'd make sure the kids had plenty to eat.

Combine the food available with folks hawking trinkets

street music

and the opportunity for what we think was some sort of ice cream 

 no, we didn't know exactly what it was and yes, we enjoyed it thoroughly

and you have a great place to spend an evening.

Urumqi night food market, we'll miss you!



Jenn said...

Wow! Great pics and descriptions make me feel like I am right there with yal. I don't know about all that food, the kids in my house would be wanting pizza hut or kfc for every meal.
Continuing to pray for your safe travels.

Traci said...


Jess and Tim said...

Sounds like a great experience as far as the culture and area!! I don't think I have plans to go there soon, but hey...ya never know!! Thanks for sharing photos, I am sure you are very busy!!

Rachelle said...

Loving all the photos. I don't think I have ever seen any of this part of China. So great that you guys are out and about so much with 4 kids in tow! Way to soak up that culture. Your kids will remember it forever! Congrats again!