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22nd July 2012, 04:38 PM
Wonder it is safe to travel to Xinjiang all the way to the North from mid Aug? Any restriction to foreigner?
22nd July 2012, 11:55 PM
I was there in Aug 2010, a year after the riots in Xinjiang. I cannot tell if it would be safe in Aug 2012, but it was relatively safe when I travelled.
"... all the way to the North..." - by this I would presume you mean to travel through the Hexi Corridor, swing south and then from the southern part of Xinjiang travel to Minfeng, Hetian, Kashgar, Urumqi then all the way to Altay. I did not go all the way to Altay, but I faced no restrictions in the places I visited.
When in Xinjiang, I was often asked which tribe I am from. I never once mentioned Chinese nor Han. I totally denied my roots and pretended I did not understand the question. I had no intention of being dragged into their politics when all I was interested in were photos.
August was a good time for me. I left Xinjiang late August. There was a group who travelled there (more or less the same route) a month later, and they complained about the cold in the latter part of their trip.
Hope this helped.
23rd July 2012, 12:38 AM
Thank number2. I was there in Sep 2007 but was with an organised tour group. Lake Kanas was really beautiful but was cold during that period. This time we will start driving from Chengdu and planning will leave it to my friend.
24th July 2012, 12:32 AM
As a by the by, I am usually able to draw money out of the ATM's in China using my local ATM card. Please check with your bank on this.
Anyway, when I was in Xinjiang, I travelled alone, and I ran low on cash. All the ATM's in Xinjiang refused to recognise my local ATM card, and did not accept my credit card either. My guess is that when I was there, there was some sort of restriction on internet data flow between the banks in Xinjiang and the outside world.
How I survived would be another story for another time, but please do be careful that the ATM machine option may not work now - it sure as hell did not work in August 2010!
Have a good trip, have a safe trip.
24th July 2012, 08:50 AM
Thank Number2. I am a regular traveller to China so I have a Local bank account with online transaction . This year is Vanguard Up-Rise28my third long trip to China. 2 months in Yunnan, 2 months in Eastern China and next another 2 months in North West China. One question for you. How much is the bank service charge if I withdraw cash using my Singapore's ATM card?
24th July 2012, 11:21 AM
Regions like Xinjiang, your friend doing the planning gotta check with local agencies for updates, cos they can change anytime. But yeah, northern Xinjiang is great mid to late Sep!
24th July 2012, 03:24 PM
Tony jia you ! But don't forget to post photos.
24th July 2012, 10:28 PM
I was in Xinjiang in Dec last year. It was relatively calm and safe, but when you enter some shopping centers, book stores, train stations and central bus stations, you need to go through the metal detector as a formality.
If you plan to travel by train, it is better to book your train tickets early. When I traveled from Turpan to LiuYuan in Gansu Province (where the famous Dunhuang is), we didn't manage to get a sleeper train ticket. As a result, we spent 8 hours squeezing with the migrant workers, without a seat, breathing in generously the 2nd hand smoke in a normal train.
Have a nice trip
25th July 2012, 12:04 AM
Thanks Barracuda for the tips. My friend will be driving so that solve some of the transportation problems. If i am not wrong, there is no toll charges in Xinjiang.
25th July 2012, 12:50 AM
I think different banks have levy different charges, so perhaps it would be a lot more accurate if you were to check with your bank.
Originally Posted by tonychua
May you never run out of cash in China. It is not an experience I would want to repeat!
There is an English expression - "A hungry man is a fearless man". In Chinese, the equivalent is " poor people are the fiercest" (direct translation). I can assure you both are true!
Finally, good to know you have access to private transport. When I was in China in August, I was inadvertently caught in the mad rush for tickets back to University. I totally forgot about the end of the Summer holidays. I had trouble buying train tickets, but evidently, that would not be a problem for you.
8th August 2012, 05:38 PM
hey tony chua, do remember to share your experience after you are back, I want to go there also.