Also unforgettable was our experience driving through Beijing in an old fashioned motorcycle side car followed by lunch with a local family in their traditional hutong house.
China - Urumqi
Urumqi is the capital of Xinjiang, China's far western province, and is home to about two and a half million people. While Urumqi is said to be the most inland city on earth - that is, the farthest from any ocean - it is nonetheless surrounded by an abundance of dramatic natural wonders, from the snow-capped Tian Shan Mountains to the deep blue waters of the Tian Chi Lake. The city's former past as a prominent stop on the Silk Road gives it a wealth of historic and artistic wonders, including teeming bazaars, a flavorful, rich cuisine, a multi-ethnic, multicultural population, and archaeological artifacts and relics. Urumqi presents a side of China little-seen by outsiders, a bustling, culturally distinct city little-changed since the days of spice caravans and itinerant traders.