So you want to visit the epic, barren, and totally unforgiving wilderness that is rural Xinjiang, right? You might already have your heart set on "roughing it" somewhere in the Takla Makan desert, but did you know that right here in Urumqi, there are plenty of pretty awesome places to explore too? Let us tell you about four unique parks that are all well within bus-riding distance of the Urumqi city center.
1) Tianshan Wildlife ReservationView In Map
If you travel to Urumqi, don't miss visiting the Tianshan Wildlife Reservation; it is one of Urumqi's most popular attractions. It is located in the Tianshan Bogedafeng Hills in Daban City (天山博格达峰南麓的达板城区). Altogether, the preserve occupies about 75 sq. km, so it is big enough to get lost in pretty easily. Actually, it is China's largest wildlife reservation. This place is home to lions, and tigers, and bears (Oh my!), as well as many other animals. Various exhibits in the reservation house over 170 different species. Be sure to check out some of the animals native to Xinjiang, such as the Pushi wild horses, something called a Mongolian wild ass, and snow leopards (!). For the lazy traveller, renting an electric car to drive around the reservation is essential (10 RMB).
Add: Tianshan Bodafengnanlu in Daban City, Urumqi
Price: 30 RMB
Getting there: Ride the 528A Bus to the Tianshan Wildlife Reservation stop (天山野生动物园站)
2) Hongshan Park红山公园 View In Map
Hongshan Park is located at the center of Urumqi, on the east side of the Urumqi River. It has a daunting-looking 910 metre tall reddish coloured mountain at its center, from which the park gets its name. Hongshan Park is the symbol of the city, and as such, it is a popular place for natives to hang out at on the weekends. The atmosphere in Hongshan is really nice; full of ancient-styled architecture mixed with many modern cultural elements. Inside the park, try and make time to visit the Wolong Fountain (卧龙喷泉) and the Lanxiu Garden (揽秀园). But, the main attraction of the park, is the to climb to the peak of Hongshan, which houses an 8m tall pagoda that faces another pagoda at the distant Yamalikeshan (they are known together as the "Zhenlong" pagodas). From the top of this pagoda, on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Tianshan Mountains (天山山脉), Bogedafeng (博格达峰), and Xueshan (雪山).
Add: 2 Hongshan Lu, Shayibake District, Urumqi
Opening hours: 09:00-21:00
Getting there: ride the No. 1, 7, 17, 61 Bus and get off at Hongshan Park
3) “Water Playground” 水上乐园 View In Map
The "Water Playground" is located in the south region of Urumqi, and is a very popular vacationing spot for locals and travelers alike during the summer months. It has many attractions, including a water park, a less wet "dry land park", a relaxing woodlands area, a Snow White igloo play-zone (Disney lawsuit pending), a rollercoaster, a Ferris wheel, a bungee-jumping tower, go karts, and a rock climbing wall. Oh yeah, and an aquarium.
Add: 2 Yanerwo Lu, Tianshan District, Urumqi
Price: Free to get in, pay for attractions
Opening hours: Summer (April 20 – October 20) 9:00-21:00
Getting there: Ride the No. 1, 7, 9, 191 Bus to Water Paradise
4) Renmin Park 人民公园 View In Map
Renmin Park, or as it was originally called "Good Times Park" (seriously), is the largest park in Urumqi. It is located on the east side of the Urumqi River (by Hetan Highway). The park is a mixture of old and new; you will notice traditional architectural touches everywhere, which is surrounded by modern exercising equipment (basketball courts, ping-pong, etc.). There is also a stage where the locals still watch traditional operas and plays. You can also see locals fishing along the sides of the ponds, and listen to the local saxophone players. The best time to visit Renmin Park is in autumn; as the trees all change colour you can snap some postcard-worthy photos.
Add: 3 Youhao Lu South, Urumqi
Opening hours: 09:00-21:00
Getting there: Ride the No. 1, 2, 3, 7, 17, 58, 902 bus to the park entrance
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Keywords: Parks in Urumqi Tianshan Wildlife Reservation parks outside Urumqi
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Don't overlook LiYuShan Park on BeiJing South Road. If you get off the BRT1 at DaXiGou, and go down GuiZhou Road to the West Gate before 12, there is a great wet and dry market, with lots of fast food. The park itself is full of new trees, music, activity, caged birds, off-leash happy dogs, and a great running circuit up to the lookout with 100 meter markers and a "stream" beside it.
Aug 14, 2012 19:22 Report Abuse
I went to the Wildlife Park last week. It was surprisingly good. I was horrified at the state of the enclosures at the Beijing zoo but apart from the poor elephant most animals had a large enclosure much bigger than any regular zoo. Best to get a private car there coz it's quite big and you can stop as long as you like.
Sep 02, 2011 08:22 Report Abuse