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A party of four: my brother-in-law, his wife, my wife, and me onboarded a China Southern Airlines flight from Taipei to Urumqi on 24th day of last month, and at eight oclock "early" morning we arrived at the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (FYI, the whole China Mainland is under one time zone, so at eight oclock, morning has not broken here in Urumgi.) I was told that due to political reason it was the last scheduled direct flight between two cities, and we had to find a tranferring station ten days later when we were to return to Taiwan.
The tour organizer and a tour guide met us at airport, henceforth we started our ten days tour in southern part of Xinjiang. Because we scheduled to leave for Turpan(吐魯番) at noon of the day, it left us only a couple of hours in Urumqi. Then the tour guide, actually a 8-V SUV driver who chauffered us along the road, took us to see a private-owned Riding Arena, in which it exhibits as many as 400 tall, stout horses, and each of them is worth 400 thousand RMB.
In the arena, there are also relevant boutiques and museums. A museum contains the works of a famous oil painter Yan Yaya(燕婭婭), a prestigious artist who has been best known of her paintings related to the people and scenery pertaining to Pamir(帕米爾高原), which is one of the stops in our journey. Please google to know more about Ms Yan and her works.
PS Urumqi(Wulumuqi) used to be called Dihua(迪化). You may think it was the name given in ROC era in Mainland. Not exactly, 迪化 had been so named by Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dyansty when he oppressed a local rebellion and recovered Xinjiang during mid 18th century.
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