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North West China was historically a border region with the beginning of the ancient Silk Road, much desert terrain, and mainly Muslim inhabitants including some nomads and rather fierce tribal groups. It has always had strong Chinese influences, though at times there were also independent kingdoms in the area. Over the past hundred years there has been considerable migration by Han Chinese; they are now the largest ethnic group in most areas. Today it is a rapidly growing region, though still less developed than coastal areas.


Regions of Northwest China
  Shaanxi Province
  Gansu Province
  Ningxia Autonomous Region
  Qinghai Province
  Xinjiang Autonomous Region (Dzungarian, Tarim)


Map of Northwest China

  • 1 Dunhuang, Gansu, with Buddhist grottoes that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • 2 Golmud, Qinghai, jumping off point for many trips to Tibet
  • 3 Kashgar, Xinjiang, historic trading center on the Silk Road
  • 4 Lanzhou, Gansu, provincial capital
  • 5 Turpan, Xinjiang, lowest point in China
  • 6 Urumqi, Xinjiang, provincial capital
  • 7 Xi'an, Shaanxi, ancient capital with many cultural relics including the Terracotta Warriors
  • 8 Xining, Qinghai, provincial capital
  • 9 Yinchuan, Ningxia, provincial capital

Other destinations[edit]


Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]


Heaven lake of Tian Shan


Shopping at Urumqi's International Grand Bazaar.



Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Northwest China is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!