The Muslim Quarter

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
Trip End Jun 29, 2011

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Where I stayed
Maitian International Youth Hostel

Flag of China  , Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu,
Friday, June 24, 2011

Today's the 25th.  It's Sam's birthday - he's 23 - and it's also the last day of our trip.  We fly "home" to Nanjing this afternoon.

Yesterday, we explored the Muslim Quarter of Urumqi.  It really is just a quarter - a small, sequestered section of the city.  Before arriving, Sam and I thought Urumqi would be mostly Uighur Muslim, but that isn't so.  It's mostly Chinese.

In the Muslim Quarter, we shopped around the indoor/outdoor bazaar, which wasn't that different from all the other Chinese tourist trap markets we've seen.  We didn't buy anything.  It's hard to get your heart into buying souvenirs when every shop sells the exact same faire, and when the identical shops go on and on forever.  (Worry not though - I have bought souvenirs for closest family and friends, and I plan to buy a few more in Zhenjiang before I leave).

After looking around the bazaar, we had lunch at an outdoor stall that served the famous Uighur dish polo, which is a sort of rice pilaf with carrots and mutton.  Sam bought warm sesame bread from another stall and we drank Earl Grey tea with our meal.  Earl Grey seems to be the tea of choice among Uighur people as we had it with our dinner as well.  It's a variety Sam and I hadn't tasted before though, and we loved it.


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