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Wednesday, Trains from Dunhuang to Yumen to Urumqi

Urumqi, China
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Got up early, packed up, and was out the door at about 7:30 am. On my way to the Bus 12 stop, one came by and I flagged it down. Now that I know what the symbol for 'Train Station' looks like it's easy to spot the right bus.

The first train was the 3 hour slow train to Yumen. The second train was the 6 hour fast train to Urumqi so I wasn't sure that it left from the same station in Yumen but it did. Usually the fast train is at a different station farther away. It looks like Yumen is small enough for only one station.

The fast train got to Urumqi at about 8 pm. I tried to take the bus to downtown but I wasn't sure it was going that direction even though the people asked said it was. I bailed on it and took a taxi the rest of the way. It was a long way to downtown but the taxi was only 24 CNY, under 4 USD. The hotel was on a one way street so the taxi dropped me off a few blocks away and I hike in the rest of the way.

When I get to a new city after a long train ride it takes awhile for my phone's geo-location to update. I am completely lost until it updates so that always adds to the confusion. Once everything got updated I realized that I should have gotten off the train at Urumqi South because it is a lot closer to center of the city where the hotel was. The regular Urumqi Train Station is way up north.

Urumqi is a huge, modern, vibrant city. One thing that is new is the fact that there is security and police everywhere here. At the train station I had to go through separate security for foreigners to be checked and double checked. There was also a cop on the train who took my picture and a picture of my passport photo.

In the city, there are metal detectors and security on the street and at all big stores and restaurants. They don't do much good since the metal detectors always go off and the guards or cops just sit there.

Another difference in Urumqi is that there are far fewer scooters and electric bikes and there aren't separate bike-only side roads like in all the previous Chinese cities that I've been to.

There was a KFC right around the corner from the hotel, the Jinjiang Inn Urumqi Hongqi Road, so I went there for a late dinner.


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