Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (in abbreviated form - Xinjiang, historical name - East Turkestan) is a vast region in the far northwest of China.
Xinjiang occupies the area - 1.82 million square meters ², which is one sixth of Chinese territory. Xinjiang has a long land border 5,600 km with eight countries: Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan and Pakistan. The region also borders the Chinese provinces Gansu, Zinhai and Tibet Autonomous Region.
The northern part of the territory is sandy-loamy Junggar plain, the southern one is Kashgar plain (Tarim Basin), a huge sandy Takla Makan desert is situated in the central part of this plain. The high-mountain ranges of Eastern Tien Shan and Kun-Lun up to 7719m (peak Kongur) lie between plains. Major rivers are the Tarim River, the upper Ili, Irtish. Major Lakes are Lop Nor, Bagrashkel, Ebi-Nur, Tiens.
The climate is arid and sharply continental.
The population of Xinjiang is more than 26 million people. Xinjiang is inhabited by 47 nationalities, the most numerous of them are the Uigurs, the Chinese (Han), Kazakh, Dungan (Huei), Oirat Mongols (Kalmiks), Kirgiz, Cibo, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Manchurs, Daurs, Tatars and Russians. Once-famous center of Russian and Kazakh emigration Inin (Kulja) is situated in the border area of China and Kazakhstan, where one of the official people of the region - Russian Xinjiang are remained. Here in 1954 Ili-Kazakh Autonomous Area was established.
Xinjiang is one of five national autonomous regions of China. The capital and the largest city is Urumchi, with a population of over one million people. Other major cities of Xinjiang are Kashgar, Turpan, Tashkurgan, Hotan, Aksu.
The rich history, world-famous architectural monuments and ancient culture of Xinjiang attract numerous of tourists. Tours of the ancient Silk Road (Kashgar, Khotan, Yarkand, Turpan, Kurla, Tashkurgan, Aksu, Urumqi, etc.) are especially popular and also adventure tours in the mountains and rock climbing to the peak of Muztag-Ata (7546 m).