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Xinjiang's autumnal allure

By Yang Yang | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-10-27 07:29

Spectacular scenery draws visitors to the Kanas Nature Reserve in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region's Altay in autumn. YUAN HUANHUAN/FOR CHINA DAILY

Autumn is not only arguably the most spectacular season in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region's north but also is particularly spectacular there compared with other places.

Winter temperatures plummet to below-40 C. The world is coated in fluffy white.

Altay's powdery snow makes it an internationally acclaimed ski destination.

It's a stark contrast from autumn's mosaic of yellow, orange and red leaves that tinge the mountains and reflect on the lakes of such places as the Kanas Nature Reserve and Koktokay Scenic Area.

The Tianshan Mountains divide Xinjiang's 1.66 million square kilometers into north and south.

Northern Xinjiang includes such cities as the capital, Urumqi, Karamay, Tacheng, Altay, Beitun and the Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture.

The south is home to Kashgar, Aksu and Hotan.

Diverse geographical features, rich culture and unique cuisines have made Xinjiang one of the most popular destinations in recent years, and tourism has become a pillar industry.

Over 230 million tourists traveled there in 2019, 100 million more than in 2014. The region was expecting even more this year, until the epidemic.

It reopened to tourists at the start of September, after a six-week lockdown due to an outbreak in mid-July.

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