Is it Safe to Travel to Xinjiang? Q&A #2

Is it Safe to Travel to Xinjiang? Q&A #2

Xinjiang Q&A, episode 2! Is it safe to travel to Xinjiang? I completely
understand why you’re asking that question. The funny thing is, when I arrived in 2006,
that question wasn’t even relevant. It wasn’t until 2008 coming up to the Olympics and 2009
when we had incidents here in Urumqi that that question became something that was commonly
asked by travelers heading out to this region. So let me go ahead and answer that question
quickly: Is it safe to travel to Xinjiang. YES! Ok…I guess I can’t say that with 100% certainty
and I’m sure there’s some liability involved in there so let me qualify that statement
just a little bit. Over the past 10 years I have not heard of
a single incident where a traveler – whether directly or indirectly – has been involved
and harmed in any of the ethnic conflict that has occurred here in Xinjiang. And that even
includes the Han Chinese tourists. One of the questions I get a lot is: “I look Han
Chinese. Is it safe for me to travel around the southern part of Xinjiang?” And again,
I don’t know of anybody that has been harmed and one little tip for you: smile! It’s surprisingly disarming for people, especially
in southern Xinjiang where people are incredibly friendly and a smile is just one small gesture
that really makes a big difference. So let me walk you through a couple of things
that you’re going to notice differently when traveling here in Xinjiang and things that
you can do in order to make sure that doesn’t hamper or change your plans here as you’re
traveling. The first is this: you’re gonna notice more
military and security personnel here all across the region. Whether that’s at transportation
hubs; whether that’s on the streets; you’re going to see a lot of military. And really,
for the most part, it’s not going to affect you at all. The biggest thing you should remember,
especially if you have a camera, is don’t take a picture of the security and military
personnel. I don’t know any other way to say it. If you want to get your camera confiscated
or if you want to get your memory card wiped, please by all means go ahead and take pictures
of the security but you’re going to notice the moment that your camera even comes near
to them they’re going to notice and they’re going to let you know they’re not happy about
that. The second thing is that you’re going to notice
a lot of metal detectors that you’re going to have to go through. You’re going to notice
a LOT of cameras all over the place and you’re going to notice bag checks everywhere you
go. This is just part of life here in Xinjiang and it’s something you need to get used to. The next thing is security checkpoints. This
is particularly around the southern part of Xinjiang. I remember going from Kashgar on
a bus down to Hotan and probably got stopped and had to leave the bus 6-7 times where everybody
had to exit, show their passports and prove that they were there legally. That’s just
common and again, it’s part of traveling around in the southern part of Xinjiang. My advice to you is this: 1) ALWAYS have your
passport along with you and 2) this is key – have a copy of your passport kept in another
place. So if you have your bag let’s say under the bus, keep your passport on you and keep
a copy of your passport in your bag. That way, if something happens, if you lose your
passport, you have a copy of your passport and – excuse me, let me qualify that – passport
and visa, a copy of your passport and valid visa in another place with you. Next is, you’re going to notice a lot of longer
lines in places like the airport, the train station, the bus station; all of those places
are going to have longer lines. For instance, at the Urumqi International Airport, before
you even get into the airport you have to pass your bags through a scanner and security
check, and that’s not to mention the security that you’re gonna have to go through before
you get to the gate. So expect that what you would normally think the time that you need,
lengthen that by at least 50%-100% more in order to give yourself enough time to get
through the different transportation hubs that you’re going to be going through…excuse
me, going through. The next is that you should expect unexpected
delays and restrictions, ok. Whether that’s flight delays, whether that’s delays due to
security checks; it happens all the time and I have a number of people who tell me “I was
planning to go here…” or they ask me “Is it possible to go to this village” or “Is
it possible to go here”. And my answer is usually the same: “Well, it should be!” Whether
it actually is or not is dependent upon the security official that day or maybe the government
official for that particular region. I can’t tell you for certain that where you want to
go is going to be open for foreigners at the time you want to go, so just, you know, be
flexible about it. That’s one of the two things that I would
really say for those that are thinking and worried about the safety situation here in
Xinjiang. The first is this: use common sense. The biggest thing that you’re gonna have to
really worry about here is pickpockets and that’s the same all over China. That is my
biggest concern here in Xinjiang as regards to safety, not that anything else is going
to happen to me. So use common sense and the second thing is to be flexible. Be flexible with your itinerary; be flexible
with your time, because the more you’re going to be rigid about it the less you’re going
to enjoy your experience here in Xinjiang. Because things happen that are out of your
control, they’re out of my control, they ALWAYS happen, so as long as you expect it, you can
have a good time while you’re here. I’m Josh. This is FarWestChina. If you have
any other questions about traveling in this western region of Xinjiang, look at the rest
of the FAQ videos I have here or, if you don’t find your answer there, email me at [email protected]
That’s all. Peace!

100 thoughts on “Is it Safe to Travel to Xinjiang? Q&A #2

  1. I had my wallet stolen while standing on a crowded bus one day, and my cell phone stolen a different day on the BRT. I was sleeping seated on the bus when they got my phone.

  2. 新疆目前肯定是安全的,新疆能发展对中国是有利的。

  3. It's the hassle of always having to produce your passport etc that I'm talking about, especially if you're on a motorcycle they'll target you more and the rural areas that I'd be riding through would really set off alarm bells. Also the constant unpredictability of where you can and can't go. Being pulled over every hour is not fun. Pretty much why I don't want to travel to that area 🙂

  4. I think foreigner is safe in Xinjiang ,because most of terrorist want independent from China, their lead also live in western country , they think western support them , so they only attack Chinese Han people .
    I never heard of any foreigner be attacked at the past .

  5. According to Wikipedia, Aladdin the flying carpet rider is originally from this place..i know it sounds weird, but google it..hey,,Aladdin is Chinese..

  6. i'm glad to know your not those typical westerner shouting free Tibet free Xinjiang but shit while they killed the native Americans and destroyed Lybia

  7. rolf.
    great vid.
    great attempt.

    reading between the lines sure made me giggle.
    even if uncertianly.

    so basically han chinese are frowned upon.
    which is why reading between the line stage two comes in.
    smile…. so people like you.

    which basically means tensions are real.
    calling for the need to wash off the disgust.

  8. Its only safe because the stupid bullshit Chinese Government wont let the Uighurs have their own guns or swords!! The Uighurs would have their own country by now if they had these weapons. FREEDOM FOR THE UIGHURS!! LET THEM HAVE THEIR WEAPONS!!!!!

  9. Chinese King really so good for Xinjiang? You do not lie here, do not publish your so-called propaganda video here! How much did the Chinese Communist Party give you?

  10. i was there may/2016. i saw soldiers/police and armored vehicles at the international bazaar. other than that, i did not see any heavy police present on the streets. a few days ago, i read the news in the internet that xinjiang now has armored vehicles, soldiers and police line the street. it is that bad now or the news reporter distorted it ??? can someone confirm that ???

  11. Thank you very much for the program about Xinjiang only I have a request sure that I express the opinion of the majority of Uighurs Can I call Xinjiang Turkestan so it was called for over a century the Chinese Communists having occupied gave the name of Xinziang that in translation means new territory this humiliating name of the Communists thank you very much

  12. Thank you for watching! I hope that this puts your mind at east when it comes to traveling around Xinjiang.
    Don't forget, if you're planning a trip to Xinjiang, you're going to want to get a copy of the FarWestChina Xinjiang travel guide. You can download a free planning chapter or purchase the entire guide on Amazon or as a PDF using these links below:

    **Free Planning Chapter:
    **Buy on Amazon:
    **Buy the PDF:

  13. I was curious as too what you do to make a living over there if you don't mind me asking. I would love to teach English in China and xinjiang caught my attention. I'm also a mandarin learner. I just subscribe to your channel and like it a lot; so if your able to get back to me great if not no worries.

  14. the security checks in Xiajiang airport is the same with travelling in United States. it is annoying!!!

  15. 作为一个中国人负责任的讲,新疆甚至全中国没有真正意义上的恐怖分子存在,中国很安全,电视上出现的一些暴力事件起因也只是因为贫穷和被愚弄造成的不理智的违法行为,新疆的人很好,只要经济发展起来了,就能解决

  16. 1:54
    The comment '"it's not going to affect you"
    Well, if you have to empty the car of passengers every time you want to gas up, it IS going to effect you.
    Similarly, if you drive into a city/town from the highway, you'll find you will be stopped by a police check-point: Yes, it WILL affect you.
    If you are driving from, say, Turpan to Kucha and are required to stop for verification of 'papers' every 50Km or so, it WILL affect you.
    After reading several books on the Silk Road and the history of China, I am guessing the Han Chinese (Chi Coms, if you will) are making the same mistake they have made in the past: Spending far too much for 'security' in an area where they would do far better by simply allowing it to adopt the government it chooses and trade with the parties who are there.

  17. Fair and measured comment. Extremely remarkable for an American reporter. A piece of advice also: spend a few minutes learning 10 or 20 basic phrases in Chinese (Mandarin or hanyu). It is not any more difficult than German or French…And learning 5 basic road/street signs….

  18. Thanks Josh , you inspire me a lot in this video , i'm planning to study in XJ next year , but my parents still worried about safety …

  19. 从B站看到了你的视频,真的好感动 谢谢你把新疆最美最真实最热情的一面展现给大家 让更多人消除对新疆的偏见,感谢你🙏! 继续支持你!不要停下!💕👍

    I notice your video from Bilibili. I just want to say thank you so much to bring the effort to show everyone the most authentic, the most hospitable side and the truth of Xinjiang! Xinjiang is really safe and I welcome everyone travel to Xinjiang and share the beautiful landscapes and cuisines in Xinjiang I’m from Urumqi! 💕💕👍👍

  20. Great video…thanks! I have been living in Jiangxi province for three years now. I have been to Beijing, Shanghai and major other cities. I am planing in going to Urumqi before I head back to Mexico. My question is…are prices about the same as the rest of China? Like street food, hotel, etc..?

  21. how about the oppressed the people getting murdered and intimidated by ccp, something you need to get use to? so you are saying its ok for the ccp to be there destroying tradition like they do in tibet

  22. Han Chinese are pretty racist toward their Muslim neighbors in the west. Not going to lie. If I was to ask my mother if I could go and travel to Xinjiang, she probably wouldn't let me.

  23. Hey buddy, how about buying gas from local gas station if you are driving your own vehicle from other places in China?

  24. Hello!
    I’m currently studying‘ in China and I decided that Xinjiang would be my last stop, so I booked my flight ticket back to Paris from Urumqi. However, I heard people telling me that I wouldn’t be allowed to go to Xinjiang since it’s a special zone. I doubted a lot about such words, but now I am getting stressed. Could you please confirm that I can do so if I have a valid Chinese visa and my passport up to date?
    Thanks in advance for your response

  25. There is an old Chinese said " you will have 30% risk when taking a boat or walking on the street". So it can be dangerous anywhere in this world if you're unlucky or uncareful. Hope the majority Han and Uyghur can respect each others, integrate and live in harmony. Besides their own native language, Uyghur should learn Chinese language to better understand the Chinese culture, avoid unnecessary misunderstanding and integrate with them. Actress Dilraba Dilmurat / 迪丽热巴 who has ranked as the " most beautiful women in China" is the best example. To be frank, only China government has the ability and financial power to bring Xinjang/them to the next level.

  26. So in summary…TONS of security checks…more security check with a side of security check along with a cold glass of security check. What’s for dessert you ask? Yup more security check.

    For a place that is suppose to be safe, there is quite a bit of security check going on.

  27. Your advice basically is correct. When I traveled in Xinjiang, I felt good with the local people (different tribe). I am a Han people from southern China.

  28. My wife and I just returned from more than a week traveling through Xinjiang, visiting Tulufan, Hetian, Kashgar, Minfong, Luntai, Kucha, Nalati grassland, Ili and Ulumuqi. What we saw was not security but rather a Chinese police state. Especially in the southern cities there were armed police on every street corner, police stations on every block and barbed wire barricades outside most sizable buildings. Even small businesses had metal detectors at the entrance manned by flak jacket clad security guards, often elderly, asleep or inattentive.
    Traveling by hired car we faced as many as six police checks in one day where our movements were recorded while my US passport was scrutinized and photographed by surly officers. We will not forget the joyless faces of the Uyghur people who are being treated like enemies in their own country. There were plenty of Chinese tourists in Xinjiang. Clearly outsiders are not welcome there.

  29. You don’t get it though the danger is the police who will beat people of certain races. With my skin colour I can’t travel there as my friends warned me about being labeled a terrorist and that the police would hurt me. Maybe even jail me and take my organs. Im going to trust my anti-commie friends and never go there. So I don’t end up in a labour camp.

  30. More than 5 million Uighurs in chinese concentration camps!
    All Uighur men age 14-50 are vanished, NO ONE KNOWS WHERE ARE THEY!
    all Uighur women forced to marry chinese to save other members of the family!
    Why the world stay silent!

  31. You might trouble as a Chinese person Definitely But you can't not trouble if you are weaker person

  32. I like how you describe the regulations and check points. It's different from those media demonizing such things that are set to ensure the security.

  33. Isn't that the same as any other city round the world? Well these metal detectors and the bag checks are sprouting up everywhere around Asia like in Thailand, India, Indonesia and other parts of China. So I guess it's the same everywhere right ?

  34. Is it safe to travel for me AND my ethically Han chinese Wife that comes from Xinjiang? She was in the massacre of Urumqi. She never feels safe in majority Uyghur areas. And i understand her.

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