Source: CRI [18:11 July 14 2009]
Uygur artists perform Maixilaipu for guests coming from afar. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]
Hami is endowed with a spectacular natural landscape of the expansive prairies and Tianshan Mountain Ranges.
The first city that the blossom-finding journey took us to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the northwest is Hami, which enjoys the longest sunshine in China, even longer than the reputed "Sunshine city" of Lhasa.
Located in the east of Xinjiang, Hami serves as the eastern gate of Xinjiang towards other parts in central China. Hami is endowed with a spectacular natural landscape of the expansive prairies and Tianshan Mountain Ranges. One can easily find most types of geographical features in the region, such as the Gobi desert, oasis, grassland, wetlands, lakes, mountains and forests.
On the first evening of our stay in Hami, we watched "Maixilaipu"-in Uygur it refers to a song-and-dance carnival party performed on the square by folk artists and professional dancers. Unlike normal ethnic minority dances, the beautiful Uygur girls and handsome Urgur young men invite audience members to dance with them. The warm and festive atmosphere moved everyone.
The next day we visited Balikun prairie on the outskirts of Hami. Located at the foot of Tianshan Mountain, Balikun prairie offers picturestic scenery. The white sheep roaming on the grassland looked like rolling masses of clouds in the crystal-clear blue sky, while green grass, wild blossoms, flocks and herds grazed along the azure-blue lake.
Hami of course has more to offer to its visitors, since it is really a mysterious and exotic city. However, it always is a pity that we cannot stay in one city for longer to explore more about its massive cultural relics and distinct folk customs. Our journey has to move on to the next stop on the ancient silk road.
I wish that one day I could come back again, to taste the authentic fragrance of Hami melon, to view the charming landscape of the Tianshan Mountain, to dance with the ethnic locals, in this heavenly oasis.