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Kanas

Kanas, the small town of fantasies, is the perfect place to spend a fall and winter vacation of the year. Here, summer escapes in the blink of an eye. Autumn and winter will never stop to amaze you with its white color. Wooden huts, jungles, rivers and lagoons under a thick layer of snow illuminated with the rays of the sun, make the views seem under a special filter. Attractions such as skiing or snowboarding, a warm Hot Pot in these weather conditions, or simply a walk in a totally snow-covered forest, immerse this city in a world of fantasy and a romantic atmosphere. Kanas is the city that you cannot miss.

How to get +

By plane: most of the flights arriving in Kanas depart from the main cities of Sinkiang, so we recommend taking a flight to Urumuchi, make a stopover there, and fly straight away to Burqin Kanasi airport.

By train: there are no trains that go directly to the city of Kanas. Therefore, if you want to use this type of transport, you would have to take a train in Urumuchi to Beitung and from there, a car to get to Kanas.

By bus: from Urumuchi, several buses depart to Burqin city, and from there, there are buses everyday in the morning to visit Kanas. There are currently 3 bus lines from Urumuchi to Burqin, one in the morning to arrive at Burqin at night and another 2 at night that arrive at Burqin the next day in the morning.

By car: it is not recommended to go by car since there is a great distance between different places to visit and weather conditions don’t help at all. The best thing would be to hire a local driver / guide to accompany you throughout the trip who can also recommend you the best places to go to. More information available in the “Travel Tips” section.

Travel tips +

Transport:

Renting a car with a driver in winter: The most comfortable way to travel is to rent a taxi or a car with a driver-guide who accompanies you throughout the trip, since during the winter the buses stop operating. This service is charged per day, between ¥650-1000, depending on the car, including gas, the car itself, and the driver-guide. Pay attention or ask well if the accommodation and food of the driver is paid separately. If you are traveling alone, you can find travelers to share the costs of the car and the driver.

Very important: in Kanas only 4-wheel drive cars are allowed to enter. 2-wheel drive cars are prohibited from entering. In the other seasons of the year, it is forbidden to enter the entire Kanas area and / or Hemu by car. Tourists should get off at the entrance of the town.

During heavy snowfalls, all entrances and exits are temporarily closed.

 

What to bring:

The climate in Sinkiang province is quite dry at all times of the year, including winter. It is recommended to bring moisturizers and sunscreen to protect ourselves well from dryness and sun rays.

The temperature difference between day and night is very big. Nights in Kanas can reach -40˚C, therefore, wear warm clothes, such as long coats, snow boots, thermals, and all possible accessories, such as gloves, hats, etc.

Since the distance between the different points is quite big, it is recommended to carry medicine to prevent motion sickness in cars, among others.

 

Language and culture:

The main language of this region is Mandarin. Being unexploited original villages, it is difficult to find someone who speaks English. So it is always recommended to be accompanied by someone who knows Chinese to be able to communicate with locals. In many areas, it is easy not to receive a signal on mobile phones, so you should not trust a translation application on the phone that is not very accurate.

In all Kanas there are small different ethnic groups with a great variety of religious beliefs, so you should respect their different customs. Do not reject the meat local people give you or the blankets to sleep in they offer, because they must be accepted with joy. You should not play with the flock, nor throw garbage on the fire, or wash things in the river making it dirty.

Gastronomy +

In the gastronomy of the Kanas area, spicy taste predominates. Almost all their dishes have a mild heat, and the use of spices such as cumin, pepper and paprika predominate. Besides, vegetables such as potatoes and onions are also used very frequently to prepare different dishes. It is mainly consumed lamb and beef and their main forms of cooking are steamed, boiled in water with a little salt to maintain the original flavor of the meat, and barbecued, adding a large amount of cumin. Many dishes still maintain their original ways of eating by taking with the hand, although many also use chopsticks.

Sinkiang pita bread (馕): it is the most typical and favorite food in the entire Sinkiang area. There are numerous varieties of this bread, although the most common are: made with lamb, cumin, pepper and onion; or made with lamb oil; and sesame, mixing the dough with sesame and grape juice. This pita bread does not need special conditions to preserve, so for nomadic peoples they are essential on a day-to-day basis.

Pilaf rice (手抓饭): the main ingredients in this dish are lamb, carrot, onion, lamb fat and rice. Rice pilaf literally means rice grabbed with the hand and this is because its original way of eating it was with the hands, although now it is served with chopsticks. This dish is very typical during the festive season and one of the main ones for large events.

Meat Skewers (烤肉串): barbecued lamb skewers from this region can be both a street-style fast food meal and a delicious table-top dish. The authentic skewers have a bright golden color with a hint of mild spice. The meat is very tender due to its proportional combination with the fat part in small cuts, which means that in each bite you can taste better from both parts in each bite.

Tea with milk (奶茶): tea with milk is an essential drink in the daily life of ethnic groups throughout this region. The so-called brick tea, in Chinese Zhuang tea, is popularly used, mixing with cow’s or sheep’s milk. At the end, a pinch of salt is always added to this drink, making it taste salty.

Boiled lamb (煮羊肉): if you have the opportunity to visit this region, don’t miss out on its delicious lamb meat. Here, away from contaminations, these animals are raised in a better environment. Therefore, their meat is tastier and more tender, and you can taste its original flavor by simply boiling it in water with a little salt . It is also very common, in this area, in large events, to offer a whole lamb demonstrating the hospitality of the family.

Naren (手抓羊面): it is a very typical dish from the pastoral areas of Xinjiang like Kanas. Called in Chinese as “Noodles with lamb by hand”, it is also one of the main dishes to receive important visitors. The lamb is first cooked with salt and onion and the noodles are then boiled in the same broth. At the end, the noodles are removed, a little meat is sprinkled on top and hot paprika is added. It is mixed and eaten by hand.