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A poplar destination
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-11-11 10:26

A poplar destination

A Uygur woman prepares noodles at a bazaar in Xayar county town.

A poplar destination

It's near midnight in Xayar county town, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, but the night market is still bustling with people.

More than 100 food stands are doing brisk business, selling Muslim delicacies from the region, as well as dishes from other parts of the country, such as jiaozi and noodles in clay pots.

A poplar destination

Luobu dancers wait for their turns to perform for visitors at a village in Kuqa county.

There are Xinjiang mutton kebabs, fried chicken, banmian (noodle served with such dishes as fried egg with tomato, or fried mutton with onions and green peppers), roasted mutton dumplings, and "rice eaten with hands" (fried rice with fresh mutton, carrots, onions, vegetable oil and melted sheep's fat).

Most Xayar residents are Muslim Uygurs, and they like to sit in the market on folding chairs, watching soap operas in the Uygur language on TV.

In October, a poplar tree festival was held to promote tourism. Diversifolious poplar, from the deserts of Xinjiang, are famed for living for 1,000 years, dying without falling down for 1,000 years, and falling down without rotting for another 1,000 years.

In the autumn, the golden leaves and red brown trunks of the trees, set off by yellow sand dunes and the blue sky, create an outstandingly beautiful and distinctive scene.

Diversifolious popular trees mainly grow along the riverbanks of the Tarim River, which is the principal river in Xinjiang and snakes more than 2,000 km.

Here, in the forests of poplar trees, visitors can enjoy a meal of roast Tarim fish and crispy nang (Xinjiang pancake or bread), while listening to traditional music played by Uygur musicians.

The Xayar poplar tree festival will run until this December and is part of the First China Xinjiang International Tourism and Photography Festival, and Xinjiang International Poplar Tree Festival, held from mid-October to December.

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