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Top 3 Muslim-Friendly Destinations in China

A Guide for Muslim Travellers

Posted on 27 June 2019

One of the oldest civilizations in the world, China has not forgotten its rich history and traditional cultures in the midst of rapid modernisation. With stunning historical landmarks, natural landscapes and diverse cuisines, China is a versatile travel destination that is also cheap to boot (you’ll certainly enjoy converting ringgit to yuan)!

If you are Muslim, you might have religious concerns about visiting China, but don’t let that stop you from planning a trip here. China is actually home to many Muslim communities that showcase a unique blend of cultures, so you can definitely have a fun halal holiday. Here are 3 Muslim-friendly destinations in China you shouldn’t miss! Their origin stories are intertwined with the Silk Road as they all were once part of this historical trade route.

Ürümqi 乌鲁木齐

Source: Joshua Kucera / Flickr

Ürümqi is the multi-ethnic capital of Xinjiang with Middle Eastern architecture and a large concentration of Muslims. Here, you will find a large building shaped like a mosque that is actually an Islamic market. The Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar is where you will discover the Islamic influences on the people and the city - all while enjoying delicious kebabs, samsa and laghman. You can also browse colourful spice shops and look for Middle Eastern-style trinkets and souvenirs to bring home.

Source: syue2k / Flickr

Source: Gilad Rom / Flickr

Source: Ching Chiao / Flickr

For a nature retreat, head over to the Kazakh village in the mountainous region of Ürümqi. You can stay overnight in a yurt - a round tent made of skin or felt traditionally used by the nomadic tribes of Central Asia - and enjoy unique Kazakh cuisine rich in mutton and dairy served by the hosts.

Source: China Tour Advisors

Xi'an Muslim Dasi Residential Quarter 穆斯林市场(西安市)

Source: Serious Eats

Located in Central China, Xi’an is a large city that functions as the capital of Shaanxi Province. The Xi’an Muslim community has been around since the 7th century when Muslim merchants and soldiers from Central and West Asia settled here.

Source: On the Go Tours

You absolutely need to visit the Xi’an Muslim Quarter, a bustling Muslim hub which serves up a feast for your senses. There are more than 10 mosques in the area, as well as halal food stalls and restaurants along the streets. You’ll get to enjoy the best of Xi’an cuisine like rou jia mo (a type of meat sandwich), yang rou pao mo (lamb stew with bread), grilled squid, persimmon cakes and so on.

Source: On the Go Tours

Source: Top China Travel

Kashgar 喀什

Source: John Olver UK / Flickr

Kashgar is commonly considered to be Xinjiang’s cultural capital. Around 700,000 people live in this city - most of whom are Muslim Uyghurs. A beautiful structure you will find here is the bright yellow Id Kah Mosque, the biggest mosque in China that can accommodate up to 50,000 worshippers. Built in 1442, the mosque is rooted in Turkish history and culture. After your prayers, you can wander the mosque’s vast courtyard or explore the surrounding streets where Turkish food, dried fruits, handicraft and antiques are sold.

Source: A Mountain of Travel Photos

The city also features the biggest and busiest market in Xinjiang known as the Kashgar Sunday Bazaar, which has existed since the glory days of the Silk Road. Every weekend, thousands of people flock to this night market to buy and haggle over spices, food, fabrics and miscellaneous goods - reminiscent of our own pasar malam.

Source: Martin C. Smith / Flickr

Source: plutogno / Flickr

Having troubles planning your China retreat? Packist has the best solution for your travel concerns. For a limited time only, we are offering a 5D4N China Guilin Muslim-Friendly Tour with an English-speaking private guide. Halal daily meals and accommodation are also included in this package. Click here to find out more!

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