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Climate on Silk Road

Throughout July, August and September, the temperatures in Xi'an reach an average high of 38~C (100OF) and can be extremely humid. Visitors in the summer should wear light cotton garments and a hat to guard against sunburn.
In deference to Muslim sensibilities, long pants or skins should be worn by both sexes whenever possible. Visitors would do well to imitate the locals by staying in the shade around midday. Shoes should be solid and comfortable; even in the summer it is advisable to have thick-soled shoes, for the ground temperature can get extremely hot, especially at sites in the desert.

Winters are raw and severe.
During December and January, Xi'an averages around -4~ or -5~C (25~ or 23~F). The average temperature in Ur~mqi is -10~C (14~1:) and is considerably lower in the mountains and northern Junggar Basin. Woollen layers, a thick coat made of down or gortex, and warm boots are essential protection against the piercing winds and cold. Spring and autumn are the most comfortable seasons for travel, with April marking the beginning of the warm season in Xinjiang.

Xinjiang has a desert climate with a low annual rainfall of only 150 millimeters (6 inches). Winters are very cold and summers extremely hot. The best time to visit this province is in the autumn, when the days are long, the sky is clear and temperatures more bearable than in the heat of the summer. Another excellent reason to visit at that time is the abundance of delicious melons and other fruits and vegetables which are then available.

Xinjiang has a sunny weather. The temperatures during daytime and nighttime vary greatly. The average difference is 12C (53.6F). Based on its dry, sandy and changeable climate, we suggest you bring the following items:

If you will visit Xinjiang during Summer, when it is hot, we suggest that you bring the following:

1. Enough clothes to keep you warm. Most of the time, you only need to wear short pants and shirts with short-sleeves. We suggest that you wear jeans in mountainous places where the weather might become a bit cool. It is always advisable that you bring extra clothes and a jacket just in case the weather becomes chilly.

2. Hats, sunglasses, sun block and lip balm are essential to protect you from sun and windburns.

3. Scarves, or some protective material, are a must when the weather becomes windy to protect you from sand (especially in desert areas).

4. Comfortable shoes are very important because you will be walking most of the time although there are some spots where camel rides are required. Sports shoes or low-heeled shoes are your best bet.

5.  Enough water to avoid dehydration.

If you will visit Xinjiang in other seasons, bring:
1.  Enough clothes to keep you warm. Sweaters, jeans and wind coats during spring and down jackets, hats and gloves are essentials during winter. Bring extra clothes you could put on just in case the weather becomes chilly especially during winter.

2. Things to protect you from strong ultraviolet radiation and strong sand storms when the weather becomes windy.

3.High-cut shoes with hard tread.

A backpack is a good choice to put all these necessities (other than clothes): rain gear, water, camera, electric torch, maps, medicines etc.

Travellers should also be prepared for dust storms, especially in Turpan, which often begin in the early afternoon and last for several hours: abrasive, blasting sands whipped up by strong winds, bringing all activity to a halt. The dust is particularly bad news for your camera. (Fuji colour film is widely available, but bring your own black and white.) It is important to carry a good torch, especially when visiting unlit Buddhist caves. A sturdy pair of sunglasses and water bottle are also highly recommended.

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