China Silk Road : Xinjiang – Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Our first stop in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is Turpan. There are in total 5 autonomous regions in China (Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Ningxia, Xinjiang).  The other rest are called provinces, such as Gansu province which we traveled for the past few days. An autonomous region has its own local government, but has more legislative rights. Autonomous Region is a minority entity which has higher population of a particular minority ethnic group.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel at Turpan

As mentioned from my earlier post that, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has very tight security.  Before we enter the hotel, there is a security scan which you need to go through.  Before we check in, the counter staff took photos of our passport documents and photos of us.  It is a tedious process.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Central Asia & Chinese Fusion Deco

The lobby is decorated with mixture of Central Asia and Chinese style. The architecture here is deeply influenced by Islamic culture and has its unique regional and ethnic characteristics.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Smoking Ban is not working in China rural area!

I was quite surprised to find people smoking freely at the lobby inside the hotel in Turpan. It is quite common to see people smoking in indoor public spaces, especially in rural areas. China has introduce smoking ban but there is no penalties for those who don’t follow the rules. However the hotel in big cities such as Shanghai, the ‘smoking freely’ situation is better. People are more educated and cultured and they do follow the non smoking rules in the hotel lobby.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Hotel Room Review

Expect very simple facilities in Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel. The air-conditioned is working in my room.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

The basic thing such as TV, kettle, dryer are provided in each room.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Uyghur Tableware 

The tableware in the hotel room look different from the Chinese tableware, it is more towards Turkish style I find

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Bathroom Toilet Review

You have all the basic thing but the shower water does not run smoothly.

Decoration in the room

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

View from the window

The whole hotel is surrounded by vineyard.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Shopping Stores in the Hotel

There are few stores inside the hotel that are selling local Uyghur products.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Hotel Dinner – Uyghur Style

Our dinner was served at Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel and we have a big feast of Xinjiang including one of the iconic dish in Xinjiang. 

Roasted Whole Lamb /烤全羊

The key word here is “whole”. This is one of the most famous dishes in Xinjiang. Just like in Beijing, you eat Beijing duck but in Xinjiang, you cannot miss “Roasted Whole Lamb”.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Oldest Guy Get to Taste the First Bite

Two Uyghur ladies pushed in the whole roasted lamb into our room and asked who is the oldest guy as he get to come up to taste the first bite of the roasted lamb.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

One of the eldest guy get invited to go out by two Uyghur ladies who then feed him and dance with him.  Obviously you can see he was very happy being feed 🙂 The Uyghur ladies also later invited more men out to dance with them but all the men from our group were very shy and not willing to dance with them.  Don’t be surprised the Uyghur ladies asked for tipping when the dance ended.  Tipping is not compulsory and really up to you. I tipped them RMB 10.00 (SGD2.00 / USD 1.5) for their good effort making our crowd happy.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Roasted Lamb served on table.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Uyghur Polo – Pilaf – 抓饭  (zhua fan)

This is a common dish in Xinjiang, similar to fried rice but raisin, carrots & apricot is added in the rice plus some meat.  You can never find “pork” in this dish.  In Chinese it is named as zhua fan/抓饭 because people eat this dish with hands formerly.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Fried Naan with Onion

One of my favorite dish is the fried naan with onion.

Naan or flatbread is a staple for many ethnic groups in Xinjiang. You see naan sold everywhere in this region. A big naan cost about RMB 10.00 (USD 1.5) each. There are the many type of naan with different type of topping, sesame seed ( my favorite ), onions, eggs or butter. Naan is good to bring along for a long journey due to its dryness and it doesn’t turn bad fast.

Travel tip in Xinjiang : If you are doing a road trip in Xinjiang, it is wise to buy some naan to standby in case you get lost in the desert and can’t anything to eat. You still have naan!

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Big Plate Chicken (Chinese Da Pan Ji) /大盘鸡

Da Pan Ji or Big Plate Chicken is another Xinjiang’s famous dishes. The chicken usually served in a very HUGE plate ( The size of the plate is a lot bigger than the usual plates used for other dishes) . The whole chicken including head and feet is cooked with potatoes, green onion, pepper and some spice. The taste is spicy and sometimes the dish is serve with noodles and some without. I prefer the Da Pan Ji that is served with fat hand pulled noodles. The noodles get really tasty after being soaked and cooked with the sauces from Da Pan Ji. Alternatively, you can also dip the Uyghur bread/naan into the red sauce of Dan Pan Ji.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Chinese Yam 山药  & Black Fungus

This is not a Uyghur dish but more of a Chinese dish.  Chinese Yam has few names, such as Shan Yao/山药 or Huai shan /淮山.  Chinese Yam usually served in herbal soup and believed to have plenty of benefits.  You can see the Chinese Yam appeared in every meal too, just like the black fungus.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Tomatoes Egg /西红柿炒鸡蛋

This is a classic Chinese well-loved dish for every Chinese, especially kids.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Round Table Settings

Chinese usually dine on a big round table if you have large group. One feature you will see on the round table is “Lazy Susan” turntable at the center of the big table. “Lazy Susan” is circular rotating tray which facilitate passing of serving dishes. Sharing the food on the table and chatting over the meals has always been cultural tradition in China!

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Xinjiang Beer – Wusu

Wusu is a local Xinjiang beer, our table was served with 2 bottles. The beer named after a small town called ‘Wusu’ located in Northern Xinjiang and west of Urumqi.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Hotel Breakfast

Our breakfast was served in a private room in the morning. It was a very simple breakfast served in round tables.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Black Fungus 

I find that Black Fungus is used in every meal during my Silk Road tour, even in the morning breakfast! Chinese believe that black fungus has a chemical that inhibits blood clotting, and because heart attacks, strokes and blood vessel diseases are linked to clotting, this fungus may improve circulation.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Uyghur Tea Setting

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Vineyard Outside the hotel.

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

China Silk Road : Xinjiang - Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review

Final thoughts :

Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel is located outskirt of Turpan City. There is no interesting shops to visit if you want to walk around at night as the hotel is only surrounded by big vineyards. The facilities of the hotel is moderate and not luxury, be mentally prepared. The Uyghur dinner at the hotel was delicious and interesting especially the moment the whole roasted lamb was pushed into our room by the Uyghur ladies. But many kids from our group did not dare to eat after seeing the whole lamb.

The one thing I find very disturbing is smokers are free to smoke in the hotel, including lobby.  I hope more education and rules to implement and ban smokers from smoking indoor in China rural areas.

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41 Replies to “China Silk Road : Xinjiang – Turpan Hotel Review : Maxirap le Grand Large Hotel & Xinjiang Food Review”

  1. This looks like such a fun place to visit! You had me laughing about the oldest guy enjoying being fed and danced with! What a good sport he was! I love how much of an effort they made to make for a festive atmosphere! The food looks delicious!!

    The smoking thing would be annoying but definitely not a deal breaker for a chance to experience this place!

    1. Dear Tamalyn,

      The oldest guy is really lucky and you could see from his face! Lol! But his wife was there, staring at him. Haha. No tips for the Uyghur ladies!

      Smoking remain one of the issue in China. People are not well educated and smoke anywhere they like, even in the grand lobby in the hotel! That’s just not bearable!

  2. Looks like you had an amazing trip at China. But yes, I do feel that smoke freely is not good sign for business, even though they are educated, but there are consequences especially for passive smoker. You had me giggle for a bit at the old man part, you should show this to him. But next thing is about Black Fungus, it does not look good but you said it has health benefits, how can someone ugly looking food can be good? Not being rude or anything, just wondering

    1. Dear Aditya,

      Thanks for your comment. The black fungus has so many benefit and one of the them is reduce cholesterol levels. I guess Chinese people has been expose to eating black fungus since young so even though it look pretty ugly, they still enjoy eating them 🙂 By the way, it certainly has an unpleasant look. Black fungus also has another name called “Wood Ear” Fungus – literally translated from Chinese, as it look like a wooden Ear.

      Old man certainly has the best moment of his life, being fed by two sexy Uyghur ladies 🙂 But his wife was watching and not very happy about it. LOL.

  3. I really like the decor and architecture of the hotel, it’s definitely something that would attract me to stay there. Shame about the water in the shower though, after a day full of traveling you do need a good shower! The food looks amazing, especially that whole lamb! Wow, it is indeed an entire lamb!

    1. Dear Joanna,
      Thanks for your comment. Beside the Roasted whole lamb, another dish worth to mention is the “Big Plate Chicken”. It is another iconic food – must try in Xinjiang China! The plate used is very huge and the chicken including head and feet will be served together with potatoes, green pepper and the Xinjiang Spice. You can also eat with the naan/flatbread by dipping in the red sauce.

  4. I loved the view from the hotel actually, surrounded by the vine yards, it muct be relaxing. One can say your overall stay wasn’t too good but you definitely enjoyed the food. Would love to give this place a visit though.

    1. Dear Monidipa,
      You are totally right. The stay is very average but the food was fantastic, especially the Roasted whole lamb! Pretty shock to see the whole lamb being pushed into our dining room! (Pretty scary actually!) Lol. But the taste was so good 🙂

    1. Dear Corinne,

      The hotel has the mixture of Uyghur and Chinese style. The Uyghur docoration, such as the mosaic wall can be seen in the grand lobby. Pretty interesting. At once, I have forgotten that I am actually in China.

  5. Wow. That hotel looks so elegant and those meals look decadent. I absolutely love the decor and love how they treat their older guests!

    1. Dear Suzanne,

      Thanks for your comment. The special treatment to the oldest people is part of the package from the Uyghur Dinner. It is one of their culture that the oldest male has the chance to taste the first bite of the Roasted Whole Lamb. Only after the eldest guy tasted, then the rest of us, the younger guests can eat the lamb.

  6. i recently visited china in march. I must say although th epeople are very nice. we really had a hard time with the kids at the airport. plus i agree with the smoking is too terrible yet the hotels are really great with their service

    1. Eear Prabashi,
      Glad you have visited China last March. Not sure why you were having a hard time at the airport, must be the crowd that scare you and your kids! If you are traveling in China airport, always be reminded to go earlier as you are in the land of 1.4 billion people. China is a competitive land, the nation only know how to prioritize one’s interest in order to survive and many don’t bother if you are traveling with kids or old folks.

  7. The foods looks delicious and this rural place is very opposite of what we know China is. Glad you had a great time.

    1. Dear Blair,

      Under the guidance of President Xi Jinping, autonomous region’s rural areas get stronger and more beautiful. I was very surprised at how well the infrastructure and environmental has improved.

      1. The President is doing a great job in promoting his people and its unique culture. The combination of the old culture and modernization fits well.

  8. This hotel seems to be a great place to spend luxurious time … Beautiful interiors n tasty food. You clicked great pics.

  9. The dinner looks delicious and the hotel looks fab, although as luxury as others as you mentioned. The architecture is really interesting and I love that the hotel is surrounded by vineyards, so beautiful!

    1. Dear Angela,
      The hotel has a very Central Asian feel to it, especially those pattern like design on the wall and ceiling. The food was great, especially the Roasted Whole Lamb.

  10. I always wanted to travel to Xinjiang! I’ve tried the onion nan elsewhere in China, and I liked it a lot as a snack, it reminds me of our pizza. I don’t know how many foods I’ll be able to taste there, now that I’m vegetarian. Thanks for the review!

    1. Dear Annalisa,

      I too love their naan and according to people in Gansu China, it was Marco Polo who brought naan back to Italy and made into pizza after Marco Polo stayed one year in Gansu area. Gansu province is just located next to Xinjiang Autonomous Region. I am not sure how true it is! Lol.

  11. Lovely photos. I agree about the smoking in public places but a lot of places in Asia still allow it. That being said, I do prefer the round table concept that encourages communication.

    1. Dear Kate,

      The smoking in common area, especially inside the building is really annoying and should be ban strictly! And you are totally right about the round table concept, it encourages communication as everyone sit closer to each other.

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