The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

You notice jumpjacks everyhwere!

Which are the richest cities in China? Most people would think of Beijing or Shanghai? No, the richest city in China is Karamay in Xinjiang China. It is 4 hours drive from Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang and just an hour away from Urho Ghost City (100km). After we have done the Ghost City in Urho, we headed to Karamay city to stay for a night.

In the outskirt of Karamay, you see thousands of jumpjacks working non stop at the field.  I know it may be common sight for some but it certainly not a common sight for me.  It was my second time seeing so many jumpjacks working in the field.  The first time I saw these monsters were in California.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

Karamay in Uyghur language means “black oil”

Yes, Karamay is an important oil and gas-producing base in Western China also known as “oil city”. Just over 60 years, the city has transformed into a well infrastructure and clean place to live.  Imagine many decades ago, Karamay is just uninhabited, not even the minorities live here.  Now the majority who lives here are Han, then follow by Hui and Uyghur.

The tour guide told us In Uyghur language, Karamay mean “black oil”.

Bo Da Yin Du Hotel

Bo Da Yin Du Hotel is located in downtown Friendship Road 16. Friendship road and Friendship Bridge are important road and landmark in Karamay city.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

I won’t stay this is a 5 stars ranking but in China standard, it is rank as 5 Stars. The hotel get renovated in 2015 but I guess the maintenance is not done well to keep the rooms to the standard. You will notice it in the bathroom.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

The bathroom is not spacious but it has all the basic things you need.  If you observe the bathroom cabinet, it is kind of ugly and old at the bottom.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

Buffet Dinner

We have our dinner buffet in the hotel which cost about RMB 50 per pax,  (USD $8.00 or SGD$10.00).  There are huge variety of choices to choose from.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

BBQ corner

First pick up anything you like to BBQ in the fridge and then bring it to the BBQ corner, the chef will help you bbq. It is fresh to eat it that way but then the wait can be quite long.  Sometimes other guests may took your BBQ away as there is no numbering system.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

BBQ ingredient include variety of seafood and meat, such as fresh prawn, fishes, squid, clams, mussels, mushrooms, crab, Xinjiang skewer sticks, chicken & beef.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

Plenty of steam stuff – healthy choice.  Steam eggs with goji/wolfberries & clams, steam corns, steam potatoes, steam pumpkin.  I don’t eat healthy when I travel.  I love all the junk.  When I don’t travel, the steam sweet potatoes and steam corns are my daily breakfast.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

More steam stuff, buns in different fillings and mushrooms.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

Local delights.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

Cutes steam buns – looks can be deceiving.  So true about this saying and the taste is not up to the standard.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

My dinner.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

Final thoughts :

The major landform of Karamay is Gobi desert, the soil is barren. Most of the green that grow here are desert shrub. You will notice Karamay people are living a good life and good welfare, obviously benefit from oilfield industry. The transportation such as bus conditions are good, students do not need to pay to hop on the public buses! The streets are very clean and you don’t see litter like in Myanmar. Lamb is one of the favorite here and the speciality is smooth skin dough/ 擀面皮凉皮子.

The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店

Nearby attractions :

42 Replies to “The Richest City in China : Karamay Xinjiang & Bo Da Yin Du Hotel Review 克拉玛依 & 博达银都酒店”

  1. This is news to me, I had no idea that this was the richest city in China. It does make sense though, if there is oil in the area and probably most of the population works in the industry. The hotel indeed does not look 5 stars! It has quite a boring decor, even if it has been recently decorated. I do like the bbq corner though! And all that variety of steamed buns.

      1. Dear Sigrid,
        Shenzhen is also a metropolis thant links to Hong Kong. I have never been there yet and hope to visit one day. 🙂 I heard shopping is pretty cheap, not sure not is still cheap?

  2. I have never heard of this city, and you are right, I would have assumed Shanghai would be the richest Chinese city. This looks like a really cool place to visit though!

    1. Dont worry, I never heard about Karamay too before the trip to Xinjiang too. Dont be deceived by the pretty bun. Look so cute but the taste did not meet my standard. “Looks can be deceiving”. 🙂

    1. I can’t agree more, with just USD $8 you get a full range of food, from BBQ to steam stuff. You even have a chef to help you BBQ the raw food you have choosen from fridge. How cool is that, just USD$8 – I dont think you could get such price in the America or Europe. 🙂

    1. People usually would think of Beijing and Shanghai. Many has not even heard of Karamay city. Well, it has the black gold – Oil, so being the richest is only making sense. You see the infrastructure, highway road, bridges are well built. Welfare is good too in Karamay, students dont have to pay to catch the buses and the station betweens station is very short distance.

  3. I’ve never been to China, but I’d definitely love to visit that country! I love its food, as it’s truly delicious! I’d also love to see how people live there, as it seems really interesting to me! 🙂

    1. Haha, the hotel look pretty common to me, I dont find it luxury or fancy. I would only rate it 3.5 star to be honest. Karamay is rich due to the oil enterprices here and roads and high rise buildings are well built everywhere in the city area. This place use to be nothing, not even birds like to fly here. Just 60 years, it has transformed into a big city.

  4. China is such a large and diverse country, and I (sadly) don’t know that much about it. I love reading about all of the different cities.

    1. Dear Christa,

      China is one of the oldest civilization which has history of 5000 years. It certainly very diversify and yet interesting to explore. Each regions never stop giving me surprises.

  5. Wow, I didn’t know that the richest city in China is Karamay, and not the more popular cities like Beijing or Shanghai! Thank you for the hotel review. Like what you said, it does not look like a standard 5-star hotel. But the steam bun looks so cute though, too bad it doesn’t taste as good as it appears to be. Hope you had a great time!

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