Urumqi Diwopu Airport is not as small as I expected. On the contrary, the airport is very modern and extremely efficient. Uruqmi Diwopu Airport has 3 Terminals in total and a new Terminal 4 is in under construction.
The security in Xinjiang is strict so it is no surprise that Urumqi Diwopu Airport has very tight security too. Most of the routes in Central Asia, Middle East and South Asia have to be arrived in the mainland China through Urumqi.
Our tour bus in Xinjiang stopped at T2 to unload our luggage and we bid farewell to our driver.
Urumqi Diwopu Airport Terminals
T1 & T2 are older compared to T3 as T3 was the newest wing of the airport which was opened in 2010. T3 boasts beautiful architecture at the rooftop with it best known “Eagle’s wing”. ( Refer to feature picture). Most of the important sign has English written on it so you won’t be able to get lost.
T1 is mainly operating the domestic low-cost airlines. T2 is for flights other than China Southern Airlines. T3 is only dedicated to China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines as well as international routes.
Priority Line for Check In
We were using T2 to fly to Beijing then back to Singapore. If you are flying with old folk and young children you can go to queue at the priority line.
Tight Security Checks
All belts must be removed from your body and ensure free from any metal objects. All shoes has to be taken off too. Men and women go separate ways for checking. Male security officers will perform the security check for men and female security officer will perform for the women. The check is very strict and your body get touched all over, including some rubbing on the chest area, armpit & hair.
Shopping & Restaurant
There is nothing much to shop here, every are very expensive. Some of the choices are tea, jade, fruits, book & little souvenirs stores here. The choices aren’t many and nothing very interesting. It is best if you can get all your shopping done outside. (Urumqi International Grand Bazaar).
Hami Melon and pomegranate are the two top fruits in Xinjiang. Domestic travellers would get some back home. Certainly not going to get any Hami Melon, as we have to transit in Beijing International Airport then back to Singapore.
A shop selling Hetian jade is found here. Some background of the Hetian Jade; Hetian region in Xinjiang is a famous spot for high quality jade. The jade from Hetian usually are creamy white, green white, green, blue-green, dark green, red and yellow. Such colors are caused by the volcanic eruption. Hetian Jade can be also found around the Kunlun Mountains and northern part of Tianshan Mountains.
My advice is to get your souvenirs outside, not in the airport. The choices are limited and the overpriced too.
Overpriced Coffee Shop
I was shocked at the price of the coffee sold here! It is not Starbuck or Coffee Bean, just a normal cup of coffee can cost up to SGD $10.00 (USD $8.00) and it is not even Starbucks’s standard! Food here don’t look appetizing too. It is best if you can buy bring some snacks and food from Urumqi city.
Hot water & cold water are available for free at multiple location. You notice Chinese local love to fill up the thermos flask with super hot water and drink. They don’t drink cold water even in the summer. They think cold water is bad for health.
Boarded on Air China from Urumqi Diwopu Airport to Beijing Airport. The meal provided by Air China was good. The thick noodles is the local speciality here in Xinjiang, tasted awesome.
Final thoughts :
If you are going to Xinjiang, most likely you will experience Urumqi Airport. The airport condition is good. Don’t be too surprised that the security screening is extremely strict since you are in Xinjiang. I have already get use to the tight security after spending more than a week in Xinjiang. Take off your belts, socks & shoes when the security officers perform the checks. Expect “excited” rubbing on your chest, butt, stomach and hair from the security officers.
Nothing much to shop in the airport, best is get all your souvenirs outside. If possible bring your own snacks as food and coffee are all over-priced inside the airport.