Xinjiang's scenic highway opens after yearly 'hibernation'
The Dushanzi-Kuqa Highway, or Duku Highway for short, which is deemed one of China's most beautiful roads, opened to tourists on Saturday after its yearly "hibernation."
The 560-kilometer highway connects Dushanzi in the northern area of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China and Kuqa County in the south. Winding through the Tianshan Mountains, it links various natural scenic spots that boast splendid landscapes, including glaciers, forests and grasslands.
Due to snowy weather and road icing, the Duku Highway has a "hibernation" period, which generally begins in October and ends in June of the following year.
To ensure better service for self-driving tourists, the Duku Highway Tourist Service Center has recently been put into use to receive queries about travel routes, weather, and road conditions, as well as requests for emergency rescue.
This year, Xinjiang will also carry out an upgrade program on the highway by repairing roads, upgrading tunnels and adding parking areas and traffic security facilities. In addition, a museum named after the highway officially opened to the public on June 12, showcasing the construction history of the highway.
The tourism take-off in Xinjiang in recent years has brought more self-driving tourists, bikers, and hikers to the highway. Statistics from the regional tourism department show that the highway logged the passage of 596,000 vehicles and 1.79 million tourists last year, both up more than 85 percent year on year.
(Cover: The Duku Highway opens to tourists in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, June 13, 2020. /VCG)