While ?rumqi has improved, an explosion in domestic tourism means that Tian Chi (Heavenly Lake; admission ¥90) is on the way to becoming the world's largest public convenience. If you do go, stay the night, as the lake is more tranquil after buses return to ?rumqi around 5pm. Avoid Rashid's Yurt, which is listed in every guidebook -- fame is not good for everyone. Buses depart for the lake from the entrance to ?rumqi's Renmin Gongyuan at 9:30am (120km/74 miles; 1 1/2 hr.; ¥40 round-trip) and return at 5:30pm. A similar day trip is to Baiyang Gou (White Poplar Gully), where you can ride horses, stay in yurts, and enjoy lush countryside. Buses depart at 9:30am (76km/47 miles; 1 1/2 hr.; ¥40) and return midafternoon.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.