To catch to bus to Turpan, you can but a ticket ahead of time at SanTunBei at the Southern Long distance bus station. It is near the giant ferris wheel by the SanTunBei reservoir you can see on the map in the south. You get a taxi or can catch the local bus 915 from the Southern Train Station if you take the BRT Line 1 to the end at the train station. The buses come in at the right, facing the station, and you have to run for it. Ask the driver for SunTunBei, and it takes about 20 minutes. It costs 1 yuan, and you have to have change. Ditto the BRT. First bus to Turpan is about 8:30 am but it fills fast. Costs 45 yuan one way, but you can't buy a round trip, so buy your return when you get to Turpan. The boarding gate is marked in English at the bus terminal.
As the CITS office in the Lonely Planet Guide is long gone, the best place to get your railway ticket is in the Railway Booking Office at the office alongside the Leiyuan Binguan at the far end of the street that is almost opposite the Holiday Inn.
Booking a railway ticket is just way below the dignity of the witless lady in the Holiday Inn business centre.
Urumuqi station is to the west of the city centre. As the main building is being rebuilt (the old one presumably being at least three years old) you now gather in a huge unheated barn. Each line is marked at the end by a board showing each train number. If you pay RMB5 at the little desk on the right hand wall, a porter in a red vest will help with your bags, and the porters get earlier access to the platform, so avoiding the worst rush when the gates open.
You have to walk down corridors, over bridges, along one platform and down into a subway before emerging at your train. Keep moving to stay within sight of your porter!
The most easy, cheap and convenient way to travel around in China is by train. The network covers almost every cities of the country. To get there, you can take the train originating from Beijing, Shanghai, Xian or Lanzhou. It takes about three days from Beijing to Urumqi. It may be a bit long, but I do think it is worth trying since you can meet people from different places of China, talk to them, discuss with them and I am sure you will learn alot about China.
Within Urumqi, it is suggested to take taxi or simply rent a car for one or two days such that you can visit more sites within a limited time. It is also cheap to take a taxi.
Fly to Urumqi is the best, but you could go there by train. It will take your 67 hours to go there and now it down to 54 hours from shanghai.
You should rent a car or microbus from travel agency becasue xinjiang is the biggest state in our country. You will found next step will several kilometers far way when you have finished interview one place.
One of the nicest ways to spend an evening after the heat of the day has passed is to rent a donkey cart and take a tour of the countryside south of town, a world of dusty tracks, vineyards, wheat fields, shady poplars, running streams and incredibly friendly, smiling people. You are unlikely to encounter many more tranquil rural settings than this in China. It's easy to arrange a tour from any donkey-cart driver around John's Cafe; for a tour lasting an hour or more, two or three people might pay around ´10-15 each. John's also offers bike rental for ´1.5 per hour, which works out slightly cheaper than the hotels' rates.
When travelling by train, buy First Class always. There is not a big price difference and the coaches are much more comfortable than those in 2nd class. The curtains, sheets... are all embroided and immaculate clean.
Normally, there will be an airplane transit at Chengdu city in Sichuan province if you intend to go to Urumqi from other parts of Asia. The time is about 3 hours.