Travels Through China

Xinjiang Edition


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1st October 2006


A few weeks ago I returned from 3 weeks in Xinjiang.

This place is big. It's China's biggest province. It contains the Taklamakan Desert - loosely translated it means "What goes in doesn't come out".

At it's furthest reaches, it's about as far as you can get from Beijing and still be in China. It shares international borders with Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It also has internal borders with Inner Mongolia and Tibet. There are very few Han Chinese people about (the majority of Chinese people are Han). Most people look like terrorists. Is that politically incorrect? Cos I can remove it if it is offensive.

It is a largely Muslim area so keeping Kosher was not difficult at all. There was no pork, but lots of lamb. There weren't many vegetables but lamb is great 3 meals a day. And they have this tough bread that really compliments a mutton soup in the morning.

Very few people speak English in Xinjiang. And some don't speak Chinese. Many of those that do speak Chinese speak only marginally better than me. That made communication relatively simple.... kind of. In one small town no one understood the words for bus station. I tried every different regional accent I knew, but we just got funny looks. It was the first time in China I truly felt language difficulties.

Blah blah blah... let's cut to the chase and get to the pictures.


This is the road to Charbagh's Tuesday market.


This the beauty salon. Men only.


This one of many parking lots.


This is another


And this is the pharmacy. Or tea shop. I'm not sure.


You can click all the pictures and larger versions will open in a new window.


This is by Lake Karakul, quite close to Krgyzstan and Pakistan.












This Subash, a small Kyrgyz village near the lake.



This is the restaurant. The girl's grandmother sounded like a small bird. There was a surprising number of people in Xinjiang who sounded like birds.



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