Travels Through China

Xinjiang Edition - page 3


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1st October 2006







The ancient Silk Road was the main trade route between Europe and Asia before they sailed around the bottom of India. The Silk Road ran straight through Xinjiang and there are many ruined cities dotting the desert. This is Jiaohe, one of the best preserved ones.






Chairman Mao has a presence in most, if not all cities in China. Here he is in Kashgar, just making sure everything is cool.


You can buy mineral pigment in the Kashgar market to make your own dyes. Very photogenic.




And some Chinglish to finish it all off. This was above the sink on the train.



The last part of the trip was overnight at Tian Chi (Heavenly Lake) near Tian Shan (Heanvenly Mountain). This turned out to be quite an ordeal. Firstly, the only way to get to Tian Chi is either by taxi (prohibitively expensive) or tourist bus - i.e. there is no 3RMB public bus out there. And we all know about taking tours in China. There were fewer stops this time - just a teashop on the way there and a jade shop and a carpet factory/shop on the way back.

But this time it wasn't the stops that drove me to kill. It was the tour guide on the bus. She talked. A lot. Like for 1.5 hours solid. My mp3 player couldn't stop her, even with super bass turned on. Then she sung. Twice. F#CK.

We finally made it to Tian Shan and began the climb to the lake. When we arrived at the top we headed away from the main path - the crowds weren't as bad as at Yellow Mountain, but they were pissing us off nonetheless.

"Don't worry - there's a path. sort of. It's not quite finished... but it looks like people live here."

There was noone there. "Don't worry. Maybe just around that bend there it's the end of the lake." It wasn't. This photo was taken when we finally made it around to the other side of the lake. There were about ten of these ridges, some of which we simply couldn't walk around so we had to go either over or in the water.

Along the way we met an Aussie girl and a German guy in a similar predicament to us (hi Georgina and Freddie). After several hours, one broken shoe and much rock climbing, we finally made it round to the other side. There we found a Tajik dude who put us all up for the night and fed us. The food was crap but we were too hungry to really care.


We had to climb up and over this one.






There were some great WARNING signs at Tian Chi.

Breakdancing Ahead


Warning - Messianic Acts Imminent (i.e. walking on water)


Large people may sit on your head.





And this is some local sportswear brand.




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