Monday, 31 May 2010

On the silk road

In 2 weeks, we set foot on the ancient capital city of Chang'an, traversed across the Gobi desert to Dunhuang, experienced desolation at the western pass of the Great Wall of China in Jiayuguan and then carried on our journey to Xinjiang.

There were beautiful sceneries along the way as always, farmlands, grasslands, mountains, desert... but none could match the extraordinary charms of Tianshan and Tianchi. We saw people of different races and cultures. The Hans, the Tibetans, the Muslims and Uyghurs are mostly kind and generous. We slept on trains, galloped on horses, rode camels, sat on a donkey cart (...and ate some donkey).

Here are some of the places we have been to.

The terracotta army museum.

Iron Bridge over the Yellow River at Lanzhou.

Beautiful scenery outside the window on our 5 hours drive from Lanzhou to Xiahe.

Monks spinning prayer wheels at Labrang Monastry in Xiahe.

Tibetan nomads and their horses in Sangke Prairie.

Riding a horse on Sangke Prairie.

Desolation at Jiayuguan.

Thousand hands Guanyin (千手观音) performance in Dunhuang.

Echoing Sand Dune (鸣沙山) in Dunhuang.

Cresent Lake (月牙泉) in the middle of the desert.

A road through the flaming mountain (火焰山). No sight of Iron Fan Princess.

Muslim prevalence in Turpan.

The Uyghur children loved to be photographed.

Magnificent beauty of Tianshan (天山) and Tianchi(天池). Picture perfect.

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