a small town of Chinese, Tibetian Buddist and Hui Muslums areas
A bus ride from Lanzhou took me up to another unique place high in the mountains were the air is also thin and sky is dark blue and clear. This is the largest Tibetan monastery town outside of Tibet.. it also has a large population of Chinese and Hui Muslims.
It was a small laid back town, surrounded by barren hills being the start of winter. The air was clear and crisp, but warm in the sun and a pleasant place to wander around and unwind for a few days from the cold and hard travel of northern Gansu.
Next it was back to Lanzhou and bus to Maijishan, a ‘haystack’ shaped mountain in the middle of nowhere with more Buddhist art grottoes. These grottoes are more like recesses in the side of a cliff, joined by wooden walk ways and fun to explore in the autumn sun. (I would not like to do it in summer). Next it was back to train to Beijing and home.
END OF SILK ROAD.
Actually, Xian is the end of the Silk Road. I did not visit it because I have been there on my
teaching job placement in 2006. The university took us there as a bonus trip, first class for free. There was much to see there including the Terracotta Warriors. It was also worth the visit and actually inspired me to go further west (but not first class this time).
Xian was the capital of China and eastern end of the Silk Road and was bigger and more advanced than Rome (western end of road) 2000 years ago.
In this trip it has been like experiencing world history and multi-culturalism on a grand scale, especially when you see all the ancient world cultures along the one road; and I only saw one third of the Silk Road!!
Back to ‘Beijing Revisited blog #25’ for last days in Beijing.
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