Blogs from Lanzhou, Gansu, China, Asia - page 3


Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou August 7th 2008

We have just returned to Lanzhou from a night in Liujiaxia. The main aim was to go and have a look at the Big Buddha at Bingling Si. Liujiaxia is only about 2hrs out of Lanzhou but up at 1600m. To get to Bingling Si involved a 45 min speed boat ride on the Yellow River. The place itself is beautiful and very peaceful. The Big Buddha is not far from the water's edge and then we followed a dry river bed to the Monastry further up the valley. A monk gave us tea and bread. Having been to Tibet - the Chinese Monastries have only pictures of the Chinese Lamas and all the murals are all very recent. Saying that it was a very peaceful place and very beautiful. We are now back in Lanzhou ... read more
Boat Ride to the Caves
Tourist Photo
Bingling Si

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou August 5th 2008

We headed out of Xian yesterday. really ready to get on the road. Xian is a nice city and all geared up for the Olympics but I was ready to see what was around the next corner. We loaded up the truck and started out with the aim of reaching Pingliang around 10 hrs later. (It was 300km.) The plan was to visit a big buddha along the way. About half an hour into the journey we hit the first section of a day long truck jam. There seemed to be no real reason for the road of trucks - watermelons, donkeys, chickens, goats - but the truck crawl lasted for around 4hrs. Trucks cutting in and then just stopping. The 10 hrs turned into a 14hrs journey. We reached Pingliang around 9pm and basically ... read more
Journey to Pingiang
8.45am Tuesday 5th Aug

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou July 9th 2008

I stay a couple of nights at Pingliang, possibly the world's most boring city, but visit Mount Kongtong, a Daoist monastery, perched precariously on the top of a cliff. It's quite a walk up the mountain, but absolutely worth it and looks just like you imagine China to look like, with little temples and Pagodas clinging to the tree-lined slopes. When you see these stunning views, it becomes immediately obvious why religious shrines and places of worship were sited here.... read more
Highly decorated
The China I'd imagined

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou July 9th 2008

I say for a couple of nights in a town called Liujaxia, where they obviously don't see many Westerners from the looks I got, and caught a boat up the Huang He (Yellow River) from the huge Dam, 60km to the Bingling Si Buddha caves. An enormous seated Buddha has been carved from the cliff face. At 27m high and 1600 years old, it's an amazing thing to behold (though not the biggest in China by a long way) and some of the other carvings there are both old and beautiful, a bit like me. I took a half hour walk up the valley to visit a small working Buddhist temple and had tea and biscuits with a very lonely monk call Putojansu. It was a surreal experience. On the speed-boat on the way back to ... read more
It's big
Working temple

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou May 23rd 2008

Writing this a day late, while I'm in Jiayuguan, but will do my best to remember what went on. Beijng: Woke up really early, as in 4:45, and was amazed how light it was out that early, quickly packed up my things, had breakfast, and embarresingly left a bag of milky-cornflakes on the table. I know, it sounds weird, but I had a bowl of cereal, didn't finish it (probably had to do with the fact that I was nervous about leaving) and decided to just put the leftover 'flakes in a bag, then pitch it on my way out the door. Now, I know, "Why didn't you just throw it in the trashcan in the kitchen??!", well, my friend, you have obviously not lived with a Chinese family, where wasting (langfei) is the 8th deadly ... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou December 20th 2007

frohe vorweihnachtstage euch allen! sitzen gerade in lanzhou, einer millionenstadt irgendwo in der noerdlichen mitte chinas. eine stadt die sich damit ruehmen kann in den neunziger jahren als region mit der hoechsten luftverschmutzung chinas gegolten zu haben. angesichts der nicht eben kleinen konkurrenz in diesem ranking eine zu beachtende leistung! heute soll alles besser sein. naja, die sonne scheint (vermutlich) taeglich, zumindest laesst sich am gelb-braunen himmel ein heller fleck ausmachen und gegen nachmittag kann man, wenn man ganz genau hinsieht, sogar die berge wahrnehmen die diese stadt umschliessen. also alles halb so wild. ich vermute, dass lanzhou den ersten platz der luftverschmutzer an peking abzugeben hatte. eine beunruhigende vorstellung fuer die jungend der welt! wir fuehlen uns trotzdem recht wohl in diesem mief und verbringen einige "ruhige" tage hier (leid... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou December 6th 2007

Plans change, deal with it REPOST: I neglected to mention that the night before, in Xian, I went to a sound and light show at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and it was amazing. Then as we wandered back towards our hostel we came across a heaps of people doing exercises and dances, all following someone with an umbrella and waving fans to te beat of massive drums being played. It was really a good way to end a great day at the warriors. Had my first rough day today. I had booked a ticket to Lanzhou, nothing really there its just a stopping point to catch another train or bus. From here I was planning to catch a bus to two small towns; Xiahe and Langmusi - small Tibetan monastery towns that used to be ... read more
Water show2
Water show3
Water show4

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou June 25th 2007

As we travelled from Xiahe to Lanzhou, the scenery changed from tree-covered mountains and sloping pasturelands to scrubby hills where brown was the dominant colour. The religious landscape also changed with many more skull caps, crescent moons, and minarets in evidence. I'd never thought of China as having much of a Muslim population, but apparently it wasn't only goods that came along the Silk Road - there are millions of Muslim Chinese, predominantly in the northwest of the country. Unfortunately the clear, crisp air of the mountains was also replaced with a polluted haze that was quite possibly the worst quality air I've ever seen. A corresponding increase in temperature wasn't countered by the bus's aircon, leaving everyone stewing in clothes that had been donned to deal with a chilly Xiahe morning. We had our first ... read more
View from the hotel room
Yellow River

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou June 10th 2007

Spent a night to break the trip at Lanzhou, quite a big city, a bit smoggy. Had to go to Bank of China to use the ATM, found it and used the machine without any hassle. We dined out to a Korean restaurant next door to the hotel, it was very interesting and fun, there's a hot plate with coal underneath sunken in the middle of the table, you order your food and cook it yourself to your liking, we had veggies, different cuts of beef and squid, delicious! Only Susan and I had the squid, Anthony and Kit were squeamish about it and did not even try. Apparently you can also order dog meat says our guide but we passed on the opportunity. The next morning we drove to a town where there is ... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou October 20th 2006

Hi all The great wall was very very impressive. Very steep in some areas so quite a lot of exercise that day.The weather had that China haze thing happening so we couldnt see very far into the distance. We then had the joy of overnight train from Beijing to Xian which is one of the oldest cities in China (?3000Yrs). The train was brand new so it caught on fire just a little which was a bit exciting fo r a while. However we survived but with very little sleep. Xian has a 36km wall around it which in some ways is better than the great wall - there is more to see from the top. On sunny days you can hire bikes and ride the circuit but it was rainy on our day so we ... read more
Terracotta Warriors
Xian city wall
Prayer wheels - Labrong Monastery Tibet

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