Blogs from Gansu, China, Asia


Asia » China » Gansu » Baiyin January 21st 2015

19 janvier 2015 : Lever à 7h00 puis petit déjeuner. A 8h45, la navette de l'hôtel nous récupère et nous emmène à l'a&roport. Il ne nous faut que huit minutes pour y arriver mais heureusement que nous sommes venus tôt car il y a un monde fou. Nous allons prendre un A380 de China Southern qui contient un peu plus de 500 passagers et il est plein. Nous décollons de Sydney à 11h25 et arrivons à Guangzhou (le nom chinois de Canton) à 21h00 (heure de Sydney). nous réglons nos montres sur 18h00 (heure de Canton) après 6233 miles, soit 10016 kilomètres. Nous avons notre vol pour Paris à 23h20 ce qui nous fait un peu plus de cinq heures dans cet aéroport. Nous décollons avec une demie-heure de retard et arrivons à Paris à 12h30 ... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Dunhuang August 10th 2014

We arrived in the brand new Dunhuang Railway station in the early hrs of the morning, and we're delighted to see a pickup board with our name on from the Dunhuang International Youth Hostel -our 2nd YH on our trip. A short drive into Dunhuang city - one of the nicest little Chinese desert city that we've been in. This place is hot and drip - apparently they get annual rainfall of 39 m !! That's a bout one good overnight rain in Auckland. Two main attractions in Dunhuang are the sand dunes, and the Magao Caves, so it was off the view the Sand Dunes from the roof top bar of the Silk Road Hotel . 6kms south of the city - where the Gobi desert meets city, are stunning Sand Dunes that reach at ... read more
MingSha sand Dunes
More sand
Cool beer overlooking the sands

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou August 7th 2014

Leaving Xiahe today back to Lanzhou to catch train to Dunhuang. But first we wanted to visit the Bingling Si grottoes, a collection of carvings and frescoes and statues from the Han and Ming Dynasty. Trusty driver roared off in usual fervour and few hrs later we were at the boat launching place on the side of the lingshuia reservoir. Into the little speed boat and a 30 min race across the waters to the remote location where 'they' discovered this amazing site. Dodging the souvenir sellers and the restaurant touts we ventured into the chasm where the frescoes were. The caves were first cut In 420AD and continued for a thousand yrs after. There are 216 cave niches and one massive carved Buddha , about a thousand metres of mural paintings, and fifty pagodas. The ... read more
BingLing Si Reservoir - jetty
BingLing Si
BingLing Si Buddhist Grottos

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe August 6th 2014

Day three in Xiahe journey saw us venture up to the Gangjiang grasslands - a spectacular area of fertile lands and pasture where the nomadic farmers bring their sheep And yaks down from the hills to graze. They erect their yurts and establish themselves in an area for a time to graze and them move on. We had to cross a high mountain range to get yo the grasslands and that was exciting - had a horrendously muddy track most of the way, heavy mist and "Stirling Moss" as our driver ! Must have been over 4000m as we realised that even Xiahe is at 3000m altitude. We both got a slight headache so maybe first sign of altitude sickness ? Visited Bajio village - the remains of a prehistoric 'city' 2000 yrs old - had ... read more
Wutun Lu - an ancient Tibetin monastery
Wutun Lu - an ancient Tibetin monastery - painting the Thrakhas

Asia » China » Gansu » Xiahe August 5th 2014

First day in Xiahe we explored the Labrang Tibetian Monastery - second in size only to that in ?Lhasa. We joined the many pilgrims and 'did' the Kora walk - a 3 km circuit of the monastery whizzing all the prayers wheels as we went. Very few touristy mainly nomadic Tibetian pilgrims who we're making their devotions. Many prostrating themselves on the ground in a repetitive fashion... read more
Prayer wheels at Labrang Monastery
More Prayer wheels at Labrang Monastery
Prostrated pilgrims at Labrang Monastery

Asia » China » Gansu » Zhangye June 18th 2014

Zhanghe After a few desert days we got to ride in cold and rain to Zhanghe. It was probably the coldest day of the entire trip. (The next day was noticeably colder, but dry). There is a nicely restored fort and the western end of the Great Wall. The western end is small and unimpressive compared to the wall further east.... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Dunhuang June 18th 2014

18.6.14 DUNHUANG UPDATE: This afternoon visited the famed sand dunes 6 km out of town. Quite spectacular against the vibrant blue sky. The focal point is the Crescent Lake and Oasis. Quite beautiful. The were camel trains for tourists to climb the dunes. The camels in convoy looked impressive, picture Lawrence of Arabia!... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Dunhuang June 18th 2014

DUNHUANG. WEDNESDAY. 18.6.14 Dunhuang is an appealing city, a small, modern central CBD, offering reasonable fashion shopping, a variety of supermarkets and liquor stores, and a few outdoor shops. It is promoted as the gateway to the Silk Road and pictures of camels abound. The city didn't appear to be very busy, perhaps it was siesta time. Western China does gave a two hour siesta period in mid afternoon. Many shops appear to stay open until 10 pm. There is a tourist dining street, with the roadway lined with tables and chairs, bordered by hot coals' BBQs grilling lamb and chicken skewers, selling recently baked hot bread and veg. You must eat the bread when it is served hot, as when it 's cooled it is hard like concrete. This street food wasn't cheap. The lamb ... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Dunhuang June 17th 2014

WINDMILL CAMP. SUNDAY 15.6.14 111kms Brilliant blue sky, cloudless morning, finally. 32C forecast high. Last days of the HEXI Corridor. Now entering Barbarian Country! Scenery of high plateau bordered both sides by mountain ranges. As we are above the tree line, mountains are barren, giving very definitive shape to the rock formations. Mountains on the left are snow capped. Morning air is fresh. Today the site was 111 Kms from JIA YU GUAN. Before lunch route was uneventful, although came upon an amazing religious complex comprising seemingly a Buddhist Temple and a Muslim mosque and school, dubious I know, but the picture confirms it! Lunch was shortly afterwards. Much roadwork followed, roads were bumpy and sandy, certainly uncomfortable for cyclists! It was interesting being in the tour leader's truck as he was putting tape markers out ... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » Jiayuguan June 17th 2014

Jiayuguan Today was a drive across high desert into a very strong head and cross wind on a nice new road. The temperature was in the 70's, a great relief from the last few days. Jiayuguan is the western end of the Great Wall, and tomorrow we will try to drive out and take some photos of our bikes at the wall. ... read more

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