Blogs from Urumqi, Xinjiang, China, Asia - page 5

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Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi August 24th 2008

I feel like I've just completed an epic journey, worthy of multiple references to Lord of Rings, and various other epic journeys through the wilderness. Mostly because our last few days have been filled with nerdy, geeky literary and cinematic references, and the scenery just happened to match. On Wednesday we got a ride (hired a jeep) out of Urumqi at the relatively early hour of 8 am. By 12ish, we had passed deserts, coal drilling, and highways and had turned off on a dirt road that crossed and re-crossed a river. Our guide, Harry, pointed out the valley we'd be hiking in. Armed with maps printed off of google earth, and some directions Alex had written down, Harry left us. The first few hours of the hike was along the river, but the valley looked ... read more
Hiking
Resting
Colin's tired

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi August 19th 2008

I've never planned my journey to The Silk Route but eventually ended up in Urumqi. It was an amazing & unforgettable experience! The people in Urumqi are friendly, kind & helpful.... read more
Xi'an
The Baazar in Urumqi
The Baazar in Xi'an

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi August 19th 2008

I just finished a really nourishing meal consisting of a piece of fried flat bread covered in sugar and bowl of milky tea that tasted like a cross between cream and beef broth. Despite the funny taste, my mouth was so happy to eat something that WASN'T Chinese food! We're in XinJiang, the most western province in China, and the people are a mix of Uighers, Kazaks (because Kazakhstan is just a bus ride away) , and Han Chinese. I was definitely expecting something a bit more desert-like, but the capital city is green and clean. We arrived on Saturday night at around 2 AM. When I came down for breakfast the next morning, who should I run into but two of our friends from Yangshuo?! Colin and Jose left Yanghuo months ago but have been ... read more

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi May 18th 2008

Still alive if anyone wonders:S The earthquake was near enough to feel the shake, but far enouch to do any harm. Anyway, right now I'm in Urumqi, Xinjiang provence, a place where most foreigners don't go to when they are in China and probably a wonder to alot of chinese too. Xinjiang is mixpot of chinese ethnic minorities, with uyghurs as the leading one (around 9 million of population), thus its full name "Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region". It was once an connecting dot of Silk Road, between east and west. What is unique about uygurs is that they are totally different from the Han chinese - not only are they muslims, they are also turkic people, which means that they look different and speak a totally different language too. What is fasinating to me is the ... read more
city people
soccer fan
uyghur woman

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi December 3rd 2007

ein hallo an euch allen da draussen und nachtraeglich einen schoenen ersten advent! (die vorweihnatliche stimmung ist uns hier fremd) haben uns lange nicht gemeldet, zumindest fuer die von euch die des franzoesischen nicht maechtig sind. der grund erschliesst sich vielleicht wenn man bedenkt das wir uns seit nunmehr zwei wochen in china aufhalten, wo sich die sache mit der medialen kommunikation zeitweise schwierig gestaltet. naja, hier ein uebersichtartiges update der letzten wochen. es ist mal wieder so viel passiert, dass es nach unserer rueckkehr nicht an geschichten mangeln duerfte. bei unserem letzten richtigen eintrag hielten wir uns noch in sued-kirgistan auf, genauer in osh. von osh aus haben wir eine maschrutka in richtung sary tash genommen. sary tash ist mehr eine weggabelung denn ein ort- drei strassen die sich kreuzen und an denen sich eine ... read more
Sary-tash
karakul lake dancing stars
Kashgar uigurisch

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi October 3rd 2007

We head via bus 3+ hours to Urumqi from Turpan. Urumqi is the capital of Xinjiang province. On our drive over, there is nice scenery - view of the snow on Heavenly Mt, large salinized lake, wind farms, and mountains. Quite a nice drive. Except for... ok, this is gross, beware: We stopped at a rest stop and I had to go to the bathroom since I had two cups of coffee with breakfast - it was the most horrrrrrendous facility I've ever seen in my life. As I walked towards the women's entrance there was already urine, toilet paper, feces on the ground. I take a peek in - three holes, no lights, no doors, no water. The "holes" had not been emptied for who knows how long so the toilet paper and people's feces ... read more
Drive to Urumqi
Xinjiang's biggest wind farm
Balloons for sale

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi October 2nd 2007

It's been a crazy week, of finding our feet on the road, working out some Mandarin, trying to decide on an itinerary (me and Tegan?? decide things?? ha!) but Xinjiang is truly spectacular. Beijing was kind of a blur. We'll have to go back if only to meet up with Andy the crazy German and learn some salsa. It was so surreal to stand in Tian'anmen Square and think about democracy protests, Falun Gong, Mao's legacy... such an amazing place. People trying to hawk postcards, little red books, long strings of kites, capitalism making a stand. And in the giant building in the centre of the Square lies "pickled Mao"... apparently the police presence is all in aid of the National holiday in the first week of October. So we took the train to Urumqi. 40 ... read more
People's Park, Urumqi
People's Park, Urumqi
Kazakh dancers

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi September 30th 2007

this has been the definitive mountain experience in the 'climb every mountain' series so far. so many rough-hewn stone steps that i never want to see another step again. but beautiful scenery, so it was all worth it. the mountain we climbed today was more than 1660m above sea level (admittedly, we didn't start climbing at sea level), and full of amazing scenery, beautiful lakes, yurts, and all sorts. but, before i get ahead of myself i'll..... start at the beginning (it's a very good place to start): this morning, kt and i got up at 7:45 beijing time, which is 5:45 xinjiang time. although our bodies are officially still on beijing time, it totally felt more like we were on xinjiang time. i enjoyed a last hot shower in the nice hotel, we got our ... read more

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi September 29th 2007

after 40 hours on the train, and many interesting experiences, (including the pretty girl with the sore eye who took photos of the freak with the hair; trying to fit onto the top bunk with all our luggage on the tiny beds - much worse for kt than me!; way too many instant noodles, flavoured with sauce that smells like promite, and vegan oreos; chatting to people in english!; being the only white women on the train; running out of water in the shared sink/bathroom; playing 'big two', a cantonese card game; jamming with some uiyghr guys; staring at amazing scenery; hearing out first bit of uiyghr, which sounds like english spoken backwards with lots of glottal stops and guttural noises - so much for it not being too difficult; discovering crazy bands on my ipod ... read more

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi September 6th 2007

Bing and I visited Xinjiang and traveled along the Silk Road route, tracing the places along the ancient path that Xuan Zang walked to India.... read more
Xinjiang Provincial Museum in Urumqi
Baked Bagel like Pancake
Afanti Statue




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