Apoorva Sharma


Apoorva Sharma

Hi there ! All my life, I have been in an environment, where traveling is considered an essential part of life. Every once in a while, whenever possible. My parents n I pack our bags and leave. Now, with my parents in Shanghai and my new frame of architectural education (I'm studying arch. At university in india), our travel plans aren't as spontaneous. But a whole new world has opened for me. Equipped with my love for journeys and curiosity for new places and people I'm ready to dive in. Hope you enjoy reading about it 😉


Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar September 25th 2013

'...charging along like troops in a battle All through the meadows the horses and cattle...' The evening sun shown itself like a big flashlight flashing every few seconds from behind the trees. We were passing through inner Mongolia. The constantly changing shadows, along with Stevenson's lines made it visually rhythmic. Willy too was lost in thought. ''It came to me in a dream you know'', he said suddenly in his deep and soft voice. He was still looking out the window, the flashlight lighting up his face in a warm glow. A moment later, he was in shadow again, he turned to me and continued. ''Going to Russia, Mongolia and Sheena (China) in this train''. I smiled back. Meet Woditsch Wilhelm. He is 78 years old and is from a small village in Germany. He is ... read more
Trans Mongolian Railway
Chinese mountains right out of an ink painting
Hello Willy!

Asia » China » Beijing » Great Wall of China September 23rd 2013

A monument built hundreds of years ago, which took thousands of years and various empires and the lives of their slaves, to complete, reconstruct and extend, to keep out the dangerously wild horsemen of Mongolia and save the poor, peace loving innocent farmers of China. I was going to be part of that history with my little black umbrella on a cold day in September. I'd booked a tour with the downtown backpackers hostel and we were set all set to leave at 8 am. The hike was 6km long and was between Jinshanling and Sumatai. A section of the wall that hadn't been renovated. It is 3 hours away from Beijing and that's half the reason its been left alone. Hardly any tourists out here, and very very few hawkers. Had a pleasant ride on ... read more
Stairway to ?
The Wall
The Un restored Wall

Asia » China » Beijing » Forbidden City September 23rd 2013

After having spent 6 months on two separate occasions in China, not having visited Beijing felt like having missed the point of it all. Nobody has heard of Urumqi or Yongding county. What they're really going to ask is about the wall or the forbidden city. Last year I couldn't make it to Beijing for I fell ill just a day before we were scheduled to take the flight. We were in Fujian and were weary after three days in the countryside, in a moment of weakness we decided to come back to Shanghai and that was that. This time around I made sure I start my trip from Beijing, I wasn't about to risk keeping it at the trailing end. So there I was, finally landing on Beijing airport. I was lucky to get a ... read more
a glimpse of what lies within
Inside the Beijing Airport

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi September 3rd 2013

My last day in Urumqi was spent wandering around the city. On the onset, Urumqi looks like any other Chinese city. A city that has been pumping up development, especially in the last few years and is relatively young. According to wikipedia it used to be a major part of the silk route and since the 1990's has been developed economically and is a transport node. It is the gateway into China from the West. More than anything else, Urumqi's unique location and its influence on the city, can be understood by taking a closer look at its demography. As I mentioned in a post before this,'The other side of China', there is a 75.3 % population of the Han chinese, 12% Uighers and others, Mongols, Kazhaks, Uzbeks, Russians, Tibetian, Manchu among others make the rest. ... read more
Walking under the vines

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Turpan September 2nd 2013

After the tiring day in Dunhuang, I looked forward to the night in the train back to Urumqi. The soft sleeper with its clean sheets, its gentle sway just enough to let me drift into sleep and no noise whatsoever. I lay on my bunk, the Mogao caves flooding my mind with the mythical images floating in one after the other. I was basking in my thoughts, feeling every bit of the tiredness that sometimes doesn't let you sleep too easily. When a certain annoying sound made its way through the layers of images going through my head. It took over all my attention. And revealed itself as a full fledged snore orchestra. I have travelled on night journeys several times. Have had many snorers around me. But never have I wanted to kill one of ... read more
Minaret against the sun
Streets of Turpan
Dust bowl on the way

Asia » China » Gansu » Dunhuang September 1st 2013

While looking for places to visit around Urumqi, the place that struck me most was the Mogao caves near Dunhuang. Although mentioned as a 2 to 3 day trip, I figured if we go by the overnight train we should have the good part of one day enough to be able to see the caves. One image of a 9 tiered pagoda embedded in a cliff was enough to make me want to go there. We reached Liu yuan at 7 am, the station seemed small and the weather outside was cool. After 'Unexpected Urumqi', I'd almost forgotten why I'd booked these tickets-to come all the way here. Looking at the available options for a ride to Dunhuang, we took the most inexpensive and fast option, a minibus. So, after a five hour plane journey across ... read more
Liu Yuan station

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Urumqi August 31st 2013

When this trip was first mentioned I had no idea what I was getting into. The landscape, the people, the food, the languages, everything is so unexpected and mixed up. Prepare to be surprised. The 5 hour flight from Shanghai to Urumqi crosses some of the most exquisite topography. If you are lucky to be flying there on a clear day, as we were, on the later half of the flight, you could see glimpses of the Tibetan plateau and the rugged mountains of the Tian Shan change into the forbidding Taklamakan (In Hindi one could translate that as bald man's house :P) desert. The significance of this region on the silk route suddenly rings loud and clear. This was the buffer zone between Europe and China. The traders, merchants and travelers all trans versed this ... read more
Raisins and more raisins !
Afghani bread/nan

Asia » China » Shanghai » Hongkou July 22nd 2013

I've been working in Shanghai for 1 month now. If i am not getting very far with the language... one sure shot of way of getting to know the Chinese people is to eat their food ! The language of food comes quite close to that of love! Its a necessity, we all need to eat, so why not? Some of these food explorations i did on my own. Struggling to explain what I want. Pointing at pictures or the displayed food.. The waiter telling me something in Chinese, me giving my best 'I don't know what u r talking about expression', followed by a meek smile ! always follow with a smile... Then of course they'll just give you what they think u want and show you how much it costs on a calculator.. Some ... read more
Sizzler in a bowl
So many options !
finally decided what I want

Asia » China » Shanghai » Hongkou July 21st 2013

For most people the everyday workings of daily life can be very comforting. A metro or train journey before and after work only helps add to the certainty and routine. The train is going to stop at the same number of stations the same amount of time. There is bound to be the similar number of people in the train at a particular time. It's easy to get comfortable with these sort of things, one can expect them to happen every day. One can come to the point when one is no more worried about missing a stop . Either one knows exactly when to look up from their book. Or you've missed your stop enough times to know that its not a big deal and you can always take a train back to where you ... read more

Asia » China » Fujian » Yongding July 17th 2012

The hills around Luilian are really worth getting up early in the morning for. We set out to see Tulous at 7, the three of us, alice's father in Law, my mother and me, all on one motorbike. It's not that I haven't done triplets on a bike before; in college in Ahmedabad we do it all the time. There it's with other people who are just as crazy as me. But here it was going to be, a middle aged, jovial, heavily tanned Chinese man and my mother. And the funniest part was that I was the only one who was concerned about it. Even though I knew we intended to travel this way for a whole day, in rain or sunshine, village paths, gravel, paved areas, concreted roads, steep slopes, gentle meadows, yet I ... read more
On the motorbike
Temple 2

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