Buddhist caves

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The Caboose was almost ready to go:

Mr. Wang with the Caboose

It only needed some minor adjustments and a complete coating in white to make it more tolerant to direct sunlight.

So I realized two things:

1) I wasn’t going to get anywhere today,

2) it was still before noon.

So I hopped on a bus…

bus to Mati Temple

…and went to Mati Temple, a place 70km southwest of Zhangye:

white stupas

(I marked this place as a “Scenic Spot” in the Google Earth trackfile – you should easily be able to locate it!)

What’s so special about this place though?

Somewhat resembling the world-famous Mogao Grottoes 莫高窟 in Dunhuang 敦煌, the amazing Mati Temple area consists of several temples and a system of Buddhist caves, the earliest dating back to the 4th century AD:

caves

And there were minorities. I might have to do a bit of explaining: China’s population is currently at about 1.4 billion. The nation consists of 56 ethnic groups, the Hanforming the vast majority of more than 95 percent.

Two minorities that we’ve come across on the way so far are the Hui – Muslims and water fountains, babies walk on roads inclined, Azzurro) and Tibetans – I can’t hear you, the white yak, the majestic, and the worm, two hundred by two hundred), both of which make up populations of several million people.

…there are some minorities that are a LOT smaller in terms of population though.

The Yugu 裕固 for example:

Yugu girls

Having close ethnic and cultural ties to both the Hui and the Tibetans, this ethnic minority is one of the smallest in China, consisting of only a little more than 10.000 people, all of which traditionally settle only in this small area close to the 马蹄寺.

Unfortunately, I had to catch the last bus back at 17:30, and thus my time was very limited – I would have loved to find out more about the Yugu-people and about the Buddhist caves that had formed such an important part of their living environment for so many centuries.

When I arrived in the city later that night, the Caboose stood there, radiating with a sparkling whiteness:

group photo with the Caboose

She was perfect.

I gave many thanks to my dear Mr. Wang, then I gently rolled her home.

I had such high hopes for the Caboose.



  • John

    A good travel companion! now you must name your caboose! a girl's name, perhaps? or just call her 'the caboose'? and do you plan to have it follow you all the way to germany?

    Reply

  • ataraxia

    what's the caboose for? did you just mention it in some previous posts or it's a secret?

    is there any protection of these buddhist caves? the dunhuang ones are well protected, only allowing limited tourists to visit it. are these buddhist caves totally open to tourists?

    Reply

  • Corinna

    Hast Du in Deinem Wagen auch Platz für Flick- und Werkzeug??? Erinnere den Trip mit Ruben …. 😉

    Gruß,
    C.

    Reply

  • Sandra

    Oh no, something will go wrong. You`re so good at building up tension. Can´t wait for tomorrow.

    Reply

  • Barry aka Ba Lli

    Hast Du eigentlich schon bei 安全局 oder bei 外事办 eine Genehmigung für die caboose beantragt? Und darfst Du das Teil mit dem normalen EU-Lappen führen oder musst du noch schnell die CCDL (Chinese Caboose Driving License) machen.
    Btw: motherfuckers, still I think

    Reply

  • jule

    die tempel anlage im fels ist ja echt beeindruckend!
    ich hoffe mal dein wägelchen wird dir gute dienste erweisen auf der weiterreise, bin gespannt… 🙂

    Reply

  • Christoph

    John: Ha! You're so right! What should I do? Name her CABOOSE? …or ask someone to help me pick a real name?
    ataraxia: I need the thing to help me carry more supplies in the areas that lay ahead. I think I mentioned it before too. The 马蹄 caves are totally different from Dunhuang. They are not as well protected, but they have a more lively feel to it. Dunhuang feels more like a museum, you know what I mean?
    Corinna: Ha, ich erinnere mich an den Trip mit Rubi!
    Sandra: Tension? That was not my intention! 😉
    Barry aka Ba Lli: Ha, ich und die caboose machen erst mal auf Easy Rider und gucken wie weit wir kommen!
    jule: Die Tempel waren wirklich toll. Fährst du dann später auch mal hin! 🙂

    Reply

  • Florian (Flo Li Anh)

    Passier-Caboose A38

    Reply

  • ataraxia

    i was too busy last week so didn't have time to finish all you posts…
    now it is 3:00 am i am still programming….

    yeah, i fully i understand what you mean.

    thanks for the explanation

    Reply

  • jule

    puh, ich bin ja erstmal froh wenn ich es mal nach china schaffe!! 🙂 so ganz ohne chinesische sprachkenntnisse weiß ich ja nicht ob ich mich da überhaupt von den großen städten so weit weg wagen kann…

    Reply

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