Monthly Archives: September 2012

parting (for now)

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Today was our last day in this beautiful part of the world. We got on a plane: And flew over the desert and the mountains. Parts of the land looked like the ones I had walked through before: Then we reached Ürümqi. We came in low over the city: And we crossed the exact same […]


I was going to do the same thing in the air!

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The city wall of Hotan wasn’t very old: Only some parts of it were: It was weird to think that maybe this statue was older than the main gate of the city wall: (Note how tall the man on the right is compared to the other guy, lol.) One of the local specialties of this […]


dessert in the desert

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Yes, I know it’s a tacky title. Anyway… We took a train ride along the Southern rim of the Taklamakan desert today. From Kashgar to Hotan in a bit more than 9 hours: Cup noodles in the hard sleeper compartment of a train: Excellent! When we reached Hotan, it was already late: People were dancing […]


handprints

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There’s a livestock market here every sunday. Ok, some cows, some sheep, maybe a camel. No big deal, you would think. But certain travel guides have it listed as one of the BEST things to see in ALL of China. So we went to check it out: There were old dudes… …making money: Cows… …in […]


nine inch lakes

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Ever heard of Karakul – the “black lake” in the Pamir Mountains? We figured we were pretty close to it, so we hopped into a cab, stopped to buy some food and got on our way: It was about 200 km down Southwest on the Karakorum Highway: We passed red rocks: …tiny settlements: …high mountains: […]


Kashgaria

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Today we left Ürümqi and hopped on an airplane: It was going to take us to a place in Southern Xinjiang: Kashgar, Kashgaria, Kasia, Kaxgar, Shule. One of the most important oasis towns of the old Silk Roads, a gem under the skies of Central Asia, a city predominantly inhabited by Uyghurs, a place of […]


last interview in the ü

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I finally got my visa extension today. Yay! 🙂 And these guys made an interview with me for a paper from Ürümqi: They were utterly charming, and I found it very interesting to hear their views on the media. Anyway, we were getting ready to leave this place. “More walking?” they asked. “Airplane!” I said.


Germans looking at dancers

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My visa wasn’t ready yet. No big deal, just one more day of waiting. We walked around in South Lake Park 南湖公园 for a while: The municipal administration was there: Some apartment buildings: And a couple of horses that we initially mistook for cows: Later that night, we met up with my good friend Zhu […]


where did my hair dresser go?

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The visa application had been accepted. All we could do was wait. So we wandered around town, much like these guys: Went to Erdaoqiao 二道桥, the Grand Bazaar that I had visited two years ago and seen from afar four years ago: And this time, we decided to climb the tower and get an overview […]


#1002

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First thing in the morning: Go to the central police station and grab a number. Being number 2 on the list, it seemed as though I was much luckier this time than the last time I had tried to get a visa extension here. We spent the rest of the day walking around central Ürümqi. […]


planes, trains and automobiles

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We only had half a day, but Lei Sheng made sure we didn’t waste it. He took us to the oil city of Dushanzi 独山子, one of the richest places in the country, complete with sporting facilities: And I mean awesome sporting facilities: Lei Sheng had a Taekwondo school there: Then we said our good-byes […]


back to the yurt

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Early in the morning, we hopped in a cab: The driver was apparently an MJ enthusiast: He dropped us off at the train station, then he vanished in a bubble of disco music: After a bunch of meticulous security checks (x-ray and all), we had to walk through a storage area: Somewhere behind it, there […]


the feeling of home

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Same old story: my visa was about to run out. I needed an extension ,and I was going to go to Ürümqi to get one, so first I needed a ticket. It took me a while, then I found a train that was going to leave the next day. But first, we went to the […]


master of the wind

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Today was going to be my last walking day this summer: So, with our new identification papers in our pockets, we waltzed out of town. On our way to the border. We Passed architectural wonders: …flowers… …and a dude who said: “Take a picture of me!” One time there was this weird theme park: “Folklore […]


how we became approved

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We left the town of Huocheng, which was bigger than we had thought: Passed a wedding ceremony on the way: And gradually gained back the countryside: And then I crossed my own way. It happened here: I had come from the opposite direction a bit more than a week ago, when I was walking on […]


new old things

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When the sun came out, we left the regiment and started out walking through fields: Our goal was to take dirt roads as much as we could: And so we walked: …past fires… …past spectators… …past pink houses… …past corn… …and past a mosque: No, actually we didn’t just walk past that mosque. Just when […]


corn snake

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Today we started to walk. I was happy that the Caboose seemed to get along quite well with my good friend Dario: (It would have been hard if I had to choose between them.) We took a different way out of Yining, and we passed by something that looked old: I’m saying that it “looked […]


night markets

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This is my friend Dario: He decided to accompany me on the last leg of my trip to the border of China and Kazakhstan. It was only a few days’ walk, but first, we needed to eat: So we found a place, and we ate: …and ate: …and ate: …and ate: The way we saw […]


what teahouse?

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You know how guide books often tend to say retarded things like dive into, intoxicate yourself, hang with the locals, etc. etc.? Well, that’s just one side of it. My friend and I wandered around Yining today, looking for fun things to do. So we dived into a cab, yelled “temple!”, and ended up in […]