Saturday, October 9, 2010

Journey to the West

For the October holidays, I decided to explore the West of Gansu province and go into Xinjiang. After a night on the train, I arrived in Jiayuguan, a fort of the Great Wall, providing splendid view of the Wall by the desert. In the evening, my journey continued by train towards Xinjiang, the Uyghur autonomous region and the town of Turpan, in a depression reaching until 150 meters below sea level. In town, an old minaret is the main attraction, besides, exploring the surrounding enables people to discover a few jewels of the Silk Road and get acquainted with the Uyghur culture. Another highlight is the food. I moved on to Urumqi, the provincial capital. On the first day, it was hard to find elements of Uyghur culture, many places seemed extremely Chinese. On the second day, a visit to Tianchi, a beautiful lake in the mountains was fantastic. On my last morning, I went to the bazaar and saw more of the Uyghur culture. A strange thing happened back in Lanzhou, when sharing pictures from the trip, my browser sometimes went crazy and I had to give poetical names to some of the places visited.