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Journey

The old city of Kashgar

Having studied civil engineering, it was an embarrassing moment when I could not explain what were the gutters along the sloping walls for to my guide.

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Journey

Palav equals to happiness, it tastes best when shared

“Palav equals to happiness, it tastes best when shared.” Kashgar, especially the food, has given me many surprises. In its busy Grand Bazaar, I found many street vendors selling different kind of food with origins that were, given their intertwined cultures, difficult to trace. Palav, sometimes called pollo, pulau or …

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Journey

The story of bagels

“In the end, it’s the similarities – not differences – that we celebrate together.” When in New York, I couldn’t understand why NYer were so crazy about bagels. Here, in Kashgar, I see people as – if not more – crazy to bagels as those in the Big Apple. But …

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Journey

One has not been in Xinjiang unless reaching Kashi

“Romanticism is better felt with old buildings; unlike human, they stay the same.” Finally, one of the destinations that I always wanted to be in: the old city of Kashgar in Xinjiang. Being the farthest Chinese town from the capital, Beijing, it also moved further away from the Chinese culture …

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Journey

Happy New Year from Urumqi

Snow, cold and slippery road have sent me to one of the most unexpected experience in traveling: going to hospital. Worst, I didn’t speak Mandarin or Uyghur and I forgot my translator in my phone. But the show (read: travel) must go on. Happy New Year from Urumqi, China.

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Journey

The end of the beginning

“How can I see the ends of the Great Wall of China without having to go to outer space?” One could see the whole Great Wall of China only by watching it from outer space. Since SpaceX won’t be ready anytime soon – and I don’t know if I have …

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Blessing from the universe

The Silk Route was unique; trade, politics, arts, religion and so on inspired each other that new cultures emerged. The City of Dunhuang, and especially Mo Gao area, once proved it. Mo Gao, located 25 KM outside the city of Dunhuang, was originally built to create a pilgrimage spot for …

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Journey

The ubiquitous Lanzhou beef lamien

“There is no way one eats Lanzhou lamien without beef chunks and beef broth. What kind of lamien without beef?” my new friend Michael Ma asked me. “Vegetarian lamien,” I suppose.

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There’s always the first time of everything

The Yellow River, emerging from Kunlun Mountain and ended in Pacific Ocean was central to ancient Chinese culture. The river halved the City of Lanzhou, a significant communication centre along the ancient Silk Road route. According to archeological findings, soldiers, envoys, merchants, monks and poets who travelled along the ancient …

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Journey

Be grateful

His name was Li. I was sure he had a full name but he refused to mention it. As a deliveryman wearing Santa costume, his SoP required him to smile to people. Surprisingly, he said to my guide, “I hate this job. I don’t celebrate Christmas but I make money …

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