Journey

Wrapping up #Chinese Silk Route

Glad to be back to Xi’an! Rather than going to Xi’an typical touristic spots (the Terra cotta Warriors, the City Wall, the Muslim Street and so on; I went there but you can ask google for more), I chose to end the first leg of my #SilkRoute trip at Shaanxi Provincial History …

Journey

798 Art Zone of Beijing

After a full day check up at the hospital, I headed out to see what Beijing had to offer. Instead of going to usual touristic spots, I headed to 798 Art Zone at Dashanzi. Previously a complex of factories, urbanization pushed these factories in 2004 out of town, giving spaces …

Journey

The old city of Kashgar

The eastern side of Old Kashgar City was highlighted with impressive high rock cliffs/walls. 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. I guess it was to channel the water running from …

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 …

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.

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 …

Journey

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 …

Journey

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 …

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 …

Journey

History is made by mixing facts and interests

Today, I met Alibek Yeginbay, a historian born and grown up in Kazakhstan but has called Xi’an home for five years. Like me, he’s one of the doubters that Marco Polo actually took the trip as mentioned in the traveler’s book, The Travels of Marco Polo. Polo’s description of ancient …