China: Silk Road

Hami: Palace and Market

Hami

Xinjiang Province

China

September 23, 2016

 

In 1888, a traveler recorded this description of Hami:

"The kingdom of Ha-mi contains a great number of villages and hamlets; but it has, properly, only one city, which is its capital, and has the same name. It is surrounded by lofty walls which are half a league in circumference (2.7k or 1.6 mi) and has two gates, one of which fronts the east, and the other the west. These gates are exceedingly beautiful and make a fine appearance at a distance.

Turpan: The Raisin Capital of China

Turpan City (pop 254,900)

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

The People’s Republic of China

September 27, 2016

 

Turpan is the “Raisin Capital of China.”  In a country of one and a half billion people, the Capital of Anything is impressive.

In the Turpan Depression, the winter temperatures are below frigid.  But in summer the sun bakes the land.  Apparently, the local crops thrive in the extreme heat.  The sugar content of the grapes (and melons) increases dramatically.   

Turpan: Essence of a Place

Turpan City

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

China

September 27, 2016

 

What better way to appreciate and capture the essence of a place * than to stroll along its boulevards and to wander through the markets?

Turpan is buzzing with activity.  The streets are filled with fast moving vehicles that are decidedly Chinese in design.  Battery operated motorbikes or hybrid automobiles or low emission trucks and buses compete for space with a host of creatively designed mini-cars that can carry a small amount of freight or a family.  Now in late summer, the motorized carriages are all open air.

Qinghai Province

Qinghai Province

China

September 11, 2016

 

Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Si) lies just south of the city of Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province.

The Monastery was built in 1577 at the birthplace of Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

Further south, on the road to Qinghai Lake, lies a lovely scenic spot  and a Tibetan version of a Petting Zoo.  The official name is Sun and Moon Mountain or Sun and Moon Pass.

Xining: Silk Road Hub

Xining

Qinghai Province

China

September 10, 2016

 

Xining is a city with a history of more than 2000 years.  It was a vital link to Tibet to the south and to the city of Lanzhou to the east. 

Xining lies in the Hexi Corridor and served as a transportation and trading hub for the ancient Northern Silk Road route.  The city now serves as a hub for the Modern Silk Road providing connections to multiple-lane highways and bullet trains in all directions.

Tongren: Town and Temple

Tongren (pop 257,000)

Qinghai Province

China

September 9, 2016

 

The Longwu Tibetan Temple and Monastery is the main site in Tongren.   I saw very little of it.  In fact, I almost missed it. 

I stroll from my hotel towards the Temple along the main street but as usual, I am seduced by shops and shopkeepers and the local population at work or at leisure.

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