Journey to the West

June 11, 2018

Silk was developed in the region of Zhejiang near Shanghai, and in the first millenium is major produce use for barter trading, and payment as money.  The capital was Chang An todays Xian.  West of Xian is the Gansu corridor to XinJiang.  The western area population is a mix of Han Chinese, Sogdian ( descents from Iran ) and Uighurs.  


Monk FaXian ( 350 - 414 CE ) travelled from China to India via south of the Taklamakan desert , Khotan (Ho Tian ), but return to China via sea route bringing back buddhist text.


Ca. 596-664 a Chinese monk named XuanZang travelled (629 CE) to India to study buddhism in the original Sanskrit text. The journey from LuoYang his birthplace to Xian (Capital during the Tang ), WuWei, GuaZhou,  DunHuang, Hami, Turfan, Aksu, Tashkent, Sogdiana, Peshawar, Taxila ( Pakistan ) and Srinigar


Near Turfan, was a buddhist kingdom GaoChang, the ruins of which visitors could still visit. The king of Gaochang tried retaining XuanZang, but he stayed only for 10 days. From this background the classic story of Journey to The West was written.


There is also a chinese Garrison town from 450 CE " JiaoHe" ruins near Turfan that make an interesting visit.



 Starting off from Shanghai on the highway G318


 Power generation from coal, the air stinks


 500 km done on the G318



 2 days crossing the DaBie mountain range


 2nd Day on the mountain range


 Valley within the mountains








 Getting Out of the mountains


 Foothill are always pleasant


 Going into Wuhan, crossing the Yangtze river bridge


 YangTze river at Wuhan , drought, very low water level.




 Glorious food


Chinese hamburgers


Chinese hamburgers - Close Up




 Breakfast chinese doughs stick and Soya milk



 Dinner at Anhui


 Whipping up noddles 


 Winter -10C in Henan province


 It's a Gas station


 Charging battery at a tyres service .


 5 wheels truck, what would you call it ?


 In China , watch out for the trucks.


 Henan - Coal country


 Climbing up the Loass highland


 Cave dwellings in the Loass highland


 Keep climbing , wet and cold, and large coal trucks wizzing by, the bridge vibrates badly,

surprise it did not collapse.


 In LanZhou , Gansu province,  park beside the yellow river ( Huang He )

Sculptures of the characters from the novel ' Journey to the West '


 WuWei, one of the oldest city in China.  What was the main gate of the city from Ancient time.


 Jujube fruit in Gansu


 To the desert in XinJiang


Mausoleum of past muslim kingdom Uighur Khanganate in Hami


 Palace from the Uighur Khanganate Era in Hami, largely reconstructed.


 Gobi Desert , Batrian Camels ( 2 humbs )


ON the highway G312 in XinJiang Province


 One row of mountain after another.


 Mountains and deserts


 Jia Yu Guan Pass mark the Chinese frontier from the Han Dynasty


 Jia Yu Guan Pass


 Alongside is the great wall of China


 Inside the Jia Yu Guan Pass


  On the right towards north is the Tian Shan ( Sky Mountains )


 15 km of dirt road out of ShanShan


 Traffic on the other side of the fence


 On the way to Turfan.


 Vineyards at the foot of the flaming mountain, building seen here houses the grapes for drying into raisins. 

Lowest area in Turfan is 154 m ( 505 ft ) below sea level.  Summer temp reaches 60 C


 Starting out at 7:55 am at Bai Yang He hotel at Tou Ke Xun


 What's for lunch ?  Boiled mutton, bread and mutton wash.




 More Mountains


 And more mountains, row after row


 Slept by the road side, concrete wind breaker on the right, woke up with scorpions crawling all over.


Snow white


 Tian Shan mountains to the right ( north )


 50 km of dirt road to cross to get back on the G314 from uncompleted expressway


 Poplar forest


 What is left of the guard post along part of the ancient great wall, sections here are made from ram earth.


 Preparing my lunch " Big Plate Chicken "


 Tailwind , blow me away, 80 watts for 35 kmph


 Always give way to the mighty 20 wheels run runners with 50 tons load


 Melon vendor by the road side


 Hot in the desert, best melon in the world


 More mountains towards Kashgar, long but rather gentle grades.


 Finally arrived in Kashgar on 12 Dec 2010 at 21:06 hrs !


 Kasghar hotel


 At the Kashgar Grand Bazaar


 Store selling walnuts, dried resins, figs, etc at the Bazaar


 Apak Hoja Hazar Tomb 1640 CE


 Ancient Russian interest


Need no introduction


 Kashgar old town


Building with bricks, mud and straws mix



 Working on making the 'V' for the photo op.


 Batrian camel for the tourist












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