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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

 

 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.

 

 Mountains

 

 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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