If nature is beautiful, the people will be as well

From Lake Kanas, I took the bus to Buerjin (布尔津), which is something like the hub to transfer if you want to get to any place in the north of Xinjiang Province. So I decided to stay there for another night and take the first bus the next morning to get to my next destination: Keketuohai (可可托海).

Back in Buerjin, I found those super red pears. So delicious and sweet!

Afterwards I went to eat some Lamian (拉面). Suddenly a loud sirene started to ring in the restaurant and a red and blue light started to flash. The workers in the restaurant got really nervous, grabbed all the baseball bats they could find and stored them at the front door. I got super nervous as well, but it turned out nothing happened in the end.

Then I strolled to the night market in Buerjin again, since I really liked it last time.

Afterwards I returned to the hostel that I already lived in last time. The Kazakh guy who works there was already waiting for me with his friends and we had a good time. They even had German beer there!!

The next morning I needed to transfer twice, in Beitun and Fuyun in order to get to Keketuohai. Luckily I have a good Chinese friend who helped me a lot when finding the right connection to Keketuohai.

Keketuohai National Park is honored as the “Chinese Yosemite” and covers an area of 777km².

Featuring beautiful natural scenery such as valleys, rivers, peaks, forests, mines and seismic belts, the park was listed as a UNESCO World Geopark in 2017.

As usual, all kinds of mountains and stone formations got Chinese names. The following was the turtle:

Here comes the eagle:

And please make some noise for the camel

You have to be very creative to really see the animals, but I was able to figure them out! Besides the interesting names, the landscape was just super beautiful! 

I witnessed waterfalls, animals and a beautiful river:

Two kids ran to me in order to ask for a photo (I guess they were Kazakh ethnic minority). Their facial expressions are like I forced them to take the photo but I swear, they asked for the photo!

At the exit, the military wanted to take some pictures with me, which was quite unusual since I encountered that taking photos of (and with) military should be avoided in any case in Xinjiang.

I had a really great time in the Keketuohai National Park and it was worth the long and hard way to there from Lake Kanas.

I was done with the north of Xinjiang now and I decided to go back to the capital of Xinjiang, Ürümqi in order to change the bus and go further to the dangerous, yet mystical south of Xinjiang.

Being in Ürümqi already, I decided to go to the very beautiful and exciting museum about the history of Xinjiang, including the mummies of the Tarim basin (South Xinjiang). I also learned a lot about the different ethnic minorities that live in Xinjiang. The museum was a super nice stop and totally recommendable! 

I was about to leave Ürümqi when suddenly I got to know some travelers in my hostel, that would visit the Nanshan (南山, directly translates into South mountains), about 100km South of Ürümqi the next day and they asked me whether I’d join. Of course I joined and so we 4 had a great day!

We saw, how the Kazakh ethnic minority lives up high in the mountains.

We also saw the lovely Kazakh minority dancing energeticly between the beautiful yurts.

Besides that, the scenery was also super nice and I was a popular photo model again as well. Here, Uighur and Kazakh ethnic minorities live together peacefully. The blond girl is a Chinese by the way (yet ethnic minority, obviously).  I really love the clothes of the little Uighur guy in the picture!

Back in Ürümqi, I saw (and helped eating) the biggest watermelon ever. Well, on the picture it doesn’t seem as big as in real, but believe me, I saw a lot of watermelons now in Gansu and Xinjiang Province and  due to the host, it was 12kg. Crazily big!

In the evening, the lovely host and 2 other travelers went out for dinner together with me. We enjoyed the local specialty called “Dapanji” (大盘鸡), which is basically one full chicken, cut into little pieces and cooked in a delicious sauce. Additionally, we enjoyed my favorite drink. GEWASI!! What a night!

After the dinner, I left Ürümqi for the next chapter of my journey: the mysterious South!

Thank you my dear companions for a great stay in Ürümqi! I will keep the precious memories not only in my blog, but forever in my mind!

Stay tuned and enjoy the South with me!

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