South-East Qinghai 

From Xining, I made my way south to Southern-Qinghai: Kumbum Monastery (塔尔寺)  Guide (贵德)  Tongren (同仁) The Kumbum Monastery (Taersi, 塔尔寺) was built in 1577 on hallowed ground, the birthplace of the founder of an important Buddhist sect. It’s of enormous historical significance and hundreds of monks still live here. The monastery is located 27km…

Qinghai Lake 

So the next destination was Qinghai Province, the second biggest province in China, larger than any country in the EU, but only having 5.6 million inhabitants. Qinghai Province occupies a vast swath of the northeastern chunk of the Tibetan Plateau. Qinghai is said to feel more like Tibetan than Chinese. There are monasteries galore, yaks…

Yining: Grass grass grass! 

From Kashgar I took the train to Yining (伊宁) in Yili (伊犁). The train ride was 33 hours, due to the strange route, that the train took. It first rode to Turpan and then turned west again, passed by Ürümqi and arrived in Yining the next day.  The train ride was absolutely pleasant, since I…

Kashgar, the Middle East 

From Kuqa (库车), I took the train to Kashgar (716 km in the Southwest). Kashgar is closer to Teheran and Damascus than to Beijing, and you can definitely feel, that the atmosphere is not “typical Chinese”, more like Middle East. You’ll see what I mean  in the pictures.  The train from Kuqa should have departed…

Where’s the swimming pool? Kuqa, southern Xinjiang  

From Ürümqi, I took the night bus to Kuqa (库车, Kuche), which was a 761km bus ride.  The license plate of the bus was made out of paper.  Kuqa is a small city of about 70,000 inhabitants. The city offers interesting bazaars and is located in the middle of the desert. The once thriving city-state…

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:…

Kanas Lake, what a beauty 

My next destination was Lake Kanas (喀纳斯湖), in the very north of Xinjiang, next to the boarders to Russia (50km), Mongolia (55km) and Kazakhstan (20km). The Lake is pretty far away from Ürümqi so I decided to make a stop in Buerjin, sleep there for one night and take the first bus to Lake Kanas…