Silk Road East, September 2018

From Lhasa, Tibet, we took a train to Xining and another to Jiayuguan, the western end of the Great Wall. From there, we travelled to Dunhuang and followed the ancient Silk Road throughout the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
チベットのラサから列車で嘉峪関へ。万里の長城の最西端である。嘉峪関から敦煌へ。新疆ウイグル自治区に入って、シルクロードを辿った。

location of Xinjiang and cities visited

 

What had attracted me to this leg of the journey was a romantic notion of the Silk Road, the Gobi Desert and the Taklamakan Desert.
訪問前、旅のハイライトとして頭にあったのはシルクロード、ゴビ砂漠、タクラマカン砂漠のロマンチックなイメージ。

What stayed in my mind strongest after the trip was rigorous state security measures and an overwhelming number of Han Chinese tour groups, both of which we had experienced in Tibet but were tenfold in Xinjiang.
旅の後で一番印象に残ったのは、厳しい治安体制と圧倒される数の中国人団体観光客。どちらもチベットの10倍のスケールだった。

Even as foreign tourists who stayed in the region for a short period of time, we couldn’t help feeling the state’s heavy hand. All over Xinjiang, there was a police station at every large intersection, a police box at every school and every petrol station, and police officers and a security gate at every hotel, every department store and every large supermarket.
短期の外国人観光客である私たちですら、国家の鉄の手を感じざるを得なかった。交差点には警察署、学校やガソリンスタンドには交番、ホテルやデパートや大きなスーパーには警察官と金属探知機。

Our vehicle was stopped at numerous check points. Multiple security check procedures were conducted at train stations and airports. Just to get in and out of a train station or an airport, how many times did our passports have to be checked, our photographs have to be taken and our luggage have to go through metal detectors?
私たちのバスは何度も警察のチェックポイントで止められた。鉄道の駅や空港では、同じ警備チェックが幾度も繰り返される。何度パスポートをチェックされたことだろう。何度顔写真を撮られたことだろう。何度荷物を金属探知機に通したことだろう。

At the Urumqi Airport, a young Japanese mountaineer was almost in tears, trying to explain desperately in Japanese and broken English to a belligerent police officer, shouting in Mandarin at him, that ropes and metals in his backpack were harmless mountain climbing gear, nothing suspicious or dangerous. (Surely she had seen mountain gear carried by foreign mountaineers before?)
ウルムチ空港で若い日本人の登山家が泣き顔になっていた。警備チェックで登山道具が引っかかったのだが、彼は日本語と片言の英語しかできない。高圧的な警官は中国語で怒鳴っている。この地に来る登山家は多いはず。登山道具はこれまでも見たことがあるだろうに、なぜそんな意地悪を・・・?

From Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, we flew back to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, and concluded our journey by visiting nearby cities of Guanghan and Dujiangyan.
新疆ウイグル自治区の首府ウルムチから四川省の省都成都に飛び、近くの廣漢市と都江堰市を訪れて旅を締めくくった。

I hope to travel the western side of the Silk Road some day!
いつの日か、シルクロードの西側部分を旅したい!

Young nuns. Great Wall Fortress, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

Young nuns having great time. Great Wall Fortress, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

 

Smartphone. Great Wall Fortress, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

From nuns to soldiers, everybody is glued to smartphone. Great Wall Fortress, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

 

Guanghua Tower. Great Wall Fortress, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

Guanghua Tower. Great Wall Fortress, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

 

Street vender. Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

Street vendor. Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

 

Fruit seller. Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

Fruit seller. Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

 

Fake caravan. Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

Fake caravan. Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

 

Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

 

Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

 

Love locks. Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

Popular spot to vow eternal love. Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

 

Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

Overhanging Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu, September 2018

 

Dancers. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

Dancers from the “Silk Road” dance show resting after welcoming visitors. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

 

Dunes. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

Dunes. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

 

Red Boots Brigade. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

Han Chinese tourists in red leg protectors, getting ready for camel ride and dune climbing. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

 

Camels. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

Camels. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

 

Camel ride. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

During high season, even 800 camels are not enough. 40 minutes waiting time in August! Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

 

Dune climbing. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

Dune climbing. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

 

Dunes. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

Dunes. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

 

Photo time. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

Photo time. Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring Resort, Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

 

Market. Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

Market. Dunhuang, Gansu, September 2018

 

CCTV. Turpan, Xinjian, September 2018

I took this photo because I liked the contrast of a red and yellow flag on the poll against a blue sky. Later, while reviewing photos, I realised this was one of ubiquitous security cameras. Turpan, Xinjian, September 2018

 

Jiaohe Citadel, Yarnaz Valley, Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

While Jiaohe Citadel was packed with tourists, nearby Gaochang Ruins, similar but nicer, were empty. Apparently, tour groups spend only a day in Turpan and visit only this site (because it’s larger, older and closer to town?), before moving to their next destination. Jiaohe Citadel, Yarnaz Valley, Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Jiaohe Citadel, Yarnaz Valley, Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Jiaohe Citadel, Yarnaz Valley, Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Jiaohe Citadel, Yarnaz Valley, Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Jiaohe Citadel, Yarnaz Valley, Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Carpets. Jiaohe Citadel, Yarnaz Valley, Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Carpets. Jiaohe Citadel, Yarnaz Valley, Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Pumpkins. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Pumpkins. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Making nan. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Making nan. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Preparing lunch. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Preparing lunch. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Taxi. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Very popular method of transpot. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Window. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Window. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Inside of Emin Minaret. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Inside of Emin Minaret. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Emin Minaret. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Tallest minaret in China (44 metres). Emin Minaret. Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Harvesting melons. On the way to Bezeklik from Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Harvesting melons. On the way to Bezeklik from Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Family. On the way to Bezeklik from Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Boy entertaining his little brother while Mom is busy checking makeup in mirror and talking on phone. On the way to Bezeklik from Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Door. Bezeklik Grottoes, Mutou Valley, Flaming Mountains, Xinjiang, September 2018

Door. Bezeklik Grottoes, Mutou Valley, Flaming Mountains, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Driving from Turpan to Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

Driving to Kuche from Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Driving from Turpan to Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

Driving to Kuche from Turpan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Car repair advertisements. On the way to Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

Numerous telephone numbers, advertising car and tyre repair services, are scribbled on rocks in the middle of mountains. Between Turpan and Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Gobi Desert. Driving from Turpan to Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

Gobi Desert. Driving from Turpan to Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Subashi Gucheng Ruins, Kuche, September 2018

One of my two favourite ruins on this trip. Subashi Gucheng Ruins, Kuche, September 2018

 

Subashi Gucheng Ruins, Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

Subashi Gucheng Ruins, Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Subashi Gucheng Ruins, Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

Subashi Gucheng Ruins, Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Subashi Gucheng Ruins, Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

Subashi Gucheng Ruins, Kuche, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Driving to Aksu, Xinjiang, September 2018

Driving to Aksu, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Service station between Aksu and Khotan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Service station between Aksu and Khotan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Crossing Taklamakan Desert. Between Aksu adn Khotan, Xinjiang, September 2018

Crossing Taklamakan Desert. Between Aksu adn Khotan, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Authentic Uyghur old town. Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

Real Uyghur old town. Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Kashgar Old City. Kashgar, Xinjiang, Semtepber 2018

So-called “Kashgar Old City” (the enormous gate at the entrance says so), an old town refurbished as a theme park for tourists. My first reaction was “it’s like Disneyland!” Kitsch and artificial. The area is surrounded by high walls and police officers. Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

With Granny. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

With Granny. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Lady of the house. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

Graceful old lady. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Fashion icon. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

Unintentional fashion icon. So cool. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Fruit seller. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

Fruit seller. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Toy maker's granddaughter, Old City, Kashgar, September 2018

Toy maker’s granddaughter, Old City, Kashgar, September 2018

 

Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Nan seller. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

Nan seller. Old City Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Bent-woodware craftsman, Old Town, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

Bent-woodware craftsman, Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Young patriot? Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

Girl having fun swinging a flag. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Samsa maker. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

Can’t leave his mobile alone even while making samsa for customers. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Daydreaming. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

Daydreaming. Old City, Kashgar, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Camels. Overnight train from Kashgar to Urumqi, Xinjiang, September 2018

Camels. Overnight train from Kashgar to Urumqi, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Goods wagons. Overnight train from Kashgar to Urumqi, Xinjiang, September 2018

Goods wagons. Overnight train from Kashgar to Urumqi, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Ready to get married. Mirage Hotel, Urumqi, Xinjiang, September 2018

Happy couple arriving at their wedding venue. Mirage Hotel, Urumqi, Xinjiang, September 2018

 

Roof. Wenshu Monastery, Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

Roof. Wenshu Monastery, Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Light rain. Wenshu Monastery, Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

Light rain. Wenshu Monastery, Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Lion on roof. Wenshu Monastery, Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

Lion on roof. Wenshu Monastery, Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Sparrows. Wenshu Monastery, Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

Sparrows. Wenshu Monastery, Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Old apartment building. Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

Old apartment building. Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Old house. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

Old house. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Is it edible? Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

Is it edible? Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Silhouettes. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

Silhouettes. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Costume for hire. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

Costume for hire. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Temple in forest. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

Temple in forest. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Temple in mountain. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

Temple in mountain. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Eternal love. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

Another popular spot to vow eternal love. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Gradation. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

Beautiful gradation like ink painting. Dujiangyan, Sichuan, September 2018

 

Smartphone, always, everywhere. Chengdu, Sichuan 2018

Smartphone, always, everywhere. Chengdu, Sichuan, September 2018

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s