Xinjiang

By Bryan • china • 12 Jan 2005

What are you doing in February? I’m going to Central Asia.

My director’s parents live in a little village on the border with Kazahstan, about two hours from Yining. Yining holds a little special place in Cold War history as the flashpoint for a series of border clashes between Soviet and Chinese forces in the 1960’s during the Sino-Soviet Split. In addition to Cold War conflicts, Yining pops up in the news every now and then as region of conflict between Ugyhurs and Han Chinese. Cold weather, isolation, ethnic conflicts…I choose the most desirable vacation destinations.

After spending several days in Yining, I’m taking off on my own. My plan consists of wandering from settlement to settlement in Northern Xinjiang traversing the Altay Mountains (hopefully climbing at least one), with the ultimate goal of reaching Urumqi (er-rum-chi) and possible Turpan, before the 17 of February. Unfortunately, given my rather short holiday, I will have to bypass southern Xinjiang, including the Taklamakan desert (not really sure the point in heading there in the winter anyway), the frontier crossroads of Kashgar and the Tibetan border. I also probably won’t be able to hit Hanas Lake (access is sketchy in the winter) although I’m definetly going to try to see how close I can get to this absolutely incredible landscape. I will be going to Heavenly Lake.

I’m not going to lie, after 3 months here, I speak about as much Chinese as I did back in Canada. On the bright side, I’ll have 48 hours on a train with Chinese teacher (necessity is the mother of all language skills), and from what I’ve been told, large portions of the Uyghur (pronounced U-gur) population haven’t bothered with learning Chinese anyway.

This is how I’ve always envisioned travelling. Solo, no serious plans, straight from the hip rambling armed with nothing but a wad of mao-backs, the ipod, camera and a collection of warm clothing that would make even the Inuit jealous. To describe me as excited does not do justice.

You could also probably describe me as a idiot.

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7 Responses

  1. Sue

    This is definitely NOT how your old mom would choose to have you travel …..maybe if I don’t think about it too much. Do you have your TIm Horton’s mug???????

  2. Mike

    I would definately have to put a check in the “idiot” column B. But, have a good time,and make sure you take lots of good pictures to show us.

  3. Bryan

    I think Timmy is going to sit this one out.

  4. M

    I don’t konw who you are ,and I don’t know what set of blood composes you but all I could say is that Canada is a better place to be
    Don’t you think .

    I have found his e-mail ,3 of them but he blocked me , impaired the whole thing , purchase Mailer-Daemaon and Failure delivery for me .

    But on the other side somebody is stupifying me twice .it might be him

  5. M

    I just wanna say that I’m so thankul for arriving in this blog . I think that you have blessed me .

    Just like a stranger on the way . I will always be thankful for arriving here .

    Let me comment all time ,since only few heads are interested with this whole idea.

    aren’t there ? nonesense me this time but sure more of your blog ” Somehow ”

  6. Bryan

    Here’s the deal M.

    In the spirit of the internet, you are free to comment when and where you please. I’m not going to prevent you from commenting on my website. However, because you are, in a sense, a unique poster, you will have to meet several conditions.

    1. Your comments are not to include any references to Bryan Adams, or “Him”. As I’ve made abundantly clear before, I don’t know who he is, nor have any desire to meet him, nor any desire to assist you in your crusade.

    2. You are to make every possible effort to make your comments relative the posts. Please.

    3. You need to provide me with some background information. I don’t want your name, I just need to have an idea of who you are. Judging by your English, I am assuming you are from China…am I correct?

    Faliure to meet these simple requirements will result in termination of viewing and commenting privliges.

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