We flew from Xi’an to our next stop Xi’ning to continue our journey along the Silk Road on 4 wheels from there. From there on, we had to travel at least a few hundred kilometers every day. There were several days when we had to be on the wheels for 5-6 hours in 1 day. After we got to Xi’ning, we went to a mystical Buddhist place and the largest salty lake Cinhai Lake (literally means: blue… (continue reading…)
從西寧開始, 我們沒了飛機, 開始用遊覽車拉著前往西域的旅程. 每一天都和車子在新建的新絲路高速在一望無際的黃土高原上奔馳著. 我們到了西寧的第一站是藏傳佛教的聖地-塔爾寺, 這是一個…
sea. The small teahouse/chilling space by the shore is actually operated by a Taiwanese and his wife. It was on many news articles.
很奇特的地方, 但有種說不出來的奇怪感覺. 在路上隨便照相, 照到當地人可能會被纏, 在寺廟裡更是不能照相, 否則不然一定沒完沒了.
Our first stop was the Kumbum Monastery about 30km from Xi’ning. It was a much different world when we got there.
說實在的, 這地方有點令人畏懼. 這和我們認知中的佛教太不一樣了… 有點像是某種神秘的 cult. 而且是有很多祕密的那種. 屋子都昏昏暗暗的, 裡面都是一種說不出來的怪味.. 還有用活生生的獵物掛在廟中祭神.. 一進去就覺得渾身不自在. 光頭的小彌撒坐在進每個寺廟的路口, 將門票一一在讀票機上刷過. 然後就是讀票機很不和諧的廣播, 大致說票 ok , 可以進去了.
To be honest, the people and place there made us feel a bit uneasy. The Buddhist tradition there also looks so different from what we’ve always known. Small monks waits outside of each front door for each temple, collecting tickets and scanning them through the ticket reader machine. Then the machine will say something like the ticket has been validated, please proceed. & no photos were allowed in any of the temples, which was understable. But on the street, you also have to be careful not to irritate the locals and make them think you are taking a photo of them. I don’t know… this place just seems so strange to us.
Every building here is so lavishly decorated.
Those are real grass growing on the roof.
Along our way to the last stop, this has been one of our biggest challenges.
Outisde of a public washroom near the highway, there were people selling cooked potatoes and corn.
When you drive around here, you’ll realize nature is a powerful thing.
Nomadic tribes here.
We rode on something like this to get to the edge of the “Blue Sea” Lake (Qin’hai Lake).
A club-like place where our tour bus dropped us off and we got some coupons for horseback riding, riding on motorbikes, etc. But we did none of that because it was much more relaxing to just sit by the lake and feel the warm summer breeze.
The restaurant in the first station.
我們的 “裝甲車” 拋錨 了! 等待救援中.
Our “truck” had an engine failure… so they got another coming to rescue us.
People taking wedding photos. After all, for people who live so “in-land”, this huge lake just looks as pretty as the ocean.
This is the sign that everyone would take a picture of when they come here.
你沒看錯. 在我們後面的真的是沙漠. 但青海湖畔邊的溫度算是整趟旅行最低的地方, 我們戴面罩 partially 是為了擋風保暖.
So the owner pointed that way and told us they had a car down there.. Well… it fell into the water some winters ago when they were driving on the ice.
Another picturesque scene.
So you can tell this cafe has a Taiwanese owner. This reminds us so much the good food.
This was named the Sailing Club.. but you look around and you’ll find no sails. That was just the way things are.
帆船俱樂部的內部. 這間 cafe 雖然叫帆船俱樂部… 但它.. 就是沒有帆船.
Sky from the rocky truck ride that took us back to the first station.
The parts circled are.. flies that decide to get a free ride across the field.
Maybe it’s because it’s so dry here that the wood can’t really stay “flat”.
Looking for the Cin’hai Lake and you’ll see a huge grass field with the Tibetan tents. One way of differentiating a Mongolian tent (蒙古包) from other tents (eg. Tibetan tents/ 藏族包) is that the Mongolian tent has a sharper tip at the centre-top area. The ones you see in there are flat so they’re not Mongolian tents.
It was a bit scary to realize what I took a photo of later on.
After dinner, we got back on to our portable home and on our 2-hr ride back to the hotel in Xi’ning. The road condition of one of the sections of the road was SO BAD that we felt the bus was going to fall apart from excessively going up and down huge bumps.
1. [ Silk Road ] From the Old Capital to the Edge of the Empire (Day 1-3)
2. [ Silk Road ] Tibetian Temples and the “Ocean” in a Desert (Day 4)
3. [ Silk Road ] Down the Yellow River, Ancient Tombs and Out the Middle Kingdom (Day 5-7)
4. [ Silk Road ] Camel-Riding in Desert and the Mysterious Dunhuang Grottos (Day 8-9)
5. [ Silk Road ] 45’C in Fire and Grapes, Mystery City and …(Day 10)
6. [ Silk Road ] Tianchi Lake, Loulan Mummy Revisited & Back to the Capital (Day 10-13)
7. [ Silk Road ] The food, the W.C., and other things.