After a few days in surprisingly pleasant Urumqi, we figured it was time to start heading west. West to the “Stans”.

Waiting with the People’s Republic for a train going… West

Distances are big in China. Don’t let the crowded nature of this country fool you, it’s vast. We lucked out and managed to get sleeper seats for the 12-hour ride to Kuche, a town rarely visited by western tourists.

The train was surprisingly nice and we arrived relaxed. Good thing. We hadn’t booked a hotel and when we arrived we made the mistake of asking for a single room. Two guys in one room? Suddenly, the hotel was full! We hoofed our packs walked half an hour to the next hotel that we knew accepted foreigners (most don’t!). This time we requested two rooms and they were happy to have us.

Typical hotel security in Western China
Nothing makes Charles happier than hot noodles!

Another 12-hour train journey brought us to Kashgar. We were very happy to make it to this once-famous hub on the Silk Road.

Sparkly!

Kashgar’s old city is a treat to explore. Narrow streets bend and twist, making you feel like you’re on a treasure hunt. Stumbling on some Stalinist propaganda is a thrill.

Stalin and Mao

At other times, this city feels like a bit of a theme park for bus loads of tourists from Eastern China.

The facade of a mosque
A brand new door carefully disguised to look ancient

Chinese bagels?
Muslim architecture

Security is very evident in Kashgar. Even walking down certain streets requires going through a metal detector and showing ID. For the locals, that is. We got waived through.

Yes, this is still China

We’ve really enjoyed Kashgar, authentic or careful recreated theme park. Now we must continue our journey west!

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One thought on “The Joy of Not Planning

  1. 26 Sept.

    Hello Justin. Thank you for the photos you sent me. It certainly is an interesting part of the world you are in. Have safe travelling journey

    Michael

    On Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 9:47 PM Eating Snow Around the World wrote:

    > Justin posted: “After a few days in surprisingly pleasant Urumqi, we > figured it was time to start heading west. West to the “Stans”. Distances > are big in China. Don’t let the crowded nature of this country fool you, > it’s vast. We lucked out and managed to get sleeper ” >

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