Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm not going to lie....

I totally went back to Beijing.

After Ningxia Province, we still had about 2 more weeks of travel ahead of us... lots of planes... lots of trains... and lots of buses. And after a 3-day migraine that wouldn't go away, I decided to head back to Beijing by myself. It was the right decision for me. I think its important to stay true to who you are. "The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you."

I was forced to be alone in Beijing by myself, and that was so great for me! I went out with friends, I took cabs, I rode the subway, I walked around the city alone. I went to the haggle markets, I sat in parks and read, I cooked my own food, and I went to the train station several times to buy train tickets for friends that don't speak any Mandarin. I also bought train tickets for this week, when the husband and I head to Shandong province for the Qingdao Beer Festival (I'm really going to see European-influenced Qingdao, and you know this South Florida girl needs a glimpse of the ocean... though I know it won't be anything like my beautiful beaches at home!).

So, even though I didn't continue on the amazing Silk Road trip, this IS a China blog and I still want to share some of the amazing pictures my husband took along the Old Silk Road. I really wanted to share the photos not only because of how wonderful they are, but because the geographic features of China are so diverse - as are China's minority groups - and I think these photos really show that. If anyone has any questions about logistics, recommendations, etc., let me know: I have access to my wonderful husband who would love nothing more than to talk about traveling around China with other people.

Turpan, Xinjiang Province. Turpan is one of the hottest cities in China, and is known for its grapes. Grape trellises are everywhere in the city, and help to keep it cool.

Jiaohe Ruins, just outside of Turpan

At the Sunday Market in Kashgar. Amazing that this is China, right? Many Muslims live in Xinjiang Province, and as you can tell, even their physical features are strikingly different from typical Han Chinese.

Can you picture me here? .... I can't, either.

A mausoleum in Kashgar

A look into Old Kashgar. I love this shot.... what a great photo my husband took!

The kids tie a watermelon shell to the end of this tape and swing it around as a game.

Along the Karakoram Highway, which connects China and Pakistan

No longer in Xinjiang Province. This is now Dunhuang, Gansu Province

I hope you enjoyed a look into the far corners of the world!



  1. These photos are beautiful! Even if you had to go back, there is no shame in it. You have to do what is right for you. To even do what you're doing--living in another country, learning another language, opening yourself up to another culture--that in itself is such a difficult task.

    Your husband is an amazing photographer. I watched this documentary called Deserts of the World, or something like that, where two Germans travel the deserts on a motorcycle. They went on this path, too, and it's incredible.

  2. Tien - thank you so much! That really does mean a lot to me. I gave myself a really hard time about it and I really struggled with the decision - first, whether or not I should even go on the trip, and then once on it, whether or not I should head back. Although I ended up heading back I think I learned a lot. I missed out on some great sights, obviously, but I feel like I made the right decision for myself. I'm so glad you understand.

    He did take such gorgeous photos! That documentary sounds really cool - I don't think I'll tell the husband about it though... lol... I don't need to plant any more ideas in his head than he already has ;)

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. Amazing! I am proud to be Chinese, and after seeing these pictures you've posted of how diverse even China is, it makes me want to go there even more so than before! I have to show these to my BF and his father, who are both Caucasian, and let them know that China isn't what they think it is. Interesting enough, my BF's father travels to China on business trips at least once a month, but I doubt that he's ever been that far inland or north of all the metropolises in China.

    Love this posting!

  4. Libbeh - I think so many people have a misconception about what China is! When I first learned about China's geography, I was shocked to discover that its landscape has so much diversity. Although the vast majority of people are Han Chinese, there are over 50 different ethnic groups in China. Cool huh? The west part of China doesn't feel like what you typically think of as China. Sure I didn't go, but you can see it in the pictures - and I have my husband who confirmed it.

  5. Beautiful beautiful pictures ! I know what it's like to have 3 or 4 days migraines. I had the worst one in Japan 2 weeks ago and I would have let my fiancé leave me on the side of the road it hurt so much...
    It's good you took some time for yourself :)

  6. Ugh, I love looking through your pictures! Those few shots of those men, I was thinking "you would never guess she was in China!", you're right, their facial features look so different!

  7. Ha, pictures are AWESOME!!! LOVE the desert ones. :) Good for you going back to Beijing by yourself. It's soo easy to travel in Zhong guo eh?

    can't wait to see pics of the beer fest. :)

  8. Wow, the pictures are stunning. What a drastic difference between all the different cities you've visited. It's a bummer that you didn't get to go but always listen to your body. You did the right thing by going back. You wouldn't have enjoyed all the traveling if you weren't feeling well anyway. Kudos to your hubby for all the amazing pictures!

  9. What a coincidence- I also just posted camel photos from my vacation. :) Your travel shots are truly beautiful, though.

  10. I love the pictures! Thanks for sharing! I think it's so important to listen to your inner voice, kudos to you for doing that! Sounds like you're really enjoying life there, glad to hear it :)


    I read your blog often, and saw this article in the LA Times today and thought you might like it!


  12. wow what an amazing time. THose pictures are amazing. But good for you for taking care of yourself! China feels so safe i walked around Beijing b myself and had a fabulous time!

  13. Hey, thank you so much for those wonderful pictures! Just amazing. You are very smart to take good care of yourself. Be safe out there!

  14. Just because you left one adventure a little early doesn't mean you didn't leave on a new one, traveling and staying on your own can be a challenge in your own country, let alone a foreign one!

    Your husbands photos are really lovely, and it's interesting to see all these different facets of china you are exploring!

    Chic on the Cheap

  15. great blog pretty pix. must b amazingliving there!
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