China # 17 – The amazing Sakyamuni Pagoda, Shanxi Province – September 2014

August 25, 2018

Certainly one of the amazing pleasures of traveling across a country like China is discovering the “amazing”. The Terra-Cotta Warriors, amazing. The Great Wall of China, amazing. Driving out of Pingyáo and smiling at the angry looking turtles straining under the lamp posts, we were prepared for something else amazing, the Sakyamuni Pagoda of the […]

China # 16 – Pingyáo, the ancient walled city – September 2014

August 17, 2018

OK, Pingyáo was not on our list of “must see” places as we traveled across China. At the time, our primary Lonely Planet China guide book did not even mention it, but once again our personal guide, Green, knew better. To our pleasure and amazement, Pingyáo is China’s best-preserved ancient walled city. Moreover, it is […]

China # 15 – Shaanxi History Museum, Terracotta Warrior Army, Xi’an – September 2014

August 10, 2018

Xi’an today is the capital of Shaanxi Province and was the first ancient imperial capital of China, having been the seat of more than 13 feudal dynasties, including the Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, and Tang. Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, and the founder of the Qin Dynasty, conceived and built […]

China # 14 – Xi’an’s Terracotta Warrior Army – September 2014

August 3, 2018

The Terracotta Warrior Army in the ancient city of Xi’an, China is sometimes called the Eighth Wonder of the World. We have all heard about it, maybe have seen pictures or read about it, but in fact, standing in front of it is totally astounding and amazing and nearly beyond imagination. We were looking down […]

China # 13 – Xi’an – The Eastern End of the Silk Road – September 2014

July 27, 2018

Arriving on the outskirts of Xi’an, home of the famous Terracotta Warriors and the official eastern end of The Silk Road, we should not have been surprised to find a sprawling city of snarling traffic and bustling crowds. Finding a hotel for Green with safe parking for us was a challenge, but Green had received […]

China # 12 – Heading towards Xi’an, City of the Terracotta Warriors – September 2014

July 20, 2018

Leaving Xiahe and the Labrang Tibetan Monastery, the scenery varied from terraced fields to more of those massive apartment buildings that appeared to be unoccupied. Road signs were a continuous amusement. Outside of Pingliang we were reminded that if there was any flat place bigger than half a basketball court, someone had planted something. By […]

China # 11 – Xiahe’s Labrang Tibetan Buddhist Monastery – Gansu Province – September 2014

July 13, 2018

After our exciting drive, following muddy switchbacks down the mountain in the dark to Xiahe, we were just happy that Green knew a pleasant hotel, the Tara Guesthouse, she had stayed at before and it had a quiet courtyard for us to park and camp. In the morning, we were a 5-minute walk to the […]

China # 10 – A Backroad to Xiahe, Gansu Province – September 2014

July 6, 2018

After our fresh noodle dinner we spent a quiet night in the hotel parking lot. In the morning we met Green in her room and did some email before heading towards our next stop, Xiahe in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. It is famous for its Labrang monastery, the largest edifice of the […]

China # 9 – Heading to Xining, Qinghai Province – September 2014

June 22, 2018

Getting a late start from the end of the Great Wall of China, we were back on the monotonous highway. Looking for a place to camp, we saw a side road and followed it to a field with hundreds of bags of just-harvested onions, but no one around. We guessed that trucks would be coming […]

China # 8 – Jiayguan -The Western End of the Great Wall – September 2014

June 15, 2018

It was late when we wound our way through the dark streets of Jiayuguan (Gansu Province) to find the official end of The Great Wall of China. A really full moon, the biggest and roundest of the year called Harvest Moon, lit the way as we arrived at an empty parking lot with a sign […]