"The end of China / the beginning of Russia" Shiwei by sugarpuff
Shiwei Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 4 photos
We left Hulunbeier city in Hailaer district on Tuesday afternoon, having caught the train back from Manzhouli in the morning.We first went to Eerguna and then were driven for five hours on the bumpiest road I have ever been on in my life to Shiwei arriving at 9.30pm. It was pitch black with cows roaming around all over the place.The mosquitos were biting us (well not me for some reason!), left right and centre, and suddenly I wondered what the hell I was doing there! We found a guest house to stay in with an outdoor toilet and washing facilities(a big barrel of fresh water with a plastic saucepan to wah out of!) and then went to our hard beds! The next morning we were up bright and early at 5am, (the sun rose at 2am), to get on with our busy schedule as we really wanted to get back to our main city where we were living (Hulunbeier). So I interviewed Russian-Chinese people about their life there in Shiwei and we watched them making Russian bread (lieba) and I had a dance with a russian lady and it was fun! It was very very humid though and the mosquitos were just attacking our poor cameraman. Maybe they don't like English blood!
%The Russian minority people in Shiwei live in houses called Mukelan.They are made out of wood and from the outside they dont look like much, but then you go in and there are marble floors, hi-tech equipment and everything you could possibly need. It was only when I interviewed some of them that I realised that these houses weren't where THEY lived...they lived in the decrepit one next door.That one was for travellers, and they could get a bit of money out of them! At the moment they don't receive many people there as like I already told you, it takes 7 hours from the main city of Hulunbeier by car on an awful road, and only a few Russians come over from Russia. But give it a year or so, and the road will be made and the prices will shoot up, and it'll be just like any other Russian Chinese border, which is a shame really.
Anyway, we thought we would have to stay an extra night there as we didn't have any oil for the car! And the 'oil man' wasn't returning to the village until 6pm.So we waited for a little bit but then one of our team went looking for some. He went to the Army office to get some and they said yes, but ONLY if they could have a picture taken with me, the white girl! Oh, I felt used and abused! But I didn't hesitate in saying yes.....I wanted to go and have a shower and sleep in a nice bed!!!!! So the trade was done, and off we set on the worst road in the world again!
I'm VERY pleased that I went there..don't get me wrong.It was certainly an experience, and the people there were lovely. I met a very old woman...well she was 70, but looked about 90 and she was the oldest Russian Chinese living in the village.She dosen't normally do interviews, but she was so taken aback with my beauty (apparently!) and the fact that I looked Russian (really?) that she started talking to me whilst we filmed her! I took a picture with her afterwards which I shall always treasure.
On the way back from Shiwei to Eerguna and then onto Hulunbeier, the grasslands were amazing! I've never seen so much grass in my life! Or cows or sheep come to think of that! It was really a great trip, maybe my best yet!
- Pros:The local people are fantastic.Russian-Chinese ethnic minorities!
- Cons:Really feels like the end of the world!
Don't take too much as it is more a trekking destination than a fun 'let's take suitcases' kind of place! Its cold cold... more travel advice
Interesting.......................... Not my first choice of accomodation, but what choice does one have in a village... more travel advice
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