"Unexpected China !" China by kokoryko
China Travel Guide: 29,967 reviews and 85,249 photos
1300 million Chinese, and me and me and me. . . . . just an adaptation of a song from Jacques Dutronc from the 70’s.
Well unexpected: I had no plan and my job can take me almost anywhere anytime on the planet, so this time it was China! Not the China I and most people have in mind when telling about China; out of the two weeks I spent here, one and a half were in the Chinese far west, the Sing Kiang province in a small place (all is relative, small for Chinese standards) called Korla, on the fringes of the Takla Makan desert, at the feet of the Tian Shan mountains.
So, a working trip, few time left to play the tourist, but in Korla the place where I worked was not far from the hotel, and. . . . despite being 2500 km west of Beijing, the time was the same as in the capital city; so, when it was 8pm on the watch, the sun was in fact at 6pm, and some time was left to look around in he city, open the eyes, the ears (!!!) and add some souvenirs to my very poor knowledge of China.
In Beijing, I had only a misty (more than mist, thick haze!) Sunday afternoon, a few evenings after office hours and a last day before return left to “discover” a very very tiny part of this 16000000 inhabitants city, hire a bicycle, go by bus, taxi, subway. . . in one word , try to dive in this city for a few hours ; dive is pretentious, especially for an European who like me has no language knowledge, no idea where he will go tonight, what he will experience. . . well, a bit a dive, not too deep.
For me China was still represented by the symbols of the Communist Party, like the one on the main picture (taken at night at the Tian Anmen Gate, south entrance of the forbidden city).
I will post two pages: one on Beijing, another on Korla, a city in Sin Kiang
The China which I knew, was from old student time literature, political meetings from that time, Hergé’s comics (Tintin: Le Lotus Bleu, L’abominable homme des neiges)and also modern books, information, magazines, and I knew capitalism (be it state controlled capitalism) was on its way and well developed; the dragon was waking up, I knew about very fast development, etc. . . but I still was surprised and even the bases, the foundations of modern China have been changed, and the only dazibao I found were the ones on the picture here!!
The dazibaos are not what they used to be !! They were created for “free” expression of “citizens”, political education and information, now. . . it is financial information. . . times have changed. . . .
Another China I discovered was the far west China, the Sin Kiang province, with high mountains and deserts, Muslim people, pioneer towns, very special ambience, far from the capital, far from the western world, a world for itself.
The Xinjiang province China, (Xinjiang –Ouygour autonomous province), was the main purpose of my travel to China. Not a lot of tourism, work in a local company’s office; visits of the city in the early morning, or in late afternoon and evenings. Poor me, work on week ends as well, but I could manage to negotiate a trip to a nearby mountain sight seeing and another short trip to a very special desert, before a “reception” by a local company officials, with lots of drinks and lots of toasts to the friendship of people, speeches, toasts, toasts, toasts and a hell of a headache the next morning, I will remember for a while. . . .
If things do well, I may have to go back for a next phase before summer and I intend to add some short holiday to the working trip: the silk road is here, and maps show lots of ancient villages, caravanserails, oasis, and the mountain is so close by!
Some travel impressions are in the Korla page, which shows a bit life in this frontier city.
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