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Travel Blogs from Jiuquan
The fortress at Jiayuguan was the defender of the empire from the Huns and just about everyone else. It was this pass that was closed when the Emperor wanted to shut down the Silk Road and it was through these gates that dissidents and criminals were expelled. The fort stands at the western end of the Hexi Corridor which is known as the Mouth of China, to enter China from the west you must enter through the pass and travel down the 'throat' ...
... rare earth elements are found, as well as gas and oil, which explains the both the enormous amount of visible investment and the graves far from home. Remote it may be, but we don't get an impression of backwardness or primitiveness.
We stop for a photo opportunity at a Ming era beacon tower and are hit by the hot breeze coming off the sand. It is a relief to check in to the Dunhuang Electricity Hotel.
Dunhuang! The name is redolent of romance ...
... the poetry of the time as the end of civilisation and the start of barbarian territory and exile. The Hexi corridor is at its narrowest here, just 9 kilometres between the Qilian Mountains to the south and the Mazong Shan to the north. In the earlier Tang era however, when China's reach extended west of the Pamirs, a system of walls and forts was built well beyond the Hexi corridor into the Taklamakan Desert and ending in the Lop Nor marshes. Their remains were surveyed ...
Hei-Fen, or Helen as most people call her, collected us at the airport after a 2 hours flight from Xi'an. We left the smog in Xi'an at about 25,000 feet. We were very surprised that the smog was so bad in Xi'an because it is out of the main influence of the weather that helps Beijing to retain the yucky air. But the factories there belch out the coal by-product particulates and the farmers burn coal in their homes and burn the debris ...
... able to have a sense if just how **** and depressing life must have been being stationed at such a place. Seriously unless you were gay or into your horse life would be very very boring ;-( Was cool going over the suspension bridge and doing my usual naugtines of bouncing up and down and swaying it so that evryone else on the bridge would feel it too ;-) Looked stable enough to me! Oh so my OCD for rocks kicked in again and I will be bringing two such speciments ...
- Swimming pool
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- Fitness/Health center
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