Lanzhou (兰州)

Lanzhou as seen from the White Pagoda Hill

The White Pagoda on top of the hill in Lanzhou

The famous water wheels on the shores of the Yellow River

The White Cloud Temple in Lanzhou

The main figures of the standard Chinese book “Journey to the West”

The First Bridge across the Yellow River

Linxia (临夏)

Overview of Linxia

Pagoda on top of the hill overlooking Linxia

River leading up to the Bingling Temple near Linxia

Giant rock buddha at the Bingling Temple

Hezuo (合作)

The entrance to the Milarepa Monastery in Hezuo

The main building of the Milarepa Monastery, the 13-story tall tower

Tibetan prayer hall outside of Hezuo

Stupa on a hill outside of Hezuo

Indication of past conflicts in the region: Chinese style mosque in Hezuo

Xiahe (夏河)

In the streets of Labrang Monastery

Unmistaken part of the Tibetan cultural area

Monks of the Yellow Hat Sect celebrating their daily ritual

Prayer flags at Darzong Lake

The golden stupa of Labrang Monastery

Prayer mills at Labrang Monastery

Wuwei (武威)

The new gate leading into the Wuwei city center

The Kumarajiva Pagoda in the center of Wuwei

The temple under which the flying horse was found

The flying horse, a relict found in a grave in Wuwei, has become the symbol of Wuwei

The Hexi Corridor: Journey to the East

The Danxia landforms near Zhangye

The Danxia landforms near Zhangye

After a little more than two days in Dunhuang we had to re-pack our backpacks for the first time. Luckily we had decided to travel light, such that we had to stow away much less tan 10kg each (plus the photo and electronics equipment). At 8:40am the bus left for Jiayuguan at the Western end of the Hexi corridor, which would be giving our trip the direction for the next few days.

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Dunhuang: Going West

Dunhuang: The structure around the giant Buddha at the Mogao caves

Dunhuang: The structure around the giant Buddha at the Mogao caves

The last few days in Beijing occupied us with many last minute activities which had to be done when leaving a place: Moving, checking out at work, apartment, etc. At the very end we could enjoy a delicious dinner at the Opposite House, courtesy of the Swiss Society Beijing. Finally on Saturday, August 30 at 8:40 we sat in the airplane which should bring us to Xian from where we would connect to Dunhuang in the far West of Gansu Province. The goal was an experience in the desert, which I had left out three years ago when passing through the area in winter…

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