Plans
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Western China
Ever since I read Seven Years in Tibet I have been fascinated with Lhasa and Tibet. I had hoped to include a visit to Lhasa on this trip, but I could not afford it. I had time with the exiled Tibetans in Northern India, so that was my Tibet.

I went to see the Western part of China where there is a population of Muslim Chinese, and the region is rich with the mixed cultures of the silk road. This region is where the Arab world meets Asia and has a rich history and blend of cultures that doesn’t happen anywhere else. Near Beijing, I visited a section of the Great Wall and other famous sites, and gained a better understanding of the Han Chinese culture and values (the Han are the dominant ethnic group in China).

I only had 2 weeks in China, and so I focused on making a trip to the West. This area is currently being developed (and exploited) by the Han Chinese in the same way Tibet was opened and controlled. There was an excellent article in December 2009 National Geographic about the Uygher people called "The Other Tibet" which accurately describes the situation there. I went to see it for myself. Here is a link to the article and photos: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/12/uygurs/teague-text


Beijing is also where I caught the beginning of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, and started my adventure in Mongolia.

Dates

May 26 Flight to Beijing
May 27-28 Sightseeing in Beijing
May 29-31 Train to Urumqi
June 1-5 Sightseeing Urumqi & Tulpan
June 6-7 Train back to Beijing
June 8 Train to Ulaanbaatar
                   

Links to learn more
Han Chinese
Urumqi
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