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vbx000 Jiayuguan - A travel report by Veronica
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Jiayuguan,  China - flag China -  Gansu
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vbx000's travel reports

Jiayuguan- Crossing the Gobi Desert

  12 votes
Page: 1 2
From Dunhuang we crossed the Gobi, by bus, to Jiayuguan. Even by bus it wasn't a great ride through the desert and I can't imagine doing it by camel. Jiayuguan is where the great wall ends.

Jiayuguan Fort
Jiayuguan Fort
At this mid-way point in our journey we met with our other 50 American friends, we are a program of 100 this semester so they split us in half. One side traveled from Xian to Urumqi, and our half went from Urumqi to Xian. I liked starting in Urumqi because by the time we arrived in Xian we were in desperate need of comfortable, western accomodations. After a night of partying as a reunion we visited three places in Jiayuguan. The Jiayuguan Fort, the Overhanging Great Wall, and the Wei Jin Tombs.

Favourite spots:
Another one of the fort
Another one of the fort
The Wei Jin tombs were really interesting. It is a tomb dating back from somewhere between AD220 and 420 that has somehow survived the earthquakes. It is three rooms, very small and each room is covered in colorful bricks that depict the daily life of the time. Scenese of fruit picking, hunting, herding, banqueting, 'cosmetics', jewerly boxes and farming cover the walls. The very last chamber is where the tomb was, the mummy and the remains are in an seperate musuem outside. Jiayuguan Fort was mostly a tourist trap. It was built in 1372 but I don't think very much of the original fort remains since it's all been rebuilt and renewed. It was the last guard outpost of the Great Wall.

What's really great:
The End of the Wall
The End of the Wall
China and the Great Wall go hand and hand, if you no nothing about China you know it has a great wall. The great wall ends here. They think it was constructed in 1539 but it crumbled and was reconstructed in 1897. Some parts of the Great Wall hardly resemble the images from Beijing. In places they are just stacked mounds of dirt. But, here it looks somewhat like the wall we all imagine in our dreams of China.

My Camel!
My Camel!
I mean, it was nice to see the Fort, the wall and the tombs but it wasn't really anything impressive. Except for my camel experience, he really made the whole trek worth while. Otherwise it would have just been a boring, tourist site filled hot day.

Feeding My Camel & Conor going
Feeding My Camel & Conor going "why are you feeding him watermelon?"
We stayed at the huili Hotel. It was really nice and comfortable. There was a KTV next door, internet cafe to the right and a park- perhaps it was the center of town. We partied for a while at KTV, then gathered local beer and sat in the park, eating skewers and playing drinking games. Yummy!

Another one of the Fort.
Another one of the Fort.
We did go to one club for all of 5 minutes but they wanted 15rmb for a beer and 30 rmb for a bacardi breezer (not much better than a beer) so we bounced pretty quickly.

There were semi-strippers and it seemed lively so maybe it would have been a good time minus the extraordinary prices.

Pork... I think
Pork... I think
At the Great Wall, my friend and I decided that climbing the great wall was over-rated. Instead, we sat under a pavillion and ate watermelon. We had to buy a whole watermelon. We were then swarmed by bees.

Since we ate about 5 slices before the bee attack I looked around and to my joy found a camel. Well, he wasn't hard to find he was right in front of us, all by his lonesome. I went to investigae this camel that stared at me with brown intelligent eyes, he followed me as I circled him until we came to some sort of mental agreement to be friends.

His lady and her kid kept bugging me about riding the camel for 50rmb and I kept saying no until it went down to 10rmb but I still said no. I wasn't interested in riding the poor creature.

Instead, I fed it the rest of the watermelon. It was great. He loved it, absolutely loved it. When I would walk back to the table he would crane his neck around and watch me. Feeding a hungry, poor camel is a gratifying experience.

Other recommendations:
but at least now we know the camel ride is only worth 10rmb. The lady was desperate to get me on that things back-but instead I just fed him a watermelon. They stared at me like I was really dumb, feeding a watermelon we just bought to the silly camel.

But, I liked him.

Published on Thursday November 10th, 2005

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Tue, Nov 15 2005 - 11:01 AM rating by gloriajames

alas.. not as exciting as your latest reports...

Fri, Nov 11 2005 - 02:50 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

nice report and equally good snaps

Thu, Nov 10 2005 - 02:48 PM rating by davidx

For once you don't make me want to go there but it's a good report. I'm not into camels!

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