Tag Archives: Xining 西宁

West Again: For One Last Adventure, All Roads Lead from Xining

West again: A few final stories from my last trip in China. With two weeks to kill between the end of classes and graduation, I bought a plane ticket to Xining, the jumping-off point of so many previous adventures (like in July 2011, July 2012, and November 2012). I had two choices: I could head south, back up into the Tibetan area of Amdo and perhaps onward into Kham. Or I could shoot west, through the semi-forbidden areas of western Qinghai and then down into Chinese Central Asia. I chose…

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“Huatugou,” I said to the ticket lady. I looked up one more time at the crudely-depicted map of bus routes on the wall above me. The characters 花土沟 were there, sitting on the far left extreme of the map. “Flower Dirt Ditch,” was the literal translation, although I suspected they might mean “Potting Soil Ditch,” or even “Dirt Erosion Ditch.” In any case, the town was named for some kind of ditch, and I was trying to go there.  Continue reading


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Filed under Foreign-er Travel, West Again

In Xining, Sequel and Prelude

XiningXining has always been a crossroads city, situated near the intersections of the Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian, and Central Asian worlds. So it was perhaps unavoidable that we would come back through this town on our way down off the Tibetan Plateau towards the old Silk Road cities of western China. As our most hardcore fan (Grandma) will recall (okay, no she won’t), it was from Xining last summer that we first launched south to pick up the course of the Yellow River.

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Filed under Foreign-er Travel, Journey to the West