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A Month in China (Part 10): Zhangye and Xining

We got on a bus to leave Rebkong and insodoing left the last small town on our journey through the Amdo region (don't worry, not the last stop on this trip). Our destination was Xining (she-ning) [MAP] the capital of Qinghai province. We didn't stick around in Xining for too long this time because our next destination was the town of Zhangye (jang-yuh). Why Zhangye, you ask? Because just outside of this town is something called the rainbow mountains (google it, or better yet, keep reading and check out MY photos (shameless plug for blog post you are literally already reading [winky face])).

Anyways, it went a little something like this. We arrived in Xining, spent the night, got on a bus the next morning and arrived in Zhangye sometime in the evening. We settled in at our hostel, met a new friend and then went to sleep. Pretty exciting right? The next day we decided to make a stop first at a buddhist temple called Da Fo Si, home to a giant, wood-carved reclining buddha (that photographed very poorly) and is supposed to the birthplace of Kublai Khan.

After the temple, we went back to our hostel and met up with our friend before grabbing a cab out to the Zhangye Danxia Landscape (a.k.a. rainbow mountains). Unfortunately it was a little rainy when we got there but that doesn't change the fact that these are some of the craziest natural landscapes I have ever seen. Also, fun fact, apparently these things were "discovered" by an American backpacker about 20 years ago. He was wandering through the countryside of China, as random American backpackers are wont to do, stumbled upon them, told some people, and now the place is a national park.

Having fully taken in the wonderful, rainy, multicolored hills, we sped back to the hostel, spent the night, hopped on bus and found ourselves back in Xining some time the next day. We were actually going to spend two nights here this time before getting on a real live airplane to travel to our next destination (no more busses for these two!).

In Xining, we did what we did best which is go outside and wander around for an entire day to see what we saw. Somewhere along these wanderings we came upon what looked like an old temple that had been slowly converted to residences by a muslim family or families. Since the idea of property rights is a bit different in China, we walked in the front doors and wandered around. The families were re-designing and refitting the inside so I took a bunch of photos.

Sadly, our time out west was at a close. The next day we got on a plane and flew to Xi'an home of the famous terracotta warriors but that is for next time.

Until next time,


If you want to check out, and even purchase any of these photos you can see if you can find them HERE. If you can't find one you might want just contact me and we'll see what we can work out.

Also, if you have missed any of the other installments in my Month in China series you can check them out HERE.

Oh, also on our last day in Xining we went to a museum and outside of this museum was this gem of a man flying his kite. Because this is how real kite flyers do it!

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