Way back in May I had the absolute pleasure of heading to China's Western Frontier, Xinjiang Province. It was simply a breath-taking experience. I got to see pristine mountains, vast seas of desert, and bargain for goods in several different languages.
The main reason that I have not made a post about it here, is because I had the chance to make a post for it elsewhere. I had the chance to write about my experiences on ChinaTravel.net a very popular and excellent China Travel website. If you are at all interested in reading about my experiences in a very unique setting, then give it a read.
Now I was very lucky to go to Xinjiang in May, as opposed to July. As many of you know, there were a series of riots in Urumqi by the Uighurs against the Han Chinese. Since then the province has been more or less on lockdown, and the tourism industry has slowed down. While it is apparently safe at this point, there are still a wide range of restrictions including a complete blackout of the internet and international phone calls.
A fantastic blog worth following about Xinjiang is FarWestChina.com, ran by Josh Summers, an expat living in the province. While he is understandably blogging less than usual at this point he made an excellent post entitled “Urumqi: A Week After the Riots” were he describes a visit to "Ground Zero" for the riots. Powerful, powerful stuff there.
So if any of you are interested in heading out that way, I would HIGHLY recommend it. It is one of my favourite trips that I have ever made (remember, you can read what my thoughts here). But as always, be sure to stay informed of the political situation.