Xanadu (5 of 5)

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As yesterday, I emerge into the dawn gloom at about six twenty, with activity in the streets and buses in motion. Indeed, one is leaving even as I cross the street, but when I mention Peking, the driver motions me to the terminal building. Within, the ticket office ladies nominate a bus to some illegible […]

Xanadu (4 of 5)

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It is however, no ordinary embankment, but the remains of the walls and towers that girdled round twice five miles… Yes… this is the place. I go out into the bitter wind, and besides the track are stone pillars on which I recognize both Mongolian, and the ideograms for Shangdu. So here we are. The […]

Xanadu (3 of 5)

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One of the office women conducts me next door to a hotel, and in the office a mob of curious locals gathers, including an English teacher (possibly sent for) who is more comfortable with written English. He writes that I must first go to Lanqui, two hours away by bus, and thence a further ten […]

Urumqi, China – September 1999

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During the long winter, Urumqi is covered with snow and the frozen frost on the tree branches turns the city silver. But Urumqi is at it’s most attractive in the summer, when the trees are green, water gurgles in the streams, flowers bloom and mountains are lush green. Heavenly Lake Legend says that the lake […]

Hong Kong, China – September 1999

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Wrapped in a concrete forest, Hong Kong is not known to be a place for viewing wild animals. In actuality, Hong Kong is home to the Chinese White Dolphins, one of the most adorable animals in the world. Until the Hong Kong government selected the Chinese White Dolphins as the mascot for the cityÂ’s reunification […]

The Millennium Trip – Letter #9

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Tashi deli everyone, “Lhasa is all fucked up.”, said Bernard turning his nose up at all the Internet cafes, the PLA (Army) led Chinese tour groups, the Lonely Planet toting Westerners and the cheesecake and pizza selling Tibetan restaurants. I imagined him thinking; “I mean really, cheesecake in China! Have you ever heard of such […]

Urumqi, China – August 1999

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Urumqi sits on the northern slope of the Tianshan mountains with the Turpan-Shanshan-Tokson Basin to the east, the Junggar Basin to the north, and the Changji plains to the west, covering an area of 11,440 sq.km. It has 6 districts and a county under its jurisdiction, and a total population of 1.7 million with 38 […]

Hong Kong, China – August 1999

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Hong Kong is perhaps the only city in the world where shopping surpasses any monument or historical site as the cityÂ’s main tourist attraction. If you donÂ’t go shopping in Hong Kong, itÂ’s like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Tourists donÂ’t come here with their cameras. They come here to buy one. […]

A Trip Down the Yhangtze River

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Three rules of travel and what to do when kidnappe