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Tag Archives: silk road

Travel Across China Posted by on Aug 10, 2015

China is a massive country – it’s the most populous nation in the world and the 4th largest by area. As such, planning a trip here can be a bit tricky. There’s so much to see and do in the Middle Kingdom that you could literally spend a lifetime exploring it and still not check…

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Better Know a… Province (Part Three) Posted by on Dec 11, 2012

We’re going around this massive country little by little here at Transparent Chinese in this series inspired by one of my heroes, Stephen Colbert. So far, we’ve covered the two most famous cities in China – which are actually municipalities – Beijing and Shanghai. We’ve also explored two provinces famed for their heat – Sichuan and…

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The Jiāyùguān Pass (嘉峪关) Posted by on Dec 10, 2011

While traveling through Gansu Province, we came across the Jiayu Pass or 嘉峪关 (Jiāyùguān) –the largest and most intact section of the western Great Wall of China. The pass runs through central Gansu acting as a corridor for people traveling between Dunhuang and Lanzhou and marks the frontier of ancient Han culture in premodern times…

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Gobi Desert (戈壁沙漠) Posted by on Dec 7, 2011

The photos below are taken from a 1,500 km trek across the greater Gobi Desert or (戈比) area. The trip spanned from the most western reaches of Xinjiang province (新疆), through Inner Mongolia (内蒙古) and concluding in Gansu Province (甘肃). Check out the diverse climates, altitudes, and scenery as we retrace the steps of thousands…

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Kashgar (喀什) Posted by on Nov 29, 2011

Located roughly 250 km from the borders of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and  Pakistan, Kashgar or 喀什 (Kāshí) is a border city of approximately million people located in western Xinjiang Province. The surrounding countryside is almost all desert, with average temperatures sea-sawing between extremely frigid colds and scorching heat (sometimes both happening within 24 hours). It is…

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The Taklamakan Desert (塔克拉玛干沙漠) Posted by on Nov 27, 2011

The Taklamakan Desert or 塔克拉玛干沙漠 (Tǎkèlāmǎgān Shāmò), is the world’s 17th largest desert (and one of the largest sandy deserts), running north-south throughout western Xinjiang, Mongolia and even parts of Russia and Afghanistan. It is bordered by the KunLun mountains to the south and the Tianshan (later post) to the north. Taklamakan is a cold desert, elevated more than…

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Dunhuang (敦煌) Posted by on Oct 31, 2011

In the high desert plains of northern China, water dictates development. Nowhere can this be better illustrated than in Dunhuang or 敦煌 (Dūn huáng), one of the largest oasis-cities in Gansu Province or 甘肃 (Gān sù). Dunhuang roughly translates as “blazing beacon” in Chinese, a moniker it bestowed upon it as the terminus of the…

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