Osh – Ancient Glory and Modern Tragedy

Osh is a city of ancient glory and modern tragedy. Situated at one end of the Fergana Valley, a rich agricultural area that has long been one of the hubs of civilization in Central Asia and was a major node along the Silk Road, Osh has long attracted travelers to its markets. Solomon and Babur …

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Crossing the Irkeshtam Pass Border

Crossing the Irkeshtam Pass Border For those who are looking to cross the Irkeshtam Pass Border from China into Kyrgyzstan (or the other way, though some things may be different in that direction), I have prepared this post, which goes through the times which things happened. Another great resource came from our friend Josh at …

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Into Kyrgyzstan

We were in Kyrgyzstan. Galen and I highfived with relief. Immediately, we noted, the people around us were more polite. Yet that did not make things better, at least, not immediately. Kyrgyzstan is poor, and we were in one of the poorest parts of the country. The few houses scattered across the empty landscape were …

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We Ran – Leaving China

And I ran, I ran so far away I just ran, I ran all night and day I couldn’t get away   – Flock of Seagulls   If you have not read our account of how we got to Wuqia, where we underwent border processing, check it out here to get some background on what …

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More Violence, More Bad Policy

Recent attacks in Kashgar and the government’s new decision to ban burqas in Xinjiang’s largest city, Urumqi.   http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/13/world/asia/uighurs-xinjiang-kashgar-police-attack.html?_r=0   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2869905/Capital-Chinas-Xinjiang-ban-burqas-public-report.html

Uighur Driver

Our journey to leave China began at the crack of dawn, six a.m. Xinjiang, eight a.m. Beijing. We piled out of our hotel quietly, trying not to attract police attention. The streets were deserted. A few taxis petered past us. We waited outside one of the bus stations where shared taxis gathered. The few cabs …

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Happy on the Silk Road

As we were traveling, Galen danced around in various places throughout Western China, using the Pharrell William’s song Happy as his dancing music. Some of the shots are done in hotels, an abandoned banqueting hall, on the interstate when our bus got stopped for thirty minutes because the road between Urumqi and Turpan was inexplicably …

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The Green Lei Feng

Lei Feng was an interesting figure in Communist China’s historiography. In the 1960’s, after he was killed, his diaries were ‘discovered’ and he was turned into a propaganda hero who gave himself selflessly to the Party’s cause. Now, interestingly, he is being adapted for the new Party propaganda drive, environmentalism. This is what the old …

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Beware of Drivers

We came across this accident, on our way down from Karakul Lake, along the Karakorum Highway, while hitching a ride with Dan. I guess this is why most goods are taken up to Tashkurgan (and on into Pakistan) by pickup trucks.