Best Posts of the Silk

The_whole_trip

As more people come to our site after we have finished publishing, I wanted to give people a way to access the best posts that we had done. If you like the photos you see and the stories you read below, please feel free to explore more.

Galen looking at Milky way at Karakul Lake

Galen looking at Milky way at Karakul Lake

Top 15 Posts

1. Drink Horse One Army – This post, actually two posts, follows the story of two families. In the first post, you’ll see how China’s economic opening has allowed a single family to go from dirt poor to owning a small factory and sending their daughter off to college. The second post is the dark story of the next door neighbors, those who were left behind as the economy required hard work. Make sure to read Lily’s Family before reading Lily’s Neighbors; the juxtaposition of this happy and sad tale right next door makes for chilling reading.

Lily’s Family

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=819

Lily’s Neighbors

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=821

2. Camping at Mogao Caves – We camped out in the desert surrounding the incredible Mogao Caves, some of the world’s most amazing Buddhist Silk Road remenants and the site where the world’s oldest printed book was discovered.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=913

Camped outside the Mogao Caves

Camped outside the Mogao Caves

3. Arrested – The story of how the People’s Armed Police staked out our hotel (where we were staying without authorization), detained us briefly and then took us on a ride in a paddy wagon, forcibly moving us to an authorized hotel. Also, Galen secretly made a video with a gopro while we were being detained, which can be watched at the bottom of the post.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=989

Climbing Mount Hua in the dark

Climbing Mount Hua in the dark

4. Midnight Climb of Mount Hua – Without sleep, we did a five hour, 6000 foot climb up the granite peaks, along with several thousand mostly young Chinese folks, just to get a glimpse of sunrise from its famous East Peak. This is one of the quintessential Chinese hiking experiences.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=261

The Gathering on the East Peak at Sunrise

The Gathering on the East Peak at Sunrise

5. Red Flags and Lemonade – A great story of discete or miscommunication, Red Flags and Lemonade is our best hitchhiking failure, and includes a video of the crash and burn.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=429

6. Hitchhiking with Tibetan Cops – After hitchhiking with two Tibetan cops, they dropped us off at their grandfather’s place, where we camped in his traditional Tibetan tent, did shots of Tibetan moonshine and chatted with yak herders on the edge of Qinghai Lake.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=667

Chatting with Yak Herders

Chatting with Yak Herders

7. In Celebration of Genocide – Though the Uighurs are being persecuted in Xinjiang now, it was not that long ago that they were partaking in genocides. In this post, we explore the history of a mosque and minaret that was built to commerate a genocide.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=1329

A Monument to a genocide

A Monument to a genocide

8. Volleyball at the Edge of the World – Playing Volleyball on China’s Road to Pakistan, the Karakurom Highway.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=2235

Volleyball on the Sino-Pakistani border

Volleyball on the Sino-Pakistani border

9 . Camping on the Great Wall – While on the Great Wall, I shotgunned a beer that might start World War III. What more do I need to say! After I finish the beer, I begin to think about the dangers of nationalism and fake history in China.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=789

He who has not climbed the Great Wall cannot be a great man - Chairman Mao

He who has not climbed the Great Wall cannot be a great man – Chairman Mao

10. Mummies of Turpan – The Mummified remains of the world’s oldest drug dealer, and the history of the area around Turpan.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=1260

Mummies of Turpan

Mummies of Turpan

11. End of Ramadan in Kashgar – The celebration of Eid al Fitr in Kashgar. We watched the ceremony at China’s largest mosque, just the day before we almost witnessed the assassination of its head cleric outside the mosque. We also witnessed the huge military presence threatening the worshippers.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=2090

Ceremony ending Ramadan

Ceremony ending Ramadan

12. A Man and His Grapes – Making friends with local Uighurs as one of them shows us around his grape farm.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=1603

Making Friends

Making Friends

13. Tianchi Lake – Another two posts that are really a single post, these are about the nature of nature in China, on weddings and wild places.

Part I

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=1151

Part II

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=1154

Wild in China

Wild in China

14. Climbing a holy Tibetan Mountain – While climbing Maya Snow Mountain, a holy Tibetan mountain where two important fairies in Tibetan mythology live, we find how race, culture and the natural world intersect in China.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=491

Air Galen

Air Galen

15. Camping at the Bezeklik Caves – Camping in the valley just upstream some of the world’s most important Buddhist artwork.

http://www.silkroadhitchhikers.com/?p=1434

Valley of the Bezeklik Caves

Valley of the Bezeklik Caves

 

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