Why China’s Mysterious Western Regions Have Me Under Their Spell

Why China’s Mysterious Western Regions Have Me Under Their Spell
easyrider Apr 16, 2013 15:43


Now I’ve been up and down the eastern spine of China several times during my short time here, whether it be to see friends, get out of where I am now (Hangzhou) or even take a trip with my school for work. At first, I liked what I saw, and despite the realization that almost all the cities looked the same, I did enjoy the various scenic spots that I drove past. The Hangzhou West Lake. Zhanjiajie in Hunan. The rolling karst hills of Guangxi etcetera etcetera.


At this point however, I’m kind of at the point where I feel like I’ve seen it all…that is for the eastern part of the country. I’ve seen enough copycat cities, paid my fair share of over-priced entry fees, and rode my fair share of overnight buses (thought those are always fun!)


Right now, the only places I’m interested in going in China anymore are those which are kind of “less Chinesey” if you know what I mean. I’m talking about Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Tibet…though I admit the latter one is probably off the list in terms of getting there, though I must say I’d love to escape the crowds and plunge myself into valleys with jagged rocks, planes with beautiful lakes, and skies as blue as the chemicals they put in your rice this morning.


I sometimes forget how big China actually is, and often find myself trapped within the four walls around me (i.e. Hangzhou). Seriously, there are endless areas of untouched natural beauty that are either waiting for you to explore or are waiting for the authorities to ruin – make sure you get there first! I’m thinking of taking a trip to Qinghai this May Day holiday, and even though I’ve only got seven days I think I can see enough of the place. There’s the lake, a few Tibetan towns, and huge mountains to climb. If I had a few weeks, I’d love to take a trip to Xinjiang. A friend of mind recently went with a group who rented out a Land Rover and just drove across the desert for ages. Sounds fun!


I guess the message of my blog is this – there’s been a few posts on Answers recently about how travelling/living in China quickly loses its charm once you’ve been here for a while. I’d like to suggest to those naysayers that Western China is the place to go, the place to escape the modern madness of the Eastern side and remember what made us all come here in the first place. Cheers!


Tags:Expat Rants & Advice Travel


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beautiful man. Im used to riding in the hills of zhejiang down to fujian. the west look amazing. Worth a trip at some point.

Apr 18, 2013 15:54 Report Abuse