I went for my first overseas holiday in China. We started in the mountains of Chengdu’s Huashuiwan where we visited the HeMin Taoist temple. We did a traditional Taoist prayer to the various deities shrines. The next day we went to Thousand Buddha mountain where we also prayed and trained. The food in China is amazing. I can say that I have never had food that good in my life. I don’t know if it because everything is locally sourced. We walked to the top of Thousand Buddha mountain and met the Taoist builder with an investor. We all took tea together and mainly listened as Master Dongyang and the builder and investor spoke. We had a native speaker in our group translate most of the conversation.
The next day we went sightseeing in Chengdu city and caught a flight to Xining which is close to Qinghai a mainly Muslim area to see Master Dongyangs wife’s family and head to to other areas by van. We walked around the mainly Muslim city and came accross very friendly people who wanted to take photos with us. We crossed into Habei and saw snow and mountains. It was a constant ascent into higher altitude. We travelled to an arid area of Zhangye to see the colourful mountains there. The next day we went to Jiayuguan and saw an ancient fortified area where the military encamped. That same day went to Dunhuang and saw the ‘Half Moon Lake’ in the desert. It was an amazing sight to see the 200 metre high sand dunes surrounding the lake and ancient buildings by the lake’s side.
The next day we went to the Magoa Grottos and saw some Westener’s for the first time. We went to an ancient military post and saw some of the living arrangements of generals and soldiers. There was an ancient battle ground that was nearby. We went to Aksai to an abandoned oil town which the Chinese have turned into a movie set. Then we went to Haixi to see the salt lakes. There were three salt lakes that we visited. We went to Golmud and visited the Kunlun mountains. Heading to Kunlun which is on the way to Tibet is difficult for Westerners as there are military check-points. We almost had to go back to Golmud but we got a certificate from our hotel to say we were not planning on visiting Tibet which is restricted to foreigners for fear of them inciting unrest. We went to the salt lake in Ulan. We started a descent from Golmud passing Gonghe and seeing many Tibetan herders on the mountains.
We went to Qinghai lake the largest high plateau lake in the world where we visited a Tibetan temple. We then headed back towards Xining going through a market in Chengguan. Then we finished off with a day in GuangZhou in the south where we visited an ancient tomb before heading back to Sydney.