Tags » Gansu

The surprising Mr Zhao

I was in downtown Dunhuang, Gansu province, when I met Mr Zhao. My friends and I were trying to work out how the dot that represented us on a “map” fit in with our surroundings, when an old man came up and said “The night market it that way.” He spoke in clear English – something I would not have expected from his appearance. 1,010 more words

China Stories

Flashback: The day I got peed on

It was the winter of 2010 and I was going through hell.

Behind me were the Tian Shan mountains of northwest China. I had crossed them in a blizzard… 643 more words

Cycle Touring

North by Northwest - Part 1

After a short breather in Xi’an, I braved the bus towards the northwestern corner of China’s mainland to the small city of Huanxian in Gansu province. 821 more words


Go West, Young Man...

“Off the beaten path” is Dunhuang in a nutshell – it’s so remote that during the Cultural Revolution, the ancient Buddhist relics weren’t destroyed because  897 more words


2,000 years ago in the desert of Western China...

The western end of the Great Wall of China is generally accepted to be Jiayuguan – but in 120 BC several hundred kilometres further west another long segment of wall was built. 959 more words

China Stories

Tibet’s Slow Burn

Even though his words could land him in jail, the monk isn’t afraid. We are inside his mud-brick lodgings, safe from the security cameras that track a people so desperate that about 130 Tibetans have torched their own bodies in fiery dissent since 2011. 2,457 more words