Saturday, October 20, 2007

Spain Cordoba_10-18 June 06

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

China Taklamakan Desert

A short one day trip to Taklamakan desert from Kashgar. Taklamakan means "if you go in, you won't come out". The trip was organized by a tourist agency in Semen hotel where we stayed in Kashgar.
Trip cost around 100 USD for each person which includes the traveling and guided tour, but our guide didnt speak any english :-))). The translation was done by a 11 year old girl who was travelling with us with her mom.
After we arrive there we realize that it was not a real desert, may be just a part of Taklamakan desert for tourist ......., but anyway good enough to take picture and to take pictures. We had a choice to either rent a desert Hovercraft or camel, but we choose the camel. it was a nice 30 min ride in desert. we came back to Kashgar around 1700.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

China Kashgar

We stayed 4 days in Kashgar, this place is an intense mix of chinese and Uygur culture. It is very intresting to see the vibrant Muslim centre within Chinese territory. Kashgar is a important hub on the Old Silk Road. It is the largest oasis city in Chinese Central Asia and 90 per cent of its population are Uygur. Kashgar Has a history of more than 2'000 years.
Even though the culture and old heritage is fading away very quickly or it is better to say that Kashgar is become more commercial. Chinese and Uygur does not mix too much, Chinese and Uygur dominant places and saperated in this city. we have been visiting both chinese and Uygur areas and enjoyed the food and historical places.

Sheesh Kabab restaurant .... very cheap and extremely delicious. in average we spent 1 USD for two person for a big meal

Spicy and dry froot shop

A house in Old town in Kashgar(you need to pay some money to enter to the old town of Kashar, plus a guided tour .. of course the guid didnt speak any english)

Some children in old town

Old town view

Bazar in Kashgar on the way to Id Kah Mosque

Old town

People's park, Statue of Mao

Old town

A home in old town

Id Kah Mosque, it was built in 1442

Some history of Id Kah Mosque

Inside of Id Kah Mosque, around 20,000 people can worship

Id Kah mosque

Id Kah mosque

Monday, November 28, 2005

China Karakul Lake

Karakul Lake (Kirgiz: "black lake") is the highest lake of the Pamir platueau, is located approximately at an altitude of 3600m. Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year.

There you can have a good view of massive Muztagh Ata (24757 ft /7546 m), the "Father of the Ice Moountains". The glaciers and snowfields are overwhelming. The high wind swept the plateaus between the parallel ranges that constitute the Pamirs, the "Roof of the World"(called the Onion Mountains in early Chinese records).

There are two settlements of Kirgiz nomadic people, they live in yurts or in houses made of stones. After we get out of bus we were surrounded with Kirgiz people who were trying to sale us the over night stay in there Yourt plus Kirghiz home made food. But we decided to go to a Kirghiz village a bit far away from Karakul Lake, as the Yourts near the Karakul lake is full with backpackers and other tourists. We met one person who invited us to his home in a near by village for a minimal amount of money, so the whole package include camal ride to and from the village, home made dinner and breakfast. The only problem we had there is they don’t speak any English.

A mosque in the village.

One of our host, enjoying Kirgiz music

Ignacio wih a Kirgyz hat and our host.

nice view of Muztagata Mountain

Kirgyz family, this is the place we spent the night

Kirgyz women preparing dinner

we are starring a camel ride from Karakul lake to the village

our host, the guy on the left is a Kirgyz musican, he plays key board

Kirgyz child

Me and Kirgyz women near Muztagata Mountain

having some tea with locals. plus we tried the yak cheese and kirgyz tea

Muztagata Mountain

yaks (for those who dont know how they look like ....)

Nice chinese made 4x4 jeep

Sunday, November 27, 2005

China Tashkurgan

After having a six hours of long and bumpy ride from Sost to Tashkurgan we finally arrive in a hotel. Actually after the final immigration in Taskurgan, there is a bus service which take you to the hotel. we spent the night there and next moring we started our journey to Karakul lake, the plan was to spend one night in Karakul lake and then go to Kashgar.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Khunjerab Pass (the higest border crossing in the world)

The Khunjerab Pass is 4,733 meters (15,528 feet) high, which is the highest border-crossing in the world. It is also the highest point on the Karakoram highway. In order to go to China we bought the tickets from NATCO (Northern Area Transport Company) they provided us with the four red 4x4 jeeps, the one you see in the pictures bellow, we arrive from Karimabad to Sost around 2 pm, we rented a room in hotel, it was cheap (300 Rs for two person) and good. Sost is not really a town; it’s a hub for transportation to and from China. The seaniery is magnificent from Huza to Sost, beautiful view of snow caped mountains. After spending the night in Sost we woke up early next morning, checked out from hotel and went to Natco but bus stand, after having custom we sit in our 4x4 jeep to start the journey toward the world's highest border pass. In our jeep we had two other foreigners (New Zealander guy and a British girl), we first stop at the entrance of Kungerab pass Park to pay some entry fees, after a few KM drives we were stop because of a land slide. We had waited for around half an hour before we begin our journey again. It was snowing at that time in the month of July. We stoped again afert few KM and this this because of a big truck from China was stucked in the road, so the whole road were blocked, so the people decided use the off the road track, we begun by putting stones to making off the road track some how plane to pass our jeeps.

The intresting thing happened when we get to Tashkurgan/China the first village near the border, at that point we had final imigration point in China. First the imigration officers cheacked our temperature(i think because of SARS/BirdFlue) and when my turn came, i handed in to the imigration officer my passort, then he asked about the medical certificate, all Pakistani national need to have medical certificate from a doctor in Sost in order to get to China, as i wasnt aware about it, so i didnt get any... i told him that i dont have it as i wasnt aware of it....he said, without it i can not enter to China, he told me in Urdu pakistan wapis chaloo, which means go back to Pakistan, i almost panicked and my chances to go to China was fading away, i showed him my KELA card and my medical insurance from Finland, which off course didnt help much, and after a long discussion he let me in.