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China: A Long Journey V – Hohhot II

Published: 27.5.2013
When you set out to Hohhot, it is almost impossible to miss famous Mongolian steppes. There are plenty around Hohhot, we chose Si-la-mu-zhen. With our backpacks we got in a bus and two hours later the driver unloaded us in the middle of nowhere.

There were just few shops and persistent Mongolians, they were trying hard to persuade us to accommodate in their “typical” concrete yurts. “No, thank you” was no answer to them. So we just moved away from there, to steppe. We passed by small Chinese groups bouncing like potato sacks on Mongolian horses. Some even ride on a carriage. Paradoxically, the largest attraction was me, every time they passed by us.

Hohhot 

So we just walk across steppe, sometimes we waved to passing Chinese or explained to locals we really don’t long for a ride on horses or living in a concrete yurt. Our plan was clear – we will sleep here just with the sky above us.

As the sun moved towards down there were less and less people and we suddenly found ourselves alone on the whole steppe. And suddenly it wasn’t so hot but cold so we unpacked our sleeping pads and sleeping bags. We did so on one of many hills to have a nice view over surrounding landscape. Some herdsmen rode on the horizon from time to time. We heard horse neigh and dog barking around (real) yurts which was spreading from a hill in front of ours. Gradually it all had ceased. The land was becoming surrounded by darkness and we watched last sun rays on the horizon. We were astonished by this fabulous sunset.

Hohhot

Except beautiful sunset I will remember one more thing – it is real cold in steppe, just as they taught us in school We put on additional pairs of socks and observed huge moon. It was our last night in Inner Mongolia for we kept safe our tickets to Kromě krásného západu slunce si ale budu pamatovat ještě jednu věc – ve stepi je v noci doopravdy zima, jak nás ve škole učili. Navlékali jsme na sebe další páry ponožek a sledovali obrovský měsíc. Byla to naše poslední noc ve Vnitřním Mongolsku, v kapsách jsme totiž ochraňovali lístky dál, do Yinchuan. We had no clue how difficult this journey would be. Optimistic we waited on a square where a bus unloaded us on the previous day. You don’t need any bus schedules there, you just stand and wait. They were right, the locals, as the bus really arrived after a while. It brakes wailed as it stopped and a dust cloud elevated from the ground. Soon we found ourselves in back in Hohhot. We bought another load of noodles, marvelously colorful ice lollies (I will try potato chips some day, I promise) and we were about to test our patience as we were waiting for a night train to Yinchuan.

Hohhot

Text/photo: Hana Bašová



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China: Heze
Published: 1.3.2014
Although, I was about to tell you how we lost accommodation in Heze, I should mention our train trip as well. We sat in a slightly crowded carriage and talked in Czech, which of course attracted the attention of our fellow travelers. In contrast, a bunch of us sat constantly laughing gentlemen who were watching us a lot, and finally dared to ask where it actually are.

China: Qufu – Confuciu’s City
Published: 8.3.2014
While browsing in the diary, I found this note: "Qufu, arrival around 00:00." I remember that moment too well. It was quite cold, pitch black, and right at the exit of the station greedy taxi drivers came to us. Matter of principle had to be rejected. Then, however, had no choice but to hope that they were wrong and that you can get accommodation in and around the station ...

China: How It All Began – When It Is Ridiculously Hot in China
Published: 21.6.2014
Who was in summer in China, knows what I am talking about. Once you get off an airconditined airport, its like by a switch somebody turns on sauna. At least I felt like this when I arrived to Chengdu.

China: Long Journey IV: Hohhot  I
Published: 20.5.2013
From Bejing to TaZ Pekingu do Datong. From Datong to Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, our second stop on our way across China. We waited on the Datong train station, instant noodles (in Chinese their name is fang-pien-mien, „comfortable noodles“, a really convenient name), we held happily our tickets. There was jing-cuo written on them (“hard seats”).

China: Wall Ten Thousand Miles Long
Published: 21.1.2013
The Great Wall of China. The Long Wall. The Endless Wall. There are many names for the same wall, the wall that everybody knows wherever he/she lives. If you are Chinese, it is THE wall. You are proud of it because it is a national symbol. As Mao Zedong once said: “Who never got on the Great Wall of China is no man.” Or Chinese.

China: Long Journey III - Datong
Published: 23.3.2013
A journey from Beijing to Datong was smooth, without complications. We arrived at the place few minutes to midnight and the city was unusuallay quiet and deserted. It almost seemed as some sort of furious storm swept through the city and wiped out everything alive. Even lamps were turned off. This made our orientation, if we can use this term for a situation when we had absolutely no clue...

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