Heaven and Hell in the Gao Temple (Gao Miao 高庙) Zhongwei 中卫 (Ningxia Province)

Heaven and Hell in the Gao Temple (Gao Miao 高庙)

Gao Temple (Gao Miao 高庙)

Gao Miao Zhongwei. I love the Gao Miao temple in Zhongwei. It may not be the oldest and most venerable temple in China; it may not have the most intricate murals, paintings and statues, but it certainly is one of the most atmospheric and photogenic places I’ve been to!

Gao Temple (Gao Miao 高庙)

For a start, this temple can show you both Heaven and Hell.

Heaven
Hell

Heaven 天堂

Heaven is the part above ground. The Gao Miao rises up and up towards the sky, tier upon tier. You enter a flower-filled courtyard, walk through a colourful  temple and climb to the next level, where you then repeat the process. You continue passing through other, Continue reading “Heaven and Hell in the Gao Temple (Gao Miao 高庙) Zhongwei 中卫 (Ningxia Province)”

Sikou Scenic Area / 寺口风景区: Do you have a head for heights?

Sikou Scenic Area / 寺口风景区 /Zhongwei; Ningxia Province 2011

Sikou Scenic Area / 寺口风景区

 Margie and I looked at each other, looked at the dodgy hanging bridge disappearing into the mist, remembered having seen some missing wooden planks from below and decided no, this definitely wasn’t worth it!

Sikou Scenic Area / 寺口风景区

A park ranger offered us a harness, but even that failed to convince us and, apologetically, we beat a hasty retreat.

The Sikou Scenic Area is a striking area of sandstone gorges. It’s a fantastic place if you love clambering over rocks and don’t suffer from vertigo. If your idea of fun is getting pleasure from clinging on to rusty chains as you scramble along narrow paths, with only a flimsy railing separating you from an abyss of several hundred meters, then Sikou is for you.

Sikou Scenic Area / 寺口风景区

The highlight of a visit to Sikou is crossing the gorge on a near 100- meter long, swaying suspension bridge, a precarious looking structure, made of rusty cables and wooden planks, many of which are  missing. I imagine the views must be spectacular, weather permitting.

Sikou Scenic Area / 寺口风景区

However, neither Margie nor I have much of a head for heights; I get vertigo just standing on a Continue reading “Sikou Scenic Area / 寺口风景区: Do you have a head for heights?”

Zhongwei and Around: Shapotou 沙坡头

The Route of 2011, Stage 2: by Adam

Shapotou  沙坡头: Where Walt Disney meets Lawrence of Arabia

Shapotou 沙坡头

For more on Zhongwei and around click below:

Zhongwei Gao Temple

Sikou Scenic Area

Stage 1 Hohhot

Stage 3 Yinchuan & around

Arriving in Shapotou

There is something unreal about Shapotou沙坡头.  It should be, and probably once was, a remote outpost. Geographically, it is still a place of stark contrasts, where the harsh sands of the Tengger Desert are halted by irrigated fields; where lush green is separated from sparkling yellow by a dramatic bend in the Yellow river; and all of this comes with remnants of the Great Wall for added lustre.

sunset over Shapotou 沙坡头

It sounds like something straight out of Indiana Jones. That is, until you arrive at the massive tourist reception center and ticket office and then realize you´ve landed in China’s number one desert tourist hot spot where Walt Disney meets Lawrence of Arabia.

Shapotou 沙坡头

As you pass through the computerized turnstile you’ll need to take a deep breath and allow a few moments for your brain to assimilate the Continue reading “Zhongwei and Around: Shapotou 沙坡头”