Stage 5: Bayan Hot / Alashan Zuoqi to Alashan Youqi and the Badain Jaran desert (from our diary)

The Route of 2011, Stage 5: By Margie (click here for Adam’s version)

Bayan Hot / Alashan Zuoqi to Alashan Youqi and the Badain Jaran Desert (from our diary)

Desert Landscape near Alashan youqi 阿拉善右旗的沙漠风景 Our Destination

Click here for stages 4 & 6

Stage 4: Yinchuan to Bayan Khot
Stage 6: Zhangye and around

The new bus station looks a lot like an airport terminal and there isn’t much in it yet. The bus, however, does leave on time (7.20 am) and that’s the main thing. It fills up completely, of course, and our seats are quite far to the back, but overall it’s ok.

Our Bus

We start off on the brand-new motorway we had been on yesterday – and it’s still empty – but soon we turn onto an older road. All around us there is an ugly, greyish desert and lots of empty space.

The road

The only exotic element is provided by the camels of which we now see whole herds, on both sides of the road.

More camels

In fact, there are so many that even their exoticness wears off eventually.Toilet stops are few and far between and usually on the primitive side: often Continue reading “Stage 5: Bayan Hot / Alashan Zuoqi to Alashan Youqi and the Badain Jaran desert (from our diary)”

Yinchuan银川 to Bayan Khot (or Alashan Zouqi 阿拉善左旗) via Guangzong Si 广宗寺, or Nan Si南寺

The Route of 2011, Stage 4: by Margie

 

Roaming Camels Near Bayan Khot

Click below for Stages 3 & 5:

Stage 3: Yinchuan (银川) and around

Stage 5: Bayan Khot to Alashan Youqi and the Badain Jaran Desert

Our driver has agreed to take us all the way to Bayan Khot via Guangzong Si (once one of the most important monasteries in Mongolia) for 300 Yuan; or at least that’s what we think … We have managed to get up reasonably early and are making good progress.

The Great Wall

The first highlight of the day is when we suddenly catch sight of the ruins of the Great Wall! This is the real thing: unrestored, without tickets, souvenir stalls, or people. It is just standing there, defiant, majestic, having weathered so many centuries.

Great Wall

Of course, there’s not much left of it, it’s been reduced to a crumbling pinkish pile of earth, riddled with holes. But we don’t mind, we’re just thrilled to be there. Continue reading “Yinchuan银川 to Bayan Khot (or Alashan Zouqi 阿拉善左旗) via Guangzong Si 广宗寺, or Nan Si南寺”