After 10 days of no Internet service, no international phone calls in or out, no text messaging, a 19-hour train ride, an eight-hour transfer and delayed flight, and eventual arrival into Xi’an, I finally can connect to the world again. Xinjiang province was amazing and felt like an entirely different country–much more Central Asian with Middle Eastern accents as opposed to the typical Chinese Eastern Asian feel experienced thus far. Maggie and I both loved it, but are thrilled to have communication access again.
My current online situation though is still touch and go, so no detailed updates on our travels for a few more days. Suffice it to say that the highlights included the Sunday livestock market in Kashgar, the drive along the Karakoram Highway toward the Pakistani border, an overnight and cooking class in the Tajik town of Tashkurgen, an overnight in a yurt at Karakal Lake with a lovely Kyrgys family, the terrific Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum in Urumqi (no syringe incidents or protests witnessed during our stay in the city at all, by the way), and the ancient city ruins of Jiaohe outside Turpan.
Off to see the Terracotta Warriors this afternoon, then back to Beijing on Friday, home on Sunday.