Sometimes I feel like my blogs are too long and windy, other times I just chuck a lot of photos into it, and most times I feel like I can’t ever explain enough to bring you guys along for the journey. In this case, I definitely cannot.
So it was the last week in China. 13 weeks past and I had one last splurge to spend on. Wesley, Nicholas, Mel, Dion Frankie and I. We went on an adventure.
So I don’t really know which part to cover, but I guess I’ll go with our last leg which was our homestay in XiaHe, Gansu.
Before that, here’s the wonderful terracotta warriors of Xi’An.
They were awesome. It really goes to show how much the Chinese were masters of clay to be able to create these warriors that stood the test of time.
But why am I merely brushing through this? I feel, that all these tourist attractions can be seen through well…the lens of cameras. Walking through these halls made me gasp, and made me wonder. But you’d probably be able to do this one day if you were privileged enough to go to Xi’An, and your experience would be very similar to mine. But not Xia’He
Xia’He is a totally different story.
So, after our adventure at Xi’An, we headed to Xia’He, and when we got off the bus at Xia’He there were a few people just waiting at the bus stop, and they were hawking various homestays. SCAM most people would have thought, but we didn’t pre book a place to stay because we wanted to go to this student hostel, so instead we actually talked to the people and when we heard the low price, we decided to check the place out.
Well, this was the van we got on and off we went to the homestay. The driver was this guy that couldn’t speak much Chinese, while the guy that could sat on Mel’s left.
Anyway the homestay was approximately a half hour drive away.
We were served Yaks yoghurt, Yak Butter and milk tea, and this peanut paste which was really really tasty.
So after lunch we went for a horse ride. Let me tell you, don’t. We basically walked the horses around a bit and back. There was no riding at any point. But it was okay as an experience.
Then we took a walk around the homestay and waited for sunset.
A good warm bowl of Mee Hoon Quay
And I made friends with this…apparently human biting dog.
Well, nothing much else was interesting till the next day.
We decided to head to the nearby attraction, Labrang Monastery.
Here’s the fun thing though, we didn’t go in until midday.
We went to an adjacent hill where the view of the monastery was supposedly good. It was fun.
Not too shabby eh but then this city was situated in between 2 hills, and we were at the start of this one. So…why not?
And we went up.
And I wonder if you can spot what’s happening here.
We were followed by this amazingly cute dog too.
We kept climbing and soon all shirts were off.
We finally crested the hill and turned back. And marveled at the view.
Gods, it was a sight to behold.
Hats off to Kiko, thats what we named him. He came up with us and followed us back down.
Well, eventually we came back down and headed into the Monastery.
We didn’t pay an entrance fee so the only temple we could enter was as shown above. But it was a good time.
Then since Frankie was the only one whose played with fireworks when younger, he bought em.
And at night, we lit em
And then we went to bed.
Next morning we woke up, and the climbing bug was still unsatisfied. So we went looking for more hills to climb. And we found them
Another long climb, for another fantastic view.
It boggles my mind how the religious people would make the walk up the hill to put prayers on the monument. But it was beautiful.
Then, we looked on the hill opposite and decided to climb that too.
Sadly, daylight was fading and we had to head back
The van was really far away, but we ran helter skelter down and made a 30 minute climb up a 5 minute run down
Finally, we went to see stars at the homestay.
Not the best picture, but hey, give a man with a mobile phone a chance.
And the next morning we left Xia’He
So, I guess I’m sharing this more than the other days because this day really meant something more to me rather than just touring around. We did something for the sight we saw, and because of that, it was all the sweeter.
ALP was worth every moment, and I encourage future batches to sign up for any adventure possible, be it an exchange, an internship or just a holiday. Go somewhere, do something. Make memories.
P.s Here’s the 黄河 Yellow river