By train from Tibet we reach Chengdu. It is the city of the pandas who look at us from every corner of the house, hostel walls or bed cushions. But there is more to do in Chengdu. Because nearby is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Dujiangyan, an impressive irrigation system and a nice trip out of the Chinese million-city Chengdu.
We're all looking for it somehow: places where you feel really strange. Places where originality still reigns. Places you have not seen on Instagram a hundred times. In times of globalization and constantly growing tourism numbers, they are becoming increasingly scarce. But I found one of these places: Inner Mongolia.
That's how you make your experiences travel. Many prejudices are confirmed, some dissolve. Not every new insight is necessarily good, but mostly at least interesting. Sometimes you have to practice tolerance, learn to accept and understand. And sometimes you just have to smile because lovable quirks appear that you have not known before. In China, I got something from everything. OK then!
The Hua Shan is one of my highlights from 3 months China trip and a beautiful mountain experience. If you are in the ancient capital Xi'an, forget the less authentic terracotta warriors and climb the holy mountain.
"Have you eaten yet?" A story about the Northern Chinese way of greeting, a glorious mountain village, its infamous tunnel, and a small bustling lady from Nanping.
Once, the idiosyncratic Mount Hua Shan granted only the most nimble and courageous Chinese the rise. And today? Today we want to go up!
For a very long time I have dreamed of traveling through Tibet. But this journey has always been in the distant future, when one can travel freely and freely across the country.
Also in 2014, all of Tibet is occupied by China. And me: in the middle.
Crossing one of the biggest dry deserts on earth by bike - that sounds very adventurous. In reality, it is mostly monotonous. It is fitting that I have just read in the book of a Zen monk, one should avoid, always to ask the meaning of his activities to find happiness in the moment. So relieved of the responsibility for the meaningfulness of my actions I live free the simple desert life.
Sorry, the oxigen is out of order. As this crunching announcement in the train at about 5000 meters penetrates my ear, I lie mentally fogged on my book spine-wide platform and concentrated my last senses to avoid involuntary stagediving on the Chinese karaoke group below me.
In front of me is a monk with his mouth wide open, holding out his tongue to me. I blink like a dazed yak into the blinding sun, vacillating between outraged horror and amazement. "Show him your tongue!", The gently demanding voice of my guide Tsenam tears me from my confused thoughts and after a short hesitation, I push my dust-dry tongue obediently to the daylight.