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What is the Largest Province in China?

April 12 | No Comments

When I asked this question yesterday my research opened a whole can of worms I didn’t know about, and I found that to be fair, this is a trick question. The answer lies in your understanding that not all parts of China are created equally. I just finished taking a crash course in Chinese Political Geography 101, and I’m lending you my notes to copy.

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Learn Uyghur | Ultimate Guide to Available Resources

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Do you have an interested to learn Uyghur? While the resources are sparse, they do exist. In this comprehensive guide to learning Uyghur, I’d like to share with you the type of resources available and the best ways to learn the Uyghur language both inside and outside of China. Before I lay out the types […]

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Understanding “Xinjiang Time” and China’s Two Time Zones

April 10 | No Comments

Does Xinjiang have two time zones? While traveling around Xinjiang, at some point you’ll likely here the terms “Xinjiang time” and “Beijing time” thrown around. I’d like to take a few minutes to help you understand China’s time zones and which time zone is used in Xinjiang specifically. Imagine a traffic jam in China’s capital […]

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How I Got a China Driver’s License in Xinjiang

April 9 | No Comments

Are you looking to get a Chinese driver’s license? The truth is that China is one of those places where a “definitive guide” is impossible – your experience is always going to be slightly different than mine. That said, perhaps hearing about how I obtained a Chinese driver’s license will help you understand what to expect […]

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10 Crazy, Little-Known Facts about Xinjiang

April 8 | No Comments

For most people around the world – including Chinese people in China – Xinjiang is a mysterious and generally misunderstood region. What makes Xinjiang so special? And how can one place cause fear for some people and inspiration from another? As a foreigner who has lived in the Xinjiang region since 2006, I’ve learned that […]

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Living in Xinjiang | One Foreigner’s Perspective

April 7 | No Comments

For most people who want to study in China, moving and living in Xinjiang is not one of the first things that comes to mind. Why is that? For one, it’s a place that is associated with a number of stereotypes, including stereotypes people have about China as well as prejudice directed toward Xinjiang, which can even […]

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10 Years in Xinjiang | CCTV Documentary

April 6 | No Comments

In July of 2016, I was connected to Han Bin, a senior producer who was planning to film a CCTV documentary series on the Xinjiang region. He was going to create 18 mini-documentaries on various stories and characters to help paint a picture of Xinjiang that he felt was missing from the state-run broadcaster. For some reason he […]

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Stunning Scenery on Xinjiang’s Highway 216

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It all started with a single WeChat message, a kind of Chinese social media, from a friend that lived in Korla. I was planning to drive out his way from the capital of Urumqi and he insisted that my Xinjiang road trip include Highway 216. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. He […]

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Evolution of Xinjiang Tourism: A Photo Essay

April 4 | No Comments

One of my favorite tourist spots in Xinjiang is changing. Like Kanas Lake, Heavenly Lake, and Kashgar’s Old City – all beautiful gems of Xinjiang travel that have been swallowed up by tourism – the ancient city of Jiaohe in Turpan is being exploited, and it makes me sad. I realize that this isn’t a Chinese […]

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The Day I Got My First China Speeding Ticket

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It was bound to happen at some point. Not that I’m a bad driver. In 15 years behind the wheel I can count on one hand the number of traffic violations I’ve received. Yet there splashed across the computer screen in the police station was a picture of me happily speeding down the highway between […]

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