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5 Beautiful Views of Urumqi, Capital of Xinjiang

March 12 | 12 Comments

Urumqi, the capital of China’s western region of Xinjiang, is not as bad as everybody says it is. At least I don’t think so and I hope to prove that to you with these recent photos I’ve taken. Travel guides generally steer you away from Urumqi in favor of other Silk Road outposts and unfortunately […]

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Living Without Internet for a Year (the REAL Story)

March 10 | 22 Comments

My Dearest Xinhua,I want to write a personal thank-you for your recent article about the year-long internet blackout here in Xinjiang. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since the tragic Urumqi riots in July 2009 that resulted in a cut of all internet access, text messaging and international phone calls for 10 straight months. If […]

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Stunning China Mountains (only found in Xinjiang)

February 20 | 20 Comments

China is known for some unique landscapes, but none are quite as breathtaking as the various China mountains. What most people don’t know, though, is that some of the most scenic mountains in China are found in the remote western region known as “Xinjiang”. If you were ever under the impression that people only travel […]

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Driving in China: Defying Death as a Foreigner

February 18 | 21 Comments

For anybody who has visited China, it probably seems ridiculous to think that anything good could come from the chaotic Chinese traffic. But I can honestly say that thanks to my time driving in China, I’ve become a better driver. Here’s a brief explanation of how. Recently, I received the one official Chinese document that […]

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How China Taught Me to Understand Islam

January 30 | 102 Comments

It wasn’t until I moved to Xinjiang, China that I realized how little I understood about Islam. My time in the province revealed some of the terrible misconceptions I have about the religion…

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Do Uyghur Celebrate Chinese New Year?

January 28 | 6 Comments

Last week China celebrated what is called the “Spring Festival”, the country’s largest holiday. Whether you visit Beijing, Shanghai, Tibet, or Xinjiang you won’t be able to miss the elaborate decorations and deafening firecrackers…but do the minorities join in the celebration?

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Healthy Chinese Food? It’s not the Food, It’s This…

January 23 | 17 Comments

Despite my aversion to diets, I lost close to 10 kg (22 lbs) on in my first year in China! A lot of this can be attributed to more walking, a better sleep schedule, and the occasional post-restaurant stomach virus I like to call Mao’s Revenge, but I think there was a little more at work here. Let me explain…

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20 Dangerous Food Combinations (according to Chinese tradition)

January 9 | 14 Comments

Ever wonder why you went bald?  Do you ever find yourself with a decreased vigor for life and can’t explain why? Did you suddenly go deaf without any prior symptoms?  How about an unexpected bloated belly or an intense case of diarrhea?  It may be that you had some dangerous food combinations…or at least so says […]

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Mysterious Lop Nor Structure in China Revealed

January 2 | 1 Comment

Although once famous for its “Wandering Lake” mentioned by Marco Polo as his last stop before taking a year-long journey across the Gobi Desert, it has finally made the headlines again in a few very small newspapers here in China’s northwest as the world’s largest potash fertilizer producer.

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Chinese Lunar Calendar and the Roaming Holidays

December 17 | 1 Comment

There are two major groups in the world today who still use the lunar calendar – the Chinese and the Muslims – and both of them represent a majority of Xinjiang’s population.

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