Xinjiang Road Trip | Stunning Highway 216

May 17 | 40 Comments

[sam id=”1″ codes=”true”]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. He told me it was an extremely bumpy ride […]

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Evolution of Xinjiang Tourism: A Photo Essay

May 19 | 24 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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Cruising 200km/h on Xinjiang’s New High-Speed Train

December 3 | 12 Comments

Update 2018: This article (and video) makes mention of this train being only open between Urumqi to Hami. However, currently this train is now completely open from Urumqi to Lanzhou in Gansu. Sitting here in this comfortable high-speed train watching the Xinjiang countryside whiz by forces me to remember the first time I stepped foot in […]

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“Timeless” Xinjiang | Interview with Ryan Pyle

September 16 | 8 Comments

I had the opportunity this last month to chat with Ryan Pyle, a Shanghai-based photographer and producer best known here in China for his 20,000 km motorcycle journey across the whole country. He’s been described as an “anthropologist with a camera” and I think you’ll see by the photos below exactly why that is. I’ve always […]

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The Day I Got My First China Speeding Ticket

September 6 | 15 Comments

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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Camping at Turpan’s Bezeklik Caves

August 4 | 7 Comments

Note from Josh: this guest article comes courtesy of Lee & Galen, two travelers I’ve met here in Xinjiang who have been doing some very interesting adventure travel along the Silk Road. I really love what they’ve written here! Read more about their travels on their website, Silk Road Hitchhikers. I bought four bottles of ice […]

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Review of Urumqi’s Foreign Restaurants

June 19 | 22 Comments

My son is a little over two years old now and I couldn’t help but laugh yesterday when I asked him what he wanted to eat for lunch. Without hesitation he calmly turned to me and says: “Pollo, daddy. I want to eat pollo.” My son doesn’t want pizza, he doesn’t want a hamburger or […]

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(Fake) Story of Urumqi Miner Trapped 17 Years

May 27 | 5 Comments

For all the strengths and advantages of social media, users who fact-check stories before they share them has never been one of them. Take, for example, the most recent story of a Urumqi, Xinjiang miner who was reportedly rescued after 17 years trapped underground. This story, which for the past month I’ve seen circulated numerous […]

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Update on the Urumqi, Xinjiang Attacks (Can I Still Travel to Xinjiang?)

May 24 | 66 Comments

As many of you know, these past few months have been quite difficult here in Urumqi, the capital of China’s far western region of Xinjiang. It seemed like a distant problem back in March when Kunming was struck with a violent knife attack but sadly came knocking on our doorstep in late April when the Urumqi […]

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Traveler’s View of Tashkurgan | Living the Slow Life

March 24 | 7 Comments

The arrival in Tashkurgan, Xinjiang is quite surrealistic. The meager traffic on the Karakoram Highway (KKH) which is its only road access is not going to provide much development in what is basically a small town which can be visited on foot.

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