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September 28: Train#1: Shanghai to Jiayuguan
September 29: Arrive in Jiayuguan, Hostel
September 30: Authentic Chinese dumplings for breakfast. Visit three different sites of the Great Wall. Chinese tea ceremony. Dinner in the night market.
October 1: Train #2: Jiayuguan to Dunhuang
Reunite with the Lanzhou crew. Check into camping hostel. Visit the Mogao Caves and desert. Lunch at the caves. Go to the desert campsite. ATV rides on the dunes. Sunset on the dunes. Hotpot for dinner outside the tents. KTV and bonfire. Slept in the freezing cold desert.
October 2: Return to the city from the desert campsite. Walk to the crescent moon oasis. Hang gliding over dunes. Saw lots of camels. Halal for dinner. Overnight in the train.
October 3: Train #3: Dunhuang to Turpan
Arrive in Turpan for half of the day. Breakfast at the halal place. Went to the fire mountains. Saw the minaret in Turpan. Noticed intense police presence. Overnight in the train.
October 4: Train #4: Turpan to Kashgar
Arrive at 4 am. Hostel debacle. Sleep on a picnic table after walking around Kashgar. Visit Kashgar old town. Lots of shopping for rugs, spices, tea, perfumes, silks, blankets, saffron ice cream. Visited the largest mosque in China in old town Kashgar. Went to the night Bazaar in Kashgar for dinner. Didn’t steal a kitten.
October 5: More old town Kashgar and eating halal food. Getting ready for the train. One of the only shower opportunities. Overnight on the train.
October 6: Train #5: Kashgar to Urumqi
Eat dumplings and noodles for breakfast outside the train station. It’s freezing cold and snowing. Return to the train station for dry shampooing and journaling before the long haul train ride home to Shanghai. Next two nights on the train hard seats.
October 7: Train #6: Urumqi to Shanghai. Still on the train.
October 8: Still on the train. Arrive in Shanghai at 1 pm. Shower. Die.
This podcast was edited by Lana Kugli and hosted by Isabel Adler. Please send an email to email@example.com to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Eleanor Wade