Sunday, 20 June 2010

Travelling again - Xinjiang and Kyrgyzstan

This blog has been quiet for three years because we haven't been doing any serious travelling, if you don't count our honeymoon in Vanuatu. But now we're off again. Plan A goes something like this:
  1. Fly from Sydney to Guangzhou, Urumqi, then Kashgar in western China.
  2. Spend some time with the Uighur people in the markets and hills of Xinjiang province.
  3. Travel from Kashgar to Kyrgyzstan via Irkeshtam Pass.
  4. Ride around the steppes on horses and stay in yurts.
  5. Fly out from the capital, Bishkek, back through China.
However, since we booked our tickets on the 29th of March, Kyrgyzstan has been having a few problems. A week later, on April 6, riots started in Bishkek and the president was ousted. Two months later, in early June, violence between the Kyrgyz and Uzbeks broke out in the southern city of Osh. This left hundreds dead and the city razed.

So, we're now working on plans B, C, D, E, and F:
  • Plan B is to avoid the south and cross the border via Torugart Pass, which seems to be technically illegal, but possible if you go with a tour company.
  • Plan C is to fly from China into Bishkek.
  • Plan D is Kazakhstan.
  • Plan E is Mongolia.
  • Plan F is Yunnan province in China.
This is the route we finally decided on:

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