This week, we’re launching on our trip across the ancient Silk Road. Although this year, we’re unable to go back to China to visit our grandparents, I’d like to still showcase this beautiful route across West China.
Usually, in addition to visiting my grandparents, we’ll choose one or two other places in China to go see while we’re there; so a few years ago, we chose Qingdao and a small region bordering the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region called the Bashang Plateau.
Qingdao, known as China’s Sailing City, is both a major port and an industrial centre situated right on the east coast of China in Shandong Province (China has thirty provinces — they’re kind of like the states here in the U.S.). In Chinese, Qingdao means “greenish-blue island,” and that description is entirely true. However, in recent years, Qingdao has had a bad case of seaweed infection where the coastline is covered entirely in nasty, green, slimy seaweed. But don’t let this deter you from visiting the city — once you pass this small layer, you’ll find yourself in lovely, blue water.
Later, we headed to the Bashang Plateau on the border of the Inner Mongolian region. The elevation in the area is fairly high, although the land itself is relatively flat. The culture there is very similar to that of Mongolia (the country) since the region was only in the last century separated into two (Inner Mongolia, in China; Outer Mongolia, the country). Thus, you may be able to experience a small taste of life of the Mongols; we rode horses and tried our hand at shooting arrows, stayed in yurts and ate a bunch of dairy products. The area is covered with vast grasslands, and horses, sheep and cattle roam the plains. It’s certainly a beautiful place — if only I could go to Mongolia next time!