Day 84 – 116 China

I enter China via a remote western border and spend my first few days camping on the fringes of the Taklamakan and Gobi Deserts studded with the odd emerald lake.

Officially the hottest place in China, the oasis town of Turpan is a welcome break where I have the chance to visit a traditional Uyghur Village as well as the crumbling remains of the ancient city Jiaohe.

In Dunhuang I find the amazing Buddhist caves of Mogao where a few hours can be enjoyed marveling at hundreds of giant statues of Buddha, vibrant murals and multi-tiered temples.

I continue into the Gobi Desert and visit the western end of the Great Wall in Jiayuguan as well as a few amazing natural sites such as the Kanbula National Park, Qinghai Lake and the fabulous Rainbow Mountains.

At Bingling Si I will discover a series of Buddhist sculptures carved into caves within a canyon along the Yellow River where a precarious wooden walkway allows you to get close to some of the hidden cliff-face caves and the giant Maitreya Buddha.

In Tianshui I will visit the Maiji caves where thousands of statues and frescoes remain within the grotto.

Xian gives me the opportunity to visit the famous Terracotta Warriors and see the archaeologists at work uncovering new finds.

I continue to the well-preserved ancient walled city of Pingyao where I spend a day exploring the atmospheric cobbled streets of this typically Chinese town.

On my way to Beijing I visit the iconic Great Wall of China before spending a couple of days in the capital exploring Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the amazing museums.

From Beijing I say goodbye to the expedition vehicle and I will be continuing to Sydney via local trains, buses, boats and ferries.

The high speed bullet train now takes me on a 300 KPH journey south to the modern city of Shanghai where I spend a couple of days marvelling at this high-rise metropolis.

I continue to Chengdu where I have the opportunity to visit the Giant Panda Bear Breeding Research Centre and get up close and personal with these adorable creatures.

In Kunming I have time to kick back and soak up the Chinese culture or visit nearby attractions such as the Petrified Stone Forest.

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