Frozen lake / stream
Fondest memory: Before arriving to the local home where we were invited, our bus had to stop some 1 km before the destination. The small lake was frozen and the bus can't go across. We we told to go on foot.
It was very slippery. There were heavy snow storm 2 days before our arrival and then the sun starts to shine and the ice are melting at -30 deg cel!!! It was a slow process of crossing the lake. I for sure do not want to slip and fall. All of us do not want to slip and fall!
One of our group member was very confident that she will not fall. Guess what all if us were walking and out of sudden we heard a big thump! It was her spinning when she had fall and trying to get up again and again. WE had a good laugh and none of us were helping her!!!! In the end, my nephew helped her after a good laugh!!!Related to:
- Family Travel
Cloudless skies and endless sand...
Favorite thing: Engebei Desert Tourist Spot is situated in Wulan Township, Dalate Banner on the bank of the Huanghe (Yellow River). It covers an area of 2000 hectares, including 180000-mu (a Chinese measurement) of desert and 120000-mu of grassland. As a famous central place of controlling sand, this tourist spot attracts many people from abroad, mainly to plant trees. Now more than one miilion trees have been planted and are growing well. A japanese man named Mr Toyama lived in China for the last twenty years of his life in Engebei planting trees in the sourrounding desert. People followed him and now there are groups of them, mainly Japanese coming to China every week to help plant trees. they come in groups of twenty or more and plant trees all day for three consequtive days. Whilst I was there, I watched them planting them and within an hour they had already planted just over a hunded saplings! Incredible! I even planted one! They say that so much of the sand goes over to Japan, that they have come to China to help fight desertification. I wonder why no Chnese come here to help make their country a better place and why it takes foreigners to come do it?!
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of the desert, is the desert itself. It is an amazing place to be where you become worry free as you trek along the sand. It is such a beautiful and tranquil place to be that you forget what trouble it is causing to the people who live here and the economy. Due to the site's proximity to the Maowusu Desert and Kubuqi Desert, desertification and soil erosion are threats. The wetland area is also diminishing through the the increasing extraction of groundwater. This is all very grave news to my ears as Im wondering through what seems to be a paradise.
Getting around: maps
Favorite thing: I travel with eight different maps, because each one has different aspects that are useful.
Nelles N.E. China: covers eastern I.M. as far as Jining. No Chinese script though.
Nelles N. China: covers Ordos and up to Baotou and Hohhot. No Chinese script.
GeoCenter China: good general map of China and good for getting a feel for the general geography. No Chinese script.
The Atlas of China Knowledge: one of the few (the only?) Chinese map books to have English and Chinese script for places. Good simple map of Hohhot. (ISBN 7806703268)
Nei Menggu Siji Dituce: I.M. road atlas (two versions). These show (different features) but no topography other than some rivers and the Chinese symbol for 'mountain' where relevant. (ISBN 7805458472 is the better one)
Chinese sheet map of Inner Mongolia
Zhonguo Qiche Siji Dituji: China road atlas, because provincial road atlases invariably end literally at the border and show othing beyond which can be very frustrating!! (ISBN7806702202)
Sheet maps of Hohhot (three versions!), Xilinhot and Tongliao. There are street plans of all three in the Nei Menggu Siji Dituce.
All these can be bought in China, but the Nelles maps can be difficult to find sometimes. The I.M. road atlases are best bought in when you arrive. The city sheet maps can be bought and picked up for free in Hohhot. One (issued by the Holiday Inn hotel in Hohhot actually has a map of the Hohhot area with contours!!)
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