Well that's what it tasted like to me, but apparently that's what fresh Russian bread or 'lie ba' in Chinese tastes like! The first time I tried it, I just thought that it had been out in the open for too long and that they would bring a fresh batch along soon, but the fresh batch never arrived and I realised that's what it was SUPPOSED to taste like! Hhhhmmmm, weird!
We also had 'Russian' chocolate spread, which to me just tasted like any other chocolate spread, 'Russian' strawberry jam and 'Russian' butter. All been made that morning 'apparently'! It was all ok though, and far better suited to my taste than a Chinese breakfast, so I shouldn't complain!
Another thing that is a speciality of that area is milk tea. Now this isn't the same as 'Earl Grey' or 'Lipton' tea but is the next best thing when you don't want to drink Chinese green tea anymore! My stomach must have forgotten what it tasted like however because there seemed to be a lot of churning happening afterwards! It has a slightly strange taste, so if anyone can tell me how it is made, please do! When they pour it out of the teapot, it has already been mixed with milk.
I may think of some more as time goes by....
Luggage and bags:
Don't take too much as it is more a trekking destination than a fun 'let's take suitcases' kind of place!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Its cold cold cold in the winter and warm in the summer. So you need appropriate clothing for both seasons.You may also need long but cool clothes for the mosquito season so that you don't get bitten. Don't wear brightly coloured clothing either..that also attracts the mozzies, as our cameraman soon found out! Definitely not the place for pretty girly shoes...they'll be 'dead' after the first hour or so! You need trainers for this place.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: There are little shops here which Im sure sell the necessary toiletries, but its really best to bring your own. And the number one thing on your list should be some sort of cream or spray to keep the mosquitos at bay! There were hundereds of the little buggers, but luckily, not one single one wanted to bite me! Am I not tasty enough, do they just like the Chinese cuisine?! Whatever it was, I didn't care! Our poor cameraman however got bitten alive. We had to fan him as he filmed to keep them all away!
Photo Equipment: Definitely take a camera.You will see scenery there that you may not have seen anywhere else in China. It's wonderful. You have the river separating Russia from China, the Inner Mongolian grasslands and of course the wonderful sunrises and sunsets!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Nowhere to camp in this place unless you want to get trampled on by a cow in the middle of the night! There are various hostels and they will do for a couple of nights.
Shiwei is just a small village where cows and dogs and chickens and pigs roam the dusty roads all day and night long! I cant imagine what it would be like to live there your entire life as one night was enough for me! I have no idea why they dont repair the roads...as driving around is fairly painful! There are no cars there, only tractors so the roads are super bumpy with pot holes everywhere!
To be honest, I know that no-one will go there after reading my page, but I just want to let you know that such a place like this DOES actually exist! The five hour journey there is a horrendous road too but they were repairing it. And so by next year or two years time, that little village in the middle of nowhere will become a tourist site like no other! Maybe the border with Russia there will open up! Its very difficult to get there at the moment as no travel agents offer tours there, so you really need to KNOW people living in that area who can drive you there. We met the Eerguna Government officials! And they kindly gave us a driver and a jeep!