Hotan turned out to be a decent city. I spent some time walking around the Sunday Bazaar and then ran off to the oasis-city of Turpan. My little excursion came to an end after Turpan, and I headed back to Xi'an. It's amazing how much easier it is to keep a blog when you travel and you're on your own. I have a million Xi'an posts I've meant to write, but life is busier in Xi'an so they're still waiting to be penned. Remind me to write about: college sports weeks in China, the student-organized basketball team, Xi'an PE Institute, Chinese gyms, and a lot more research-related stuff.
When I first entered the GIANT bazaar there were a line of stands where people could sit and roast eggs.
Many of the Uighur man in Hotan all wear the same Muslim cap. The color represents the city you're from.
One of my favorite parts of travelling through Xinjiang is that there's always a slice of fresh, juicy watermelon to be had.
The food stalls where everywhere throughout the bazzar.
People moved around the multi-block bazaar by motor-flatbeds
Streetside barbers worked on old men with long beards.
Hotan is THE home of jade. It was being traded on the Silk Road from the very start. There was an entire street dedicated to stones that people dug out of riverbeds. Many of them were just sprayed with water to look jade-like.
This little guy had just recieved a loud scolding from his mother. The bazaar heat was getting to everyone.
I left the bazaar and walked through a series of allies with bright doors that led into Uighur housing.
I peaked into some of the Uighur compounds.
After the bazaar I grabbed a 24-hour sleeper bus to Turpan. The bus smelled, the driver decided not to go to Turpan, and 24 hours is a loooong time...
The bus crossed the Taklamakan Desert. The driver decided to change his destination to Urumqi, and dropped me off at a bus stop and bought me different ticket to Turpan.
After finally arriving at Turpan, I was relieved to find that it's a laid back city. When the heat begins to fade with the sun, people sit under these grape vines and eat dinner.
If there's any place to sit down with friends and break off pieces of watermelon flesh, Turpan is it.
I biked out to the Jiaohe ruins, a garrison left over from the Han Dynasty. It's up on a hill and you get some great views of the desert that surrounds the Turpan oasis.