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China 2016 Photo Reports: The mountain road from Xiahe to Xining

Xiahe Xining Road China 2016 Pic5Snow covered the surrounding mountains overnight.

After two days in Xiahe in the Gansu province, it’s time to take on the bus trip back to Xining for further Chinese adventures. One full day of snow completely transformed the landscape to the point that the 7-hour return trip is worth a Photo Report of its own.

China map with XiaheWe are retracing back our steps.Xiahe Xining Road China 2016 Pic1Just after leaving Xiahe

On the day of departure and in order to catch the morning bus to Xining I had to wake up way earlier (5:30am) than my hotel’s opening hours, meaning a few minutes of panic when I discovered I was locked inside. The night guard had to be woken up, although I do believe he did not really wake up to unlock the gate – he must be able to do that in his sleep and be all the better for it. The reward however – sunrise on snowy mountains – was priceless.

Xiahe Xining Road China 2016 Pic2

Xiahe Xining Road China 2016 Pic3Baojun 730 Xiahe Xining Road China 2016 Pic4Wuling Hongguang S1Xiahe Xining Road China 2016 Pic6The line of trucks stuck on the climb to the highest mountain pass on the road

The vehicles encountered on the road were very rare and quite specific: almost exclusively shared taxis but very few of the bruised and battered Wuling Sunshine I spotted in Tongren. Rather, the newer MPVs such as the Wuling Hongguang S1 and Baojun 730 are the default choice, with their heightened, SUV-like clearance. Heavy trucks were for the most part stuck on the climb to the highest mountain pass on the road, culminating at 3,644m (11,955 ft). Our bus had to stop to put on snow chains or we wouldn’t have gone any further.

Stay tuned for the next stop in our Chinese adventures in Chengdu, Sichuan.

Xiahe Xining Road China 2016 Pic8Red rocks before the junction to Tongren. 

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