Silk Road 10 – The edge of civilization

Continuing through the Hexi Corridor, I reached Jiayuguan, a pass in the narrowest point of the corridor. It was long thought of as the extreme western edge of Chinese culture and civilization, even if Chinese domains sometimes extended further. To the West, only feared empty steppes, deserts and nomadic tribes. It also marks the west end of the Great Wall of China.

The fort here is one of the most recognisable images of western China, and I saw many Chinese visiting it.

Jiayuguan fort

Marco Polo

After a short visit to Jiayuguan, my next stop was Zhangye, in the middle section of the Hexi Corridor. Marco Polo spent a year there in his way to Xanadu, and local authorities have erected a monument of the great Venetian traveller. It is in the middle of a roundabout though, so taking a picture is quite risking your life :).

The city also has a bell tower and drum tower, as other Chinese cities, and some nice parks and big squares.

Zhangye is best known for the Dafo Si (Great Buddha temple). The building is one of the oldest wooden structures still standing in China. Inside, the pagoda houses a huge 35 metre-long reclining Buddha.

Dafo temple, Zhangye

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3 thoughts on “Silk Road 10 – The edge of civilization

  1. Pingback: Ruta de la Seda 10 – La frontera de la civilización | Un año alrededor del mundo

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