My first impression upon my arrival at the airport late last night was - am i the only westerner in Western CHina. No one tried to sell me anything, even the taxi guys were quiet (i guess they were lost for 'english' words). I have since found a few westerners, which was quite a relief. When around the locals i just keep my mouth shut, which is a challenge for me, but was suggested by Nana before i left (thanks Nana).
People do everything very late here, its wierd. Last night there were families everywhere at 1am, I even had dinner with one family. They also eat rabbit heads here, whats up with that.
The few people that can speak english (mainly students), are very friendly towards me. They want to practice. So that has been quite helpful, i can teach them how to give me directions in english. Everyone else looks at me funny, as though they're thinking - what the hll are you doing here? On the way to the lake pictured above (read below), people in the small villages were yelling out 'hello' to me as we drove past in the shtty bus. These villagers live in mongolian style tents, called Yurts. I'll be sleeping in a couple of these types of villages over the next week.
I went running up to the pictured lake today. Its called the heavenly lake. Unfortunately what is missing from this photo are the two 5000 metre peaks in the background, which are doused in cloud. The lake is at 2000 metres, so as you can imagine, the peaks would usually look pretty spectacular, maybe even heavenly. It was a mild 18 degrees up there, which made a nice change to 30 plus degrees in Beijing and Urumqi (which is nasty when combined with suffocating smog).
Tommorow i'm heading to Kashgar, in far Western China. From there i will be hitting the Himalayan/Karakoram mountain range. excellent.
Thats all from me, its time for my standard meal - egg fried rice. I'm a sucker for monotonous food choice.