– Looks like I’m the only proper tourist here traveling without knowing Chinese. There are almost no backpackers, those few guys that I met are mostly exchange students that just finished their semester, people working here as English teachers and now traveling around either alone either with some of their foreign friends.

– No, it really doesn’t help if you write down Chinese for me. Definitely not the handwriting.

– I understand hot tea, even in 46°, but hot water?? No, I can’t drink boiled water in this temperature.

– There is almost no rice in western China. We went to 4 restaurants in Zhangye asking for rice as we bought some food – apparently, you can eat that dish only with rice, and manage to found it in 5th.

– STEAM BUNS for breakfast!!! I love them.

– Jiauce (dumplings) are delicious – nom nom nom.

– Noodles can be 1.8 meter long or as long are your hands can stretch. All home made.

– My Chinese is limited to 您好 (hello), 感谢您 (thank you), 饺子 (dumplings), 鸡爪 (chicken feet). I especially like how chicken feet is written. It looks like a foot. I can’t read any except chicken feet (my favorite). I also know how to write the entrance and exit. 🙂

– Why everything is wired down/fenced/super protected? And you need to pay entrance fee for literally everything (many times overpriced) too see stones in the desert, sand dunes, forest, ruins, lakes … everything, everywhere. Not that infrastructure or facilities at that spot have something to offer, no, many times is just guy with a cigarette selling tickets and that’s it. Things are protected more than Schengen border or a detention camp – double fence, cameras every 50 m and alarm that fires when you approach to close to the fence.

– Is this the longest ramadan in the century?? Sun goes down at ~9.45 in west China and it is definitely up before 5.30. Which means – join ramadan or good luck with getting some food before sun goes down (they are some places, it just require some effort).

– Cucumbers are eaten like bananas.

– Always trust a Chinese when it comes to taking photos of you. They are the masters of selfies and optic tricks – you need to look good and jump high on pictures. Much fun to observe how they do it.

– Photos of me being taken in secret. So many spies around me 🙂 I know I already said that, but still.

– Rainbow mountains are really colorful. F* all photographers who bust color saturation to 200%.

– OMFG, selfie stick with installed light that you can take perfect selfie at night or twilight.

– Most of stuff on the regular train have second job – they sell everything from selfie sticks to some weird foods for their second bussiness. No, it is not only the trolley they are pushing up and down the train.

– Sightseeing chinese style: hop off the bus, snap a selfie, hop on the buss. Been there, prove it! Done!

Photos are from Rainbow mountains (Zhangye), Matisi monastery (Zhangye) and Dunhuang.