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The Big Year Out-Gaochang

Gaochang

Here from my epic journey on the silk route in 2012/13 is my look at Gaochang in China. It was one of the highlights for me of the trip, I am a bit into ancient sites, I have a great connection with them, and I don't know why? Anyway I hope you get a taste for what out there and how the Chinese are trying to restore it!

Located 30 kilometres south-east of Turpan City, Gaochang, is an ancient city built on the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert and to the south of the Flaming Mountains. Built in the 1st century BC, Gaochang, was an important area along the Silk Road. It was burnt down and destroyed in the 14th century due to increased warfare. The old palace and city ruins can be seen today as they've been well-preserved.

Gaochang was once a fertile and prosperous city serving as capital for three western states in ancient times. The location of Gaochang was ideal as it was located in the middle of the Turpan Basin and the city’s layout was designed with high walls and deep moats, making it a significant military fortress for the Western Region for centuries. With an area of about 2 million square meters, the Ancient Ruins contain the outer and inner cities, along with a palace.

The layout of the city is similar to that of Chang’an (capital of the Tang Dynasty at that time, today’s Xi’an). It is said that, “If you want to learn about the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty, Gaochang Ancient Ruins will show you.” The outer city is surrounded by 11-meter high and 12-meter wide mud walls and nine city gates. The inner city is a 3-kilometer long rectangle that shares its southern wall with the Palace in the northern part of the inner city. A pagoda called, “The Castle of Khan” (meaning “Imperial Palace”) stands on a high stage there. With a history of about 1,300 years, Gaochang, has witnessed many ups and downs in the Turpan region. These delicate ancient ruins have been listed as precious cultural relics under state protection.

Posted by TheJohnsons 20:37 Archived in China Tagged architecture desert culture temple history travel ruins vacation fort mountain city china building cave sand place national stone old road bc destination buddhist attraction wall asian asia first antique ancient tourism historic chinese landmark cultural hall outdoors key silk century khan ruin basin protection relics xinjiang floor heat past lecture turpan units gentleman uyghur gaochang jiaohe tripitaka taklamakan tamrin Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-The Plains of Jars

The Plain of Jars is a collection of large stone jars interspersed throughout the Xieng Khouang plain in the Lao Highlands. The stone structures are mostly made of sedimentary rock and, ranging from 3 to 10 feet in height (1 to 3 meters), each can weigh up to 14 tons.

There are approximately 3000 of these vessels, dated from 500BC to 500AD. Limestone and sandstone are the predominant stone used, some with their lids but most without. There are three different sites that I visited on this trip and each one gave a unique view and feel for these unusual structures. 

Posted by TheJohnsons 22:52 Archived in Laos Tagged food architecture nature park landscape history travel of laos glass white famous place rock stone old historical object field tourist unesco site asian natural asia southeast war ancient tourism archaeological landmark outdoors jar indochina plain age delicious product healthy lao fresh snack background isolated organic phonsavan vector illustration jars xiengkhouang Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-Kashan


View Food from our Journey & The Big Year Out & Things we wish we had done & Photos of us & Photographic Equipement & Visas & Transport and bookings on TheJohnsons's travel map.

Kashan

Kashan is much smaller than Tehran; we arrived by bus about 3.00pm. We managed to get a taxi to near enough the Noghli home stay. As with some Iranian taxi drivers, they say they know the way, but are not really sure! Sometimes, they try and ask you for more money than was agreed. Taxis the world over seem to be like this.

Finally we arrive at Noghli, it appears that there are no rooms left, but they do manage to find us one twin for one night, and then we have to swap night two for a single room and one of us sleeps on the floor.IMG_0006.JPGIMG_0005.JPG

A Traditional home, the owner allows women not to have to wear their scarves all the time, a welcome relief. Local food is served (at extra cost), and very nicely put together in an arch underneath the first floor on a long table, in front of the courtyard.

Next day we walk to the ancient merchant houses and hammam, all very cheap to get into and easy to find once you’re on the main street. We spent most of the day walking round these, yes we do things slowly.IMG_0111.JPGIMG_0031.JPGIMG_0118.JPG

We also visited finn Gardens which are supposed to be the finest examples of Persian gardens. It was a bit like going to wisely on a bank holiday, it was heaving, so perhaps we didn't enjoy that one as much as we could have.IMG_0142.JPGIMG_0143.JPG

Basically that was it for Kashan, it really isn’t a big place and actually if you were of the mind you could do it passing through toEsfahan.

Posted by TheJohnsons 01:06 Archived in Iran Tagged sky architecture water desert mosque park culture temple religion fountain history traditional travel city building famous house garden heritage place old historical pool muslim medieval tourist cityscape fin wall east asia middle ancient tourism historic dome relax iran persia courtyard outdoor landmark decoration persian islam kashan iranian perspective islamic Comments (0)

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