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Journey to the Lake of Heaven

By Bruce Connolly | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-10-11 07:39
Journey to the Lake of Heaven

Snack stall Erdaoqiao Urumqi 1997. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

It was a surreal feeling being alone, beside this lake in a stunning alpine setting and knowing the desert to be so close. This was something I later appreciated flying across Xinjiang heading back to Europe from Hong Kong, passing just north of the mountains and the lake.

But it was time to head back along the safer horse trail to the bus park for Urumqi. In the evening, sitting at an outdoor cafe, writing up my diary, an ambition had been fulfilled - the "Journey to the Lake of Heaven" - but a new adventure was waiting, to one of the world's lowest-lying towns south of the Heavenly Mountains.

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