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2012 Long Distance trips review: Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Gansu, and more

We did a lot of the long distance trips in 2012, visiting interesting and scenic places all over China. Below is a list of the highlights, with links to see more photos and the dates that we'll be doing the same or similar trips in 2013.

If you're interested in any (or all!) of the trips listed, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). We'll add you to the notification list and will send you updated information as soon as we have it.

2012 Long Distance trip highlights

Wuyuan, Jiangxi ProvinceBeijing Hikers Wuyuan, Jiangxi
We went to Wuyuan to visit and hike around smallriverside villages, and to see the fields of flowers - click through to see photos of some amazing scenery!
Photos » Wuyuan, March 2012
2013 visit to Wuyuan: March 20–23.

Tengger Desert Lakes, Inner MongoliaBeijing Hikers Tengger Desert
In 2012 we made several trips to Inner Mongolia's Tengger Desert, a sand desert with endless waves of sand dunes and a surprisingly large amount of lakes. Click through to see photos of the desert, dunes, lakes, and camels.
Photos » Tengger Desert, May 2012
Photos » Tengger Desert, June 2012
2013 visit to Tengger Desert: April 28–May 1. (There's a new desert trip in 2013: huge and high sand dunes in Badan Jilin, Sept 18–22.)

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province Beijing Hikers Zhangye Danxia Landform
In 2012 we made two trips to Gansu Province to see the fortress at Jiayuguan, and the spectacular scenery of the Zhangye Danxia Landform.
Photos
» Zhangye Danxia Landform, May 2012
» Zhangye Danxia Landform, October 2012
2013 visits to Zhangye: May 29–June 2; October 6–10.

Bashang Prairie, Hebei ProvinceBeijing Hikers Bashang Grasslands
We escaped the heat (and flooding, once!) of Beijing city on these trips to the Bashang Grasslands, north of Beijing in Hebei Province. While out there we do two days of hiking, and enjoy a big BBQ lamb and a performance of traditional Mongolian song and dance.
Photos
» Bashang Grasslands, June 2012
» Bashang Grasslands, July 2012
» Bashang Grasslands, August 2012
2013 visits to Bashang: June 21–23; July 26–28; August 23–25; Sept 20–22.

Hulunbuir Grasslands, Inner MongoliaBeijing Hikers Hulunbuir Grasslands
In July 2012, we visited the Hulunbuir Grasslands, reputedly some of the prettiest in China. Don't just take our word for it though – click through to see the photos of the grasslands lifestyle, and the curious mixture of Russian and Chinese culture in the border areas!
Photos » Hulunbuir Prairie, July 2012
2013 visit to Hulunbuir: July 18–21.

Kashgar and Lake Karakul, XinjiangBeijing Hikers Kashgar and Lake Karakul
In July 2012, we travelled to the far west of China to visit Kashgar and Lake Karakul, and to do some high-altitude trekking in the foothills of 7,546m Mt. Muztagh-Ata. During the trip we got a very good look at the special culture of the area, and we saw some big, big mountains. Click through to see all the photos!
Photos » Kashgar and Lake Karakul, July 2012
2013 visit to Kashgar and Lake Karakul: August 20–25.

Ancient Walled City of Pingyao, Shanxi ProvinceBeijing Hikers Pingyao ShanxiWe strolled the streets and lanes of ancient Pingyao, had tours of temples and old courtyard residences, and got a good look at the colourful characters on the city streets. Click through to see the photos!
Photos » Pingyao, October 2012
2013 visits to Pingyao: April 5-7; May 17-19; September 5-7.

Xinjiang: Journey from the WestBeijing Hikers Xinjiang Silk Road Journey from the West
During the big October holiday we completed another Journey from the West, travelling about 1,500km along the Silk Road from Urumqi and passing through Turpan, Hami, and Dunhuang on the way to the big fortress at Jiayuguan. Click through to see photos!
Photos » Silk Road Journey from the West, 2012
2013 Journey from the West: September 30–October 6.

Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, Sichuan ProvinceBeijing Hikers Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong
In 2011 we made a scouting trip to this part of northern Sichuan, and in 2012 we made our first group visit to the area, visiting the Jiuzhaigou National Park and the Huanglong National Park, and exploring two of the ancient towns in the area. Click through for photos and more!
Photos » Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, November 2012
2013 visit: November 13–17.

Lijiang and Shangri-La, Yunnan ProvinceBeijing Hikers Lijiang and Shangri-La
Our last long distance trip of 2012 took us to Lijiang and Shangri-La in Yunnan Province. Highlights: the cobbled streets and watercourses of ancient towns, country roads and fields around small settlements, Naxi culture, and amazing views of snow-capped mountains. Click through to see the photos.
Photos » Lijiang and Shangri-La, November 2012
2013 visit: October 30–November 3.

2013 provisional schedule for long distance trips
Below is the draft of our 2013 long distance trip schedule. We don't expect any major changes to it, but in 2012 we had to make a few changes to departure and return dates when flight schedules were updated.

DateTripPhotos

March 20–23

Wuyuan, Jiangxi Province
Vast fields of yellow flowers and ancient river towns in southern China. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

Photos from our 2012 Wuyuan trip

April 5–7

Ancient Walled City of Pingyao, Shanxi Province
Guided tours of the alleys, thoroughfares, and the key historical sites; an easy hike outside the city walls.

Photos from our August 2012 Pingyao trip

April 28–May 1

Tengger Desert Lakes, Inner Mongolia
Travel by foot and jeep through the desert, visit desert lakes, ride camels, camp in the desert, and more.

Photos from our 2012 Tengger trip

May 17–19

Ancient Walled City of Pingyao, Shanxi Province
Guided tours of the alleys, thoroughfares, and the key historical sites; an easy hike outside the city walls.

Photos from our August 2012 Pingyao trip

May 29–June 2

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu
Fantastically-coloured mountains and cliffs in an all-but unexplored area of Gansu; Horse Hoofprint Temple, and more.

Photos from our May 2012 trip to the Zhangye Danxia

June 10–16

Silk Road Route
Details T.B.C.

New trip, no photos yet!

June 21–23

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

Photos from our June 2012 Bashang trip

July 18–21

Hulunbuir Grasslands, Inner Mongolia
Fresh air and the endless green grasslands of the best preserved prairie in China. Trip includes hiking and a visit to a border town that contains a curious mix of Chinese and Russian culture.

Photos from our 2012 Hulunbuir Grasslands trip

July 26–28

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

Photos from our July 2012 Bashang trip

August 8–11

A'ershan Forest National Park
Explore the A’ershan National Forest Park, a natural reserve that contains volcanic landscapes, mountaintop lakes, deep forests, grasslands, rivers, and mineral-rich springs.

August 23–25

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

Photos from our August 2012 Bashang trip

August 20–25

Kashgar and Lake Karakul, Xinjiang
Explore Kashgar city; hike around Lake Karakul and in the foothills of Mt. Muztagh-Ata.

Photos from our 2012 Kashgar and Lake Karakul trip

September 5–7

Ancient Walled City of Pingyao, Shanxi Province
Guided tours of the alleys, thoroughfares, and the key historical sites; an easy hike outside the city walls.

Photos from our August 2012 Pingyao trip

September 18–22

Badan Jilin Desert
A visit to the tallest (by certain criteria) sand dune in the world, details T.B.C.

Photos coming soon.

September 20–22

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

Photos from our August 2012 Bashang trip

September 30–October 6

Xinjiang: Journey from the West
See the sights along a key stretch of the northern Silk Road, visiting Urumqi, Turpan, Hami, Dunhuang, and Jiayuguan. Camp a night in the Gobi Desert and see the ancient Han Dynasty Great Wall; visit Turpan's Grape Valley; view the Buddhist artwork in the Mogao Grottoes; and explore Jiayuguan, the outpost at the western end of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall. Trip Journey can be extended to include the Zhangye trip.

Photos from our 2012 Silk Road Journey from the West

October 6–10

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu
Fantastically-coloured mountains and cliffs in an all-but unexplored area of Gansu; Horse Hoofprint Temple, and more. Trip can be added on to the end of the Journey from the West.

Photos from our October 2012 visit to Zhangye Danxia Landform

October 30–November 3

Lijiang and Shangri-La, Yunnan Province
See the highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-La - the cobbled streets and watercourses of ancient towns, country roads and fields around small settlements, Naxi culture, and amazing views of snow-capped mountains. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

Photos from our 2012 Lijiang and Shangri-La trip

November 13–17

Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, Sichuan Province
Visit the deservedly famous Jiuzhaigou National Park and then head on to nearby Huang Long, an equally scenic but less well-known area of still ponds and coloured rocks.

Photos from our 2012 Jiuzhaigou trip

If you're interested in any (or all!) of the trips listed, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). We'll add you to the notification list and will send you updated information as soon as we have it.

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