Urumqi!! Home to the Uighurs…

Do u know whats the magic about traveling by bicycle?? Its that theres always a place to sleep :)

After weeks spending time in the desert, in the remote areas of northwest China, Im finally back to the civilization! Wow.. tall buildings huh? Street lights, shopping complex, good food… mmmm… oh and not to mention… hot… blistering hot.. girls! I dont really find Uighur girls hot.. but Kazakh girls, they really made my jaw drop to the floor. Will take a few day rest here before the final chapter of my ride in China towards the central asia border, which will take maybe less than 2 weeks to the border. So far, heres my stats for now…

Distance cycled: 4430km (at the time of writing this)

Current luggage: +-30kg

Top Speed: 79km/hour

Longest ride of the day: 213km

Shortest ride of the day: 46km

My current condition: Strong like a horse, nasty like a tiger :)

Days since i start pedaling: 94 days (including rest days)

Urumqi, a very big city, i guess its bigger than kl. the locals here still living in fear, after the big riot on last year’s july between the Han Chinese and the Uighur. The uighurs wanted independence from China, start killing the chinese, and Beijing answered back by hanging some 24 Uighurs, blocked all internet access and text message to anywhere outside Xinjiang province as it was used to plan all the attacks. At the time of writing this, internet and international calls are back. There were a bombing yesterday in Aksu where 4 locals died. Well, im heading there in few days anyway… Hope they wont bomb a man with his humble bicycle? :) The locals dont even go out at night here because of fear… but in my case.. its different. I went out for a while last night in search for food but it didnt last long. It was cold last night and i didnt bring my jacket. Hehehe.
Hang out with a fine local Kazakh girl yesterday, she speaks quite good english. She was fascinated about my cycling journey, and saw the pictures i took on my laptop. She gave me her number so that i can call her out today but things went bad. My phone suddenly out of credit, and i cant even received calls and text messages. When i wanted to topup the credit, i learned that i cant top it up here in Xinjiang, since i bought the number in Qinghai. Ouucchh… bad luck. Stayed in a dormitory, and there was a girl from Thailand slept next to my bed. She just came from central asia trip, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. She listened to my cycling stories, and i told her my next destination is Kyrgyzstan, since Pakistan is badly flooded now. She then told me the Kyrgyz are not so friendly to foreigners, they only wants money. Oh no… ahh.. doesnt matter huh. I cant judge a country only by 1 people’s opinion. Will see it for myself. On top of that, Im going Kyrgyzstan for its beautiful mountains anyway, and mountains never ask for money :)
Also met a german guy who stayed in a same room as me too. When he saw me, he asked, “are you a cyclist? are you the one who own the bicycle outside?” When i said yes, he started to tell me his cycling stories. He cycled from Shanghai to Hongkong 2 years ago. He covered 2200km by bicycle and also by train on some parts, for 2 months. And he said he carried less than 10 kg luggage. Ahh.. now i feel better… at least im not as slow. And he was impressed that i cycled 4400km in 3 months with some 30kg luggage. Well, its not about how fast u ride, its about what u get from your journey. If u want to be fast, use a motorbike. Ive read about a guy who cycled 30000km in 300 days, around the world. Well that doesnt really impress me, u cycled so fast that means u really concentrate on the cycling, missing all things u should experience. The slower, the better, means u spend more time on your surroundings.

a group of makciks in Segamat, Johor... eh.. i mean.. Erdaoqiao Bazaar, Urumqi...

10 Comments on “Urumqi!! Home to the Uighurs…

  1. focus ..focus….lol. has settling down with a local gal ever crossed yr mind?? lol
    dun forget to wipe the saliva when u pick up yr jaws fr the floor.

  2. people here look different. not like chinese. seems like there are many muslim in this place. the ‘mak cik at the segamat’ must be very familiar to you and help to cure your homesick.

  3. haha..as always, luv ur story bro..I continue reading ur adventure..
    mmm..those hot chicks… ;) now that what I call fun adventure! haha!

  4. What happen no Nancy now? Has she left for Bejing. best of luck in your journey.

  5. mantappp.. gambar lawa2. boleh kasi tau camera & lens yg digunakan? :)

  6. salam, aku baca artikel kau di asian geographic passport dan sambung baca di wordpress. tahniah semuga berjaya & selamat sepanjang perjalanan. aku ada cita2 cam kau gak tp sampai sekarang tak terbuat, haha…semuga berjaya & selamat sepanjang perjalanan, amin.

  7. zahariz, your journey has inspired me. it energised an old person like me to travel and see the world…..can I do it at 55 now?

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