We had booked our guided tour with Old Road Tours (which I can recommend except for some small details but more on that later) and so far it had worked out well. With so far I mean that last night someone was at the airport and picked us up and brought us to our hotel called Tumaris.The Tumaris Hotel was interesting to say the least, but the hotel room was great with three individual beds and clean (not always a given in Chinese hotels). I had been so tired from the day before and after the long flight that I slept like a baby.
Breakfast was as usual in Chinese hotels an interesting affair. Here nobody understood us (to get a black coffee was impossible) and they had different kinds of savoury salad amongst other things to eat. There was also some fruit salad with tomatoes which is correct since it’s a fruit but weird nonetheless. Even weirder was the “tasteful” decoration and the balloons everywhere.
Right after breakfast we were picked up by Omar our local guide to go to the Xinjiang Regional Museum. Here the history of the region and also the Uyghurs were covered in details (with the usual emphasis on the influence of the Han Chinese) and we also saw the mummies. Just seeing the mummies made this trip to the museum worth our time but also the rest was interesting and it is a good starting point for the Silk Road.
Here you can see a head of a Western person which shows that China was penetrated by other cultures as well and was never just this closed-off country. Of course the mummies show the same thing but naturally the Chinese don’t want to admit that maybe other cultures had a finger in their development.
Please take a closer look at this stone figure and keep it in mind. just ten days later we would see a lot more of these figures near Bishkek.
Some of the mummies were really well-preserved and still beautiful. So easy to imagine how they must have looked when alive. Isn’t it amazing how nature can preserve these historic details.
Check out his scorpion tattoo on the side of the face.
I could have spent a longer time in the museum so if you go there make sure that you are not rushed. Unfortunately we had to leave right after the mummies to get to our next stop on the Silk Road tour. Yours, Pollybert