From Xi’an, the first city on the Silk Road to the West, we decided to go to Jiayuguan which is also a symbolic city on the Silk Road. Indeed, in Jiayuguan, stands the last portion of the Great Wall in the West of China. In ancient times, everything West to the wall was considered as barbarian!
We took the train from Xi’an at 12h40 and we arrived in Jiayuguan the next day at 4h30! After a short sleep in a hotel, we went for sightseeing. We had the chance to discover Jiayuguan Fort under the sun and climb along the Great Wall a few kilometers away. The Great Wall is built steeply on the mountain, and the views from the towers are amazing on the desert!
But when looking back to the city of Jiayuguan we could spot from the wall the factory towers of this industrial city.
The Great Wall Museum near the Fort allowed us to know more about the Wall. It is built according to the topology and the geography, using mountains as natural barriers. There are several portions all the way from Jiayuguan to Beijing, built with different materials (wood, rocks, bricks…) depending on what the builders had at their disposition. Local rulers and populations would take part in building the wall to protect themselves, without the order of the central power.
After a full day of visiting the city, we took another night train along the Silk Road, to Turpan, the lowest point of China and our first step in Xinjiang, the Ouighour part of China!