Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half ( Desert)

The DP’s theme for this week’s challenge is Half and Half.

This photo is half desert and half sky.

Taken in the Resonance Desert of inner Mongolia, I like the sky more than the desert.DSCF2287

The clouds look as if they are springing forward.

Also somewhat surreal is a modern structure, for cultural exhibition,  standing aloof in the desert.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate ( Flowers in Inner Mongolia)

This week’s DP photo challenge is Intricate.

I am attempting to show intricacy in the nature.DSCF2225A

Here are some of the plants and flowers I saw in Inner Mongolia, China.

To me, they appear to be Intricate!



Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale (Sand Carving, Inner Mongolia)

<This post contains 3 photos> Here are three photos taken at the Resonant Sand Desert in Inner Mongolia.DSCF2269 These are enormous sand carvings of Mongolian figures.DSCF2270A In two of the photos, you will see visitors on the side, giving you a sense of the scale.DSCF2271A It is not uncommon to see sand carvings on beaches, but to see them in desert is my first time. Please enjoy ūüôā

Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale (Inner Mongolia)

From the size of the three visitors in the image, you will appreciate the scale of the sand dunes in Inner Mongolia, as well as the scale of the clouds formation.DSCF2285

The picture looks a bit surreal with the clouds, the sand dunes, the visitors,  the Mongolian yurts and the color umbrellas.




Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow (in the Desert)

Believe me, this is not a made up or composite photo.

We were travelling in Inner Mongolia; in the Resonant Sand Desert.DSCF2246

I love the clouds, the sand dunes and more than anything else, the yellow umbrella that appeared so inviting under the hot desert sun.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes (2)

I know showing three images of Trakai Castle for this week’s challenge Threes is not enough, so here is another one:

We waited in the steppes of Inner Mongolia, China.

The scene was unmistakably Inner Mongolia – we have a line of yurts, some horsemen, a couple of horses and also a couple of motorcycles.DSCF2192

The modern age nomads seem to have taken a liking to motor cycles than horses.

We were waiting for the arrival of the wrestlers who would give us a brief performance of wrestling.

Several wrestlers came on to the scene and two of them started wrestling.DSCF2195

While this was a show, they were quite serious about it too.

At first, it was quite difficult to figure out who was going to win the match.DSCF2196

After several minutes of wrestling, we realize the big fellow was winning.

The performance came to an end with the thinner wrestler thrown onto the ground.

What a match!

The Flowers, Stream and Animals Outside My Mongolian Yurt

Woke up early with the anticipation of seeing the sunrise.

There was no sunrise, so slipped out of the yurt for an early morning walk.DSCF2222

I was delighted by the flowers just outside the yurt. Not sure what those flowers were but they look photogenic.DSCF2225

Further along, there are also some white flowers and plant which captured my eye.DSCF2213

Wandering further out to the steppes, I was surprised to see a stream babbling along at this time of the year – everything looks so tranquil.DSCF2207

Then some camels came along. I guess we were doing the same thing – having an early morning walk.DSCF2210

I walked quietly towards them and took some photos.DSCF2216

Then came the Mongolian horses. . . . . . . . . .  and more horses.DSCF2217

By now, the stream seem to be getting busier.

I knew I had a perfect morning and I should be on my way back to the yurt and have a hearty breakfast!

Inner Mongolia and ShanXi- Steppes, Desert, Grottoes and Hanging Temple

On China’s northern edge there is a territory that combines the wonder of the desert and the beauty of the grasslands for an experience that will take your breath away; this autonomous region is known as Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolia’s vastness maintains a feeling of timeless tranquility unlike anywhere experienced in China.

As a city boy, I have never visited any grassland or desert; have seen some small grottoes but never visited any major one or any temple like the Hanging Temple. June and July are the best time visiting  the steppes of Inner Mongolia when the grass is green; but it may be too hot in the desert.  As a compromise, we started our trip end August 2012 and found ourselves in the grassland in the early part of September.

I was always fascinated with the story of Genghis Khan; how, in 25 years, he had conquered an area even larger than the Romans were able to conquer in 400 years. This is the land where he once roamed and lived. He was good in strategies, did not have a hugh army (maybe only around 100,000 soldiers) but his speed of moving his army around in Mongul horses, his tatics and his well planned sieges allowed him to conquer a large part of Asia and even part of Europe.

In our last trip, we were able to fulfill our dreams by combining all these into one trip which included:

Horse riding in the steppes in Gegent Tala of Inner Mongolia.

Camel riding in the Resonant Sand Desert near Baotao.

Wandering aimlessly in the desert.

Sleeping in a Mongolia yurt.

Visiting the Masouleum of Genghis Khan.

On our way back from Inner Mongolia, we also stopped by the Yungang Grottoes.

Travelling further along, we were awed by the Hanging Temple in Da Tong, Shanxi which is south of the Great Wall of China.

Our trip started with first flying to Beijing where we changed plane to Hohhot of Inner Mongolia. Using Hohhot as a base, we visited the Steppes in Gegent Tala, the Resonant Sand desert near Baotao. From there we travelled 8 hours on a coach to DaTong, Shanxi where we had a good look of the Yungang Grottoes and the Hanging Temple which was part of the Hen Mountains in China. From Da Tong, we flew to Beijing to complete our journey.

We learned more about Genghis Kahn and started digging deeper into his history and as to where his burial place is (still unknown and being investigated by National Geographic and other bodies).

It was indeed an eye opening journey. We were totally impressed by what we saw .

Colorful Umbrellas in the Desert

The line of white umbrellas leading to the sand carvings in the Resonant Sand Desert, Inner Mongolia in my previous post is surreal.

There were also some colored ones, located here and there in the desert.

I suppose they are more of an artistic installation.DSCF2247

A blue one standing on the top of a sand dune.DSCF2246

A yellow one almost lost among the similar color sand dune.

Sometimes, you can find them in pairs.CIMG2085

A red one together with a yellow one. Here, you can also find a few tourists wandering around in the desert. This give you some idea as to the scale of the thing.CIMG2072

In the last image, there is a line of umbrellas of different colors.

The color of the sand can become quite mundane, but I like the clouds as well as the colors of the umbrellas!