Date: 27 May 1999; 10.20am
Camera: (analogue) Canon 500N with negatives and scanned
UNESCO just added 19 new sites to its Heritage list. Among the new additions is Tianshan Xinjiang, the Tianshan mountain system in Xinjiang. This is a uniquely beautiful and till now, fairly unspoilt area of China. In fact, one would not imagined oneself to be in China here, considering the pollution and destruction that is prevalent in the rest of China. This area is the home of the Uighurs, Mongolians and a host of other ethnic minorities of Central Asia. The beauty, especially the snow-covered mountain ranges is indescribable. Getting around these places is not that convenient but is well-worth the effort. Unfortunately these days accessibility is not as open as it used to. The Chinese authorities had bar access to some of these places citing security concerns. For example, Bayanbulak, a fabulously beautiful high altitude meadows grassland ringed by snow-capped mountains can now only be visited by foreigners who have a special pass. I hope that as a result of its listing as a UNESCO Heritage Site would prompt the authorities to ease up on its travel control.