BISMI ILLAH HIR RAHMANNIR RAHIM .
HOW AMAZING IS CHINA AND ITS PEOPLE!
We chose to go with Mariah Mah for the third time to china (26 April-13 May 2009) and this time we decided to go on the classic ‘Silk Route’, because we have previously been on trips to China with her and we trust her tours. She tries very hard to meet our requirements and endeavours to accommodate our itinerary requests as much as possible.
We set off on this amazing trip that one always hears about being the Silk Route. We flew to Beijing, and then to Lanzhou where we stayed one night, and the next morning, in a group of eight, we flew to Urumchi, the capital city of Xinjiang Province. Here we were met by a guide who stayed with us from day one until the end. This city is quite fascinating, has many huge buildings, hotels and wide streets, and its inhabitants are the Uighur ethnic minority. One cannot imagine that this remote part of China could be so interesting .The Uighur are Muslims, who have their own language and culture, who are very friendly.
Xinjiang, although being a desert, has vast agriculture lands and green land and dry mountains. The streets are lined with rows of poplar trees that making it a beautiful scene.
The people live a very ordinary life doing their chores outside in the open, selling and buying and mingling with the community.
The food consist mainly of lamb kebab, soup, vegetables dumplings and rice for the rice lovers. The food is prepared in different varieties and taste…very tasty indeed. Restaurants cater for halal food almost everywhere.
From Urumchi, we drove to Turphan where we stopped for one night visiting a very old village. We saw the ruins of the Thousands Buddhas, an old Mosque around 1,000yrs old mud built and adobe bricks called the Emin minaret. Along the road you can see the green grape vines.
From Turphan we flew to Kashagar where we stayed for two nights. The market is vibrant and colourful. The locals sell their own produce of dry fruits, handcrafts, pashminas, carpets and many other items. We went on the Karakuram highway, a journey of about four hours through the dry mountains and some with snow peaks, rivers and lakes. Such a spectacular drive. We visited the Iddkah Mosque, Apak Hoja Mosque. Had lunch in the local restaurant sampling tasty noodles. We have no fear to travel with Mariah as she is honest, god fearing and puts her trust in Allah (swa) as one would say tawakal al allah and when something unexpected happens she will say Allah has already written for this to happen in Lauh al Mahfuz.
Mariah also makes sure that our food is to a good standard, she travels with plenty of nicknack and sometimes medicines which she shares with peoples. We are also accommodated with Salaat facilities.
From Urumqui the rest of the people each made their way back to other parts and then their final destination ‘home’, but we continued our journey with her to visit poor villages, Orphanage, madrassahs, Mosques and some families in their homes. This second part of our trip was mainly to see the poor Muslims and provide whatever help we could.
We proceeded to Lanzhou capital of Gansu province. From there we visited Yuquio village and Xiji village where our hosts Brother Musa and Brother Solaha took great care of us.
And then went on to visit the earthquake region in Sichuan Province. We drove right into the heart of the earthquake zone, visited some Muslim villages living on the mountain .From there we continued our trip to the capital city of Hohot in Inner Mongolia. Believe it or not the train journey was approximately 28 hours to our destination but Allah gave us sabr and we finally did it with a lot of encouragement from Mariah.
We were very touched by the host’s good generosity. They spent three consecutive days taking us around, visiting mosques, old folk home, museum and attended Muslim wedding banquet.
Those people we met were retired from work and earning a little pension or perhaps a basic wage, but they made sure we were well looked after and till the last moment at the airport to see us off safe. How warm hearted these people were, subhanallah. Sister Fatima teaches young children Islam every evening and holds a meeting in her house every Friday evening for young adults to share Islamic knowledge. I was very impressed with that. We have to learn a lesson of unity from them, this is what I call strong Imaan. May Allah swa guide them and reward them. The Muslims brothers and sisters are really… what I would call good Muslims. We would like to thank all friends and relatives who contributed towards this good deed, without your help and doa we would not have been able to do what we did. I would really recommend a trip to China.