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Hohhot, Inner Mongolia’s 'blue Sky City'

By Bruce Connolly | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-09-13 08:45
Village children 2000  [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

It would have been easy to fly north in under one hour from Beijing to Hohhot. That I did in 2000 with a geographical tour group from Scotland. In 1997, however, I opted for the railway, partly because at that time, the train passed the Great Wall while climbing over the Badaling Pass. Throughout that night I kept looking out - there were few towns, little industry but a clear sky revealing starry "milky ways". As soft dawn broke over the land, jagged mountains appeared to the north while alongside the tracks, the terrain looked dry except where irrigation facilitated some cultivation. From the scattered, compact, adobe brick villages, smoke drifted up from houses within walled compounds. A few cattle and horses were penned in nearby. Dogs barked at the train.

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