My mom brought a big box of disposable surgical masks with her on this trip. I thought that was so uncool and misinformed since SARS is no longer an immediate threat. Once again, her omniscience trumped my ignorance.
The only way to reach the ancient ruins of Gaochang is by donkey cart. Eight people per cart, following dozens of other donkey carts on the same path. That’s a lot of donkeys, and a lot of dust. Mom’s masks came in handy.
The city of Gaochang was built in the 1st century BC. A key stop along the Silk Road, the remains of Buddhist temples, monks’ quarters and an imperial palace can still be seen here.
The city walls are still standing and only a few of the structures but judging from what’s left, it was a pretty swinging place. Lots of big mud walls.
Gaochang was burnt down around the 14th century and abandoned. Left to the donkeys.