Day 68: Yushu (玉树) – August 25

Waking up to the sound of construction vehicles rumbling past the road, we decided to shift our stay to another place with running water and hot showers, since it’s been 3 hot days since we’ve showered. After walking about 2km in dust (because the air-to-dust ratio was probably less than 1.0), checking out 4 different ‘hotels’ and riding 2 different cars, we finally settled on a “Officially Appointed Government -sanctioned Hotel” (which was a glorified set of portables), with a public shower hall guests can use for free, once. Running water, electricity generator and very expensive would be how I’d sum this ‘hotel’ up.

While walking around Yushu, we were quite shocked at the conditions these people were living in. Not the fact that they were living in tent slums with garbage everywhere, but the fact that they were living in tent slums with garbage everywhere while there were about 10 or so massive buildings on the main street that looked like government buildings!! Continuing our experience from other cities, no matter how small the town, the government always seems to enjoy building ridiculously nice offices for themselves. Seriously, we were both quite shocked at this…
That was, until we got close to the buildings and quickly realized our naïve mistake. What looked like government buildings were actually schools, orphanages and hospitals! ALL the new buildings in the city were one of the three! And new apartments are being closed to finishing, so life goes on but things will definitely get better.

In the afternoon, we took a trip to some local sights around Yushu, a small temple (文成公主庙) and scripture engraved in rocks inside a river and off the side of a cliff. The temple was uninteresting, but most likely because we’ve seen an overload of temples of any sorts. The scripture rocks were still amazing as a technical feat and just aesthetically, it’s pretty amazing!

Unfortunately, the most interesting part of Yushu would’ve been the cordyceps and mastiff market, unfortunately they haven’t been as centralized ever since the earthquake, so we left the city with a bit of hope of what things would b like in the future….

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