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Inspired by Travel: The Timeless Landscapes of Western China

Posted on by Shuangshuang Wu

Long fascinated by the sacred landscape in western China, I went with two friends to Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan province after college graduation in 2009.  For about three weeks, we traveled through several Tibetan autonomous regions in the three provinces. Growing up on the east coast of China, the landscape in the west astonished us with its diverse geography and climate, and different culture and ways of living.


Map of regions we visited


This series of photos depicts remote and untouched nature under a vast western sky. Compared to the radical urbanism in the east, the landscape in the west remains peaceful and sacred.

Landscape is about time.  Several of these photographs are of the same subject, but the change in time altered the appearance and feel of the landscape.  It’s that constant sense of change in time that makes landscape so appealing to me. It illuminates the beauty of Mother Nature that is beyond any human imagination.


The morning at Qinghai Lake, Qinghai, Ele. +3300km We camped aside Qinghai Lake, and got up early in the morning. We didn’t see the sunrise, but encountered the incredible blue.


Chaka Salt Lake, Qinghai Ele. +3200 km


On the way to Mt. NianBaoyuZe, Qinghai Ele. +4000 km


Passed through The Aemye Ma-chhen Range, Qinghai Ele. Above +4000 km The Aemye Ma-chhen Range is one of the highest snow mountains in China. Above the snow line, there aren’t any plants growing.



Gyaring Lake and Ngoring Lake, Qinghai Ele. +4300 km
Gyaring Lake and Ngoring Lake, Qinghai Ele. +4300 km Gyaring Lake and Ngoring Lake are two largest lakes in the yellow river catchment. Gyaring Lake means “Long Blue Lake” and Ngoring Lake means “Long Grey Lake” in the Tibetan Language.Mt. NianBaoyuZe, Qinghai, Ele. +5000 kmMt. NianBaoyuZe, Qinghai, Ele. +5000 km


Langmusi, Sichuan, Ele. +3700 km
Langmusi is one of my favorite stops during the entire trip. Langmusi is a small religious town at the convergence of Gansu, Sichuan and Qinghai Province. Pictures show the rocky mountain adjacent to the town.


Aba, Sichuan, Ele. +4000 km



The route we traveled




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