The Wild West/西大荒

If China’s East Coast and China’s West were brothers, then the East Coast is the one who got a desk job and goes out when convenient, and the West is the unpredictable rolling stone who has hit the road for so long, the dust on his clothes is permanent. Oh, yes. China has a Wild West. It’s huge, it’s gorgeous, and it’s where you’ll easily get lost in all the best ways. No, you won’t find cowboys there. But, you WILL find wide open spaces and sprawling natural scenery. Whenever I find out that someone has a longer trip in mind, I tell them to head west.

What is it about this Wild West? Well, for starters, there are mountains. And I’m not talking about the hills people call mountains in Hangzhou, I mean snow-capped beauties that will take your breath away. There are forests. There are vast open spaces that, after being in huge, cramped Chinese cities will make you almost feel naked. There are huge numbers of non-Han Chinese people that change the way you picture China. It’s huge. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s wild.

中国的西大荒
如果中国的东边和西边是兄弟,那东边就是那位得到了办公室工作、偶尔出去的兄弟,而西边则就是那位不可预知、不定居、到处旅的兄弟。没错,中国就是有一个西大荒。是巨大而灿烂的。在那儿你会很享受迷路。在那儿,你当然不会找到牛仔。但是,你肯定会发现那儿有极大空地和蔓生的自然风景。每次我发现有人想在中国长途旅行,我一定会建议他们往西走。

那西大荒到底怎么样?首先,有山。我并不说杭州所谓“山”的山坡,我是说让你大吃一惊的雪山。有森林。有让你在熙熙攘攘的大城市以后感到孤独、巨大空地。也有很多少数民族会让你对中国完全改变印象。是很大,但不适合胆小的朋友们。