Episode 99: Traveling Xinjiang, China with Josh Summers

China has the world’s largest population, is the fourth largest in terms of physical size, and as a result has an incredibly wide variety of environments to explore. On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we’ll dive into traveling China, a country we haven’t covered very much on our podcast, focusing on the northwestern region of Xinjiang. An American living in the region, who has written a travel book and hosts a YouTube show about the area’s exotic offering, will give us a unique insider’s perspective and hopefully pique your interest about this relatively unexplored corner of the People’s Republic of China.

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You can sponsor anywhere from $1/month upwards. These funds will help us cover costs of keeping the show going. Visit PATREON TO DONATE TO THE SHOW or the link from the left-side of our website, or search Talk Travel Asia Patreon. Thanks in advance for supporting the cost and helping to keep the travel talk happening.

Listen to Episode 99: Traveling Xinjiang, China with Josh Summers

Biking Karakoram - Xinjiang China with Josh Summers (courtesy of Josh Summers)

Biking Karakoram – Xinjiang China (courtesy of Josh Summers)

Scott & Trevor chat about their China traveling experience:

Scott: I’ve been three times: the first time with APLP in Beijing and then a town about 4 hours north. The second was on the Trans Siberian train, crossing from Mongolia and onwards to Beijing. We then took a bullet train to the far south of the country and crossed into Hong Kong. The third time was also to Beijing with my job for our AGM and we also visited a remote area of the wall.

Trevor: I spent a month in China about 8 years ago and have been to Macau, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. I’m always surprised about how China is always different from my expectations. 

Josh Summers on Talk Travel Asia Podcast - travel to Xinjiang China

Josh Summers

Guest Intro: Josh Summers is an American, who first moved to China with his wife in 2006. By no strategic plan they ended up in the beautiful, remote, western region of Xinjiang which borders most of Central Asia. They fell in love with the region and started a life there. During that time Josh has written, photographed and filmed the region, worked for publications such as the BBC, Lonely Planet, DK and many others, as well as having published his own guide to the Xinjiang region and a China travel guide. He joins us by Skype from Dallas, Texas.

To listen to Josh answer the following questions,

Download episode 99 of Talk Travel Asia podcast on SoundCloud or iTunes Now!

  • Tell us a bit about your background and life in America before moving to China? 
  • What led you to chose to move to China?
  • How did you settle on Xinjiang?
  • Sorry about my lack of Chinese geography skills, but can you roughly tell people where this is and maybe what’s the climate like? Alpine? High desert? Big city? Huge city?
  • Tell us about the process of getting into documenting the region and your life there?
  • What’s so magical about Xinjiang?
  • What’s it like traveling through a region that is pretty heavily controlled and regulated?
  • How can western travelers visit the area?
  • What are the areas main sightseeing attractions?
Cooking in Xinjiang China Courtesy of Josh Summers

Cooking in Xinjiang China Courtesy of Josh Summers

  • If you had two-weeks, what would be an ideal travel experience there?
  • What’s one of your favorite things to do there?
  • How will Xinjiang (Shinjang) surprise people – what they’re expecting vs the reality of traveling there?
  • When I travelled to China the language barrier including no signage in English provided some challenges. Is it difficult for travelers to get there and get around?
  • How about some other attractions nearby that can be combined with a visit to Xinjiang?
  • What are a couple areas/things you have not yet done that you dream about?
  • Tell us about writing your travel books?
  • You have an interesting YouTube video channel. I watched a video about foods (stuffed sheep’s intestine), some porn carvings on cliff walls, traveling around. It looks pretty fun. What can viewers expect to learn from the channel?
  • Xinjiang has gotten a fair bit of negative press over the last couple years, is it somewhere that’s safe and a good travel option for western travelers?
  • What’s next for you and travel in the region?

Listen to Episode 99: Traveling Xinjiang, China with Josh Summers

IF YOU ENJOY LISTENING, PLEASE DONATE TO THE SHOW

You can sponsor anywhere from $1/month upwards. These funds will help us cover costs of keeping the show going. Visit PATREON TO DONATE TO THE SHOW or the link from the left-side of our website, or search Talk Travel Asia Patreon. Thanks in advance for supporting the cost and helping to keep the travel talk happening.

See a Photo Gallery from this episode.

Check out a Google Map of Xinjiang

Links about our guest:

Travel to Xinjiang China with tips from Josh Summers on Talk Travel Asia Podcast

Travel to Xinjiang China with tips from Josh Summers

To learn more about Scott & Trevor:

Talk Travel Asia is brought to you by Trevor Ranges and Scott Coates, every two weeks(ish) from wherever in the Asia they happen to be. Alternating episodes feature a guest or the two hosts, cultivating travel insight through intelligent conversation. If you enjoyed the show, please donate, even just a dollar a month: that’s only .50c per episode(ish). 

PLEASE DONATE TO THE SHOW – we appreciate your support to keep the podcast happening (thanks)!

 

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