Somewhere I read that the best travel seems to exist outside of time.
This last China Wine trip was like that. It's as if the month of travel was not deducted from my time on earth.
(Above) Way out in the remote western Xinjiang province, this is the Cossack ethnic neighborhood of Wulumuqi (Urumqi), the Province's capitol city. The whole town had the non-sleep energy of Las Vegas, but times 10. Time, however, can throw a tired traveler. Since the central government declares that all of China is to be on the same Beijing time, and Xinjiang is about 4 time zones to the West, dinner and night life don't begin here until about 10:00PM (Beijing time). Like Vegas, a peek at Google Earth reveals that the town sits like an oasis surrounded by huge sand dunes.
(Below) Out on the main street of Fukang, Xinjiang, we chose our food from the table and watched the husband and wife chefs cook it. Never heard of Fukang? Well, a 1003 kg meteorite crashed near here in 2000, it's a booming oil town sitting near what is reported to be more black gold reserves than the entire United States. And, for me, a branch of Citic Winery (formerly Suntime) has a massive wine factory and huge vineyards–like green islands in the sandy desert–on the outskirts of town.