Cycling The Silk Road In China – The Stunning Maijishan Cliff Carved Grottos

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If I can give you one good advice, while traveling in rural China, it will be: “Do NOT stick to your plan…”

Instead, make sure to visit amazing places, even if they are not on your planned route.

This morning, my husband told me that from looking at the map, we are not very far from some Buddhist cliff grottos, with many hundreds of caves, filled with ancient sculptures, many dating to the third century AD.

I said: “Sure why not!”

Our guide Jason, took the change of plans with a good spirit.
Today was just a cycling day… With not much sight seeing….
But I am still feeling achy and sick… And I could really use a rest day…

We drove five hours out of our way.
The minute we left the expressway, we knew we’ve made the right choice.
The narrow mountain road meandered along the river, and through the green hills.

We saw farm animals, birds, and wild flowers.
The air got cleaner and my eyes drunk the natural beauty of this place, like a thirsty man…

A small sign guided us to a mountain hot springs resort.
We took the detour to investigate…

It had the feeling and austerities of a remote hospital… But without the sick and sad people….
The people seemed very happy… But I could not convince myself to stay there.
It was just not the kind of place you wanted to put on a bathing suite and splash in the water….

The hot springs were not very hot, and it was routed indoors, into an ugly tiled old room.

Further up the road, we reached the cliff carved with hundreds of picturesque grottos.
Each cave filled with sculptures and paintings.
What a magical place it was….

Maijishan is a sight to behold….
You climb up narrow steps to see each grotto, and the views of the surrounding mountains and hills was purely breathtaking…
I could go on and on about how beautiful the carved caves were……and how they were decorated with Indian influenced images and motifs… But tonight we are staying in a deluxe suite in a luxury hotel in Tianshui…

I took a rainforest hot shower and I am in bed with a fluffy robe… So it is time to say nighty night….

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