Below is a blog written by WildChina Explorer Grant Applicant Sara Naumann about her idea for exploring China. If you think her idea is cool show your support on our Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook pages.
Following Stein to Hotan
My proposal for the 2013 WildChina Explorer Grant takes me on the road to Hotan, and the ancient stupa of Rawak, the location of one of Sir Aurel Stein’s first excavations in Western China in the early twentieth century. I am fascinated by Stein’s explorations – it was he and his team who “discovered” the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang, and were the first to take ancient documents from their centuries-old hiding place in the Library Cave there.
After visiting Dunhuang last spring, I found myself wanting to see the other sites Stein visited and excavated. I am a travel writer so I am interested in the way ancient destinations are preserved and visited today. While still not on the main tourist path in China, Dunhuang sees many visitors from both China and abroad. I am interested to see if other places Stein explored could have an equal draw now or in the future.
There are questions about the past I’d like to answer such as what drew Stein to Hotan in the first place as well as exploring more about Hotan’s ancient past compares to its present. Are there visible vestiges of Hotan’s ancient past that can be seen today? Where does Hotan fit in on a trip to China, to the Silk Road?
Please take a moment to view, like and comment on my video. Read more about my travels in China here or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
To find out more about our WildChina Explorer Grant check out the contest’s official page on our website.
Photos by Sara Naumann