This evening I’m going to get on an overnight bus and cross into China. This is likely to be the last post, and probably the last of any communication from me, until I get back on either Saturday 6th October by plane, or Wednesday 10th October by bus.

The bus will be delayed at the border all through the first week of October, but it is very cheap. On the other hand there are flights every day, but flying is more expensive. Last night, Lyndon said that a return flight bought several weeks in advance might have been cheaper. We missed that opportunity and have already bought bus tickets.

I’ve heard that the Chinese borders are getting tighter and restrictions on foreigners in the country getting stricter. This can probably be explained by some recent international incidents. The Islamist movement in Xinjiang has caused China much trouble in the past, so I can understand the government getting tetchy when global religious turmoil is at a peak.

I had to acquire my visa ‘informally’ from consular staff after waiting in a queue for hours on end to get into the consulate building.

I’ve made small attempts to get access to the Chinese Communist Party, just to observe their activities and learn from them. The Young Communist League haven’t given me any documentation, so this this isn’t a ‘political’ visit, I’m just an average tourist.

We all know Urumqi isn’t exactly a tourist destination; it’s currently one of the most polluted cities in the world, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it.