elainetuo elainetuo

357 posts   248 followers   318 followings

Elaine Tuo 

While it wasn't why I came to Astana, I was so pumped to go to the Expo 2017 today. I ended up visited 64 countries' pavilions, what a day!

This year's theme is something I am very passionate about. From working on clients in the tradition energy space at the beginning of my career, to helping European PE looking into investment opportunities in solar power panel producer in the MENA region 5 years ago, to advising the big Chinese buyers with their acquisitions of offshore wind farm and other alternative energy projects in the past couple of years, I've gained appreciation for getting access to sustainable energy source to reduce CO2 emissions. We only have one 🌎, let's take care of our planet. #astana #astanaexpo2017 #expo #kazakhstan #futureenergy #expo2017 #renewableenergy #planet

Astana started to catch my attention 5 years ago because of pro-cycling - big money was invested by a coalition of state owned enterprises to increase the profile and make the team one of the best in the world. Back then, I couldn't really locate the city on the map without the help of Google.
As my plane landed in the city yesterday, I realized none of my knowledge of the place from before, nor anything I've seen during my CIS trip so far have prepared me for Astana.

Astana, the brainchild of the president-for-life Nazarbayev, was a young city built pretty much from scratch when the country decided to move the capital from Almaty. You don't see the typical former Soviet Union monuments and architectures like in other CIS cities. It almost reminded me of Dubai or even Las Vegas.

It might not be fair to call Kazakhstan the nouveau riche of Central Asia, but you can certainly see the country's ambition in this young city. Where did the oil money go? Look around, at all the glitz and glamour, and you will understand.

#astana #kazakhstan #building #architecture #placeofpeaceandreconciliation #bayterek #khanshatyr #centralasia #tower #astanaexpo2017

I was wandering the street of Bishkek aimless when I saw a Kotatepe look-alike in distance (Kotatepe is the big mosque in Ankara). I walked close to it, around the temporary fence, and found the entrance of a construction site. The gentleman guarding the door doesn't seem to speak English. I was disappointed when he signaled that the mosque isn't open for public and was about the leave. That is when he asked "tourist? From?" "Tourist. From China!" "China! Ah!" He suddenly got excited, waved to ask me to follow him. I did, and when we reached a temporary office tent, a young man emerged. And he speaks English! So the only person who speaks English on site and the old guard became my private tour guide of the mosque. Turned out it was built by a Turkish foundation based on Kotatepe and it is the biggest mosque in all over Central Asia. The construction was completed less than a month ago and is expected to be open to public later this year. As luck would have it, I became the very first visitor of the big mosque. What an honor! #bishkek #krygyzstan #centralasia #mosque #travelphotography

Serene and solemn, untouched and holy, this is Taxkorgan, a town situated high in the Pamir plateau along the border crossing between China and Pakistan. What used to be traveled by a few brace Silk Road merchants thousands of years ago is now populated primarily by 40,000 Tajik ethnic people. (These are mountain Tajiks, different from those living in Tajikistan). At the magical sunset hour, I crossed the marsh land on foot to visit a few Tajik families. #taxkorgan #xinjiang #tajik #china #mountain #stonecity #thekiterunner #wetland #marshland #grass #nomad #gurt #travelphotography #pamir #pamirateau #silkroad

Taking the Chinese section of the KKH to Taxgorgan. #kkh #karakorum #kashgar #taxgorgan #xinjiang #china #highway #pamir #plateau #travelphotography #mountain

Kashgar, the westmost major city; a place that can make you forget that you are in China. #Kashgar #uyghur #xinjiang #china #travelphotography #street #oldtown #children #summer

Kashgar, the westmost major city; a place that can make you forget that you are in China. #Kashgar #uyghur #xinjiang #china #travelphotography #street #oldtown #teahouse #children

One sleep on the old-style train, we woke up in the "city of fire", Turpan, Xinjiang, the hottest city in China. "Mr. Li" our diver picked us up from the train station and told us that we picked a good day to visit Turpan. " Today's daily high is only 45C." 😅 we asked him to take us to Flaming mountain first thing before it gets too hot. By the time we left the place at 11am, the ground temperature has surpassed 70C (Celsius). The afternoon was spent in the oasis of Grape Valley, where it was noticeably cooler than anywhere else in the city. #xinjiang #turpan #flamingmountain #mountain #hot #earth #china #travelphotography #uyghur #grapevalley

One sleep on the old-style train, we woke up in the "city of fire", Turpan, Xinjiang, the hottest city in China. "Mr. Li" our diver picked us up from the train station and told us that we picked a good day to visit Turpan. " Today's daily high is only 45C." 😅 we asked him to take us to Flaming mountain first thing before it gets too hot. By the time we left the place at 11am, the ground temperature has surpassed 70C (Celsius). The afternoon was spent in the oasis of Grape Valley, where it was noticeably cooler than anywhere else in the city. #xinjiang #turpan #flamingmountain #mountain #hot #earth #china #travelphotography #uyghur

The Lonely Planet best travel destination list 2017 came out when I was traveling in the Gansu province of PR China. Gansu topped the list! In addition to Dunhuang, Zhangye Danxia, hanging great wall that I post about over the past week, Gansu has many other extraordinary natural and man-made wonders that earned itself the top spot. Qilian mountain range is one of them. #mountain #qilian #gansu #qinghai #rapeseedfield #china #bluesky #travelphotography #trekking #lonelyplant #asia #besttraveldestination2017

Most Popular Instagram Hashtags