By Dominic Ziegler
Black Dragon River is a private trip down considered one of Asia’s nice rivers that unearths the region’s crucial historical past and tradition. The world’s 9th greatest river, the Amur serves as a wide a part of the border among Russia and China. As a crossroads for the nice empires of Asia, this sector bargains journalist Dominic Ziegler a lens with which to check the societies at Europe’s purely borderland with east Asia. He follows a trip from the river’s most sensible to backside, and weaves the background, ecology and peoples to teach a sector captivated with the past—and to teach how this sector holds a key to the complicated and significant courting among Russia and China today.
One of Asia’s mightiest rivers, the Amur is usually the main elusive. The terrain it crosses is legendarily tough to traverse. close to the river’s resource, Ziegler travels on horseback from the Mongolian steppe into the taiga, and later he's pressured through the river’s impassability to take the Trans-Siberian Railway...
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Additional info for Black Dragon River: A Journey Down the Amur River at the Borderlands of Empires
Hence it matters where the Amur’s source lies. It is why it disturbs Russians when the Chinese say that the Songhua, rising in the Changbai mountains, is the Amur’s proper source—that the Songhua, indeed, is the great and essential stream, and that the Amur is its mere tributary. Not long ago, Chinese and Russian geographers decided the matter of the Amur simply had to be resolved. Not just truth was at stake, but dignity and perhaps even national destiny. Satellite maps were printed, to expansive scales.
For the Amur’s source, that is, the one most distant from the river’s mouth and the ocean beyond it, lay in neither one country nor the other. The Amur tributary farthest from the sea was the Onon River. And for that half of the year in which all the streams of Siberia are not hard-frozen, the Onon’s headwaters bubble from the side of a mountain not in China or in Russia, but in a wild part of northern Mongolia. I resolved to see the Onon’s source, source of the Amur, the Amoor, the Black Dragon River, L’Amour, one the world’s great rivers, siren stream to dreamers.
It required careful planning. Leaving the flocks in charge of the women and children, the clansmen crossed the Khentii range and launched their ambush while Temujin and his family were camped in this same broad valley near the Kherlen’s headwaters through which we are riding now, the valley that leads to Burkhan Khaldun. An old serving woman was the first to wake at the sound of hoofbeats and raised the alarm. Hoelun grabbed her granddaughter and galloped up the valley and crept into the thickly forested flanks of Burkhan Khaldun, sacred even then to all Mongols.