Art by jiashu xu ©

THEY followed a canal filled with luminescent water that wound its way through the city like a neon boulevard. The Tibetan influence on the city’s architecture could be seen in the pagoda roofs and frequent windows of the tall whitewashed buildings. Vivid splashes of paint in red, blue, and green were still evident on their rafters and doors. The city spread across the subterranean floor in a series of geometric patterns that formed a Buddhist , with every building turned inward to face a dark tower that rose high above the city’s center.