My wife and I visited the Xinjiang Province of China in early May 2005. Though at that point she had lived her entire life in Kazakhstan and I had lived and traveled throughout Asia for three years, we both found Xinjiang the most exotic Central Asian region either of us had experienced.
We began our trip in Urumqi, the provincial capital and only city in the region open to flights from Kazakhstan. We then spent several days in romantic Kashgar, camped at Kara Kul (Black Lake) high in the Pamirs, and wandered the back streets of Yarkand. Our last stop before returning to Urumqi via Kashgar was the Taklamakan (Go-in-and-you-won’t-come-out) Desert. Naturally, we couldn’t resist going in, though not so far as to become lost in its vast sands.
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