China Far West - Ancient Silk Road

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Map of Western China - Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regions

Map of Western China - Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regions

In the Kashgar market

In the Kashgar market

The Kashgar old tea house

The Kashgar old tea house

Tajik beauty

Tajik beauty

The Shiphton Arch

The Shiphton Arch

Tashkurgan old fort and the Pamir Mountains near the border of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan

Tashkurgan old fort and the Pamir Mountains near the border of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan

The Chinese Pamir

The Chinese Pamir

Mt. Kongur

Mt. Kongur

Mt. Kongur

Mt. Kongur

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

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The Emin Minaret or Emin Tower stands by the Uyghur mosque located in Turpan, Xingjiang, China. At 44 meters (144 ft) it is the tallest miaret in China

The Emin Minaret or Emin Tower stands by the Uyghur mosque located in Turpan, Xingjiang, China. At 44 meters (144 ft) it is the tallest miaret in China

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The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

Near Turpan

Near Turpan

The Taklamakan Desert has very little water, therefore it is hazardous to cross. Merchant caravans on the Silk Road would stop for relief at the thriving oasis towns.

The Taklamakan Desert has very little water, therefore it is hazardous to cross. Merchant caravans on the Silk Road would stop for relief at the thriving oasis towns.

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The Jiaohe Ruins, also known as Yar City near Turpan.

The Jiaohe Ruins, also known as Yar City near Turpan.

Goachang Ancient City

Goachang Ancient City

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Near Turpan, China.

Near Turpan, China.

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The Shakskam Valley

The Shakskam Valley

Mural in one of the Kizil Caves.

Mural in one of the Kizil Caves.

Inside one of the Kizil Caves. A central pillar design allows the pilgrims to circumambulate around a central column which is a representation of a stupa. Anti portrait Muslims had Buddhist portraits obliterated during the wars over hundreds of years in which Buddhism was replaced by Islam

Inside one of the Kizil Caves. A central pillar design allows the pilgrims to circumambulate around a central column which is a representation of a stupa. Anti portrait Muslims had Buddhist portraits obliterated during the wars over hundreds of years in which Buddhism was replaced by Islam

The Kizil Caves complex is the largest of the ancient Buddhist cave sites that are associated with the ancient Tocharian kingdom of Kucha.

The Kizil Caves complex is the largest of the ancient Buddhist cave sites that are associated with the ancient Tocharian kingdom of Kucha.

Kizil Caves complex

Kizil Caves complex

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The earliest caves are dated, based in part on radioactive carbon dating, to around the year 300.

The earliest caves are dated, based in part on radioactive carbon dating, to around the year 300.

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The caves were probably abandoned sometime around the beginning of the 8th century.

The caves were probably abandoned sometime around the beginning of the 8th century.

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In the market of Hotan

In the market of Hotan

The delicious bread at the Uyghur market in Hotan

The delicious bread at the Uyghur market in Hotan

Carpet shop in Hotan

Carpet shop in Hotan

Hot Sunday Market

Hot Sunday Market

Hotan Sunday Market

Hotan Sunday Market

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Different types of watermelon seeds

Different types of watermelon seeds

Hotan Sunday Market

Hotan Sunday Market

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Hotan Sunday Market

Hotan Sunday Market

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Turpan

Turpan

Inside the Emin mosque.

Inside the Emin mosque.

In the Provincial Museum in Urumqi

In the Provincial Museum in Urumqi

Tarim Basin mummies

Tarim Basin mummies

The incredible Tarim Basin mummies

The incredible Tarim Basin mummies

The Tarim mummies are a series of mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin in present-day Xingjiang, China, which date from 1800 BC. 'The Beauty of Loulan" - the oldest Tarim mummy.

The Tarim mummies are a series of mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin in present-day Xingjiang, China, which date from 1800 BC. 'The Beauty of Loulan" - the oldest Tarim mummy.

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Many of the mummies have been found in very good condition, owing to the dryness of the desert and the desiccation it produced in the corpses. The mummies share many typical Caucasian body features (elongated bodies, angular faces, recessed eyes), and many of them have their hair physically intact, ranging in color from blond to red to deep brown

Many of the mummies have been found in very good condition, owing to the dryness of the desert and the desiccation it produced in the corpses. The mummies share many typical Caucasian body features (elongated bodies, angular faces, recessed eyes), and many of them have their hair physically intact, ranging in color from blond to red to deep brown

The Emin mosque.

The Emin mosque.

The Jiaohe Ruins, also known as Yar City near Turpan. From 450 AD until 640 AD it became Jiao prefecture in the Tang Dynasty

The Jiaohe Ruins, also known as Yar City near Turpan. From 450 AD until 640 AD it became Jiao prefecture in the Tang Dynasty

The Jiaohe Ruins

The Jiaohe Ruins

The Jiaohe Ruins

The Jiaohe Ruins

The Jiaohe city Ruins

The Jiaohe city Ruins

The Jiaohe Ruins

The Jiaohe Ruins

Buddhist stupa at Jiaohe Ruins.

Buddhist stupa at Jiaohe Ruins.

The Jiaohe Ruins

The Jiaohe Ruins

Buddhist stupa at Jiaohe Ruins.

Buddhist stupa at Jiaohe Ruins.

Gaochang, also called Karakhoja, Qara-hoja, Kara-Khoja, or Karahoja, is the site of a ruined, ancient oasis city on the northern rim of the inhospitable Taklamakan Desert

Gaochang, also called Karakhoja, Qara-hoja, Kara-Khoja, or Karahoja, is the site of a ruined, ancient oasis city on the northern rim of the inhospitable Taklamakan Desert

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The Buddhist   stupa of Gaochang city ruins.

The Buddhist stupa of Gaochang city ruins.

Gaochang ancient city.

Gaochang ancient city.

Gaochang ancient city.

Gaochang ancient city.

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Gaochang ancient city.

Gaochang ancient city.

Gaochang city was built in the 1st century BC, it was an important site along the Silk Road. The old city defensive wall.

Gaochang city was built in the 1st century BC, it was an important site along the Silk Road. The old city defensive wall.

Gaochang ancient city.

Gaochang ancient city.

The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan.

The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan.

There are 77 rock-cut caves at the Bezeklik site. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch celings often divided into four sections, each with a mural of the Buddha. The effect is that the entire ceiling is covered with hundreds of Buddha murals.

There are 77 rock-cut caves at the Bezeklik site. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch celings often divided into four sections, each with a mural of the Buddha. The effect is that the entire ceiling is covered with hundreds of Buddha murals.

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Old ruins near the Bezeklik Cave complex.

Old ruins near the Bezeklik Cave complex.

The old caves near the Bezeklik Cave complex.

The old caves near the Bezeklik Cave complex.

in Turpan, Xinjiang

in Turpan, Xinjiang

In Turpan

In Turpan

Kucha

Kucha

Kucha

Kucha

The old and new Kucha.

The old and new Kucha.

Kucha

Kucha

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple is a ruined Buddhist temple near Kucha in the Taklamakan Desert, on the ancient Silk Road, in Xinjiang, China

The Subashi Temple is a ruined Buddhist temple near Kucha in the Taklamakan Desert, on the ancient Silk Road, in Xinjiang, China

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple. The "Witch of Subashi" is a famous archaeological artifact, the mummy of a woman with a huge pointed hat, thought to be a representative of early Caucasian populations who lived in the region around the beginning of our era.

The Subashi Temple. The "Witch of Subashi" is a famous archaeological artifact, the mummy of a woman with a huge pointed hat, thought to be a representative of early Caucasian populations who lived in the region around the beginning of our era.

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The Subashi Temple

The roads around Kucha

The roads around Kucha

The roads in western China

The roads in western China

Old Kucha

Old Kucha

Kucha Grand mosque is the third largest mosque in the region, was rebuilt in 1932 on the site of original 16th century mosque.

Kucha Grand mosque is the third largest mosque in the region, was rebuilt in 1932 on the site of original 16th century mosque.

The Grand Mosque of Kucha.

The Grand Mosque of Kucha.

The prayer hall of the Grand Mosque of Kucha.

The prayer hall of the Grand Mosque of Kucha.

Kucha, Xinjiang

Kucha, Xinjiang

Kucha, Xinjiang

Kucha, Xinjiang

The streets of Hotan

The streets of Hotan

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At a bakery in Hotan, Xinjiang

At a bakery in Hotan, Xinjiang

Taklamakan is one of the largest sandy deserts in the world, ranking 15th in size in a ranking of the world's largest non-polar deserts.

Taklamakan is one of the largest sandy deserts in the world, ranking 15th in size in a ranking of the world's largest non-polar deserts.

Taklamakan - means: once you get in, you never get out.

Taklamakan - means: once you get in, you never get out.

Taklamakan

Taklamakan

Taklamakan is the paradigm of a cold desert. Given its relative proximity with the cold to frigid air masses in Siberia, extreme lows are recorded in wintertime, sometimes well below -20 °C

Taklamakan is the paradigm of a cold desert. Given its relative proximity with the cold to frigid air masses in Siberia, extreme lows are recorded in wintertime, sometimes well below -20 °C

At the Hotan animal market. Hotan is is a major oasis town in southwestern Xinjiang. Hotan has always depended on two strong rivers - the Karakash River and the White Jade River to provide the water needed to survive on the southwestern edge of the Taklamakan Desert.

At the Hotan animal market. Hotan is is a major oasis town in southwestern Xinjiang. Hotan has always depended on two strong rivers - the Karakash River and the White Jade River to provide the water needed to survive on the southwestern edge of the Taklamakan Desert.

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Road near Kucha

Road near Kucha

Jade processing in Hotan - Hotan jade is famous all over China

Jade processing in Hotan - Hotan jade is famous all over China