Introducing Southern Silk Road
The Silk Road east of Kashgar splits into two threads in the face of the huge Taklamakan Desert. The northern thread follows the course of the modern road and railway to Kuqa and Turpan. The southern road charts a more remote course between desert sands and the huge Pamir and Kunlun ranges. The ancient route is marked by a ring of abandoned cities deserted by retreating rivers and encroaching sands. Some cities, like Niya, Miran and Yotkan, remain covered by sand; others, like Yarkand and Hotan, remain important Uighur centres.
While there are no spectacular sights, the journey takes you about as far into Uighur heartland as you can get. It’s possible to visit the southern towns as a multiday trip from Kashgar before crossing the Taklamakan Desert to Ürümqi, or as part of a rugged backdoor route into Tibet or Qīnghǎi.
The Silk Road of China
Geographically and culturally, Northwest China is about as far away from “traditional China” as you can get without crossing the border. The source of the Silk Road—the ancient trade route that helped create the modern world—is unlike anything you’ll find in Beijing or Xi'an, and this 17-day adventure takes you deep into the China few ever see.
Yunnan Cycle and Tiger Leaping Gorge
An in-depth exploration of Yunnan's stunning natural beauty by bike plus a breathtaking hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge