Desert and water II, Bulunkou River at Karakorum Highway (Xinjiang, China); Shutterstock ID 1216824001; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

Shutterstock / Chris Redan

Bulunkou Lake


This absolute wonder of nature is the first of the big plate-glass lakes you meet as you head up to Tashkurgan on the Karakoram Hwy. Backed by sublime sand mountains and often without a single ripple in its waters, it's an astonishing sight on a calm day, when the landscape is perfectly mirrored in the lake. It's currently totally deserted, though it looked like some form of construction was beginning when we were there, suggesting that mass tourism can't be far away.