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Khotan to Kashgar -- Overland

Having met, it seemed, every craftsperson in Khotan during our five-day visit, it was time to head overland to Kashgar, China’s westernmost city on the border of Kazakhstan and Pakistan. There are no flights between the two cities. Instead, we arranged a private mini-bus and driver for the 12-hour journey through the desert.

The official photographer was having a low-energy day, so we have few photos of the journey, which the girls found – against all odds – to be both fun and interesting, and they remember it as a high point of our trip! I’m not sure why, since most of it looked like this:

And most of the time, we looked like this...
Every few hours, the girls took breaks from listening to the “Hairspray” and “Lion King” soundtracks on the Ipod to point out oases and small village settlements, at first hours apart but most frequent as we got closer to Kashgar (about hour seven). The final few hours found us back in farm country, where we could see whole villages turned out to pick cotton.

After watching hours of traditional desert lifestyle unfold past our windows, it was a real shock to pull into a fancy Sinopec gas station just outside Kashgar. Tom was a little too interested in the bevy of lovely xiao jies (young ladies) in spiffy red uniforms who swarmed our vehicle to gas it up, wipe the windows, etc.

“No wonder drivers like to stop here!” he said admiringly, snapping away.

It was a real contrast to the ladies of Khotan we had just left behind:

Finally, we arrived in Kashgar -- the crossroads of Asia!

Xinjiang chapter shortcuts: Intro Urumqi
Khotan Treasures Toy Bazaar Camel Weaving Shakeer Hats Food Costume Bowls Camel Ride
Overland Kashgar Old City Bazaar Kindergarten Rural Life Reunion

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