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Our Xinjiang route

06-13-2011 15:33 BJT

Our journey through Xinjiang takes us along two different routes: north and south. In all, our circuit will take us on an ambitious trip around Xinjiang’s two natural drainage basins, tracing out a huge figure of 8 across the map of Xinjiang. And as it just so happens, 8 is a lucky number in Chinese…

The northern route

This is our "Gold Circuit": So-called because it takes us to the gold-producing Altai region, to Karamay with its wells of "black gold", and to the booming economic belt of northern Xinjiang.

Starting in Urumqi, we head east towards Jimsar County and then northwards to Fuyun County, arriving at Kanas Lake at Xinjiang's northernmost tip. From there, we head back via the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture and Karamay, stop off in Xinjiang's economic ‘Golden Triangle’, and pass the Tianshan Mountains to finish back in Urumqi.

The southern route

This is our "Jade Circuit". The famous 7th century monk Xuan Zang took this route on his pilgrimage to India, and it was here that the intrepid 20th century explorer Sven Hedin ignited the race for the lost desert cities of Xinjiang.

But it's also where, since the first days of the Silk Road, something has been produced that the Chinese believe symbolises the highest virtues and is therefore more valuable than gold; it is, of course, jade.

Departing from Urumqi, we travel south through the Bayanbulak grasslands. Via the southern rim of the Taklamakan Desert, our route winds through towns such as Hetian, Kashgar, Kuqa and Turpan, eventually reaching our penultimate stop, Hami. For the grand finale, we undertake a daring journey into the unforgiving desert, making our way to the legendary sand-buried ruins of Loulan.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: CNTV.CN

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