A Family Expedition to the Desert

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The Taklamakan is a massive deserted plateau that stretches across Central Asia’s Tarim Basin, covering a big part of the Far-Western provinces of China. Bridging Europe and Asia, the Silk Road used to cut through this desolated yet beautiful land, which was consequently very important in bringing goods, people and culture together.

As the Silk Road faded away, so did the strategic relevance of the area and this desert was back to being a remote and desolated land very few people dared to dwell in. Nowadays, the region features few major highways that allow to cover its huge distances fairly comfortably. For this reason, those China’s provinces the Taklamakan stretches on, namely Xinjiang, Gansu and Qinghai, have recently benefited from domestic and international tourism, rediscovering the natural and historical intrinsic value of this land.

Although being part of China, Xinjiang is home to one of China’s greatest minorities: the Uygur. This is the reason traveling to this region can be so unique: politically part of China yet with different ethnical traits. Different physical features and a strong influence from other Central Asia’s countries in terms of customs, language, traditions and religion make Xinjiang and the Far-Western part of China in general one of the most interesting and unique regions in the world.