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temppeternh Jan 9th, 2021 07:48 AM

A Marco Polo Moment
More travel nostalgia (in lieu of anything else going on): An account of a rough trip around the south side of Xinjiang's Taklamakan Desert in the mid-1990s, trying to find a route up to Dunhuang that avoided the nuclear testing zone of Lop Nor, and encountering a town called Asbestos Deposit on the Xinjiang–Qinghai border.

A Marco Polo Moment

thursdaysd Jan 9th, 2021 12:10 PM

Fascinating. And enterprising! Thanks for the post.

I crossed the Taklamaklan in 2001, but it was with an Intrepid tour group, not on my own. We went north from Dunhuang to Turfan, where we switched from public transport to our own small coach. After staying in yurts by the Tian Chi, we headed back south to Korla and then crossed the desert to Minfeng. About half way from Minfeng to Khotan the road was washed out and we had a wait of several hours before our bus was towed across. From Kashgar we went on into Pakistan, arriving just after 9-11, but that's another story. We actually had a little rain crossing the desert, but it evaporated before doing the ground any good.

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