Archive for the ‘Kashgar Travel’ Category

Taklamakan Desert: the Largest Desert in China

Friday, April 13th, 2012
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Plan your Xinjiang tour? One of the coldest regions in China is also one of the most sparsely populated areas as well. This region, however, has been a known place since ancient times. The travelers from far off countries traveled through the Taklamakan Desert: on the “Silk Route”.

Though today all those towns mentioned in the folklores are nothing but ruins, history has been found in the desert in the form of relics thousands of years old. It remains an extremely cold place to date, with extreme cold temperatures.

 The History of Takla Makan

Study abroad programsand gap year jobstake one to places around the world which are totally different from one’s own country. The learning that one gains from these travels can never be gained in the classroom. This is why almost all gap year programsinvolve a comprehensive itinerary which exhibits the natural treasures of a nation. 

Chinese language programsare no different. When one travels to China, there are many places one can visit. There are all sorts of places in China. There are places which have a warm tropical kind of climate like those in the three river delta region. Then there are mountainous regions like in the Tibet autonomous region.

 There are also places like the Yunnan Province which has a mild comfortable climate throughout the year and Yunnan also houses fifty one out of the fifty-two ethnic minorities of the country.

 Similarly, there is also an extreme place in the country which is largely unpopulated and is still one of the most difficult places to live. This is the Takla Makan Desert which is the biggest desert in the country. 

The name itself is an enigma. It can mean a lot things including “the desert of death”, “the place of ruins” etc. In the Uigur language, Taklamakan means “You can get in but you cannot come out.” This is a cold desert that takes the brunt of the Siberian winds and has temperatures dipping to as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit during winters.

 This desert however lies on the “Silk Route” of ancient times. There are ruins of many old towns which used to thrive during those times. Those who would be learning Chinesein the country would also come to know about some big treasures that have been found in the desert. Also, there have been tombs which revealed mummies as old as 4000 years.

Taklamakan Desert is located in the center of Tarim Basin, in the south of Xinjiang Province.

Taklamakan Desert is located in the center of Tarim Basin, in the south of Xinjiang Province

Taklamakan Desert is 337600 square km ( 1000km long from east to west and 400km wide from north to south),  the largest in China and second largest desert in the world.  In addition, it is the largest mobile desert in the world. 

Taklamakan Desert is the largest in China

A convoy of camels  on the Taklamakan Desert.

A convoy of camels moving on Taklamakan Desert

Trekking in Taklamakan Desert

trekking in Taklamakan Desert


Brave and strong trekkers trudging through the Taklimakan desert 

Brave and strong trekkers trudging through the Taklimakan desert

There is an interesting story about the origin of the desert. According to Chinese folklore, there was a supernatural being a very long time ago who decided to offer help to people living in this area who were suffering considerably. He had a golden axe and a golden key, both of which were magical. He gave the golden axe to the Kazakah who split the Altai Mountain and directed water to their fields.

The golden key was given to the Uigur so that they could reap the benefits of the Tarim Basin. But the youngest daughter of the chieftain lost the key. This made this ‘being’ so angry that he imprisoned her in the Tarim Basin region without allowing the Uigur to benefit from it. Over a period of time, the region became barren and the Takla Makan desert was formed.

 Today, all those who are in the country for gap year jobscan take time out and go for desert treks in the region.

Further Readings

Top 10 Places in Xinjiang.
See Autumn Leaves in Xinjiang .
Sayram Lake .
Karamay Ghost Town .
Taklamakan Desert  .
Top 10 Attractions in Urumqi .


Any questions, just drop a  line.

Kashgar Taxi: Kashi Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones

Monday, January 17th, 2011
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Kashgar Taxi Quantity
At the time of my writing, Kashgar has about 2,000 registered taxis. The taxis registered by Han Nationality are less than 100. Taking a taxi is the best way to save your time during your vacation.
Taxi Models in Kashgar
The main type of taxi in Kashi is Fukang, Jetta and Santana.
Kashgar Taxi Fares:
•A flat fee of RMB5 covers the first 3km
•RMB1.3 per kilometer after that
Kashgar Taxi Company Bookings
If you need to book a taxi, please make the call as following:
Kashgar Hengyun Taxi Stock Company        
Kashgar Dafa Taxi Company                 Tel: 0997-2020525
Hailing a Kashgar City Taxi
•The best places to hail a taxi is near the Station, Scenic Spots, Hotel and along the street on Kashi.
Kashgar Taxi rider’s rights
As a taxi rider, you have the rights below:
Direct drive to your destination and no compulsory car pooling
Go to any destination in and beyond Kashgar
Your car driver knows the streets in Kashgar and the way to major destinations in Kashgar;
Your driver should know and abide by all traffic laws;
Air-conditioning on demand;
A radio-free trip;
No Smoking
A clean passenger seat area;
A clean trunk
A driver uses the horn only when necessary to warn of danger;
No Tipping
Kashgar Taxi Stands
There are no particular taxi stands in Kashi. People just hail a taxi anywhere it is safe.
Kashgar Taxi Complaints
If you have any problem with a taxi in Kashgar, pleas contace the following:
Kashgar Taxi Complaining No.          Tel: 0998-2830551
Kashgar Taxi Useful Information
•Using a meter instead of bargaining with the cab driver in Kashgar
•Refusing a forced pooling taxi
•The Long-distance Bus Station-Hedong Airport: RMB80-100
•Kashgar Airport-Kashgar Downtown: RMB10
•Abakh Khoja Tomb- the City Center: RMB10
Kashgar Travel Guide
Kashgar Trip
Kashgar Travel Guide
Urumqi Kashi 2-Day Tour    
Urumqi Kashi Kalakuri Lake 3-Day
Urumqi Korla Kuqa Aksu Kashi 8-Day Tour  
Urumqi Turpan Korla Kuqa Aksu Kashi 9-Day Tour
Urumqi Korla Kuqa Minfeng Hotan Kashi 8-Day Tour