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The North of Xinjiang AR :
The East of Xinjiang AR :
The Eastern Half of Xinjiang-Uygur AR is taken as all Territories west of the Bogda Shan Mountain Range. This region is mainly noted for its historic Monuments and landscapes such as the Yadan Landforms on the Gansu-Xinjiang Border, Famous Lop Nor and the Great Wall of China remnants extending out of Yumen (Jade Gate) through the Taklamakan Desert territories towards Lop Nur (now a dried out salt lake). Nearby the dry Lop Nor are the Lost City archelogical sites of Loulan (KuLoulan) and Miran (near Charklik (Ruochiang).
The Most well-known Cities and Towns in West Xinjiang AR are Hami also known as Kumul and the Oasis of Turpan near Ayding Lake (=Gol) and located south and beneath the Bogda Shan Range. Especially Turpan is a famous Oasis town popular with Tourists due to its History as an important settlement on the Silk Road. However, at Hami (Kumul) located along the Northern trajectory of the Chinese Silk Road departing out of Dunhuang (just across the border in Gansu Province), was an crossing point where a small Northern Branch of the Silk Road trajectory split off, heading north along the Bogda Shan Range through Oasis in the South of the Dzungar Depression to destinations in current day Kazachstan and beyond.
The West of Xinjiang AR :
At the very center of the Southern Half of Xinjiang-Uygur AR lies the wild Taklamakan Desert along which edges travel the Tarim River in the North and a string of Oasis and Gletsjer-fed rivers in the South. These were the pathways of the Northern and Southern Routes of the ancient Silk Road in this vast area. The main feature of the Taklamakan Desert itself are its ever shifting sands and high sand dunes combined with an extremely arid climate.
The Edges of the Taklamakan Desert however sustained a number of important Civilizations in history and are famous for their lost Oasis Cities, once mighty independant Kingdoms on the pathway of the Silk Road. First and foremost among these is the Lost City of Loulan (rediscovered by Svedish Explorer Sven Hedin), on the West-side of former Lop Nur and at the End of the Konqi River where it used to flow into the Lake. Nearby to the South-West lies another lost Oasis and archeoligical site, the City of Miran.
In the extreme North lies the Friendship Peak of 4374 Meters, whereas in the West the North Xinjiang is bordered by the Altai High Mountains on the other side of which lies the Republic of Mongolia.
The Most Rugged and Wild Part of Xinjiang lies in the West. At the Center of Life in this Region lies Kashgar City, surrounded by a number of desert Oasis Cities such as Yarkant (Shache') and Karghilik (Yecheng). Historically Kashgar re-unites the trajectories of the North- and South-Route of the Silk Road around the Taklamakan Desert. From Kashgar the Silk Road continues Westward through the Iron Gate (Irkeshtam Pass) of the Pamir Mountains into Kyrgyzstan. The Iron Gate and the Pass beyond were in Chinese Hands during most of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD). From the Area near Kashgar the Irkeshtam Pass and Torugart Pass lead into Kyrgyzstan. The path Southward leads through the Ethnic Minority Area's of both the Kirghiz and Tajik to the Khunjerab Pass and along the Karakoram Highway into Pakistan and on to Islamabad.
Further to the South-East of Kashgar lie the Karakoram Pass and the Mustagh Pass leading into the Indian-Pakistan disputed Territory of (Jamu &) Kashmir.
Da Qaidam Hu
Jurhen Ul Mts.
Ulan Ul Hu
Dogai Goring (Lake)
The Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region encloses a huge land surface area which, for practicalities, can best be divided into 3 or 4 parts: The North, The East, The Central South taken up mainly by the extends of the Taklamakan Desert, and last - the Extreme West which has the City of Kashgar and various Towns, Rivers, Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County (of the Tajik Ethnic Minority) and a variety of high mountain passes into neighboring Nations. Among these, the highest passes in the World, the Karakoram Pass and the Mustagh Pass.
China Report - Maps o/t Taklamakan Desert & Tarim River Basin
2 Satellite Image Maps of the entire Taklamakan Desert and the Tarim River Basin in Xinjiang-Autonomous Region of Western China. Maps give explanation and backgrounds to Local Geography, the Flow of the Tarim River from the Pamir Mountains in the West to Lop Nur (Dry) in the East, ancient Oasis Cities of the Tarim Basin and Taklamakan Desert, the North and South Routes of the Silk Road in this Area, Past and Current Climate and Historic Backgrounds.
Asia Report - Map of Karakoram Highway / China-Pakistan Mountain Highway
The Karakoram Highway is the highest paved road in the world. It leads from Kashgar down South around the Muztagh Ata Peak to Tashkhurgan Tajik Autonomous County. Taxkurghan lies well South of Kashgar at the base of the Pamir Mountains is the home of the Tajik Ethnic Minority of China as well as large section of the Kirghiz People of China. From Tashkurgan the KKH, as the Karakoram Highway is known among its fans, leads upward to the Khunjerab Pass and River Valley, from where it continues along a spectacular trail into Pakistan's North-Western Frontier Province.
A Geographic overview Map of the entire Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region and large parts of neighboring Nations of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, The Republic of Mongolia, as well as bordering Chinese Provinces and Territories of Inner-Mongolia AR, Gansu Province, Qinghai Province and Tibet Autonomous Region. This Map Includes Cities and Towns (shown by size), Main Monuments & landmarks of Xinjiang AR, the Taklamakan Desert in South-Central Xinjiang AR, major highways, provincial railroads, a variety of border passes in the Karakoram Mountain Range and the Tian Shan Mt. Range, plus main mountains, waterways, rivers and lakes of this large region.