Journey to the West - Karakoram Highway

Leading away from Kashgar to the southwest is the Karakoram Highway. It follows the treacherous route used by merchants on the ancient Silk Road crossing the Pamir range and into what is now Pakistan.
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Camel graze along the Karakoram highway

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The journey begins on the Karakoram highway outside Kashgar in China's far western region of Xinjiang. The destination: Tashkurgan, high in the Pamir Mountains near the border of Pakistan.

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Flat bread and yak's milk tea at a home along the Karakoram highway

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After climbing through rugged mountains from Kashgar, the Karakoram highway reaches Tashkurgan. In the days of the ancient Silk Road, this broad valley and stone walled fortress would have been a welcome sight for weary caravans.

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Wall of the Stone Fortress at Tashkurgan

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The rugged Pamir Mountains come nearer

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Road side vendors sell souvenirs from old pool tables along the Karakoram highway.

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Yak calves huddle together for protect as they cross a river on a highway bridge.

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The people of villages near Kashgar make their way to market early in the morning along the Karakoram highway.

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The Sand Mountains in the distance

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Snow capped peaks above the Karakoram highway

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An old man with a yak's hair carpet to sell along the Karakoram highway

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Snow capped peaks of the Pamir Mountains

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In a high mountain valley in the Pamir Range, an ancient Stone Fort was once a welcome stop for caravans traveling from India to China on the Silk Road. The old stone walls of the fort are in the town of Taskurgan in China's far western region of Xinjiang near the border with Pakistan.

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