“The Silk Road: Turpan’s Mummies and Ancient Cities” Lraleigh’s photos around Turpan, China

A TripAdvisor™ TripWow slideshow of a travel blog to Turpan, China by TravelPod blogger Lraleigh titled “The Silk Road: Turpan’s Mummies and Ancient Cities”. TravelPod is a company of TripAdvisor™. Lraleigh’s travel blog entry: “The Taklimakan, tucked behind the Himalayas and Karakoram, is one of the driest and hottest places on earth. The Silk Road trade routes avoided the parched areas, heading instead around the periphery, where rivers flow from glaciers before disappearing into the desert. Traders passed garrison towns, thriving cities, and oases along the way. I took the train along the western and northern boundery of the desert, from Kashgar to Turpan, a trip lasting from 1 pm until 10 am the next morning, sharing a sleeper cabin with a businessman and a middle-aged couple from Shanghai. The train passed sand dunes and flat gravel beds occasionally punctuated with sharp rock formations as we talked in Chinese and body language. Turpan lay on on the Northern Silk Road skirting the desert. In Turpan, well below sea level in the Tarim Basin, the ancient cities of Jiaohe and Gaochang beckoned, with the help of a Chinese woman taxi driver. Both sites have historical evidence dating a couple thousand years old and both sites were victims of Genghis Khan. The cities were similar in other ways too: both were made of mud bricks and pounded earth; both were Buddhist in their fimal form, with temples and monasteries as focal points, and both were fortified. Jiaohe was