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  • Day11

    Karakoram Highway to Tashkurgan

    October 24, 2017 in China ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

    The epic journey from Kashgar to Tashkurgan via the world's most dangerous highway commenced this morning. We shared a van with 5 other people from our hostel. Costed us ¥400 per person for the journey.

    Along the way we made multiple stops. Our first stop was a town called Opal. We stopped here for lunch and to stock up on food. This is a town run by Uyghurs so expect predominantly Uyghur food.

    Next we stopped at the side of the road to take pictures of the Red Mountain, also known as the Oytagh Canyon. A river crosses nearby making the pictures look more dynamic.

    Along the way we could see the snow capped Karakoram mountain ridge. The weather was getting colder as we headed to higher elevation.

    My all time favourite was the White Sand Lake. The turquoise lake with the white sand dunes in the background is a great combination. I couldn't get enough of the scenery. But it was cold, so I had to surrender to the elements and get back in the van.

    A little further up was Karakul Lake. Now this is the highlight of the Karakoram Highway. However, the clouds were thick so Muztagh Ata (translates in Uyghur to "Father of Ice Mountains")could not be visualized clearly. The mountain has a height of 7509 metres. There were camels around and one could ride them for a fee. I decided to save by butt the agony.

    Tagharma plateau wetlands were next. These are at the foot of Muztagh Ata at 3050 metres above sea level. The coursing river in between makes a beautiful view of gold and blue.

    Lastly, we arrived at Tashkurgan, a little town that is at the Pakistani, Tajik and Afgani border. Ethnicity here is mainly of Tajik. Before we went to our hostel, we went to the town's glassland. Looks like a marsh to me. There is a river with water wheels placed. The Pamir mountains beyond adds to the scenery.

    We stayed at the Kute Youth Hostel, which was pretty affordable (¥50 per person) and had a classy feel to it. Dinner was at a hot pot restaurant nearby where we had yak meat and plenty of vegetables from the steaming pot. I think the place was called YipNYak Nourishing Hot Pot. It was nice to have warm broth in my stomach in freezing weather.
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