Day 34: Turpan
A lot to see around here, also my first day with Ma Jie, our guide for the way to Kashgar. We started with the ancient city of Gaochang in the East and the nearby tombs at Astana. Again, no luck with visiting ancient caves as just before us a convoy of a dozen buses had arrived at Bezeklik, completely overcrowding the place. But at least the scenery on the way there was worth all the driving. In the afternoon I learned about the Karez, the vast irrigation system that makes Turpan so green with water from the Tian Shan mountains. Last but IMO least we stopped in Jiaohe in the West, another ancient city built on top of a narrow, 30m high island between two rivers.