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Road trips reveal Xinjiang splendor

Updated: Sep 25, 2018 By Cui Jia and Mao Weihua China Daily Print
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[Photo provided to China Daily]

Northern Tianshan

Eight days, 2,243 km

What to see:

Urho ghost city

It is named "ghost city" for the frequent strong winds that whistle and howl over a series of yardang formations, rocky protuberances shaped by wind moving over what was once the bottom of a lake. Urho is one of the top three such landforms in China according to China National Geographic. It has also been used as a location for several famous movies, including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Kanas Lake (photo above)

The lake lies on the border between China and Kazakhstan. The turquoise mountain lake is surrounded by forest and grassland. It is said to be the most beautiful lake in China, so watch out for crowds. The locals call it "the garden of God". The view in Kanas is often compared with that in the Alps. Some say a "monster" inhabits the waters of the lake, which is 188 meters deep.

Tianshan Tianchi (Heavenly Lake)

The alpine drift lake was shaped in the Quaternary Glacier period. People can walk around the lake on a boardwalk while enjoying the view of the snowcapped Bogda range of Tianshan.

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