China's Central Asia
A lavishly illustrated, comprehensive guide to travel, history, and culture in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China's westernmost province.
The enormous area now known as China's Xinjiang Province came to prominence with the rise of the Silk Road two millennia ago, of which it constituted a major "leg". For centuries its nomadic peoples and city-states were subject to both religious and economic influences from India, Greece, Persia and, of course, China, resulting in a land rich with archeological and cultural treasures. But after the decline of the fabled land route between Asia and the West, it faded from the global conscience until the turn of the 20th century brought new explorers and newfound interest.
However, Xinjiang's appeal encompasses much more than its Silk Road legacy. Occupying one-sixth of China's territory, this province is the size of Alaska, or three times the size of France. It is home to 13 distinct nationalities, one of the world's harshest but most bewitching desert regions, and a selection of little-explored mountain ranges to delight the most seasoned traveler. In essence, Xinjiang offers today what it did 2,000 years ago - a chance for adventurous souls to explore a faraway land filled with wonders. This book represents your first step on that exciting journey.