CHINA: Slideshow | Shanghai | Yunnan | Xinjiang

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Photos from Xinjiang, a Muslim region in western China -- 10/09/2006
Xinjiang, China's largest and western-most province, is one of the planet's most remote and desolate regions. Covering more than one-sixth the country's territory, Xinjiang borders Tibet, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and is dominated by ethnic minorities, notably the Muslim Uyghurs who make up nearly half the 18 million who live in the province. Xinjiang's ethnic mix reflects its historical importance as a central part of the Silk Road, a trading route used since ancient times to transport good between East and West.

Saving China's golden monkey from extinction -- 10/18/2006
High in the cloud-shrouded Yunling mountains of northwestern Yunnan and southeastern Tibet (southwestern China) lives one of the world's most elusive monkeys, the Yunnan golden or snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti). Despite dwelling the most extreme environment of any monkey species -- high-altitude evergreen forests at elevations from 3000 - 4500 m (9800 - 14,800 feet) where temperatures may fall below freezing for several months in a row -- today there are less than 2000 of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys remaining. Hunting and habitat loss has brought the species, which is limited to a single mountain range and fragmented into 15 small sub-populations at risk to genetic bottlenecks and inbreeding depression, to the brink of extinction.
Many Americans probably think of China as a land of crowded cities (Shanghai) and expansive agricultural areas. In reality much of China, like the United States, is wilderness, with low population density, magnificent landscapes, and cultural diversity. On my recent trip I visited two regions that fit this description: Xinjiang in far western China, near the border of Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; and northwestern Yunnan, historically and culturally the southeastern-most part of Tibet. These are my pictures,




XINJIANG

Xinjiang, an autonomous province dominated by Muslims, lies in the heart of the ancient Silk Road, a trading route used since ancient times to transport good between East and West. Xinjiang is characterized by rough terrain, with dry deserts accented by some of the highest mountains in the world. Xinjiang is the largest political subdivision of China, accounting for more than one sixth of China's total territory.

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Aerial  |   Agriculture  |   Datong  |   Datong Region  |   Infrastructure  |   Karakoram Highway  |   Kashgar  |   Kashgar Bazaar  |   Kusrap  |   Lake Karakul  |   Lakes  |   Livestock  |   Markets  |   Mosques  |   Mountains  |   Rivers  |   Roads  |   Tashkurgan  |   Temples  |   Villages  |   Yarkand  |   Yurts


20+ Photos

Uighur woman in front of her yurt



Traditional animal-skin yurt



Kusrap man



Uygur boy on horseback at Karakul Lake



Group of Tajiks riding a tractor



Peaks above the Karakoram highway



Sand mountains of Xinjiang



Mountains near a high elevation wetland in Xinjiang



Karakoram highway as it winds through the Pamir mountains



High elevation creek near the Karakoram highway



Turquoise pools along a river in the Kunlun mountains



Peaks surrounding Karakal Lake



Datong village, surrounded by high mountain peaks, partially powered by solar



Village and mountains on road to Datong



Tashkorgan stone city



Lake in Xinjiang



Snow-capped mountains near Bodge Feng peak in western China



Fisheye view of mountains in Xinjiang near the Karakoram highway



Glaciers near Muztaga peak



Mountains near Muzagata Peak









YUNNAN

Yunnan, the southwestern-most province of China, has the highest biodiversity in the country. Yunnan is drained by six major river systems -- including the Yangtze, Pearl, Mekong, Red (Yuan), Salween, and Irrawaddy -- and ranges in elevation from 76 m (250 feet) to the 6,740-meter (21,905-foot) high Kawagebo Peak. Yunnan is also home to 25 of China's ethnic minorities.

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Aerial  |   Agriculture  |   Buddhism  |   Flora  |   Markets  |   Mekong  |   Mountains  |   Pasture  |   Pingan  |   Rice  |   Ringa Monastery  |   Rivers  |   Shangri-La  |   Sumtsanlang Monastery  |   Temples  |   Villages  |   Yangtze


15 Photos

Tibetan woman with a pink headscarf



Man in a rice field



The muddy upper Yangtze in northwestern Yunnan as seen from above



Tibetan woman in the Deqin market



Red grassland



Flooded grassland in Yunnan



Terraced rice fields in NW Yunnan



Deep brick red color of the upper Mekong. This section will be flooded by a dam



Mekong in the mountains of southeastern Tibet / northwestern Yunnan



Rice fields in a valley in Tibetan Yunnan



Giant prayer wheel in Zhongdian



Terraced rice paddies in Yunnan



Tibetan cowboy



Vegetables at the market in Deqin



Tibetan woman leading a cow across a pasture









SHANGHAI

Shanghai is one of the world's largest cities with a population of around 11 million people (the urban area population is closer to 16 million).

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