The international race for antiquities from Chinese Turkestan included archaeological expeditions 10 best China cities to visit from seven countries, among them Russia and Japan. Between them they took a fortune, 10 best China cities to visit but at least they preserved their finds somewhere, unlike a local farmer, who dug up huge quantities of ancient manuscripts in 1906 but, being frightened that he could be punished if he kept them, destroyed them all in the river. My companions had gone, they were outside taking photographs of each other in the desert. The taxi drove us to another site; it was a lovely road, running alongside a range of magnificent red mountains. These are called the Flaming Mountains because when the sun blazes down on the rocks they’re reputed to blaze with flame colours and radiate waves of hot air. At the end of the range the dirt road goes along the top of a river canyon, and in its far wall we could see caves hollowed at different levels of the cliff.
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