Before going to sleep that night I wrote up my diary China holiday homes rentals and consulted my map to see how Xinjiang and the Gobi fitted in. Xinjiang Autonomous Region China holiday homes rentals occupies one sixth of China and shares frontiers with Russia, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and Tibet. Xinjiang may sound large but it's much smaller than the Gobi Desert which covers and extends far beyond it. The Gobi is nearly 2,000 miles long and up to 1,200 miles wide.
The desert between here and Kashgar is a vast basin called Taklamakan (which means Go in and you won't come out').
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It has a bad reputation as one of the worst and most dangerous deserts in the world, with appallingly violent sand-storms.