Travel

On the roof of the world

Print edition : December 27, 2013

The first leg of the expedition was through Kazakhstan. Almost the entire journey closely followed the fabled Silk Route.

A road in Astana. The Kazakh capital is built with all the lavishness that oil wealth can afford.

At the entrance of the Dungan Mosque in Zharkent. Dungans are Muslims of Chinese origin.

A church in Zharkent.

A road through the wilderness of Kazakhstan. The country has vast stretches of steppes unfit for human habitation.

A view from the top of Kok-Tobe Hill, the highest point in Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city and old capital.

Mountain ranges in Xinjiang, China, as seen from the Kazakh border.

A herd of sheep opposite a casino on the outskirts of Almaty.

Kazakh women. Kazakhs consider themselves Eurasian, emphasising their proximity to Europe, particulalry Russia.

Students dance to Bollywood numbers at Al Farabhi National University in Almaty.

Members of the expedition at the friendship memorial on the Kazakh-China border.

Office of the ArcelorMittal steel plant in Temirtau.

At the border check post in Khorgos on the Kazakh-China border.

Construction in full swing at Khorgos on the Chinese side.

A worker welding an oil pipe on the banks of Lake Balkash.

Donkey carts share road space with automobiles in Kazakhstan.

A casino in Khabshiga, the Las Vegas of Kazakhstan.

Men in Taldykorgan. People here look less Kazakh and more Asian.

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