The drive to the lake is one of the worlds epic road trip, an experience in itself. The lake has its access from the Karakoram highway. The once major silk route is now the highest major road on the entire planet. At 1,284 kilometers, the Karakoram Highway linking Kashgar with Hasanabdal near Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) is a stunning roadway that winds through some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world – the great mountain ranges of the Pamir, Karakoram, and the Himalayas. The Highway took 20 years to build and cost the lives of over one thousand workers, mostly to landslides. The Highway is considered by some to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. The landscape here is barren, deceptive reddish, rocky, Martian-scape, and every bit as impressive as one could hope. Predominantly devoid of any vegetation and habitation but occasional Double-humped Bactrian camels lazing insouciantly on the sides of the road. Recently, there is a lot of ongoing development happening on this road by the much ambitious Chinese government who has placed great hopes of on this high alpine motorway.
Exotic. Mysterious. A pulsating maze of colors, sights and smells, more Middle Eastern than Chinese. How do you begin to describe this mesmerizing 3000 year old oasis and trading mecca along the Silk Road?? An ethnic blend of Uyghurs, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and Han Chinese, some things in the Old Town of Kashgar haven’t changed since medieval times. Every narrow lane beckons you to explore the bazaars full of shimmering silk, knives, jewelry and carpets all moving to the rhythmic beat of metalworkers, cobblers, and weavers producing quality wares by hand; trades passed from generation to generation.