I visited Xinjiang when I traversed the Karakoram Highway (The World's highest international land border) from Pakistan to China. I left early in the morning & upon reaching Sost, Pakistan, I bought a mini-bus ticket before going to the Pakistani immigration which is about 200 meters away from the ticket booking office to stamp out of Pakistan. The immigration process at the Pakistani side is pretty straight forward but I had to wait for about 4 hours to get the clearance due to the long queue of people going into China.
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We left Urumqi eastward-bound and jumped off the bus at Sayram Lake. After talking for a while to Marat, a 30-year-old Kazakh, we followed him home to his family’s yurt. Decorated in the colorful rainbow of hand-embroidered tapestries, the yurt’s usual little wood stove was missing so we had to literally bury ourselves in the warm quilts until the morning sun warmed the landscape. It was an experience to cook over the fire outside and, learn how to make their yummy wheat noodles, teach Marat his numbers in English, play with the baby and watch the steady stream of nomads, sheep, horses, and camels parade by the yurt.