18-day desert crossing shows wild beauty of Xinjiang

A team of sport utility vehicle drivers spent 18 days crossing the Taklimakan Desert in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region — a journey of 1,850 kilometers.

Dong Changkai, who organized the journey, said he started with more than 500 liters of gasoline, plus ample food and water, in his vehicle to ensure the grueling trip could be completed successfully.

He had driven across the desert on his own several times before and had accumulated useful experience in dealing with challenging conditions, such as sandstorms.

This was his first time leading a team on a route that passed through Yuli county and Qiemo county in Bayingolin Mongolian autonomous prefecture, Minfeng county and Yutian county in Hotan prefecture and Shaya county in Aksu prefecture.

The cross-desert journey, sponsored by a travel agency in Yuli county, was undertaken to promote the natural beauty of the area, including poplar forests and sand dunes, and spark tourism.