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Conquering the Desert of Death: Across the Taklamakan
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Conquering the Desert of Death: Across the Taklamakan

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The ferocious Taklamakan desert in Central Asia, one of the largest sandy deserts in the world and the harshest on earth, is known by the Chinese as the "desert of death" or the "place of no return." Its unknown depths are said to be haunted by demons and spirits and legend has it that ancient cities filled with treasure lie lost and buried beneath its dunes. The only cert ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 15th 2008 by Tauris Parke Paperbacks (first published September 2000)
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Pramod Nair
Jun 29, 2015 Pramod Nair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, travel
The journey you propose is impossible. You will all die...” – Esa Polta, an elder Uyghur tribesman and a camel handler.

Taklamakan Desert, situated in the Tarim Basin in the Xinjang Uygur Autonomous Region, China is legendary for it’s unforgiving sand dunes rising to 1000 feet, sand dunes that shape shift relentlessly, blinding sandstorms, and punishing temperature extremes. For centuries Taklamakan – which is referred as ‘The Desert of Death’ by the natives and meaning something along the lines
...more
Michael Gerald
I first read a condensed version of this book in the Reader's Digest. I am always interested in journeys into remote places on Earth, but I have mixed feelings about this book.

The Taklimakan Desert in western China is sometimes called the worst desert on Earth. I do not know the basis for this claim and how this particular desert is more dangerous than other deserts, like the Sahara in north Africa. Maybe it's because of the name itself. The name "Taklimakan" is supposed to mean in the local Uig
...more
Apurva
Dec 02, 2007 Apurva rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Could have been a good story except it is written by a bunch of british ego maniacs who finish the first quarter of the journey and shout "eat your heart out sven hedin!" (incidently that shouter was american, but it was primarily a british expedition and the book is essentially a side-effort of china bashing which is the only reason I could finish it).
They were helped by gigantic trucks which kept on feeding them and took care of them all the way till the end, just shows that taklamakan wasnt c
...more
Lit Bug
It was an impossible feat - a feat likened in importance to the first ascent of the Everest. Crossing the length of the notorious Taklamakan desert in China - the worst desert on Earth, whose name means in the local Uighur language - "Go in and you won't come out" - The Desert of Death. The desert had lived up to its reputation - so far.

Before Charles Blackmore and his team achieved this feat, no explorer who had gone in had ever come back alive fulfilling his travel plans. They either never cam
...more
Georgina Thynne
Jun 20, 2010 Georgina Thynne rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel, china
An amazing 59-day feat of endurance by an expedition from three different cultures who crossed 800 miles of uncharted desert in the Tarim Basin, through 100-metre high sand hills, on foot with 30 camels. Tantalising glimpses of ruined settlements, the fabled Silk Route and the resilient Uyghur population under Chinese rule.
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