Taklamakan Desert is located in the heart of Tarim Basin, north of Hotan Prefecture. Taklamakan Desert covers 340,000 sq km, is considered as the biggest shifting desert in China. Taklamakan in Uighur means the desert of no return. It's described as one of the most unhospitable deserts in the world by the explorers in the past. Cultivation is only possible at the edge where the Tarim River irrigates. In 1995, the state government invested 7 million yuan RMB to build 500 km long cross Taklamakan desert Highway connecting Niya and Korla. It’s the 1st highway built in the shifting desert. The roadbed is made of plastic nets, cobble stone, sand and asphalt in 4 layers. It's one of the most magnificent and exiting road in the world. Since it is built in the shifting desert , both sides of the road are covered with the network of reeds. Along the journey you can see several thousand years old desert plants such as Tamarisk Forests.
2nd Desert Highway is opened to traffic in 2007 connecting Hotan and Alar. The opening of these 2 roads in the desert helped the locals to improve their economy.
Best time to Travel: May to October