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The enormous area now known as China's Xinjiang Province came to prominence with the rise of the Silk Road two millennia ago. For centuries its nomadic peoples and city-states were subject to both religious and economic influences from India, Greece, Persia and of course China, resulting in a land rich with archaeological and cultural treasures. However, Xinjiang's appeal extends beyond its Silk Road legacy. Occupying one-sixth of China's territory, this Alaska-size province is home to 13 distinct nationalities, one of the world's harshest but most bewitching desert regions, and little-explored mountain ranges to delight the most seasoned traveller. In essence, Xinjiang still offers today what it did 2,000 years ago--a chance for adventurous souls to explore a faraway land filled with wonders. This book will help you take your first step on that exciting journey. It provides facts and advice for the traveller and, typical of the Odyssey series of guidebooks, it has a strong emphasis on the history, culture, art, architecture, the land and the people of the province. The book is illustrated with 244 colour photos plus maps and satellite images.