We followed the Silk Road from it's eastern terminus at Xi'an to Kashgar (Kashi in Chinese). (See the Silk Road Art gallery for more explanation.) After crossing the Yellow River at Lanzhou, the Silk Road headed over 600 miles west along the narrow Gansu (or Hexi) corridor between the Gobi Desert to the north and the Qilian mountains to the south. There were oases along the way where streams flowed out of the mountains. At the west end of the Gansu corridor, you then had to decide whether to go north or south of the Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar. We took the northern route through Turpan and Urumqi. From Kashgar you could then head south to India or Persia, or continue westward to Europe.