In 2007, my college roommate Kurbanjan Samatti invited me to make a documentary in his hometown of Hotan, Xinjiang, which we visited again in 2008. These photos were taken during both visits.
“I have described elsewhere the difficulties… These difficulties were not entirely those of Nature. They were caused quite as much also by obstruction on the part of the small settlement of semi-nomadic hillmen and select malefactors exiled from Khotan who, counting probably less than two hundred souls, form the only population in this desolate mountain region. There seemed significance in its general name Karanghu-tagh, “the mountains of blinding darkness.”
Aurel Stein, On Ancient Central-Asian Tracks