A car overturns in the sand on June 18 during the seventh stage of the rally in Kumtag Desert, Shanshan county, Xinjiang. Photos by Jiang Wenyao/Xinhua
The 5,500-kilometer Taklimakan Rally is the longest annual off-road endurance race in Asia.
They came from far and wide in pursuit of adventure, and the competitors in the annual 5,500-kilometer Taklimakan Rally got that and a lot more, the least of which was the exquisite beauty of the ever-changing landscape of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The route for the rally, held over 13 days from June 10, stretches from the region's north to the south, taking in the Taklimakan Desert, the Tianshan Mountain, the oasis of the Junggar Basin with its abundant rain, and the Altai Mountains. First held in 2005, the rally is the longest annual off-road endurance race in Asia. The Taklimakan area covers 330,000 square kilometers and temperatures there can reach 67 C with a 40 C day and night temperature difference.