We took the road south out of At-Bashi immediately passing a huge animal bazaar. Our Kyrgyz driver carefully weaved his way through the cows and horses being led across the main road. We continued, overtaking huge 18-weelers full of Soviet scrap metal, lined up miles before the Torugart Pass border, the back way into China’s Xinjiang province.

We turned east onto a gravel road, passing plenty of yaks before reaching the Tash Rabat Caravansarai. There were a few yurts set up in the grass covered river valley and some horses for riding. The very well preserved stone structure of Tash Rabat is thought to be from the 15th century, when Silk Road travelers used it as an inn.

Text and photo by Stephen Bugno