Touring the Silk Road atop a motorcycle

One of those travel regrets I still look back on and wish I had done was when I was contemplating buying a Russian motorcycle and sidecar and hightailing it through Siberia.

And it is therefore with great regret that I came across a similar story of adventurous motorcyclists traveling across another rugged territory: the Silk Road of China.

In what has been one of the best travel articles in the LA Times this year, journalist Susan Carpenter joined an 11-day motorcycle tour of northeastern China that took her from the fabled city of Kashgar (another travel regret of mine, by the way) to the city of Turpan 1,700 miles away.

I’m not sure who I’m fooling because I don’t even know how to drive a motorcycle, but I’m not lying when I say that I would do anything it takes to plant my butt atop one of these things and cruise the Silk Road–although the perfect journey would start in Persia, naturally.

To give you a little taste of what to expect, check out Carpenter’s tantalizing summation of the journey:

“We encountered mostly foot traffic — women balancing buckets of water on sticks across their shoulders and men in embroidered caps herding sheep, goats and yaks — as we worked our way toward the military checkpoint that granted us access to the Karakoram Highway and scenery so spectacular I could have crashed.”


Oh, and incidentally, hat’s off to the LA Times for incorporating video onto their website. If the above description doesn’t get the travel bug biting, the video certainly will.