Hami Desert

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The Desert of Hami is a section of the Gobi Desert that occupies the space between the Tian Shan system on the north and the Nan-shan Mountains on the south, and is connected on the west with the Desert of Lop.

Przhevalsky, 1879

This classic account is that of Nikolai Przhevalsky, who crossed the desert from Hami (or Khumul) to Suchow in the summer of 1879.

The middle of the desert rises into a plateau across, which reaches an average elevation of and a maximum elevation of . On its northern and southern borders it is overtopped by two divisions of the Bey-san (Pe-shan) Mountains, which are isolated hills or groups of hills only a few hundred feet higher than the plateau. They are separated from the Kuruk-tagh by a well-marked bay of the former Central Asian Mediterranean (Lop Nur).

Between the northern division and the Karlyk-tagh range (or east Tian Shan), there is an undulating barren plain, in altitude and from north to south, sloping downwards from both north and south towards the middle, where lies the oasis of Hami (2,800 ft). Similarly, from the southern division of the Bey-san, a second plain slopes down for to the valley of the river Bulunzir (or Su-lai-ho), which comes out of China, from the south side of the Great Wall, and finally empties itself into the lake of Kalachi (or Kara-nor). From the Bulunzir the same plain continues southwards at a level of to the foot of the Nan-shan Mountains. The total breadth of the desert here, from north to south, is .

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