Kazakhstan’s expedition Following Shoqan Walikhanov’s Caravan Route reached the “Asian Rome” in China on July 26. This is one of the oldest cities in the world and the center of Buddhist culture – Turpan. After traveling for kilometers in a barren desert, the expedition found itself in a different world: the lifeless desert was transformed into vineyards and fields. In the Middle Ages, the city-state was famous all over the world and was immensely significant for the development of the region, not least because of its unique water system. Ancient Uighurs dug deep wells and connected them via underground tunnels, bringing water to every house and garden and making the city an important stopover on the Great Silk Road.