Photo: Karakul Lake (elev. 3600m), Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China. Taken on a Nikon D90.
Karakul Lake, nestled amongst the towering mountains of the Karakoram range, lies just inside the Northwestern border of China. Around this lake a small village of mountain dwelling Kyrgyz people reside, their yurts and livestock doting the shores. This remote world is both beautifully harmonious and incredibly hard.
The yaks roam the terrain around the lake during the day, and in the evening, the men of the village saddle up on horse or motorcycle to herd the yaks back to their respective corrals. The milk, fur, and feces of the yaks are all pertinent to sustaining the lives of the local residents – nothing is wasted. The milk is used to drink or make yogurt, the fur can be woven into a roof, and the feces is dried and used as fuel for the fire upon which all meals are cooked.