The mightiest of them all is Muztagh Ata, which translates to "Father of Ice Mountain" in the local Uighur dialect, it's easy to see how why it's considered the daddy of them all. If you're feeling up to it, Muztagh Ata is reputed to be the world's easiest mountain of 23,000 feet or higher to climb thanks to its relatively gentle slopes and dry weather. The base camp, littered with mountain climbers is just about a ten minute drive past Karakul Lake on the Karakoram Highway. Personally, Muztagh Ata looked amazing enough from the comfort of the shores of Karakul. Wanting to see the area on our own terms, my brother and I politely refused the locals eager to house us in their yurts and instead began a circuit of the lake on our own. We'd brought camping gear, and prepared to spend the night out in the elements. As the sun was setting, my brother and I sat down on the ground outside our tent near the lake in silence. The mountains, vivid sunset and fluffy clouds reflecting in the lake said all that needed to be said. China's Far West had left us speechless. Getting there: Flying is easiest, unless you have time to burn on long bus trips across Xinjiang's high desert country. Kashgar Airport is about ten kilometers north of the city and is served by over ten flights daily to and from Urumqi; the trip takes about an hour and a half. It's a good idea to book tickets as far in advance as possible. You can fly into Urumqi from cities around China. Check Ctrip.com for deals on flights. As for transportation to the countryside beyond Kashgar, tours can easily be arranged in at hotels catering to Westerners. Staying there: The Qiniwak Hotel, situated on the grounds of the former British Consulate to the northwest of Id Kah Mosque, is one of Kashgar's most atmospheric places to stay, and it's easy on the budget. The more modern Kashgar Hotel, formerly reserved for government officials and located a bit outside of town, makes for a restful stay amidst pleasantly landscaped grounds. More of Mark's photos of the Sunday Market and Lake Karakul. Check out Mark's China Blog for more travel stories and photos.