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Michael Yamashita

Michael Yamashita

Michael Yamashita is an award-winning photographer who has been shooting for National Geographic magazine for more than 30 years. He specialized in Asia after spending seven years in the region following his graduation from Wesleyan University.

Collecting precious water

Chinese Tajik girls collect water from a pool in an oasis in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Chinese Tajiks, an extension of the Pamiri ethnic group, are one of the 56 ethnicities officially recognized by China.
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12 hours ago

Colorful prayer flags in Yunnan

Prayer flags flutter in the wind at Qudengge, first stop on the pilgrimage route to Kawagebo Peak, one of the most sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism in China. The flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom.
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The rolling hills of orange

Zhangye National Geopark, located in northwestern Gansu Province, is known as “the eye candy of Zhangye” for its colorful geological formations only a 30-minute drive from the eponymous city. Its unique landscape was formed by deposits of sandstone and other minerals sculpted by wind, rain, and time.
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Twilight in the Old Town of Lijiang

Houses are lit up as nightfall descends upon the Old Town of Lijiang in southwestern Yunnan Province. A World Heritage Site, it was once a trading hub on the Tea Horse Road.
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Highway under the snowy mountains

National Highway 35, also known as the Karakoram Highway, connects Pakistan with China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World, it is a popular tourist attraction, and is one of the highest paved roads in the world.
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Mountain view

Two visitors take photos at Huangshan, a mountain range in Anhui Province. Huangshan, which is well known for its sunrises, pine trees, and sea of clouds, is China’s most popular tourism attraction.
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The singing sand

Tourists ride camels at Mingsha Shan in Dunhuang, Gansu Province. Mingsha Shan is also called Echoing-Sand Mountain because it mysteriously reverberates with the sound of moving sand.
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Tibetan Buddhist monastery

Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, which is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province and often referred to as the Little Potala Palace, is the most important monastery in southwest China.
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Zigzagging mountain road

24-Zig Road, the most spectacular road in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, earns its name due to its 24 switchbacks. The road stands quiet today, as it is no longer in active use. However, during World War II, U.S. military trucks used it to transport 15,000 tons of supplies each month to China’s wartime capital, Chongqing.
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Tower of Juyong Pass

Juyong Pass, a mountain pass located in Beijing, is one of the three most famous passes along the Great Wall of China, together with Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan. The present pass route was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).
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Commuting on a hazy day

Riders wear masks to protect themselves from air pollution in Beijing. The Chinese capital has suffered from serious air pollution for years due to coal burning in neighboring regions, green gas emissions from more than 5 million motor vehicles, and dust storms.
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Colored raincoats and misty mountains

Tourists visit Huangshan (黄山 huángshān; lit. “yellow mountains”), a scenic site in Anhui Province, on a rainy day. The area — which is well known for its sunsets, peculiarly-shaped granite peaks, and cloud landscapes — has long been a source of inspiration for poets and writers.
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Getting ready for a performance

A Beijing opera performer applies powder on her face before a show. The Beijing Opera, which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance, and acrobatics, has a history of more than 160 years.
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Fun ride in a village

Students have a fun ride on their way to kindergarten in Hekeng Village, Shuyang, Fujian. The village has many large, enclosed buildings made from fortified earth, called tulou, which are used for residential purposes.
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