Explorer crosses Taklamakan desert on foot

Nov. 1, 2009 at 1:13 PM
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SEOUL, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- A South Korean explorer said Sunday he successfully crossed the Taklamakan desert in Central Asia on foot.

The Yonhap News Agency said Nam Young-ho claims to have walked nearly 280 miles across the desert from China's Hotan Prefecture to Aral, Kazakhstan, starting Oct. 3.

Nam, 32, said the desert journey, the first by a single individual on foot, took him 19 days to complete.

"I can't believe I walked such a tough route," Nam said. "I tried to use my Global Positioning System in the beginning, but Chinese authorities confiscated it before starting my journey. So I had to rely on a compass and the knowledge in my head to cross the desert."

Nam, who is also a photographer, told Yonhap he is planning a expedition in Asia and the Middle East for 2010.

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