Paul Salopek, National Geographic

Paul Salopek

National Geographic

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Past articles by Paul:

At a remote temple in China, a Kung Fu master keeps the past alive

Uncle Yu—a once famous martial artist who taught thousands of students—now bides his time at a hilltop temple in Sichuan, writing poems by the kilo. → Read More

Ancient Himalayan towers keep their secrets on a walk through southwest China

Amid Sichuan’s Hengduan Mountains, mysterious stone towers built jut more than 100 feet into the sky. No one is sure why. → Read More

Rediscovering China’s ancient Tea Horse Road, a branch of the famous Silk Road

This maze of trails and cobbled pathways was part of a centuries-old trade network linking China with Southeast Asia and India. → Read More

In this part of China, hands—not machines—define the rhythm of life

Some villages in the country’s mountainous Yunnan Province have not yet adopted mechanized modernity. → Read More

Walking the Earth for 9 years plays tricks on your mind

Downshifting to three miles an hour accordions the days, Paul Salopek writes. You wander into what might be called sacramental time—an eternal present. → Read More

The stories I learned walking the Burma Road—perhaps WWII’s greatest engineering feat

Meet hundred-year-old Xu Ben Zhen, one of 200,000 Chinese whose backbreaking wartime labor built the Burma Road to resupply their country. → Read More

Walking storyteller begins historic trek through China’s heartland

Writing from Yunnan Province in southern China, Paul Salopek resumes his 24,000-mile foot journey across the world after a long pandemic delay. → Read More

A new battle zone for the coronavirus looms: the developing world

People in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, are coming together in the face of a possible catastrophe. → Read More

Is the world becoming more violent?

Seven years into his epic walk across the world, journalist Paul Salopek ponders our propensity for violence. → Read More

This world-walker finds hospitality and devotion in India

On the plains of the Ganges River, where Hindu pilgrims have roamed for millennia, you never walk alone, says storyteller Paul Salopek. → Read More

In a land of many rivers, clean water is out of reach

For nearly half of India’s population, water is scarce or polluted. → Read More

Photos Show Poignant Hints of Vanishing Nomadic Lives

Left: Cloth fragment from Wakhi herders in Baiqara, a seasonal high pasture in Afghanistan's remote Wakhan Corridor. Right: Yak hair, Baiqara high pasture. Photograph by Matthieu Paley, National Geographic When you’re walking across the Earth for 10 continuous years—as I am on the Out of Eden Walk storytelling project—you get used to hopscotching around trash. Sadly our beleaguered planet, as… → Read More

On the Ancient Silk Road, a Walk Shadowed by a Mystery

As his journey around the world continues, writer Paul Salopek encounters the enduring spirits of one of history’s great trade routes. → Read More

Discovering a Medieval Moon Base in the Heart of Central Asia

Kublai Khan: “Is what you see always behind you? Does your journey take place only in the past?” Marco Polo: “Futures not achieved are only branches of the past: dead branches.” —Invisible Cities, … → Read More

Reclaiming Humanity’s Oldest Tech—One Flint Blade at a Time

An archaeologist in Kazakhstan remakes exquisite Stone Age tools. → Read More

50-Year-Old City, 8,000-Year-Old Campsite

On his epic storytelling walk, journalist Paul Salopek logs his 35th Milestone as he leaves the Caspian port of Aktau heading east toward Uzbekistan. → Read More

Headless, Wild, and Wayward: Life Along the Old Silk Roads

For global walker Paul Salopek in western Kazakhstan, the desert holds headless men, wayward camels, and endless sheets of grass. → Read More

An Ancient Form of Mystic Healing Makes a Comeback

Paul Salopek is walking the global trail of the first humans who migrated out of Africa in the Stone Age. His continuous 21,000-mile foot journey, called the “Out of Eden Walk,” is recorded in disp… → Read More

Horse Wrangling Began Here, But It’s Hard to Find One Today

Horse wrangling began in Kazakhstan thousands of years ago, so why is it hard to find one today? → Read More

Where the Streets Have No Name—Literally

A once ‘closed’ Soviet-era port city is the Out of Eden Walk's gateway to Central Asia and beyond. → Read More