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Asiatic trade routes are distinguished by the long, snaky camel caravans. Many cameleers spend monotonous lives with their animals, as they freight bales of merchandise to and fro across the desert. Their principal diversion is a short visit to a town. In Wang Ye Fu the Mongols lead their camels from booth to booth as they shop (see text, page 216).
Though slow in speed as compared with the Arabian beast, the heavily built Bactrian camel is indispensable to the traveler and merchant in Asia. The finest breeds, according to one explorer, come from the Ala Shan district. They can carry full loads of 500 pounds, and are to be depended upon for crossing the desert or for struggling through a dizzy Himalayan pass. The well-cared-for animals owned by Mongols are those which have made the camel's reputation for endurance in Asia (see text, page 197).