Kashgar Almost Lives Up to the Hype

My second day in Kashgar was a pretty great day.  I spent most of the day exploring the Old Town, and I made it over to the Bazaar.  My major regret so far for this trip is that I was held over in Turpan an extra day, and I missed the Sunday Market here.  They have an enormous and world famous livestock market, where every kind of animal imaginable is traded.  I had planned on making it one of the highlights of my trip, and everyone I meet here has asked me why I didn’t go.  Maybe next time.

Last night, I also took a stroll to the night market in town.  Because China is all in one time zone, it doesn’t really get dark here until 11:30.  In a show of defiance, the locals operate on their own time, two hours later, but all of the banks, buses, trains, planes, and government offices run on Beijing Time.

I also managed to find someone to help split the costs of the trip into the mountains tomorrow.  We’ll be traveling along the legendary Karakoram Highway, the old Silk Road route to Pakistan.  Although there’s really nothing architecturally  or historically significant to see up there, I’m really excited to do a little hiking again, and to actually get close to the Himalayas.

Here are the photos from last night, and today (remember to click to enlarge):

This one gets me. China has been following Japan's lead, and putting in all of these special sidewalk pavers for the vision-impared. They seem pretty useless, however, if they lead the blind off a cliff.

Kashgar's night market is a little more legit than Lanzhou's.

No thank you. I think I'll skip the male reproductive organs for today.

I have seen more melons over the last few days than I knew existed in the world.

Would anyone like some meat?

This guy was making goat's head stew, a favorite in Central Asia, so I know I'll be seeing a lot of it over the next couple of weeks.

Watermelon everywhere. As many of you know, I have a really hard time passing up watermelon, but I haven't really enjoyed it here. It would be more refreshing if it weren't kept so darn warm and mushy.

This is in the heart of Kashgar. I'll reserve comments on this one until I've left the country.

The Old Town has little mosques tucked into corners.

This is the entry to the above mosque.

The Old Town has specialty craft areas, where it seems like every shop in a row is devoted to a particular product or technique. This is the lathe section of town.

This is how the food gets its kick.

Another mosque tucked into a corner.

These little alleyways can be found all over the Old Town.

Back by popular demand: Smiling Kids!

By the way, these kids (and the ones above) flagged me down, and begged me to take their picture. They run after me, shouting "Hello! Hello!"

In the summer, the doors to the homes are left open, and a simple drape is used to provide privacy.

You can find absolutely anything at the Kashgar Bazaar.

Yes, they do sell silk here.

I call this section of the market Hideous Carpet Row.

Why wouldn't you have your dental office open to the street?

A sign told me not to go up this way, but I pretended I didn't see it.

There was a similar sign here.

I caved. I know that gelato will win this battle hands down, but I couldn't resist. It was mediocre, but it did the job.

9 thoughts on “Kashgar Almost Lives Up to the Hype

  1. you better watch the watermelons in china this summer. they’ve had the problem that they were so filled with growth steroids that they have been exploding. i had the privilege of seeing some of these exploded watermelons on my last trip.

  2. wow! nice dental office! More modern than I would have guessed! That ice cream cone looked a bit sad, but yes, you’ll have your fill of gelato soon enough! The mosques are really beautiful, I like the shapes of their entryways and windows. And that’s unfortunate for the blind people that they direct them into construction zones, hopefully they have seeing eye dogs there!

    And yes, the photos of the children are so fun…glad they were so enthusiastic about a big, white foreigner!

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