Favorite thing: Everybody was surprised to look at this big modern city of Kashgar with the main street of 8 lanes wide and high rise buildings. Yes you are not in dream but you are looking at the real big Kashgar already turned into a huge modern city as shown here in all my photos taken by me in the month of June 2004. I wasn't the Kashgar that always appear on TV or travel magazines where we have those, those old traditional scene where a barber or some villagers with cattles. Yes, I still can see some typical Old Kashgar scene but it was in only a small portion inside this huge big modern city, which means the Old Kashgar is already part of this whole thing.
Favorite thing: Tourists can choose to stay in the new modern part or at the old town with the traditional Uyghurs. I saw a city so similar to those I saw in big cities, that's my impression for Kashgar except it has the old town. New areas have many shops mostly owned by Han with contrast to see the traditional Uyghurs still living with their traditions and beliefs where many women cover their face and head completely (yes completely including eyes) by a piece of big brown cloth. Surprisingly I noticed these women can uncover and cover casually in public, they flip up the cloth whenever they want, cover completely yet again to stroll around on the street.
Favorite thing: In every big and small cities I visit in China nowadays must have a statue of this person. I think this must be a statue of Mr.Confucius for sure. Anyway, I saw most of Kashgar are similar to most other Chinese cities, probably coming from a same city planner using same construction techniques. The city buses are so convenient to send tourists to anywhere they want, that's how I got here. Opposite this statue is a place where many billiard tables and many Kashians hanging around. I don't know why I want to come here but have no choice maybe.
It's November and you cannot get cash via any ATM here. My hotel does not currently exchange money (it's off-season) though I'm sure the higher end hotels do.
The Main Branch of the Bank of China (across from the Mao Statue) has been my only option to get money off my debit card. They allow you to take cash off of a mastercard (which is my debit card) for a 3% commission. You can also exchange USD or Traveler's cheques at a lower rate.
It's funny, the ATM's outside the Bank of China show the symbols for PLUS, CIRRUS, etc. but that doesn't mean jack here or in Urumqi.
Crossed the border a few days ago.
In case anyone need the information,
Visa fee for Malaysian: 8USD; Singapore: 15USD
The bus from Kashgar said to be departed everyday at 12 noon but only go if there is more than 10 people. Anytime in the day if there is more than 10, it will go regardless of the time. Our bus left Kashgar at 4pm.
Independent traveler can leave the contact with the worker who do the loading in the bus station or take a private car to Tashkurgan and join the international bus on the 2nd day. Private car to Tashkurgan costs 80yuan per person for 4 in a group.
The Sunday market happens every day. The only thing different on Sunday is the livestock.
In my opinion, Kashgar has become too easy for westerners to get to. It's become corrupted by the tourism industry. Those going to see authenticity won't be disappointed though. Just expect to see lots of Lonely Planet kids hanging around.
Favorite thing: Kashi, a city of mixture between Asian and Arabia where you can see multiples culture existing and live with harmony among each other.