Kashgar Things to Do

  • Id Kah Mosque
    Id Kah Mosque
    by John195123
  • Old Town of Kashgar
    Old Town of Kashgar
    by nepalgoods
  • 2007
    2007
    by nepalgoods

Best Rated Things to Do in Kashgar

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    Sunday Bazaar in 1992

    by nepalgoods Updated Aug 10, 2007

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    Kashgar Sunday Market
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    This is what I wrote about my visit of the Sunday Bazaar in 1992:

    Since ancient times Kashgar has been on the cross roads between Central Asia and China:
    - Tibet-Xinjiang Highway crossing the Kunlun Mountains with a total length of 1,184 kilometers.
    - Xinjiang-Qinhai Highway (go along the southern Silk Road)
    - Famous Karakoram highway(KKH)
    - Highway to Kyrgyzstan via Torugart Pass and Erkashtam Pass
    - Kashgar-Urumqi Highway
    Kahsgar has been THE place to exchange goods and news. Its importance in trading can still be experienced during the famous Sunday Bazaar (Sunday Market), when people come from far to trade and meet on the Kashgar Market.
    Today they do not trade camels on every sunday. So unfortunately I did not see any camels on the market.
    For more pics please see my travelogue!

    For informations on present day's Sunday Bazaar (2007) please see my next tip!

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    Id Kah Mosque

    by nepalgoods Updated Aug 10, 2007

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    1992 The Mosque and the Square
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    The Id Kah Mosque (Uygur: Square of Festival) is the biggest mosque in town. Construction started as early as the 9th century. The building was many times restaurated. Now the big gate dominates the square in the center of Kashgar.

    History and discription of the mosque as written under www.silkroadcn.com:
    Shakesimirza, the ruler of Kashgar at that time, had the mosque built here in 1442, in the aim to build a place where he would say prayers to the souls of his deceased relatives. Extended and renovated several times but keep the style, size,painting, it has finally reached its present size. The Mosque, 140 meters long from south to north and 120 meters from east to west, covers an area of 16,800 sq,uare meters and consists of the Hall of Prayer, the Doctrine-Teaching Hall, the gate tower, a pond and some other auxiliary structures.

    The gate of the mosque, built of yellow bricks with the joints of the brick work pointed with gysum, has distinct lines. On both side of the gate are eighteen-meter high round brick columns half embedded in the wall. On the top of the columns stands a minaret. The hall's ceiling, with fine wooden carvings and colorful flower-and-plant painting patterns, is suppourted by one hundred carved wooden columns.

    2007: Id Kah Mosque is a very pleasant place with old trees and old men watching critically the modern tourists admiring their mosque.

    Only the first pic is from 1992. If you want to see, how the mosque looks like in 2007 please see the other on this tip.

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    Chinese Kashgar

    by nepalgoods Updated Aug 10, 2007

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    2007: Mao Statue
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    If you come from Pakistan (Karakorum Highway) to Kashgar you will find, that Kashgar is a very Chinese city with Mao Statues and the grey modern buildings. But if you come from the East you'll think, that Kashgar does not look very Chinese but mainly Centralasian.

    I found the big Mao statue still standing in 2007. But the surroundings were completely different. Still I think Kashgar is a great mixture of Uygur and Chinese culture. This time (2007) I thought, Kashgar was a very oriental and Uygur city.

    Today you won't find a store like the one in the 3rd pic anymore.

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    Old Town

    by nepalgoods Updated Aug 10, 2007

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    Old Town of Kashgar
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    The Old Town is full of little shops and teahouses and small workshops. It is most fascinating to stroll around and watch the people working and living. I wrote that after my trip in 1992. Well in a way that is still true in 2007. There are still many small roads with lots of small and old shops and teahouses left.

    But there is a part of Kashgar, which is officially called the "Old Town". This area is loacted on a small hill and you have to pay an entrance fee to have the opportunity to stroll around in the narrow streets, where no cars can go in. Maybe I should put this under "Tourist Traps" as I think it is a ripp off. There is no need to see just this area as there are many other nice and old streets in Kashgar..

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    People Watching

    by nepalgoods Updated Aug 10, 2007

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    1992
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    I loved the many different and impressive faces of people in Kashgar. Sit down in a small teahouse and watch the people pass by. What stories could they tell? For more see my travelogue!

    2007: This certainly has not changed! There are so many interesting people to watch!

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    Karakorum Highway

    by nepalgoods Written Aug 12, 2007

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    Into the Gorge
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    If you are in Kashgar and you did not come from Pakistan oder go to Pakistan, an excursion to Karakul Lake and Karakorum Highway is an absolute must! I was lucky enoght to see this spectacular landscpae two time in my life: In 1992, when I came from Pakistan going all the way from Islamabad to Beijing. And again in 2007, when I was on a group tour through Central Asia.

    I enjoyed my trip this june 2007 very much, as I now had the opportunity to take all the pics, that I did not in 1992, when I was on the road with public transport.

    When you do this tour starting in Kashgar, the frist about 20 - 30 km are on a highway through some oasis. Then you come to a wide valley with red mountain walls right and left. In the middle is a river, which can be like a lake (June 1992) or like a small river with not much water (June 2007). After a while the road goes up into a gorge with bright red mountains. When you reach the top, the valley opens and gives way to a spectacular view of a lake and high snowcapped mountains. There sanddunes from the sand, that the wind brought from Taklamakan Desert to the Mountains. The mountains you can see here belong to Pamir, Kunjherab, Karakorum and Tianshan. Make a stop here to enjoy the fresh air and the quietness of the mountains. The road is very good an donly sometimes a truck passes.
    After that the road winds it way up into the mountains. With every curve you find more overwhelming views: green gras, white mountains, blue sky. The high mountain you can see now dominating the landscape is Muztag Ata, the "Father of all Snow Mountains". Muztag Ata is 7.546m high.
    At the foot of Muztag Ata Karakul Lake, the Black Lake, is shining in the sun (hopefully). There is a place, where there are jurts, catering for the needs of tourists. There are even toilets. Some nomads offer souvenirs or a ride on a camel or horse. The lake is about 3.700 m high. So there maybe a bit of short breath. Do not walk too fast and do not do any exhausting long walks, if you are not used to this high altitude!

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    Cattle Market 2007

    by nepalgoods Updated Aug 10, 2007

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    Even though the Sunday Bazaar as I saw it in 1992 does not exist anymore, there is still a lively Cattle Market on every sunday. The market has moved to the outskirts of Kashgar.

    The nomads of the Kashgar area bring their sheep, cattle, horses and donkeys to the market. It is great place to watch people and get an impression of the trade a long the Silkroad.

    I found it also very interesting, that around the cattle market there are a lot of other open air markets: cars, wood, building materials and much more. For every kind of stuff there is a special area.

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    Sunday Bazaar in 2007

    by nepalgoods Updated Aug 10, 2007

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    4 more images

    Things have changed since 1992 a lot!!

    The socalled Sunday Bazaar is now a big oriental bazaar, which is open every day. It is still a very lively place where the local people come from near and far to buy all their daily stuff. It is really interesting specially when you explore the more remote areas of the bazaar. I bought a piece of fabric there and I was quite astonished, that people did ot even speak Mandarin!

    Near the main entrance is a nice tourist shop, where can you enjoy a rest in an airconditioned room. You can have a cup of tea, even if you do not buy anything there, and used the clean toilet.

    Well, I should not forget to mention, that the Sunday Cattle Market still exists. It has moved to the outskirts of Kashgar. For more please see my next tip!

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    Mausoleum of Abakh Hodscha

    by nepalgoods Written Aug 11, 2007

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    Abakh Hodscha Mausoleum
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    Abakh Hodscha, the ruler over Kashgar, Kucha, Korla, Aksu and Khotan in 17th century had this Mausoleum build for his father Mohammed Yusuf. Abakh Hodscha was also a religious leader and respected by his people as a prophet. When he died, he was buried in the Mausoleum and the name was changed in Abakh Hodscha Mausoleum.

    The architecture of this beautiful building reminds of the famous Taj Mahal. It was build in 1640 almost at the same time as the Taj Mahal.

    The Mausoleum contains 58 tombs. Five generations of the family of Hodscha are burried here. The most famous is the tomb of the socalled "Scented Concubine".

    Iparhan (born 1734) was a concubine of famous emperor Qianlong. She was called "Scented Concubine (Xiang Fei) because it was said, that her skin had a fine scent. Iperhan did not want to be the concubine of Qianlong, who had conquered her home town Kashgar, and resisted him many years. At the age of 29 she was forced by his mother to commit suicide. 3 years later her body and sarcophag was transported to her hometown Kashgar. For Uygur people the Scented Concubine is a symbol of resistance against the Chinese rulers. But: Chinese scientists have now found out, that Xiang Fei is the same person as the concubine Rong Fei, who agreed to the politics of Emperor Qianlong concerning the Western Provinces. She is said to have died at the age of 55 and is buried in the Eathern Qing Tombs at Zunhua. This news caused some irritation and today most Uygurs do not worship the Scented Concubine anymore.

    The buildings of the Mausoleum and the surrounding Mosque and gardens are a pleasant and quiet place.

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    Streets of Handicrafts and Workshops

    by nepalgoods Updated Jan 10, 2009

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    There are many streets in Kashgar, which still show old workshops and handicrafts. Strolling around and having a look into the shops is like diving into a time long ago. Copper basins are made by hand, musicalinstruments have been neatly decorated and men are sitting on the street talking. Just left of the big Id Kah Mosque there is one of those streets located. Only the first 100m or so are for the tourists. The further you go the more authentic life gets in this street.

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    Camels at the Sunday Market

    by Wanderboy43 Written Nov 16, 2003

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    Ride me to Paris, please

    The market is open every day (variety of goods), but on Sundays you can go to a different site (5 minutes away by taxi) to see the animal market.
    The most interesting thing I learned (other than camels mouths are filthy) is that Uighurs use a method for bargaining by locking hands and using a communication method only with their fingers (bargaining without speaking). This is still used today in the animal market. v cool to observe.

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    You must get massages!

    by Wanderboy43 Updated Nov 11, 2003

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    Traveling is rough

    After 6 weeks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, it has been fantastic to get massage after massage here in Kashgar.
    The cost for a basic 1 hour massage is Rmb40 ($5) though why not pay more to get pedicure, foot massage, facials etc. (total Rmb88)
    There are a bunch of places around and the quality of the massages is very good (and the places are clean).

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    Uighur men selling 'goods' on the sidewalk

    by Wanderboy43 Written Nov 16, 2003

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    Where's the party?

    At a couple different places in Kashgar there are groups of Uighur men gathered selling goods like cell phones and leather jackets. It's not a dangerous scene - just interesting to see 100 men milling around on a street corner (with a bit of that shifty eye look)

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    Kashgar streets

    by Madmaxola Written Feb 11, 2004

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    kashgar bakery

    The best thing about Kashgar is it is probably one of the most preserved still 'living' medieval cities. When you walk around the mud-brick and timber Uyghur houses/neighborhoods, you really get a feeling like you're still in the 14th century. It's like living time-travel.

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    Id Kah Mosque

    by Madmaxola Written Feb 11, 2004

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    The Largest mosque in Kashgar, and probably china. Simplly designed and very functional, the Id Kah mosque is smack in the middle of town. You can go in to visit and even enter the prayer hall, as long as you take off your shoes. The entrance fee is 10 yuan (about $1.25), and it's an interesting half hour or so.

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Kashgar Things to Do

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