Golden Peak Tours

Tuesday, 26th Sep 2017

Road To Kashghar

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Kashgar (or Kashi) is situated in the southwest of Xinjiang province at the foot of the Pamir Mountains. From the west, this is the first point of arrival on land routes from Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan. Kashgar itself has a population of about 300,000 people who live around its desert oasis, growing cotton, rice, wheat, corn, beans and fruit. For long, this remote city some 4000 km from Beijing was a vital stop on the Silk Road. In the 1800's Kashgar was important for its role in "The Great Game", the struggle between the Russians, Chinese and British for control of Central Asia. In 1935, the city was effectively run by the Soviets until Second World War when it came back under Chinese control. Today, the most striking thing about Kashgar is the Turkestan influence visible on the streets and in the homes here. And this is no great surprise considering that 90% of the population is practicing Muslims and Uigur bazaars, tea houses and faces dominate the streets. The city is particularly busy between May and October; jam packed with merchants and traders hot-off the Karakoram Highway from Pakistan and Kirgyistan.

Xinjiang food has much more of a Central Asian flavor to it than a Chinese taste. Kashgar is one of the best cities in the region to sample authentic Xinjiang cuisine and there are literally thousands of tiny Uigur restaurants dotted about the place serving up local specialties. The area around the Seman Hotel is a lively district to begin the culinary adventures. John's Information Cafe (opposite the hotel) is a popular haunt with backpackers. The streets around here and near Id Kah Square are full of Uigur restaurants serving local specialties including mutton kebabs, Nan bread stew, Uigur rice, roast fish and noodles.

Id Kah Mosque
The Id Kah Emin also known as the Id Kah Mosque (Aitigaer Qingzhensi) is the largest mosque in China and the religious center of Kashgar. Id Kah was built by Shakesirmirzha, who ruled the city in 1442. Id Kah provides a striking contrast to the Chinese-styled mosques further West in places like Xian. The yellow-and-white structure has a central dome and flanking minarets similar to the mosques of Pakistan or Afghanistan. It has been extended to its present shape through several renovation works.

Kashgar Grand Bazaar
Kashgar's Sunday Bazaar is the busiest part of the city and well worth seeing. It extends along the banks of the Turman River in the suburbs of Kashgar City. Every Sunday is a Bazaar day, during which tens of thousands of people come from nearby prefectures and counties to trade. The goods available include pots and pans, clothing, utensils and knives, and even live animals such as donkeys, goats and horses.

Kashgar is probably the only city in Xinjiang, which reserves its tradition well. Today, despite modernization and architectural decline, the city manages to meet most visitors' expectations.

Itinerary

Day Programme
1 Arrive Islamabad 7 Drive to Gulmit
2 Drive To Besham 8 Drive to Taxkhorgan via Khunjerab Pass
3 Drive to Gilgit 9 Drive to Khasghar
4 Drive to Karimabad 10 Full day in Kashghar
5 Excursion to Hoper Glacier 11 Fly to Islamabad
6 Full Day at Karimabad 12 Transfer to Airport