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Kashgar Travel Guide

Kashgar, a city with a long and complicated history, located between mountain and steppe, oasis and desert, East and West, at a natural intersection of ancient pathways leading from the capitals of Rome, Persia, Mongolia and China. Its strategic location at the eastern end of the Tarim River Basin makes the city a meeting place of many cultures, today as in the past. The varied faces, languages, clothing, and dwellings of the Kashgaris who inhabit the town, and the hordes of travelers who pass through, are the most enduring legacy of its diverse and multicultural history. It's also the starting point of the overland Xinjiang-Tibet Highway.

Major Attractions

Sunday Bazaar

Picture of Kashgar Sunday Bazaar

The Mal Bazaar is the livestock market, where locals from all the surrounding villages come to town on that day (Sunday) to buy and sell animals. It's held on an open (but fenced) ground. It's popular with tourists, but the market is so big it still feels like a working bazaar.

The Yengi Bazaar is the handicrafts, cloths, carpets and anything-else-you-could-expect market. This market is actually open daily and is less crowded on weekdays.

The bazaar in Kashgar is the biggest in central Asia. As early as two thousand years ago, it was the collecting and distributing center of goods. Nowadays, it has become even more busy. You will get a feeling that nothing changes over the centuries.

Karakul Lake

Picture of Karakul Lake

190km from Kashgar om the Kara Koram Highway with the elevation of 3, 600m above sea level. It is on the lap of two giants, Muztagh Ata regarded "the father of ice mountains", Kongur reputated with more avalanche. It is rare highland lake in the world.

By the lake, there are yurts and restaurant available for tourists to stop and over night. In a fine day, you get a good view of Muztagh Ata and Kongur and snow-capped peaks , flocks of animals, grassland are all reflected in the water, which looks mystical.

Tomb of Abac Hoja

Massive, elegant building created in 1640 in a typical Islamic style. Also a pilgrimage site. It's 2 miles from the city center. Prayer day is Friday.

Id Kah Mosque

Picture of Id Kah Mosque

Very distinctive for its yellow walls and Central Asian architecture. Women are generally not allowed inside, but modestly dressed foreigners should have no problem. You should remove your shoes for the carpeted area.

Tomb of Yusup Khass Hajip

Tomb of city's much loved philosopher and poet who wrote the 13,290 line poem "The Wisdom of Happiness and Pleasure" in the Uighur language

How to Get in?

By plane

There are 5 daily flights between Urumqi and Kashgar which will cost you 1.5hrs around to arrive. Leaving Kashgar for Urumqi is not a easy task. It is a good idea to book tickets as far in advance as possible.

By Train

Being the terminal of the south Xinjiang ralway, the train transportation is very convenient, but time-consuming. Everyday at 14:42, K888 starts from Kashgar and arrives at Urumqi at 14:52 the next day. K886 leaves Urumqi at 13:22 and arrives at Kashgar at 13:16 the next day.

By Road

The bus between Urumqi and Kashgar goes via Aksu, Kuqa, Korla and Toksun. The trip takes about 36 hours. Sleeper buses are more comfortable. Some people hire jeeps and drivers and cover the distance this way.There are also buses from Kashgar to Tashkurgan, which is the last town along the Karakoram Highway that heads to Pakistan.

Best Time to Come

The best time to travel is between August and September, when the sky is blue and there is blossom and fruit on the trees.With a short warm winter and a long cool summer, temperatures in the city are pleasant most of the year. The four seasons in Kashgar are very clear.

The average temperature for the year is 11.8 degree C, the average temperature of the coolest month of January is -6 degree C, and in the hottest month, July, the average temperature is 27 degree C.

The average rainfall here is only 121mm, but the evaporation capacity amounts to 2162mm, and on average there are 224 days a year without frost here.

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