In the shadow of the silk road

China's flag
Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar
October 8th 2015
Published: January 1st 2017
Edit Blog Post

I was travelling in the far west corner of China and one of the most diverse provinces of the country along the Silk Road.

I like those travels passing through the desert scenaries: it is enchanting and I love the admire the landscapes on a train I just find it fascinating and I adore to travel for days on it.

I traveled through the Taklamakan desert in one of the rometest part of China.

Kashgar or also Kashi as it is known by the "bendi ren" local people.

Here the people are Uighur which is the main ethnic group of Xinjiang that has about 47 ethnic groups in total.

This city with its people of very old traditions, cows, goats, camels, the stunning ancient city and bazaar made me fall in love with this place.

Here the people are Muslim and so they are resentful toward the "Han" people which is about 94% of the entire population in China.

I stayed in the Wusitang residential district. It was my favourite spot because, just outside of the door of my guesthouse, I could see a beautiful market with old men still going around the street with their old carts selling delicious produces, other people working on their home to restore them and full of dust, people playing card games and eating nuts, women dressed with their brown gown covering the entire body, kids collecting, in hey baskets, the poo of the animals that it is used as fuel, stands outside in the open air, wrapped by big clouds of vapour and smoke, serving skewer and goat soup.

I love the hustle and bustle of these places and it is hard to think that I am in China with such different people, culture and religion.

The communist took possesion of this romote and far away part of China in 1949 when Chairman Mao founded the People's Rupublic of China.

One great place that cannot be missed it is the great Bazaar opened every day which I visited on a comfortable quiet day with no rush and not so crowded.

From dawn,long queues of people, carts, horses, camels and goats converge from any direction and within a few hours fifty and sometime sixty thousands people try to deal with someone or just go there to taste the numerous delicacies coming from allover central Asia.

Anything someone could ever wish: I love the Kashgar knives, but also leather boots, skull cups finely decorated, sadels, colourful carpets, copper objects, plentiful and colourful powder.

Rudimental machinery used by dentists with a pedal drill.

Herborists, jewellery shops, shoes, clothes and much much more are what anyone can find here.

Old people wrap up their cigarettes with pieces of newspaper and others waiting for to eat some sort of bread called nan, which I just go crazy for it, given by a man on a tuk tuk style bycicle which is something that must be tried.

Talking with the local people it is fascinating and really interesting to listen to the history of this enchanting province which is Xinjiang and Kashgar.

I was told that when the communist party went to power all of this was forbidden because of ideological reasons and the great bazaar was closed until 1981 when it reopened and everything came back to normality.

Mosques also reopened: ninetytwo mosques reopened and the people were free again to go to pray their god and read the Coran.

Nowadays there still Uighur people that cannot speak Chinese and they are young.

It is a sign that here there is yet a huge gap between the bendi ren and the intruders: the Han, but slowly this huge force of modernization will also change dramatically the culture and traditions of these fantastic people dominating them like the giant statue of Mao Tsetung.

Additional photos below
Photos: 73, Displayed: 24


1st January 2017

Xinjiang is high on our bucket list Marcos but reckon I have to get there before it is too late. I note from your photos that the earthen market areas are now concreted so I reckon I may already be too late to catch the feel of the old before the new catches up. I hope not!
2nd January 2017

Hi Dave,unfortunately it is changing everywhere:nowadays people wish concrete and have the same interests and losing their traditions and cultures.I feel sorry for beautiful countries of Asia..

Tot: 0.253s; Tpl: 0.011s; cc: 31; qc: 153; dbt: 0.1515s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb