Blogs from Kashgar, Xinjiang, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar September 14th 2014

Tashikurgan provincial town, 230km south of Kashgar on the Karakorum highway - a focus of this trip, the town is still in China but only 14km from Tajikistan, a quick look round town and is has all changed again, 60% of locals from Tashikurgan, different hats & they might kiss your palm for a greeting, generally not really pleased to be Chinese. The whole area is steeped in history, back to Han Dynasty. Three mountain ranges meet here in town, Himalaya, Tien-Shan from North (bit annoying as thought I had been in Himalayas for 3 wks already - seams not), and Karakorum mountains to south. The route south passes within 30km of K2, although it requires 10 day trick to see K2. So where is K1?, well K1 is the Karakurum mountains of Pakistan - see ... read more
New travel hotel
Eagle symbol of Tasikistan people.
what is for supper?

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar September 13th 2014

4 nights in city we were ready to leave. Alim arrived with driver 9:30 saturday morning to guide us south, at various check points & his paperwork's gets us waved through, the first section is 200km highway to Karakuli lake and a Yurt stay, very popular with tourists in region. With 80km of roadworks, where locals are building a new road some of it on 50m stilts to level gradient, which does avoid river when it floods, but I would prefer to maintain hairpins bends in an earthquake zone. Karakuli lake is a nice setting at 3600m, surrounded by 3 mountains all over 7500m, was bit cloudy, but U just wat to take better photo, so took all day to arrive there. The Yurt was nice, with thick noodle supper. Restrained myself from following the local ... read more
Harley in dry river wash
New G314 road construction
Bit of gravel on G314 road

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar September 10th 2014

First day in China, we went to vehicle testing centre, for bike checks & permits to drive. Buying fuel for a bike is tricky especially in city, only possible at the 3rd service station, which we drove 100m up wrong side note dual carriegway to get too!. The fast pump flow rate is considered a risk, so attendants fill a kettle then we can pour fuel into bike away from pump, I would suggest this is quite risky too. Kashgar is a city of 1million people, so are there 1000 cities like it in China?. Estimate 200,000 electric scooters in this city - they are everywhere, have own special lanes between pavement and main roads, but seem to just move randomly with purpose, 1 in 30 would carry 4. Police and army are very visible here, ... read more
Decanting with 7ltr Kettle
no mini mart !
scooter conjestion

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar August 16th 2014

The Karakorum Highway (KKH as it is popularly known) is a spectacular mountain highway that goes from Kashgar to Islamabad in Pakistan. The LP describes it as "one of the worlds most spectacular roads , and China's gateway to Pakistan". I suspect they wrote that before the roadworks took place that we were about to experience. We are going along the KKH only(445kms round trip) as far as the Pakistan border at Kunjerab Pass (5200m) via Kara Kul Lake and Tashkurgan. After passing thru Opal village where we stocked up with water, bread and fruit, we headed up to the mountains. Two hrs from Kashgar, we passed thru the canyon of the river Ghez with brilliant red sandstone rock faces, and the first major military checkpoint, where our passports and permits are scrutinised. Before we get ... read more
Red sandstone cliffs of Ghez Canyon
Red sandstone cliffs of Ghez Canyon
Traffic jam in road works

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar August 14th 2014

After a long but reasonably uneventful train ride, we finally arrived at Kashgar Railway station, which surprisingly was just on the outskirts of the city. Trip started with a bit of a drama when on entering our already small 4 bunk sleeper compartment to discover that a family of five had already made themselves home. Two yelling toddlers completed the picture ! We squeezed ourselves into the tiny space and heaved our large packs into the even smaller space between the bunks and the standoff commenced. "Get out of our compartment" was 'our' position, while "we were here first" was there's. We finally resolved when the husband and one child reluctantly agreed to leave our space, and return to their (we assume ) allocated compartment. So we only had the Mum and one yelling child and ... read more
Kashgar delicacy - boiled Sheeps heads
Kashgar market - Roast Lamb
Kashgar Market - butcher shop

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar July 8th 2014

KASHGAR DAY 3: TUESDAY 8.7.14 Have done very little today. Went for a walk in the Mosque area, quite interesting. Changed and patched a flat tube, put on new pedals purchased from a departing rider. My existing were clips in each side. Great for bitumen. Purchased clip in on one side, flat on the other, meaning I can clip out on loose surface and ride on the flat side. This will enable me to more easily use my foot if balance on loose surface is require. Don't know why I didn't think to bring my similar pedals from home-$10 so a bargain. We depart in the morning for a ride of about 120 Kms I think. Shouldn't be too bad if wind is kind! Well rested as I think others are. Hopefully Friday's sadness will keep ... read more
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Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar July 7th 2014

KASHGAR SUNDAY 6.7.14 Weather: fine, hot. Went with others to the famed Sunday animal market, really a livestock market, for the sale of sheep, goats and cattle. A dusty, busy market,bustling with animals, motorcycle utilities carting a few sheep or goats and trucks carting bulls. Have seen goats and sheep in paddocks but no cattle, so don't know from how far they have travelled. The land here doesn't grow grass, so they must either be hand fed or come from a distance. The sheep are quite tall and large and are of a different variety to any I have seen before. They have large protruding bums, like baboons, but are wool covered. Must be where they store fat for the hard days or weather. Pity my camera battery was flat!! The sheep / goats are trussed ... read more

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar July 5th 2014

KUQA to SALT CAMP. WEDNESDAY 2.7.14 Distance: 148 Kms SubT. 4,438. Kms Bal 7976 Kms Road Condition: GOOD , GREAT TAIL WIND Weather: hot by mid morning. 45C at camp Time in Saddle: 5.5 hrs Av Speed: av. 28 kph. Elevation: 200 m : Decent 50 M Calories burned : 5000 Left hotel at 7am. Had an excellent tail wind all day which made riding easier. At 11 am only had 12 Kms to go, however, TL was having a hard time finding a suitably discreet camping ground, to hide from police hassle. So we all sat at large garage for 2hrs drinking soft drinks waiting. Apparently the police are more demanding this trip than previously due to the restive nature of Xinjiang province. This is one of China's largest provinces. It would like to join ... read more
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Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar June 23rd 2014

Hey everybody! This is my first blog entry, so it is not perfect, photos will follow soon! I am right now still in Kashgar at the extreme west of China, and it seriously doesnt really feel like the good old China back in Nanjing. This is Central Asia in all but name. Turkish population, desert landscape, islamic prayer calls all over the day and dont even try to get your get your Gong Bao Chicken around here! But i am staying at this lovely Hostel just across the street from the main mosque, which offers an amazing rooftop perfectly fit for engaging in late night disussions about the capitalism, happiness and virtue...if you know me well, you will understand I find it hard to leave! The Road to Och in Kirgyztan will be a little bumpy, ... read more

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar September 16th 2013

Bishkek to Kashgar Writing this update in Kashgar in western China. We are in one of the most westerly of the Chinese Provinces – Xin Jiang. The population of the province is mostly Uighur (pronounced Wee ger). There are also a large Kyrgyz population who are located in the western part of the province and in Kashgar. There are also a fair number of Chinese who have been part of the Chinese “trans-migration” into the region. The Uighers and Kyrgyz tolerate the Chinese (Han) but resent their presence. The first leg of the trip to Kashgar from Bishkek was Bishkek to Tash Rabat. I’ll take up the story from Bishkek. Tuesday 10 September: Left Bishkek by bus after having met up with the rest of the group the night before. The makeup is two ... read more
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