Kashgar Old Town
Grand Sunday Bazaar
Kashgar’s main bazaar is open every day but really kicks it up a gear on Sunday. Step through the jam-packed entrance and allow your...
Abakh Hoja (Afaq Khoja) Mausoleum
On the northeastern outskirts of town is the Abakh Hoja Mausoleum, a 3-hectare complex built by the Khoja family who ruled the region in...
This extraordinary natural rock arch (the rather prosaic Uighur name means simply ‘mountain with a hole in it’) is one of the tallest on...
This popular Uighur restaurant may well be a little far out, but its striking appearance and good food make it well worth a trip. The...
Kashgar Old Town information
The Old Town is the soul of Kashgar, and as such the Chinese government has spent much of the past two decades knocking it down block by block and building a modern, soulless replacement. Yet it's still possible to see some of the remaining alleyways: check out the neighbourhood near Donghai Lake in the eastern part of the city. Around Jiefang Lu there are also alleys lined with Uighur workshops and adobe houses that have withstood the passage of time.
Where they exist, houses range in age from 50 to 500 years old and the lanes twist haphazardly through neighbourhoods where Kashgaris have lived and worked for centuries. It’s a great place for strolling, peeking through gates, chatting to the locals and admiring the craftsmen as they bang on tin and chase copper.
Traditional houses in Kashgar, rarely more than two-stories high, are built with poplar timber and mud bricks. Walls are very thick but usually unadorned on the outside. The inner courtyards and balconies, however, are decorated with woodcarvings and hangings.
At the eastern end of Seman Lu stands a 10m-high section of the Old Town walls, which are at least 500 years old. Much of the rest of the Old Town has now been enclosed by modern walls, put there by the Chinese government.