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Kashgar

Locked away in the westernmost corner of China, closer to Tehran and Damascus than to Běijīng, Kashgar (喀什; Kāshí) has been the epicentre of regional trade and cultural exchange for more than two millennia.

In recent years, modernity has swept through Kashgar, bringing waves of Han migrant workers and huge swathes of the old city have been bulldozed in the name of ‘progress’. Only a tiny section of the 'real' Old Town remains today, and is unlikely to survive for much longer.

Yet, in the face of these changes, the spirit of Kashgar lives on. Uyghur craftspeople and artisans still hammer and chisel away as they have done for centuries, traders haggle over deals in the boisterous bazaars and donkey carts still trundle their way through the narrow alleyways. Do not miss the city's Sunday livestock market, which remains a fascinating sight, no matter how many tour buses roll up.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kashgar.