The old city of Kashgar, Xinjian

Kashgar, Kāshí, قەشقەر‎, or 喀什, is a city in Xinjiang province Uyghur Autonomous Region at the far Western edge of China. Almost everything about the city seems like it would be more fitting in the nearby -stan countries.

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This is where the Silk Road enters China. The old city is a huge mound of brick and mud buildings connected in a labrynth of narrow corridors. The only parts not bearing a reddish brown resemblance to the desert that surrounds the city are the thousands of brightly painted doors.

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It’s about this time when my stomach starts to get the better of me. These buns were stuffed with a fatty super-garlicy lamb mix that was absolutey delicious.

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Back to the city… The reason we decided to visit now is because the city is being torn down by the Chinese authorities. Most of the buildings have already been abandoned and the wrecking crews are in full force.

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The government has said that the old city is overcroweded and an earthquake disaster waiting to happen. They’re definitely right, but it seems a shame to replace such history with generic apartment blocks.

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Outside of the old city is clearly “China Town.” It’s like being in any other Chinese city. This photo sums up the contrast quite well.

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The city plans to replace the city with reproductions of islamic architecture. The full details are in a New York Times article from 2009.

Following riots in July 2009, the city has been without internet access, international phone connections, or the ability to send international text messages. To follow the news, people gather in the square in front of the central mosque to watch the news on the big television.

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After three full days of exploring a small city, we found time to squeeze in an afternoon of Settlers. More likely, we ran out of things to see in Kashgar.

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One thought on “The old city of Kashgar, Xinjian

  1. I can’t believe it, but I rode that sketchy ferris wheel. My Han friends insisted that we do it. It was falling apart 10 years ago and I’m sure it’s the same one, so I’m hoping you passed.

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