Why is Kashgar Old Town special?
Kashgar is an oasis city in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This 2,000-year-old city is at the westernmost part of China, where north and south Silk Roads met, creating a frenzy of trade.
The old town area of Kashgar is the best-preserved example of a traditional Islamic city to be found anywhere in Central Asia. Uyghur people have been living in this area since the city of Kashgar was formed more than two thousand years ago. With an occupation of 4.250 square kilometers, it is now home to more than 126,800 people. This historic town is full of customs and stories.
Highlights of Kashgar Old Town
The Kashgar Old Town is famous for its fascinating architectural style and winding narrow streets. Most of the houses are built by mud and wood with beautifully carved wooden ceilings. The structured roof, walls, doors, windows and colors remain unchanged for centuries. Many houses are even passed down through seven or eight generations.
Each house has a courtyard, some big and some small. Similarly, all the yards grow the Muslim-favored trees and flowers, such as mulberry, figs, megranate, almond, grape, rose, China rose. The yards are heavily shaded, proving a tranquil environment for relaxing and refreshing. Inside bigger yards, the owner even built up a pergola for grape vines.
To walk through the narrow lanes of the old city is to walk into living history. Craftswomen stitch doppas, the traditional four-cornered hats. Crop-haired girls in bright frocks and mismatching plastic sandals giggle and shove as they see strangers; then sing and dance for their audience. The real pleasure here is to wander and watch.