Spend the day seeing the many sights of Kashgar. Begin the day at Afak Khoja's tomb before moving to the stunning livestock market. After a couple of hours here take a walk through the remains of Kashgar's old town. Later visit Idkah mosque and handicraft street before stopping off for tea in a 100 year old tea house. Finally drop in at the Former British & Russian consulates. After dinner, if you have any energy, there is an optional visit to the night market. Overnight stay in Kashgar.
Meal plan: Breakfast
Idkah Mosque, dates back over 500 years and is the largest mosque in China, receiving around 3000 daily worshipers. During festivals up to 20,000 have prayed here.
The sublime Afak Khoja's Tomb is the holiest place in Xinjiang for Sufi Muslims. It was originally built in 1640 as the tomb of Muhammad Yusug, a Sufi master, who had come to this region during the 17th century. The ornate mausoleum is an excellent example of Islamic architecture, and is decorated with colourful mismash tiles and silks.
For centuries, Kashgar's Sunday Market has been a meeting place for traders and travellers. The market remains important today - the population of the town can grow by almost 80,000 on a Sunday. The livestock market has moved out of town but is every bit the unique and lively spectacle it always was, with wrinkled men in traditional dress arriving on vehicles of all types to haggle and strike deals for sheep, cows, goats, horses, donkeys, camels and yaks.
The Taklamakan Desert, roughly the size of France, covers a quarter of the land of Xinjiang. Bounded by the Kunlun, Pamir and Tian Shan mountains and the Gobi Desert, it became the resting place for many a Great Game adventurer. Contrary to popular belief “Taklamakan” does not mean 'if you go in, you don't come out'' in the Uighur language.
Though mostly neglected by the local government the former British & Russian consulates were important power bases during the Great Game, when Russia and Britain jostled for power from 1830 to 1895. Both are now put to rather humbler uses.
Kashgar’s night market is a small but lively and photogenic market serving noodles, grilled meats, fruit, juices and snacks. It makes a good spot to walk off dinner.