Kashi in Xinjiang

Kashi (喀什) or Kashgar is the biggest and oldest city in souh west Xinjiang. It has more than 2000 years of history  that links it to the Silk Road. The Uighur people form about 90% of the poulation in this city.

The city is also rapidly developing and embracing modernity. However, the old city is standing and people are still living in it. There are more than 2000 households in the old city,  where the houses are built in distinctive style seperated by labyrinths of small lanes.

Another famous site in Kashi is a famous  tomb of an illustrious clan, where the coffin of one of the famous concubines of Emperor Qianlong is placed.

Horse or mule drawn carts remain popular in the villages outside Kashi, even though many of the vilagers could afford motorcycles nowadays. A horse cart is used  like a van, carrying many passengers on their shopping trips to the bazaar.

The Uighur are warm and hospitable people. The film crew was invited to attend an Uighur party, where the crowds feast and dance into the early morning. The people here not affluent yet, but their lives keep on getting better as the economy develops in this far flung corner of China.

The nexy day, the film crew left Kashi and headed towards Taxkorgan Tajik county, in the south west. The county is in the Pamir plateau, and getting there is not easy due to adverse geological condition and melting mountain snows. The government is improving infrastructures and building a hydroelectric dam to provide electricty to the locals and spur economic activities in the region.


About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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