China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kashgar....on the Silk Road

I will be writing about my 50th trip to China this coming week having just returned home after 30 days. We covered the Silk Road, Shangrila, LiJiang, Jiuzhaigou National Park, the Yangtze River cruise, Beijing and Shanghai this trip. Kashgar is known for the Saturday and Sunday Market however the markets are open all week now but one additional building is open on weekends. Just more of the same huge variety of goods and products. The Sunday Animal Market is still held too. Most tours do not include the Old Ughur sections of Kashgar of which there are five. Above pictured is one large settlement near the center of the city. As old as 500 years it is a maze of crudely built homes and apartments attached to each other with narrow walk ways throughout the huge complex. Pictured above is Ekbar our local guide who is Ughur and had a splendid description of the history and culture of the Ughur people. Many hand crafted products are made in homes. It is very common to walk into a Ughur home. There are two doors to each home. If the lock is on then no one is home. If the lock is on and open, someone is home but does not want to be disturbed. If the right door only is open. The woman of the house is home and welcomes any female visitor but no men. If both doors are open, then the man and woman of the house are home and you can just walk in and visit them. It was a bit shocking to just walk in with Ekbar and walk around their homes visiting with them for a short while and then politely walk out. It is the hospitality of the Ughur people. Be sure to do that when you visit Kashgar. It is culturally extremely interesting. More about the Silk Road in the next week. My 2010 web site will be up in about 4 weeks.

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