I don’t remember too much of the modern part of the city. As a resident of China for over ten years you get used to its typical style of architecture and drive through it without giving it a second thought.
Most places are similar on a highly soporific scale and it takes a lot to shake me out of my catatonic state these days. Having driven thousands of miles, each town along the way may as well have be the same place as the previous one, lacking any unique identity. That is dust, dust and more dust followed by small shops, rubbish and a zillion low grade forms of transport chugging by.
It had been a long shout since going anywhere to write home about. I mean without encountering anything in particular and having to find new ways of propping my eyelids open. After weeks of driving plus a three times daily ordeal of blagging petrol from gas stations surrounded by barbed wire and security followed by a couple of hefty check points, I finally made it to Kashgar. Oh yes!
In terms of the wow factor, Kashgar Old Town certainly doesn’t disappoint. Vehicles are generally prohibited in the area but even so the security guard of the Super8 Hotel, Ren Yong, came through the check point and allowed me park smack bang outside. Nice one on that mate. And so I invite you to come along on a visual journey with me. As you scroll down the page I can only hope that my photos do justice to such a fabulously vibrant place. Was it all worth the effort to get there? You’re damned right it was!
So on the first full day I roll up my sleeves to go and look for a guesthouse as mentioned in the WKTG (Well Known Travel Guide). My aim is to put up a notice in the hope of finding a travel companion for when I head down along the South Silk Road and into the Qinghai Province. Xinjiang is a slow place to wake up and it only really gets going after 10am. Now that’s what I call a proper start to the day. You cant beat that just waking up feeling around this time in Kashgar. As people open up their shops down narrow terracotta streets in the crispness of a cool and bright autumn morning, I can already feel those stiff travel aches melting away.
At last I find the guesthouse. This has to be the one as I remember seeing a picture of it on the internet some months ago so head for the open door. With no response I guess it must be busy so I let myself in.
Past a few locals sitting by the door sharing mint tea, I see no one in charge so carry on past into the most stunning of courtyards followed by a big woman in bright green headscarf and bright pink dress. The yard is filled with large shiny healthy looking plants and vines, tapestries and glass partitions. Clearly animated by my presence, after following me around in circles for some moments the penny finally drops that I’m actually in someone’s house and she shoos me out in no uncertain terms. Nice one on that mate!
Thousands of years of fame as one of the major hubs along the Silk Road has meant that tourism is massive in Kashgar. There are TWAFS everywhere, a term I coined some years ago meaning Taking (Photos) Without Asking First. Recording this phenomena has become one of my hobbies and this is the first opportunity to actually record it. Please click on the YouTube link and drop by my Max China site and show some support by subscribing. Cheers.
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If you liked the post and fancy a bit more then please drop and watch the accompanying video I did on my Max China channel on YouTube. Once again. your subscription would be super appreciated. Happy watching. Best to all my amazing followers. Sorry I haven’t been around much lately but I’m multi tasking like crazy at the moment.