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Travel Guide Asia China Xinjiang Kashgar



Mutton on sale in Kashgar, China

Mutton on sale in Kashgar, China

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Kashgar (喀什, قەشقەر, Kāshí) has been a major commerce center on the Silk Road for over 2,000 years. This city has gone between many different powers over the millenniums. The Chinese started to take an off and on presence in Kashgar starting in the Tang Dynasty around 600 AD. Marco Polo visited Kashgar in 1237 and recorded several Nestorian Christian Churches. In 1759 the Manchus took back Kashgar and made it part of China. Kashgar was the capital for several different brief republics from the late 19th century till the Chinese Communists take over.

Today Kashgar has become a major gateway between China and Central Asia. Kashgar is a mixing pot of local Uigur, Tajiks, Kirghiz, Uzbekh and Han Chinese. Although the city is starting to become more and more modern there is still a great old town that feels like a throw back to a previous era.



Sights and Activities

  • Sunday Market - Sunday Market is world famous although it is held everyday of the week now. Although on Sunday it does reach its apex of insanity. Although for more authentic markets it is better to hit up the more remote towns along the southern silk road.
  • Tomb the Fragrant Concubine - Tomb the Fragrant Concubine (香妃, Xiāngfēi, ئىپارخان) is part of the Afaq Khoja Tomb (阿帕克霍加), which houses a few other bodies. There are several stories about the origins of this 17th century beauty. Some say she was Uyghur others a mix of Han/Uyghur. Other stories say she was kidnapped others say she was given to the emperor and fell in love with him. The tomb built in 1640 is amazing and the museum at the entrance houses a couple of ancient mummies that are worth the extra ticket. The tomb is located in the village of Haohan Village (浩罕村)



Events and Festivals

Due to being a mainly muslim area, all Islamic holidays are celebrated to an amazing degree. The Han Chinese population is growing, therefore all Chinese holidays are also celebrated.

China has three "Golden Week" holidays per year. People get a mandatory two or three days off work for each holiday, and workers' companies can grant them the rest of the week off, making each holiday a total of 7 days. As you can imagine, having almost 1.4 billion people with the same days off can make travelling at these times arduous to say the least.

Travelling during the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year is incredibly difficult. Chinese New Year is China's Christmas, so the millions of migrant workers and students flood back to their home towns. Everybody else takes the opportunity to spend their hong bao (gifts of money traditionally given at CNY) and go travelling. Most of the time, since you are only allowed to purchase train tickets 6 days in advance and must be present in the city of origin, sometimes only standing room tickets are available. Be aware! The Spring Festival is undoubtedly the busiest time for the Chinese transportation system. Flying will avoid the crowded trains, but book early and expect to pay higher prices. All the main tourist attractions will be crawling with tourists (worse than usual), so unless you like crowds, it's best to avoid it altogether.

Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, so the date changes each year. The Chinese New Year/Spring Festival holiday is 7 days long and usually starts on New Year's Eve.

The two other national holidays are October 1st, National Day, celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China and May 1st, which is International Labor Day. Almost all Chinese get the two holidays off and many take the opportunity to travel. If you want to avoid the crowds, fly, but it should get a lot less busy towards the end of the week.



Getting There

By Plane

Kashgar Airport (KHG) has a number of flights. Domestic flights include Urumqi with China Southern Airlines, Deer Jet, Chine Eastern Airlines, Shandong Airlines and Hainan Airlines. The only international flight is to Islamabad with China Southern Airlines but only seasonal. China Eastern Airlines also flies to Shanghai and Shandong Airlines to Jinan.

By Train

The train station is located pretty close to downtown. There are daily overnight trains to Urumqi (20 to 22 hours).




Xinjiang cuisine is full of mutton. It's delicious but there's not a lot of variety. Try the rice pilaf, laghman (noodles with stir fry on top), and mutton kebabs in small restaurants all over the city.
A little oasis for those looking for home style western food or a cup of "real" coffee, foreign-owned Gallery Cafe opened in October 2009. The place also acts as a showcase for local artists' oil paintings and a tourist information center. They are tucked away in an alley at the edge of Kashgar's old town. From the main intersection at Da Shi Zi, go north on JieFang N. Road towards Id Kah Mosque and take the first right.





View our map of accommodation in Kashgar or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)



Keep Connected


Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.


China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.

Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 39.4676901
  • Longitude: 75.9937942

Accommodation in Kashgar

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as well as yishucafe (8%), Hien (2%), joffre (1%)

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