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In downtown Kashi, there is an old city made of yellow mud bricks standing on a small hill – Kashgar Old City. The Old City has been rebuilt, so it's more like a new town on the old city location. But the architecture there retains its traditional style.
You can still observe local life there: children playing on the streets, small shops selling food and souvenirs, and craftsmen making bronze ware.
Kashgar Old City contains many Uyghur houses; 630 homes with more than 2,450 people, all of whom are Muslim.
Situated in a precipitous location, the mud-thatched buildings are densely packed together. Numerous small lanes crisscross the old city, stretching into every corner. It's like walking in a maze, exploring the small alleys in the old city.
Inside the old city are many buildings hundreds of years old. Most are two or three stories tall. Each house is typically equipped with a staircase leading to the top of the building. The mud bricks feature Islamic and Uyghur styles, with flower-carved decorations.
Each house has a courtyard, the size of which varies according to the terrain. All the yards grow popular Muslim trees and flowers, such as mulberry, fig, pomegranate, almond, grape, rose, or China rose. The yards are heavily shaded, providing a tranquil environment for relaxation. Inside the bigger yards, owners have even built pergolas for growing grape vines.
The old city has a history of over 2,000 years. It is said that Banchao, the Eastern Han dynasty's envoy to the Western Region, once stayed here on a journey. During the Kalahan dynasty, there was a summer palace here.
The word Kashgar means "place where jade gathers". After the foundation of the China Silk Road, Kashgar become an important stop on the route, and developed as a major trading center. Nowadays you can still see some small shops selling hats, blankets, and local food; and craftsmen making bronze ware, pottery, and musical instruments.
Kashgar is still a big city in western China, with many direct flights from Urumqi.
If you are interested in visiting the most westerly city of China and having a mazy adventure, why not let us help you plan a tour of Kashgar? You can visit Kashgar on our Silk Road tours as follows: