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  • Day17

    Kashgar markets

    June 1, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    As the meeting point of the northern and southern Silk Roads and the gateway to the west, Kashgar was once a place of great significance. Established as a Chinese garrison in AD 78, the city didn't become part of the Chinese empire until the 18th century. Entering this city felt very much like entering a new country and our poor Chinese group leader William struggled at times to communicate with the locals!

    Our prime reason for visiting Kashgar was to visit the bazaar and the now separately located livestock market.

    Packed with Uighur men (and the occasional woman), the livestock market buzzes with the sounds of humans and animals alike. Fat-tailed sheep, super cute goats, donkeys, horses and cattle compete for the attention of would-be buyers. You didn't need to understand the language to see when the relative merits of an animal (or herd) were being discussed or when deals were being made. A handshake, a quick smile - all done! Animals are transported on anything from serious cattle trucks to motor scooters and even the odd donkey cart. And of course as largely a food animal market, there are plenty of opportunities to sample the potential goods!

    In contrast, the bazaar is the place to buy just about anything else. From stockings to large pots to medicinal herbs to brocade curtains, this is where the locals shop. Mind you, other than watermelon to quench our thirst in the sweltering heat, we resisted the temptation to add to our souvenir collection, preferring instead to pace our purchasing across the 3 additional countries on our schedule.
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