THE ROAD TO MUZTAGH ATA PART 3 – Kashgar
Kashgar is the 350-thousand capital of Xinjiang province. The region is predominantly inhabited by indigenous, muslim Uyghur population. Other ethic groups include Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Mongol, Tibetan, Tajik or Chinese Han.
There had been riots and terrorist attacks in the past decade caused by cultural, social and economic discrimination of minorities. It is one of the reasons for tighter control by the central government. To alleviate the problem and stimulate development an economic zone was created in the city. However there is still a certain tension and animosity between locals and increasing Chinese presence. Entrances to railway stations, shopping malls or hotels are guarded with metal detectors and security personnel. Our hotel was not an exception.
As the city is multicultural it is easy to taste different dishes, although one has to be prepared for no knowledge of English among locals and lack of cutlery – rudimentary knowledge of chopsticks is advised 🙂
One of the most popular ways of transport are electric scooters which drive along cars or where possible on a special lane designated on pavement.
The city is slowly changing – 1 and 2- storey buildings made out of clay bricks on the outskirts are pulled down to make place for blocks of flats and shopping malls. In the city centre remains a small area of the historic old town with its small winding streets full of streets stands selling various goods and foods long after dusk.
Unfortunately we had no time explore much as we had to leave for the mountains early in the morning. Below a short film from the drive around town.