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Home Chinese Cities and Province Information Xinjiang Kashi (Kashgar)

Chinese City: Kashi (Kashgar)

Kashi (Kashgar) Basics
Area:   162,000 square km
Population:   3.14 million (90% are Uygur)
Postal Code:   844000
Phone Area Code:   0998
Local Time  
A Brief Introduction of Kashi (Kashgar)

Kashi (Kashgar) is located in southwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region - a far west province in China.

Here is a report from Kashi published on China Pictorial for your information about the city of Kashgar:

I visited the city several years ago. It was 6 p.m. when I stood in the square in front of the Aitika Mosque in the city, in southwestern Xinjiang.

I met a group of farmers of the Uygur ethnic group. Wearing skullcaps embroidered with flower and fruit patterns and bluish gray Western-style suits, they were posing at the gateway arch of the mosque for a picture.

The expression of their eyes showed the staunchness, pureness, and devoutness of their hearts. I thought it had to be a long-cherished desire for them to visit Kashi.

Kashi, the westernmost city of China, is a fascinating place not only for them. It was for me as well.

After arriving in Kashi, the excitement in my mind calmed down.

Since I am from Beijing, far from Kashi, I was curious about everything I had seen there. The people there have a high-bridged nose and yellowish-brown eyes.

They speak Uygur, with trills, a language that belongs to the Turkic group of the Altaic language family. To me, it sounds like one bunch of grapes after another. Billboards along the streets are all designed in Uygur and Chinese.

The old district in Kashi especially impressed me and gave me much food for thought. It has retained the appearance it had in the Middle Ages--old low brick or adobe houses, sound of the clanging of blacksmiths' hammers, the elderly sitting in repose with their eyes closed at the entrance.

The residents in the old district are good-natured and hospitable. I met several children who were playing and running about in an old street.

When they saw me, they ran toward me and said, "Hello" and, "How are you?" Standing up straight, the children asked me to have their picture taken. After shooting, they cheerfully run away.

In the old district, there are many mosques, big and small, restaurants, groceries, food stores, tailoring shops, and nang bread stores.

Dwelling houses are linked together by winding lanes. Entering the old district, I felt as if I was entering a city several centuries ago. One of the most beautiful cityscapes are the Uygur women in colorful skirts.

My guide was Aiguli, an extraordinary girl. Although she was a fourth grade student, she was as clever as a grown-up. Her elder sister followed her like an attendant.

I asked Aiguli to show me some places of distinctive characteristics in the old district. First, she took me to a shop that produces and sells simple pottery.

Later, I learned this shop was owned by her relatives. I didn't blame her for taking me there. I liked her because she was commercially minded and clever, and also the pottery wares were so wonderful. I selected several gifts for my friends in Beijing.

Following Aiguli, I strolled around the streets in the old district. We stopped at a dwelling house of the Uygur ethnic group that was open to tourists.

There, I met Maimaiti Yiming, a fifth-generation maker of musical instruments in Kashi. I took a great interest in Maimaiti and his musical instrument shop.

I followed Maimaiti to his shop, which produces 28 instruments, most of which belong to the Uygur ethnic group. His father and grandfather worked at a musical instrument factory in Kashi in the 1960s, establishing the present shop in 1985, one of the first group of privately owned small enterprises in the city.

The family became rich very quickly. According to Maimaiti, his family is one prone to longevity. The first generation lived to 137 years, the second 117 years, and the third 99 years. His father is now 69 year old, and he is 36. He has two sons, aged 7 and 5.

"I want to send my sons to study abroad in the future," Maimaiti said. During our talk, Maimaiti took up a ravap, a stringed instrument, and played traditional Uygur music.

Facing many instruments hung on the wall and enjoying the lively rhythm of the music, I felt that my whole body was dancing.

Like that music, everything in Kashi goes on methodically. Although the city is not very rich, its people are very satisfied with their lives--colorful, peaceful, and happy.

They have their own traditions, relatives and friends, religious service buildings, delicious food, and bustling bazaars.

Kashi is an enchanting city, and I'll visit it again.

Kashi in Uygur means a "a place of jade." Located in the southwestern part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, it is the westernmost city of China.

Kashi has a history of more than 2,100 years. Since ancient times, it has been an important city in northwestern China.

The central, southern and northern routes of the ancient Silk Road joined there. From the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-24 A.D.) through the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it was the political, economic, cultural, military, and religious center of western China.

There is a saying: "Without visiting Kashi, you cannot say you visited Xinjiang." With buildings, bazaars, historical relics, and handicrafts of the Uygur ethnic group, Kashi possesses a mysterious charm.

Kashi is a sacred place of Islam. Situated in Aitika Square in the center of the city, the magnificent, splendid Aitika Mosque is the largest mosque in China.

On important festive occasions, more than 30,000 Muslims worship on bended knees inside and outside the mosque.

Kashi is mainly inhabited by Uygurs, who are Muslim. They are hospitable and often entertain their guests with delicious food, such as hand-pulled noodles and boiled mutton that is eaten by hand.

Five kilometers northeast of Kashi is the famous Apak Hoja Tomb, an ancient Islamic tomb complex, dignified and splendid. The entire tomb is covered with blue, green and yellow glazed tiles and bricks.

Kashi has long been a trading city connecting central and western Asia. The Grand Bazaar in the northeastern part of the city, the largest garden-like comprehensive market in Xinjiang, is very famous.

It known as the Commodity Fair in Central Asia, as well as the International Trading Market in Central and Western Asia.

The bazaar sells a great variety of goods, including clothing material, garments, general merchandise, handicrafts, furs, dried fruit, timber, and secondhand goods.

Kashi Transportation

Aviation: There are daily flights between Kashi and Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Railway: Kashi is the terminal of the railway in southern Xinjiang. There are trains to Urumqi once every other day.

Kashi Shopping

Producing a great variety of products of the characteristics of the Uygur ethnic group, Kashi is called the Center of Folk Arts. The main products include rugs and carpets, Yengsiar knives, Adilis silk, skullcaps, wood block printed cloth, pottery, jewelry, and musical instruments.

Kashi is a famous producer of fruit, including pomegranates, badan apricots, figs, grapes, and muskmelons. One kilogram of pomegranates, sweet and sour, costs only 7 yuan (US$1.00).

When shopping in Kashi, haggling over the price is a common practice.
(Source China Pictorial)



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