China has the longest land border in the world totaling more than 22,000 kilometers. Many of the border towns are diverse and share both Chinese and foreign characteristics.let's visit another city in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region – Kashgar, which is a western gateway in China that borders Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kashgar has been an important trading center on the ancient Silk Road and is now a multi-ethnic region.
Aerial photo shows a view of Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Hu Huhu)
Aerial photo shows the scenery of old city area in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Jiang Wenyao)
Kashgar Old Town
The soul of Kashgar lies in the Kashgar Old Town which has a history of more than 2,000 years. Located in downtown Kashgar, the old town covers an area of 4.25 square kilometers.
It is a unique maze city with over 200 narrow alleys. If you get lost, the hexagonal bricks under your feet will lead you out of the old town. But if you walk along the bricks with four corners, you will walk into a blind alley.
Most of the buildings here are a combination of Islamic and Uygur styles. The houses in the core area are the world's largest adobe complexes.
Tourists can get a lot of information from the doors of the local houses. If two doors are open, it represents that the male host is at home. If only one door is open, it means only the hostess is at home. And if a curtain is hung over the front door, it means a guest is visiting this family now.
Aerial photo shows the scenery of old city area in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)
Entrance fee: 30 yuan (4.47 U.S. dollars)
Note: There are many entrances to the old town, some of which do not require a ticket.
Transportation: Buses No. 2, 7, 22 and 28
Id Kah Mosque
“Id Kah” means “a place of praying and celebrating in festivals.” The Id Kah Mosque is the largest mosque in China, covering 16,800 square meters. The mosque was built in 1442 and is located in the central square in Kashgar.Once a cemetery, the Id Kah Mosque consists of a courtyard, a hall of prayer, a gate tower and other structures.
Id Kah Mosque in Kashi is the biggest mosque in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo: Fan Lingzhi/GT
Entrance fee: 20 yuan (3 U.S. dollars)
Opening time: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. (The mosque closes during worship time.)
Transportation: Buses No. 2, 7, 8, 13, 22 and 28
Karakuri Lake lies about 200 kilometers from Kashgar City, at the foot of Mt. Muztagata. At an altitude of 3,600 meters, it is the highest lake on the Pamir Plateau. The lake is 30 meters deep and covers an area of 10 square kilometers. “Karakuri” means “black sea” in the local language as the lake looks dark when the sun is blocked by the clouds. Surrounded by mountains, the lake is an ideal mountaineering camp for professional mountain climbers.
Entrance fee: 50 yuan (7.45 U.S. dollars)
Best visiting time: August-September
During your stay in Kashgar, don't miss the typical food: Shashlicks, roast steamed buns, roast lamb, and "nang", a kind of crispy pancake.
A man barbecues at a night fair in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Wang Fei)
Figs are for sale at a night fair in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Wang Fei)