Status Update:

Current location: Bochum / Germany

50 countries, 1226 days, trip mileage: 124200 km

30 Sep 2008

China ( + Photo Gallery)

Coming from Tourgart Pass, the road to Kashgar is not much different to the last 200km we had done in Kyrgyzstan: mainly corrugated washboard, the trickiest part of which are the never-ending lines of enormous Chinese trucks on their way to export goods into Central Asia: they hammer down the road and throw up so much dust, visibility is about as good as on a foggy winter morning in the Lake District. And just as the dust-cloud opens, the next truck’s already approaching quickly. General attitude of the truck drivers: “survival of the fittest”

Kashgar lies in China’s Xinjang province, which is predominantly of Uighur (muslim) population & tradition. It is the most westerly city on the Chinese Silk Route and has a very relaxed atmosphere to it. As long as we left the bikes parked at the hotel, we didn’t need a guide for the city, and so we took a few days to relax and enjoy the diversity of Chinese & Uighur food. One evening, our agents from Newland Travel took us out for a meal (or should I say feast?) in a traditional upper class restaurant. I’ve got to say it was the most delicious meal I’d had in a very long time: at least 6-7 courses of local specialities, accompanied by various kinds of tea in different flavours.

Over the course of one long & interesting day, I went to see the Animal Market, Sunday Market and Kashgar’s Old Town. This (and our onwards journey to Pakistan on the gorgeous Karakorum Highway) is probably best described in photos rather than a lengthy blog-post:

I’ve uploaded some more photos into a separate China Album on FlickR, including a brief write-up underneath the photographs. (Here's the same album as a slideshow. To read my comments in the slideshow, click on "Show Info" in the top right corner).

A few sample images:

Len, Alvaro and I Kashgar Animal Market Kashgar Animal Market 8 On the way home from the Animal Market Kashgar Old Town Kashgar - People coming home from the market.jpg Kashgar Old Town Karakorum Highway