Kashgar has been an important trading centre since the days of the Silk Road, and still is today. The road from Eastern and Central China branches out to both the north and south of the Taklamakan Desert, and Kashgar is where the two branches meet again in the western part of the desert.
The local population is a mixture of Uyghurs, Han Chinese, Kyrgyz, Tajiks and Uzbeks, boasting a colorful ethnic variety.
The city is said to have the largest bazaar in Asia.
Travelling in this area has several options, with a direct relationship between how much you are willing to pay and how fast you want to get to your destination. Trains are the slowest and only leave a few times a day, but are also almost always the cheapest option.
Kashgar Airport (IATA: KHG) is 18km north of the town centre. Flights are available to/from Urumqi, as well as direct flights to and from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou.
A taxi to the city should cost about 30 yuan by meter. Shuttle buses leaving from the International Hotel at People's Square are available for 10元 per person. The airport has its own shuttle bus that goes from the airport into any location in town (just tell the driver where you are going) for 15元. There is also a public bus that goes to/from the airport to most locations in town, the line 2, for 2元. To get to the public bus, you must walk straight out of the front entrance of the airport, past the airport gates, and turn left. The line 2 buses wait at the side of the street, about 20 meters to the left.
Kashgar Railway Station (喀什火车站; Kǎshì Huǒchēzhàn) is the main train station in the city. It is on Renmin East Road (人民东路; Rénmíndōnglù). Although it is east of the town center, the distance is too far for walking. Bus 28 connects the city including Renmin Square (人民广场; Rénmín Guángchǎng), to the train station. From the train station, walk out and turn right and you will probably see a bus waiting there already. The fare is ¥1 and is paid onboard. If you do not know where you are going, get on bus 28, get off at Renmin Square and figure things out from there; the downtown is walkable and Xinhua Bookstore (新华书店; Xīnhuá Shūdiàn), is right next to the main square where you will be able to purchase the best maps of Kashgar for about ¥5-8 (however, these maps are only in Chinese).
From the train station, Qinibagh and Seman Hotels can be reached a couple of stops after Renmin Square on bus 28 and then walking uphill for about 5 minutes; the people on the bus can probably help you and most people on the street know where these places are.
Kashgar is at the end of the Urumqi-Kashgar line. Destinations of interest include:
To Osh, two weekly direct sleeper buses (Mon and Fri) are leaving at 10:00 (Beijing time) and the trip takes about 18 hours. The price is pricey at ¥550 and the buses depart from Kahsgar international bus station(North of town on the road to the Airport).
It is less expensive, and maybe even faster, to get to Osh, or at least to Sary Tash in Kyrgyzstan using a combination of service taxis and trucks.
At Kashgar's International Bus Staion, get a taxi around 8.30am (Beijing time) for the 2 hour ride to the immigration point near Wuqia (they'll want 300Y but you can bargain down to 150Y).
If you want to take a shared taxi to Wuqia (25Y), go earlier to make sure you're at immigration checkpoint when it opens at 11am. From Wuqia, stick to the main road and flag down passing vehicels westwards or get another taxi for the five-minute-ride to the immigration checkpoint.
Due to 'regulation' it is not allowed to get a ride with a truck from immigration, (in fact the border guards do not let people through without a taxi or bus) so the only option seems to be to take a taxi or the bus (if there is space) on its way to Osh, which arrives at immigration around 11:30am. Both charge 150Y for the 140km, 4 hour ride to the Kyrgyzstan border, but you may be able to bargain. It is a slow, rough ride due to the building of a new highway
If you get the bus, you can stay on to Sary Tash (30Y extra) or even Osh for an extra charge of about 1000-1500som/160Y, but bargaining is needed. This may not seem so cheap but compared with the 570Y they ask for the bus ticket from Kashgar, the deal isn't so bad.
From Sary Tash, it's only 3 hours to Osh (2000-2500 Som for a private taxi).
There is no special permit (other than a Kyrgyz visa) required for this border.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan- You will need a special permit if you're a foreigner. Most foreigners use the services of a travel agency. There is a direct bus, it takes about 16 hours including overnight stay (you must have PSB permit and valid visa for Kyrgyzstan).
Most of Kashgar including the bus station, bazaar, main square, downtown (with the notable exception of the animal market) can be reached on foot within 15-20 minutes of each other if you are not carrying huge amounts of baggage. The train station is too far to walk but is reachable with public bus 28 which, among other places, stops at Renmin Square (人民广场; Rénmín Guángchǎng), the main square. The international bus station is near the city and walkable.
The old town and narrow alleyways are pretty much only explorable on foot.
Cross streets carefully in Kashgar as no pedestrian crossings are available.
Cycling is an option but the traffic is somewhat dangerous, so only do this if you are experienced with this kind of traffic environment. Bicycles can be rented at major hotels such as Qinibagh for typically less than ¥30/day.
Mor Buddhist Pagoda. Mor Buddhist pagoda is located about 40kms northeast of Kashgar city,.Mor Buddhist Pagoda was built in 7th century during the Tang dynasty and destroyed 12th century. Nowadays only left one pagoda, next to pagoda is a platform. The pagoda is the place where the monks in the city to come and do their worship. The Mor pagoda has three square layers, each a little smaller than the one below it. The bottom layer has circumferences of more than forty-eight meters, the second layer forty meters and the third layer thirty-two meters, while the pagoda stands more than twelve meters high. The platform beside the pagoda was one of the central temple structures, and in its side walls were carved niches housing Buddha figurines. But now there aren’t any figures left, and even the niches themselves are barely invisible.edit
Mal Bazaar, (Take bus 16 from Renmin Square to get there (¥1)). Sundays. The livestock market, where locals from all the surrounding villages come to town to buy and sell animals. It is held on an open and fenced ground. It is popular with tourists, but the market is so big it still feels like a working bazaar.edit
Yengi Bazaar. Daily. The handicrafts, cloths, carpets and anything-else-you-can-expect market. Less crowded on weekdays. Bargain hard! edit
Old Town. The warren-like old town is worth visiting for its winding streets, friendly if occasionally guarded residents and delightfully improvised architecture.A ¥30 toll is levied at the main entrances to the residential district, but this can be evaded by finding a back entrance into the area through the multitudinous back alleys that exit onto the main roads. edit
Id Kah Mosque. Open 8:50AM-10PM though closed during services. First built in 1442, it is distinctive for its yellow walls and Central Asian architecture. Women are generally not allowed inside, but modestly dressed foreigners should have no problem. You should remove your shoes before entering the carpeted area.¥20. edit
Tomb of Apak Hoja, (It is 3km from the city center, Bus number 20 From Renmin Square , or taxi). 8AM-5:30PM, prayer day is Friday. A massive, elegant building created in 1640 in typical Islamic style. Also a pilgrimage site. This is also the resting place of the "Fragrant Concubine", although the historial mentions of her rebellion against the Chinese imperial army are delicately omitted in the tomb's accompanying introduction.¥30. edit
Tomb of Yusup Khass Hajip. The tomb of Kashgar's much loved philosopher and poet who wrote the 13,290-line poem The Wisdom of Happiness and Pleasure in the Uighur language.¥30. edit
Tomb of Mahmud Kashgari, (About an hour's drive from Kashgar in Upal). The tomb of an Uyghur scribe, famous for compiling a dictionary of the Turkic languages in the 11th century. This picturesque complex is situated on a hillside and includes a mosque and a sacred spring. Upal boasts a lively bazaar too.yen;30. edit
Davakul Lake, . Davakul Lake is located 130 km from Kashgar, on the southeast tip of Taklimakan Desert. Davakul means "curing lake" in Uyghur language. It is one of the nearest place to Kashgar to do one or more days camel trekking in the Taklamakan Desert.¥30. edit
karakoram tours (http://www.silkroadexpedition.net), kashgar to kunjirap pass, . karakoram highway trip is one of the best trip to do when you are in kashgar (,two day)edit
muztagh ata climbing and trekking around the karakul lake, . it takes 18 to 22 days total to climb muztagh ata which is 7546m, and one of the best mountains to skii after summit,and it is non technical climb that you can all the way walk up to the summit , and you can also trek around the muztagh ata base camp and karakul lake area for week or two ,edit
k2 trekking, . trekking to k2 from kashgar is one of the adventurous expeditions in the world , it will be total 20 to 23 days expedition including your arrival and departure (,22 days)edit
Shipton's Arch Trekking, . It is one day trek done in steeply walled canyons and over Rocky River bed terrain. The arch is 500 meters high and 100 meters wide which is least known of the natural wonders of the world(,1 day trek)edit
The price of everything is negotiable in Kashgar, adding to excitement of shopping. Be polite in bargaining, but be mindful that merchants will overcharge you as a foreigner especially if you do not speak Uyghur or Chinese; so bargain hard. Price differences between locals and foreigners can easily amount to several hundred yuan so be careful. Local specialities include various carpets made in locally or imported from surrounding countries, Yingisar Knives, colourful Uyghur hats for men and women (doppa, kalpak),wood works, ceramics,jewellery,local jades and musical instruments.It is also good to buy some dried local fruits to try during your trip in Xinjiang.
day or two trip to karakul lake and tashkorgan, . karakul lake is rare highland lake in the world located at the elevation of 3600m, it is surrounded by snow capped mountains such as muztagh ata and kongur , you can overnight in kyrgyz yurt in lake side ,edit
There are plenty of good local restaurants and street food.
Food stalls. For a variety of snacks and dishes, try the food stalls opposite the Id Kah mosque. The stalls start operating during the evening.edit
Sunday Market. The Sunday market also has good things to eat.edit
It may be wise to avoid anything with ice as the ice in Kashgar is usually carried in large blocks and frequently placed on the ground so they may not be clean. During the summer months there are huge heaps of melons and watermelons - cheap, tasty and refreshing. The going price for a hami melon (哈密瓜; hāmìguā) is around ¥1 per kilogram, so in total, it costs ¥2-5 per melon depending on the size. Buying, washing, and cutting it yourself is probably the most hygenic way to eat these fabulous tasty fruits. If you are staying at a hotel, you can also easily buy a simple cutting knife at any of these markets for about ¥1-3 as well so you should be all set.
Altun Orda Restaurant is the local restaurant with reasonable prices. It is not only good place to taste some local dishes but also to see the local architecture of Uighur people. Try the specialty pollo or rice pilaf with raisins. Tel: +86 (998) 2583555
Karakoram Cafe (新疆), 87 Seman Road (新疆喀什色满路87号2822669), ☎ +86 (998) 3422888, . Western style. Quality food, hot drinks and service that speak English, this may be an oasis in the middle of hectic Asia. Prices are a little pricey but if you can afford it, it is worth it.edit
K2 Rooftop Cafe, Rd Nuo'er Beixi (Right to the North of Id Kah Mosque), ☎ +86 (998) 2823376. Western style. Fine coffee& pizza, iced drinks, dessert and waiter that speaks good English, the terrace that covered with plants has great view of the mosque and the old town. The cafe is within the Kashgar Pamir Hostel.edit
Shawarma (Continental food), 110 Seman Road (Just north of Eden Hotel and Fubar on Seman Road). Owned and run by a native Pakistani, this is the place to get home-made Pakistani food in Kashgar. Serving mostly daily specials, such as a spicy ground beef platter or curried chicken, the taste of the food is impressive. Ask politely in advance to have delicious falafel or hummous made to order.10-20 Yuan. edit
Yasin Kariagim Silk Road Uighur Restaurant, 库木代尔瓦扎路 Kumudaierwazha Road (Just off the main old city shopping road that runs up the west side of the Id Kah Mosque), ☎ 2820008. Popular among the locals, this place serves very fresh meat. In fact, sometimes they have no more meat to offer because they've sold out. Buy a nan bread fresh out of the oven from one of the many local bakers on the side of the road and bring it with you. Get lamb skewers and liver skewers and enjoy it with your nan bread.10-20 Yuan. edit
There are not as many places serving alcohol in Kashgar as in other areas of China.
John's Cafe, (In Qiniwak Hotel (ancient british consulate)). Offers backpacker hospitality at 1.7 times the price of other locations, and is very popular among single travellers. Managed by Jack who speaks fluent english. Seems to be closed in the off-seasonedit
Kashgar Pamir Youth Hostel (喀什帕米尔青年旅舍), F3, Building A, Distric 7, Id Kah Mosque Bazaar, Rd Nuo'er Beixi, (Right to the North of the Mosque) (bus number 28 from train station, get off by Minmao stop), ☎ +86-998-2823376, . A new Uighur style hostel centrally based with dorm beds and shared bathrooms and doubles. There is a rooftop cafe serves coffee and meals. Its terrace is covered with plants and has a good view of the mosque square. There is a English library with free internet. Other services: Information/ laundry/ hot water/ public kitchen. .35Y/Night. edit
Kashgar Old City Youth Hostel (喀什老城青年旅舍), NO.233 in Wusitangboyi road (bus number 28), ☎ +86-998-2823262, . A hostel centrally based with dorm beds and shared bathrooms. Beds were previously very hard, but in spring 2012, the hostel purchased new mattresses that are much more comfortable. Enclosed with a central courtyard with eastern styled areas. Seems to be very popular so a booking is suggested. No longer serves breakfast and no kitchen area available. .35Y/Night. edit
Qiniwak Hotel (喀什其尼瓦克宾馆; Kāshí Qíníwǎkè Bīnguǎn), 144 Seman Road (色满路144号; Sèmǎnlù) (Occupies the building that used to be the British Consulate, at the cross road with Nuoerbeixi), ☎ +86 998 2981158. Offers dorm style bedrooms in the adjacent building. More expensive doubles have free internet. Business center, currency exchange, gift shop, ticket office, karaoke, massage and sauna available. Chinese and Western Restaurants as well as coffee shop and bar.Dorms ¥50 in a three bed room; discounted rates for doubles ¥160 including breakfast. edit
Chini Bagh Hotel, 337 Seman Road, ☎ +86 998 2822103 (fax: +86 998 2842299). Prices for a double start at ¥60 in the older building. edit
Seman Hotel (Seman Binguan), 337 Seman Road, ☎ +86 998 2582150 (fax: +86 998 2582129). In an old Russian consulate building, the rooms are oddly-shaped with simple bathrooms, common areas have high ceilings and military-themed oil paintings, 300 rooms. Prices for a double start at ¥100. Dorms from ¥40. edit
Hotel Eden email=Alimkashgari@yahoo.com' phone +8613399770339-+8615099003657 is right on the edge of the old town. Double Rooms are ¥238 per night incl. breakfast.Fantastic yogurt on the ground floor restaurant although served at room temperature. The ground floor restaurant of this hotel is one of the "happening" scenes of Kasghar among locals and is usually packed with affluent local Uyghurs.
Kashi Tianyuan International Hotel (喀什天缘国际酒店; Kāshí Tiānyuán Guójìjiǔdiàn), 8 Renmin East Road (人民东路8号; Rénmíndōnglù), ☎ +86 998 2801111 (fax: +86 998 2802266). Four star hotel with large rooms with free internet and mini bar. Business center, gift shop, ticket office, karaoke, spa, massage and sauna available. Chinese restaurant coffee shop and room service. The restaurant is not good, but the 24 hour spa, massage and sauna are excellent.Listed rates for doubles ¥780-1,880 including breakfast. edit
Karakul Lake - Scenic alpine lake, located on the road to Tashkorgan and Pakistan. A mini bus departs at 11:30 (Beijing time) from the main bus station, costs 35Y , 4 Hours. However, a permit is now required for all non-PRC citizens. This can be very difficult to arrange on your own, but all travel agencies in Kashgar are familiar with the process. Before arranging your own transportation to Karakul Lake (or any location on the Karakoram Highway), make sure you have secured a permit, as there are checkpoints along the highway. No one without a permit can go past the checkpoints, which are real military checkpoints, complete with armed soldiers. One must show one's permit AND passport at the checkpoints. A couple hours past the lake is the tranquil Tajik city of Tashkurgan, which provides beautiful mountain vistas near the border of Tajikistan. Spend the night there before heading back down the Karakoran Highway and enjoy the quiet town and its peaceful pastures.
Kashgar is also near the border with Kyrgyzstan, which can be accessed via the Irkeshtam and Torugart passes.