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Tashkurgan (塔什库尔干, Tǎshíkùěrgān; Uygher: تاشقۇرغان) is a town in the far west of Xinjiang Province in China. Its population is mostly ethnically Tajik. The town is near to the Pakistani, Tajik, and Afghani borders.

This region is commonly known as the main road of the "old Silk Road" the main route leading from China to West Asia. The average elevation is 4000 meters.

Get in[edit]

Buses leave from TaXian BanShiChu 塔县办事处 (It is best to take a taxi to this is at the edge of Kashgar town). Tickets are ¥51 per person and buses leave at daily 9:30 a.m daily.

As of the summer of 2017, foreigners can not enter the Tajik Autonomous County without being part of a Chinese-organized tour group, as only tour groups can obtain a permit for the entire group--getting one as an individual foreigner seems impossible. Also, occasionally the road between Kashgar and Tashkurgan can be closed, simply because some bureaucrat is visiting. Tour groups run about ¥400-500 for two days and one overnight (so the cost is split by however many people are traveling together). They will likely limit you to only two hours at Karakol Lake, before shuttling you onward to Tashkurgan. They may or may not arrange your lodging (check price and terms with your hostel, hotel, or agent).

The hostels and the tourism office in Kashgar will inform you that oversees visitors must travel with a specially authorised private car to Tashkurgan. For this service they quote 400 RMB and 420 RMB per person respectively. While a reasonable amount for the cost of bringing a driver up the mountain pass, staying overnight, driving you around and then back down. It does amount to be pricy as you have to cover the drivers expenses and accommodation. Moreover it appears to be not necessary.

If you contact the K2 hostel (Phone: 0998-3492266 or 18299651555) in Tashkurgan they will inform you, you just need to get a bus (or shared car) to the town. Only when crossing to Pakistan or visiting the border are special permits required for foreigners. It is important to note that for Chinese citizens - registration is required, apparently with long queue. At one of the five police check points they will ask you about a guide - daoyou - just say no and point out your driver.  

It is possible to find the bus to Tashkurgan by asking any Kashgar taxi to take you to the bus stop which it leaves from.

However, a private car would allow you to stop along the way and explore the lakes and mountains on the pass up, which are as impressive as Tashkurgan.

Get around[edit]

This town is small, not just in terms of Chinese towns. Walking and biking are both fine ways to get around.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Stone Fort. : Stone fort is located in downtown Taskurgan . It has a history of more than 2000 years, in times gone by it was the central palace of the Tajik kingdom.. Divine at sunset  edit

  • Tashkurgan Grassland. : During your the walk on the Grassland, you will encounter local Tajik people, heards of grazing animals, and you may visit their traditional yurt houses. You will have the opportunity to take photos of traditional life on the Pamir Plateau and of the beautiful scenary of the surrounding Pamir mountains.  edit
  • Karakul Lake. : Nice lake, exorbitant entry fee can be avoided for day trippers and Chinese. Very few yurts or herdsmen in off season.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Al Karim handicraft and Gems Stone Trading Company, Tashkurghan Road, 15599921924, [1]. Al Karim handicraft and Gems Stone Trading Company is situated in Tashkurghan china from last 22 years, we sell Pakistani handicraft, Gemstones and general items from Pakistan....  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • World Roof Pakistani Restaurant (世界屋脊饭店 Shìjiè wūjí fàndiàn), 383 Tashkurgan Road (About 50 metres west of Hongqilafu Road), 13657540164. Approx 30rmb/person. A great new [as of September 2013] Pakistani restaurant. The Pakistani chef worked in a British embassy in Pakistan. In the low season this is the best place to meet other foreign travellers, get local information and most importantly make friends with the local Pakistani expat traders who gather here daily to party, celebrate, share drinks, dance and stories..  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Crown Inn, +86 998 3422888, [2]. An upscale foreign owned hotel. They also arrange tours and provide travel advice. The website is very informative. Prices starting at ¥480.  edit
  • Pamir Hotel (帕米尔宾馆), 中国新疆塔什库干县塔什库干路 (Down the Tashkugan Road towards the west end of town, opposite The China Roads Government Department), +86 998 3421085. Three star hotel, large communal courtyard close to the centre of town. 80 double room.  edit
  • Hostel 37° North (北纬 37°). This is really the only cheap place to stay in Tashkurgan, and as a bonus it's a clean, new place run by a friendly Chinese girl. Definitely one of the nicer places to stay in Xinjiang. Foreigners may be allowed to stay here, or they may not. They might not officially have the proper license to allow foreigners to stay, but they may be willing to bend the rules for you (this may mean you have to be out of the building at certain hours when the police are likely to inspect it). The fines for improperly allowing foreigners to stay are quite high, so they may no longer allow it. This hostel is on the southern edge of town, about one block south of the Crown Inn and one block west. You can recognize it by the large red Chinese characters painted on the outside wall: "北纬 37°". If you're really stuck, the reception desk at the Crown hotel can probably point you in the right direction. 50 yuan per night.  edit
  • K2 Youth Hostel, (200 meter east of the K2 hot spring hotel, big building with the YHA logo on the outside). Nice and quiet YH. accepts foriegners. toilets and showers are pretty clean and the staff is friendly. nice food and beer are sold at the YH. 45Y/dorm (July 2016).  edit


Get out[edit]

  • Kashgar – about 8 hours to the north
  • Sost – if you are heading into Pakistan, Sost will be your first stop

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