Kashgar Old Town

Why is Kashgar Old Town So Special?

Kashgar’s soul is in Kashgar Old Town, it represents the city’s past, and peaceful present, if lucky, it will represent the future. Kashgar city, formerly known as Shule, has 2000 years of history. The ancient city of Shule in Kashgar is located the south, and in the Tang dynasty government had set Shule town here, however, the relic site is in the Hanoyi Ancient City where is 20 km from east of Kashgar. Walking into the old streets, in the scope of about 2 square kilometers, 23000 residents live staggered and overlapped, 200 to 300 roadways crisscross.

Where is Kashgar Old Town

Kashgar Old Town used to be at the crossroads of the northern and southern branches of the Silk Road, near the western edge of the Taklamakan Desert.

Kashgar’s old city is located in the center of Kashgar city, with an area of 4.25 square kilometers and about 126,800 residents. The streets and lanes in the old city are criss-crossing and the layout is flexible and changeable.

History of Kashgar Old Town

Kashgar Old Town is an old-aged site with more than 2000 years. Kashgar Old Town is situated in the center of Kashgar city. With the square kilometers of 4.25, the population of the old town is 126,800, all of whom are Muslims. Kashgar Old Town is the only town with Islamic character and in maze-design.

The earliest records can be found in the ancient Shule recorded by Zhang Qian in the Western Han Dynasty. The ancient city of Shule is located in the southern part of today’s Kashgar city, also known as the ancient city of Eskessel. Shule town was set up in the Tang Dynasty, but the ancient city of Hanroy, located more than 20 kilometers east of today’s Kashgar city, is evidenced by the Molfo Pagoda. The ancient city of Kashgar, where Chasa and Avag are located, should be the site of the Karahan dynasty’s capital, which has a history of more than 800 years. Entering the old streets and lanes, within a range of about 2 square kilometers, 23,000 residents live in compact communities, with 2,300 lanes crisscrossing and weaving closely.

Main Attraction of Kashgar Old Town

A Huge Maze in Islamic and Uygur Style

Kashgar Old City is a unique maze city in China.  More than 200 narrow alleys crisscrossed.  If you get lost, you can use hexagonal tiles as guides to help you.  Tiles with four corners will lead you to a dead end.  Most of the buildings here are of Islamic and Uyghur styles.  It gives people a feeling of being in the Middle East.  The house in the core area makes it one of the largest adobe buildings in the world.  There is no end of mud walls and colored doors.  The town’s residents’ gates are open to tourists.  When both doors opened, the owner went home.  When a door panel is opened, the hostess is alone at home.  When the curtain was draped over the door, someone came to visit and the host was absorbed.  Although the local houses are not large, each has a courtyard.

Colorful Uygur Customs and Culture

Kashgar’s old city is the home of Uyghurs. You can see and feel Uyghur culture here: their festivals, costumes, songs and dances.  You can also taste many Xinjiang foods here, including shashi buns, baked steamed buns and a crisp cake called pumpkin pie.  Walking in the old city, you will find people’s life is very happy.  Handicraft workshops opened, old looms creaked, pottery was sold, and folk artists sang on narrow roads.  In addition, the influence of India, Arabia, ancient Greece and China is reflected in the housing style.  Many houses in the old city include Roman columns, Persian woodcuts, Buddhist lotus heaps, Indian plaster sculptures and Russian windows.、

A Grand International Bazaar

Market is the “market” in Uyghur. Kashgar has always been the hub of the Silk Road and an international commercial center. Tourists can find many fairs in the old city. There is a commercial street called Erya Road, which contains a flower pot market, carpentry, medicine and hat markets. In addition, Kashgar’s old city also has a craft workshop street called Kumu Dalva Zha Lu, where Uygur folk musical instrument shops and Kashgar’s largest bronze ware shop can be found. Bronze ware is a treasure of Uyghur nationality and is regarded as a work of art. The old city of Kashgar also has handicrafts and supplies from many ethnic minorities such as Kazakhstan and Mongolia, as well as products from Turkey, Arabia, Kazakhstan and India.

Best Time to Travel Kashgar Old Town

The best time to pay a visit is in late spring and late summer.

Kashgar region is located in the central Asian abdomen, restricted by geographical environment, and belongs to the continental arid climate zone of warm temperate zone. The territory has four distinct seasons, long illumination, large annual and daily temperature changes, little precipitation and vigorous evaporation. Summer is hot, but the period of hot summer is short. Winter is not cold, but the low temperature period is long, so it is suitable to travel in late spring and late summer.

How to Get There

You can take the bus line 2, 7, 8, 22 or 28 to the old town. You should get off at Id Kah Mosque Stop. Bus no.7 runs through the old town and you can get off at any stop inside the town.

Useful Travel Tips

Admission Fee CNY 30
Note: The old town has many entrances and some of them do not require a ticket. If you are lucky enough to find such an entrance, then you can enter the old town free of charge.
Opening Hours All day

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Doreen/张洋