Well, my travels are winding down. I ended my trip in Kashgar, one of the farthest west cities in all of China. Here Han Chinese were few and far between, and most travelers were using this as a gateway to or from Pakistan. Kashgar was amazing. By this point I had a whole band or merry wanders that I was used to and knew well, so everyday was filled with chatting and hanging out. I think I’ll let the pictures tell of my experience.
I’ll admit I didn’t do much in Kashgar, and maybe I’ll regret it in the future. I was supposed to join a car of people going to Shipton’s arch, the tallest natural arch in the world. It was discovered to the world in the 40’s and then lost for decades until 2000, when a National Geographic expedition finally found the location and made it known to the public (about 60km’s away from the city). But the night before I was up and in the toilet and while I was a bit better come morning I thought a hot car ride, followed by a even hotter hike, was not such a good idea.
But I had such a good time in the city, wandering the meandering maze of the old city street, going to the bazaar and the livestock market, and chatting with fellow travelers, I don’t mind being lazy. (Also, in all honesty, the heat was really getting to me at that point. I was only eating two meals a day, breakfast and dinner–because my body just didn’t have it in me to digest food. It was too busy trying not to overheat. And no place had air conditioning, ensuring I sweated through each and everyday.)
Kashgar was the perfect place for me to end my trip. It was one of the furthest spots in China, and so unlike anything I have seen before. I feel like I went to another country, even though I technically never left the borders of China. Xinjiang doesn’t get as much attention as other parts of China (even though it is the largest part in China) but it is a place of astounding beauty, amazing food, and unique culture. If you get the chance: go, go, GO!