Today we left Ürümqi and hopped on an airplane:
It was going to take us to a place in Southern Xinjiang:
Kashgar, Kashgaria, Kasia, Kaxgar, Shule.
One of the most important oasis towns of the old Silk Roads, a gem under the skies of Central Asia, a city predominantly inhabited by Uyghurs, a place of many names.
The first thing I photographed was this though:
Then there were the Uyghurs:
And the streets of the old town:
The bustling streets:
Kashgar is changing.
There is construction everywhere:
The old town is being torn down and replaced with new structures. To make the place safe in case of an earth quake, the administration says. To make it easier for the police to control, critics say.
I don’t know where the truth is in all this.
All I can say that sometimes it can be tough to look at:
Very tough actually:
Not everything is bad though.
You can see old doors…
…in new buildings:
You can see new decors…
…and how they cover…
…otherwise bleak and cheerless high-rises:
“If you haven’t been to Kashgar, you haven’t really been to Xinjiang”, they say:
Well, I don’t know about that either. It is a very interesting place anyway. Many people in Northern Xinjiang had warned us about coming here. “Too dangerous!” they said.
But when we arrived and checked out the local youth hostel, it was full of white people who looked mostly like tree-huggers and pot-heads. We figured we didn’t want to hang around with them, so we left and got a regular hotel room.
Kashgar didn’t feel dangerous at all. Actually, it kind of felt like the Paris of Xinjiang:
With large squares…
…and old ladies…
…with tiny back alleys…
…and fruit stands everywhere:
We especially liked some of the little shops:
And dental clinics:
Then it rained:
Kashgar is supposed to be one of the cities with the least annual rainfall on the planet. But sometimes, it still rains:
Many things are not as simple as they seem, and everything is constantly changing.
Kashgar’s main road is just an example:
It could be anywhere.
Or could it?