Kashgar Old City (喀什老城), or Kashgar Ancient City, is located in the center of Kashgar, covering an area of 4.25 square kilometers, with about 126800 residents. Presenting a vivid picture of Xinjiang Uygur folk customs, it is said that the soul of Kashgar lies in Kashgar Old City. It represents the ancient past and peaceful present of the city. The ancient city of Kashgar, formerly known as Shule, has a history of more than 2000 years. Local residences and shops line along the crisscross streets, forming the only labyrinth-like urban blocks characterized in Islamic culture in China. Now it is a AAAAA tourist site and a must-see in Kashgar.
Kashgar Old City is about 2 km in length and width with many streets and alleys you can walk at will. Most of the buildings in the old city have been renovated but the local features have been retained. The colorful walls, round arches, beautifully designed door and windows offer perfect background for your picture.
In addition to the architecture, many characteristic shops on the streets are also worth a visit. Almost every street in the old city has its own theme, which is called bazaars (means “market” in Uygur). There is Cantuman Bazaar (Blacksmith Street), Dopa Bazaar (Flower & Hat Street), Flowerpot Bazaar, Handicraft Bazaar, Pottery Bazaar, etc. There are also vendors of special snacks such as grapes, Nang (staple food of the Uygur and Kazak nationalities), and goat milk ice cream that you can have a try when shopping.
Some residences are available to visit. You can see what it is like inside the typical local house but usually you need to buy some products sold there. In the streets of the old city, the elderly people are basking in the sun and the children are playing around, which makes people unconsciously want to stay and linger a little longer.
Kashgar Century-old Teahouse (喀什百年老茶馆) is where both local people and tourists like to gather. It shows the traditional lifestyle of Uyghur people. Entering the teahouse, the scene of red carpet, blue wall, yellow ice sugar, local people and tourists drinking tea with little porcelain bowl, eating Nang and listening to local music is what makes it attractive. In the afternoon, it’s like a routine that people living nearby come here, sitting and chatting casually with a cup of tea in front of them. If you happen to sit by the window, you can see people passing by on the bustling street. The teahouse is like a century-year-old man talking with great interest about the stories that happened on the Silk Road.
Id Kah Mosque (艾提尕尔清真寺), firstly built in 1442, is located in the west of Id Kah Square in Kashgar. It is 140 meters long and 120 meters wide, covering a total area of 16800 square meters. It is the largest mosque in Xinjiang. Apart from the magnificent Islamic buildings, most tourists come here to witness the grand worship scene five times a day. At that time, the mosque is not open to tourists but you can see it outside. Two or three thousand people gather here (in the mosque or on the square), worshipping silently, which gives people a shock to the heart.
Note: Respect local religions, be quiet and dress properly (don't wear clothes that expose too much skin) when visiting Id Kah Mosque.
Gaotai Ancient Homes (高台民居) is a Uyghur ethnic community built on the loess cliff with a height of more than 40 meters and a length of more than 800 meters at the northeast end of Kashgar Old City. With a history of 600 years, it shows the ancient Uyghur residential buildings and folk customs in Kashgar. However, what really brings it to the public view is the movie The Kite Runner. “For you, a thousand times over.” Numerous audiences are moved to tears by the loyalty of young Hassan towards his little master Amir. As the setting of The Kite Runner, Gaotai Ancient Homes will bring you back to the classic movie.
Note: Gaotai Ancient Homes is not open to tourists as the 600-year-old houses are not in good condition and it is not safe to go in there. But you can still feel the sense of history watching it from outside.
Kashgar Old City is located at No. 10 Yawage Road, Kashgar City (喀什地区喀什市亚瓦格路10号), just in the downtown area. To get to Kashgar Old City, you need to get to Kashgar first. Kashgar Old City is about:
Kashgar is near the western border of China. You can get there by flight from domestic cities such as Beijing (about 6~7 hours), Xian (about 4 hours), Chengdu (about 6~7 hours), Shanghai (about 8 hours), Guangzhou (about 8 hours), Jinan (about 7 hours), Zhengzhou (about 7 hours), Urumqi (about 2 hours), Korla (about 1.5 hours), Yili (about 1.5 hours), etc. High speed train is not available and normal train takes too long a time. You can also get to Kashgar from land border ports, such as Kalasu Port, Irkeshtam Port, Torugart Port, and Khunjerab Port. Read more about Kashgar Transportation >
No matter you arrive in Kashgar by flight or train, there is regular city bus to Kashgar Old City. As a landmark in Kashgar, it is also easy to reach by taxi.
Travel with China Discovery: If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our knowledgeable local tour guide and skilled driver will escort you to visit Kashgar Old City with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing. Contact us to customize a worry-free tour package now!
How to Get to Kashgar: From mainland cities - you can take domestic flights from Beijing (about 6~7 hours), Xian (about 4 hours), Chengdu (about 6~7 hours), Shanghai (about 8 hours), Guangzhou (about 8 hours), Jinan (about 7 hours), Zhengzhou (about 7 hours), etc., or provincial flights from Urumqi (about 2 hours), Korla (about 1.5 hours), Yili (about 1.5 hours). From the borders - you can also get to Kashgar from land border ports, such as Kalasu Port, Irkeshtam Port, Torugart Port, Khunjerab Port. If you need transfer, we can send a tour guide and driver to pick up you from the borders.
Best Time to Visit Kashgar: suitable for travelling all year around, but May to October is most comfortable and beautiful.
Top Places to Visit Kashgar: Kashgar Old City, Karakul Lake, Tashkurgan (Stone City, Golden Grassland), Id Kah Mosque, Kashgar Bazaar
Plus arrival and departure days, you’d better plan at least 4 days for your Kashgar trip. If you want to extend your trip to Tashkurgan, you need at least 5 days. You can spend 2 days exploring attractions in Kashgar city and its old town, such as Kashgar Bazaar, Kashgar Old City, Id Kah Mosque, Abakh Hoja Tomb, Ancient Tea House, etc., then have a day trip to Karakul Lake from Kashgar. If you want to experience something more authentic, Tashkurgan, about 3.5 hours’ drive from Kashgar, is strongly recommended.
After Kashgar tour, you can take a flight to Urumqi to marvel at the alluring Heavenly Lake and visit the mummy and Silk Road exhibitions in Xinjiang Regional Museum, then keep traveling to Turpan to see the grape valleys, visit historical Jiaohe Ancient City, etc. For an in-depth Silk Road journey, you can travel from Kashgar to Hotan, Kuqa, Taklamakan Desert, etc., which usually need about 8~13 days. If you love landscape, don’t miss out the Kanas Lake in northern Xinjiang.
Kashgar and Xinjiang regions can also be connected to other Silk Road destinations easily, such as Dunhuang, Jiayuguan, Zhangye, Xian, etc. Qinghai, Tibet, Inner Mongolia are also some recommended extensions of Kashgar Xinjiang trip. Find recommended Silk Road tours here or contact us to tailor-make a trip of your own if you want to discover more destinations.
Top 3 Kashgar tours chosen by most customers to explore Kashgar in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
Lanzhou / Zhangye / Jiayuguan / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar
Kashgar - Karakul Lake - Tashkurgan - Kashgar
Urumqi - Turpan - Kashgar - Tashkurgan
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.Customize a Trip