|Kashgar is the westernmost city in China, situated at the country's border with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The city is in a broad oasis, surrounded by the Pamir and Tian Shan mountains to west and north and the Gobi Desert to east and south.
Historically, Kashgar is where the two Silk Routes rejoined after splitting into northern or southern routes at Dunhuang. Even today, Kashgar is a major market town. Its famous Sunday Market is the largest open-air market in Asia. In peaceful times, merchants still drive trucks over the high passes between Pakistan and China where once camels and caravans passed.
Today the border is closed and ethnic violence is not unheard of in these parts. Some Uighur's in this dominantly Uighur, Turkic and Muslim corner of China want independence. But most simply want to go on living peaceful lives in the marketplaces and mosques of this splendid oasis town.
One these two galleries is from the Sunday Market which I visited in August 2001 as part of a Silk Road study-tour organized by Primary Source. The second gallery is from the city's impressive Idkaq Mosque and the market streets which surround it.