Animal Market, Kashgar

Sunday has finally come, and the highlight of Kashgar visit for almost all travelers is to witness the biggest livestock market, which is a weekly event on every Sunday. I have arranged our itinerary so that we could visit the animal market just before we leave Kashgar. Least that we knew that we ended up meeting many other tourists here in the animal market, while you hardly see any of them for past 6 days walking around Kashgar town (except the backpackers at our hostel, but I’m talking about some other tourist groups on guided tour, coming with a bus and minivan!). Anyways.

The most interesting fact is ALL cattle that reside within 50 km radius from Kashgar will be brought to here every Sunday for the biggest trade event! The animal market is located some 10 kilometers outside the town, and during the time we were there, we’re told that no bus is going to this place, so you need to share taxi with other traveler (we did for 20yuan per taxi). We shared a taxi with a British traveler, and he’s apparently been staying in China for many years, and quite a traveler who’s been to almost everywhere. The animal market used to be held in the town, but since few years ago the government shifted the place to here in order to avoid any possible spreading of disease produced by the cattle (H1N1, mouth & nail disease, etc).

Yes, the owners are bringing their cattle to here by all means of transport.

Before the lorry and trucks bringing the cattle can enter the trade area, they have to undergo some inspection by the animal health authorities.

Here we are! With many sheep around! :D

Fat sheep for sale! Imagine how many sticks of lamb kebabs you can make out of this sheep! :D And you can find horse and donkeys too, although they’re a means of transportation rather than food. They use a very big scale to weight their livestock. Then they can decide the price to sell them.

We’re rather surprised to see cows here as well, because I almost thought they’re nonexistent in Xinjiang, thanks to the large supply of lamb kebabs we’ve had everyday and I cant remember if I’ve seen any made of beef! Or it can be possible that they taste the same?

A man offering his well-trained donkey. Kashgar people still ride donkey carts in villages, especially to help them in farms. And bargaining started among the sellers and buyers. This young boy and his father (probably) are tourist-friendly and asked us to take their photo! :)

This kind of view which I’ve been waiting so much to take a photo of….

the epic sheep fat-ass that seems to be a must for snapshot for everyone visiting the animal market! I’ve seen loads of these from other’s blogs and now I have got my own masterpiece :) Once and bargain and trade done, the sheep is brought into the truck again to go home with new owners.

At a corner, you can find some stalls making food out of fresh lamb. They have samsa, polo rice, among others, but to us it seems weird to enjoy the lively animals exchanging owners and dead animals being food, all in same place. So we decided to pass the food here, plus the atmosphere is a little dusty with the existing of thousands running around this area.

They’re also selling cattle food, drinking water container and carts for donkey.

We spent for around 2 hours here before heading back to hostel. There’s this motorbike-taxi quoting 10 yuan per person going to town (which is expensive, we paid only 10 yuan for sharing a car-taxi coming to here!) but I dont know why we instantly agreed, and probably I’ve actually been waiting to ride this since many days ago, and we didnt have much time to wait for taxi to share it with another tourist.

It was a fun ride because the driver went into smaller roads in villages rather than the main road from which we had come earlier. And he stopped to pick up a few more passengers along the way. We saw a mosque in the village which has the identical gate to those in town. Upon reaching the town, we caught a sight of something looking so strange as if it’s a mutant of a car and motorbike!

Reached hostel around afternoon, and we need to pack our luggage and leave for bus station!