Around Kashgar

Unlike initial itinerary that we planned to immediately go to Karakul Lake today, we have to postpone for tomorrow as yesterday was too rush negotiating with tour agent, which we ended up deciding to check at hostel, which now gives us happy news that we could go to Karakul Lake without permit, by bus, all by ourselves. So today we’ll spend for Kashgar sightseeing, and go buy tomorrow’s bus ticket for Karakul.

Food is everywhere in Kashgar. Naan stalls are sitting side by side, and sometimes you can spot naan maker preparing dough and baking naan in traditional oven. Uyghur people eat naan as we eat rice, so lots of supply is a must. From our hostel to the town center (if I want to refer the center of Kashgar, it should be the Id Kah mosque area), we have to walk less than 15 minutes down Wusitangboyi road, and along the street there are heaps to see, people, old buildings.

 

This is the junction nearby our place, go further for Id Kah mosque, or turn right to walk to head to main road Renmin West (where you can get plenty of bus heading East, to the Southern bus station for example – where we’re going to buy or Karakul Lake ticket). The weather in Kashgar is just lovely in April, the morning can be a both cool and warm, noon is a little hot with cool wind so walking a long distance isn’t a big problem. When we realize again, people do not wear short sleeve shirts in here.

We catch a shop selling Uyghur musical instrument, and a man is overwhelmingly playing the tune loud enough that people of nearby shops can enjoy the music as well. Will put the video clip later when I manage to find my DVD back.

 

We pass by some shops selling Uyghur traditional craft souvenir, but not really keen to buy any now.

 

The old part of Kashgar still consists of old buildings which probably age hundreds of years, and entrances like this usually belongs to a mosque, although sitting in between shop lots, equally old. We sneak into one and see the prayer area.

I yelled when we saw Samsa for the first time (lots of research would help to expect what food to eat in Kashgar ;)) and our first samsa happens to be the best in all Kashgar. Only priced 1 yuan per piece, samsa is a baked dough with lamb fillings, best eaten when hot.

  

The people behind samsa making. Two men are busy baking prepared samsa into traditional oven, and another two are inside kneeding dough. And at another corner (not in picture), a man filling the dough with minced lamb.

 

In fact, the stall actually provides open-air eating area, complete with tables and free Chinese tea (chai). We managed to finish 4 samsa, and if it’s not Az telling to save our tummy for other foods, I would have managed 10.

 

We cross the main road in front of Id Kah mosque to check what’s there (because in map says there’s a market/bazar there), and even in the subway there are shoplots selling stuff. We randomly walk further and around until we see an area looking like market. Although, it seems everything is about fabrics and clothings.

I have encountered some Kashgar women wearing burqa (like one in this picture) and feel intrigued on how neat they’re wrapped and done. I dont know what it’s called in here, but it’s commonly in dark brown color, made of woolen fabric and mostly elder women wear them. I decide to ask around the shops to check and try on my head, but it’s rather expensive for 40 yuan so I’m not buying.

 

 

We walk passing some small streets seeing small shops and stalls, while we dont have anything in mind to search and buy. Just checking what kind of fabrics and clothes they’re selling here.

Az has already planned to buy Uyghur caps ever since he saw one, but it’s still too early to fill our luggage with shopping yet. We ask around it’s 40 yuan per piece. Not buying either. We suppose they must be cheaper if you find in street market.

 

We left the market area, and back to the main road, and the place where it’s supposed to be night market is being set up. We pass by another samsa stall and decide to have it a try.

 

Az points out that the stall guy does the selling and his wife is sitting in a corner taking care of the payment and money while babysitting. Samsa here is a little expensive than earlier, 1.5 yuan, but slightly bigger, so okay. And we managed to ‘chat’ a bit with the owner (nevermind the language) and he asks to play with our camera, so result is, a candid photo of two of us eating :) well, there’s hardly our photo together yet except for self-taken.

Next food place is at a proper restaurant rather than small stall, which I just randomly entered after seeing something like beef (lamb?) noodle on the picture, and I’ve been waiting to find one. Taking order is hard when they dont even understand noodle, mee, lamb, beef =.= (our mistake for not learning Uyghur beforehand) so I had to go out of the restaurant to literally point to the very photo of lamb noodle I was meaning to say.

 

It’s rather a kuey-teow (flat rice noodles) soup with chuncks of lambs and vegetables. Taste like normal kuey teow sup in Malaysia, only with extra black pepper. Nice but a little expensive than our expectation, 26 Yuan including 2 kebabs.

Meeting Nazar in Urumqi

Bus no 10 from Urumqi Railway station to Grand Bazar: 1 RMB. The bus can easily be found in front of the railway station. Tell the driver you’re going to Bazar, because this bus isn’t stopping exactly in front of Bazar. So the driver would alert you when it reaches the place you should get down (it’s underneath a flyover), where you should cross the road and take 5 minutes walk to the Bazar.

Well, rewind to the time we were still in Chengdu – Lanzhou train. I sent sms to Nazar, an Uyghur CouchSurfer we were supposed to meet in Kashgar informing our whereabouts and expected time to reach Kashgar, but surprisingly, he replied telling he was coming to Urumqi! It was an emergency family matters, and although we felt a little disappointed (coz now we’re not going to meet CS buddy in Kashgar) we agreed to meet him during our transit in Urumqi before our flight to Kashgar. In the meantime, I have come to know Hasnat from a Xinjiang Facebook page, he’s a Pakistani Medical student in Urumqi. Since Hasnat might have class this morning and we only have a few hours to spend in Urumqi, we had to meet Nazar first since he’s going to help us about Kashgar and getting a permit to go to Karakul Lake.

Xinjiang International Grand Bazar, or sometimes I came across in internet it’s called Erdaoqiao Bazar. It’s a huge building complex with a little Central-Asian/Turkish essence in the architecture. Especially the minaret part. Deciding whether to enter the bazar first or have lunch, we have to admit that we’re getting hungry. We’ve been eating Maggi noodle and Tesco instant chicken curry all times throughout 3 days on journey and it’s time to get real food again.

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Lot kedai Bazar Tengku Anis untuk disewa

Shop lot at Bazar Tengku Anis, Kota Bharu, Kelantan available for rent.

Groud floor dan berhampiran tangga. Bazar yang baru siap dibina akhir 2009 lengkap dengan kemudahan lif dan basement parking. Lokasi strategik di bandar Kota Bharu, bersebelahan Kompleks Kampung Kraftangan, hentian bas bandar dan Istana Batu… (lokasi tumpuan pelancong). Berdekatan Masjid Muhammadi. Sesuai untuk small office, perniagaan pakaian, barang kemas, aksesori dan runcit.

Sila hubungi Pn Rokiah 013-9205417 untuk pertanyaan.

Terima kasih.