Central Asia International Grand Bazaar at Kashgar

Also known as Sunday Market. Which is a confusing name, because this bazaar is actually opened everyday, not only Sunday. It’s also easily be confused with the Animal market – which is opened on Sunday. Whatever, but we visited this Kashgar bazaar in fact twice, including Saturday.

The bazaar is located not very far from North Bus station, and local bus no 20 gets you there for 1 yuan.

Although we didnt plan for shopping that much, I’m expecting it to be interesting to see this largest indoor market in Kashgar, and even some say it’s the largest in Central Asia (as the name says). It’s large indeed, and I guess we haven’t even covered the whole bazaar completely (well, we didnt really put an effort to it anyways). Maybe for those who’d like to do shopping, this place can be the ultimate destination, for mostly fabric and souvenir.

There are also food stalls nearby here, and we had a few samsa, but I have to say it’s best to eat first in Kashgar town before coming to Bazaar. One should conveniently be guided by the sign board to show location of Kashgar Bazaar, or to be safe, let the bus driver know that you’re heading to the bazaar. Ahead will be Apakh Khoja Tomb, another tourist attraction in Kashgar, which unfortunately didnt attract us enough to make a visit.

Another entrance to go inside Bazaar. it was busy with people on Friday and Saturday, and I guess it will be more on Sunday. We can’t allocate the visit on Sunday as we’re going to see the Animal market, and afternoon should be packing time to leave for Kuqa.

Lots of stalls selling dried fruits and nuts. Local’s famous pomegrenate juice. It’s pity but we never tried fresh juice in here, because the first time we asked at the night market it was 20 yuan per glass! It’s most probably the seller was trying to overcharge us (and funnily, a friend of him suddenly came saying 25 yuan =.= which we instantly refused both, thank you!). Alternatively, bottled processed pomegranate juice can easily be found in shops for only 3 yuan, and Az liked it alot.

Inside the bazaar, there are countless of shops selling clothes and fabrics. Az got a shirth with Uyghur pattern while nothing Uyghur is suitable for me (unless I want to wear those dress in mannequin!) so I’ve just got myself a couple of scarves that specifically has label ‘Made in Kashgar’ :)

Colorful fabric with striking colors, I guess they’re meant for bridal dress and decoration. Lots of prayer rugs too (people would assume most of them are made in Turkey, but China is one of the biggest producers of these too!).

Well, China is undoubtly the biggest producer of many stuff we use everyday: hand glove, cellotapes, etc and you can actually find every single item being sold in the bazaar.

And this is interesting: the wedding invitation card written in Uyghur! :D This part has shops selling soaps, shampoo, henna, things like that. And some bronze merchandise, if you like.

outside

One of many shops selling this neat colorful fabric (it has a material close to jersey) and I was told it’s 18 yuan for 3 meters during our first visit, but during 2nd visit, another seller was being very rude and saying it’s 50 yuan per meter! Not only I didnt end up buying, it spoiled my mood totally until we’re back to hostel. Like other places, Kashgar also has good and bad people doing business, so it’s best to use common sense to judge if the price is reasonable or not.

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.