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!

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.