We went to Yarkand because it was on the way to Kashgar and the Lonely Planet described it as a town of the “by-gone Silk Road days.”  Though I would not recommend going to Yarkand on an out-of-the-way day trip when you are on a time budget, I was glad we stopped on our way through.  There is the nice Altyn Mosque, an old royal and a common mazar or Islamic graveyard, and a shrine to Ama Isa Khan, a Uighur princess from the 16th Century who collected Uighur poems and music.  In this way it reminded me of a sort of Central Asian Rose Hill Cemetery.

The price to enter everything was just 15 RMB.  The sleepy old town makes for an interesting walk-through.  The only negative I can recall was that when we awoke in our hotel, there was a massive dust storm which did not subside until Eid on the 10th, five days later.  Thus the old town was covered in dust so I did not bring my camera fearing damage to the sensor, which was a stupid decision.  We hired a taxi to Kashgar instead of waiting for a bus, which took a long time in finding a third and fourth person to make the trip worthwhile for the driver.  Eventually, after bumping over rough roads partially washed out by rains and rivers, we arrived in Kashgar that evening.

By Preston

Agent of Change, Former of Entropy, Seeker of a Stateless World.

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