It is the westernmost town in China, and it ought not to exist at all. Geologically and politically, Kashgar is the last town on one of the longest dead ends on the planet. On three sides, it is shielded by the Karakorum and Pamir mountain ranges, on the other by the Taklimakan Desert, whose name translates as ‘The Go In And You Won’t Come Out Desert’. To get to Kashgar, you can cross over a 5,600m pass from Pakistan, on probably the world’s highest-altitude bus route, or you can take a three-day, almost non-stop bus ride through the desert from the nearest Chinese town of Urumqi.
Why, frankly, would you bother? The answer is simple. Kashgar hosts probably the best Sunday market in the world. [Full text]
[Image: The Sunday market in Kashgar, via Corbis]