Kashgar Travel Guide
Located in the far west of China, Kashgar is a city steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty.
As one of the oldest and largest cities in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Kashgar has been a key trading hub along the ancient Silk Road for centuries.
Today, it’s a vibrant city that offers visitors a unique glimpse into the region’s rich heritage and traditions.
Chinese: 喀什 kā shí
Location: Southwest Xinjiang
Population (urban area): 7,113,000
Why visit Kashgar?
- Unique Culture and Customs – Kashgar is home to a diverse mix of ethnic groups, including Uygur, Han, Tajik, and more, each with their own distinct culture and traditions.
- Stunning Natural Scenery – From the majestic Pamir Mountains to the vast Taklamakan Desert, Kashgar boasts some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in China.
- Rich History and Heritage – Kashgar is home to many historic sites and ancient artifacts, including the Id Kah Mosque and the Kashgar Old Town, offering visitors a glimpse into the city’s fascinating past.
- Bustling Markets and Bazaars – The Kashgar Sunday Market and other markets in the city offer visitors a unique shopping experience, with a vast array of local handicrafts, food, and souvenirs.
Kashgar is located in the far west of China, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The city has a continental arid climate, with long, hot summers and cold winters. The weather in Kashgar is heavily influenced by its location in the Tarim Basin, surrounded by the Pamir Mountains to the west and the Taklamakan Desert to the east.
The best time to visit Kashgar is from May to October when the weather is mild and comfortable for outdoor activities. During this time, temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C, with occasional rainfall. The summer months of June to August are the busiest tourist season, with warm temperatures and clear skies.
In the winter months, from November to April, temperatures drop below freezing, and the city experiences frequent snowfall. The coldest months are December and January, with temperatures averaging around -10°C. Despite the cold temperatures, winter can be a beautiful time to visit Kashgar, with snow-capped mountains and frozen lakes offering a unique and stunning landscape.
Kashgar offers multiple transportation options for getting there and getting around the city.
Air travel is available through Kashgar Airport, located approximately 10 kilometers north of the city center. The airport serves both domestic and international flights, with destinations like Urumqi, Hotan, and Islamabad. Visitors can take a bus or taxi from the airport to the city center for around CNY 102.
Traveling by train is another option, with Kashgar Railway Station located about 5 kilometers from the city center. It provides normal speed trains to Urumqi and other cities in Xinjiang and western China, such as Xian, Chengdu, and Lanzhou. Buses No. 26 or No. 28 are available from the railway station to the city center.
Long-distance buses are also available, linking Kashgar to other cities in Xinjiang and neighboring countries like Pakistan. The primary bus station is located at No. 1 Jiefang South Road.
Taxis are a convenient mode of transportation within the city, with a flag-down rate of CNY 5 for the first 3 kilometers and CNY 1.5 for each additional kilometer. Fares may increase by 50% at night.
Rent a Bike
For a unique cultural experience, visitors can rent bikes to explore the old town of Kashgar. Bikes are available for rent from some hostels or hotels for approximately CNY 10-20 per day.
Tips for Traveling in Kashgar
- Respect the local culture and customs, especially when visiting religious sites or interacting with locals.
- Pack appropriate clothing and gear, including warm clothing and sunscreen for the winter months and light clothing for the summer.
- Be prepared for altitude sickness, especially when visiting high-altitude locations such as the Karakul Lake.
- Bargain when shopping at the markets and bazaars, but be respectful and polite.
- Be cautious when eating street food, especially when trying new foods. Stick to busy food stalls with a high turnover of customers, and avoid eating raw or undercooked food.