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Home Xinjiang Travel Guide Xinjiang Attractions Kashgar Sunday Livestock Bazaar: A Bustling Heart of Kashgar

Kashgar Sunday Livestock Bazaar: A Bustling Heart of Kashgar

There is a saying that you haven’t truly experienced Xinjiang without visiting Kashgar, and without a visit to the Kashgar Livestock Market, you can’t grasp the essence of the ethnic customs in Western regions. That’s why the market is a can’t-miss for your travel to Xinjiang. The Kashgar Livestock Market is also called Kashgar Animal Market or Kashgar Sunday Bazaar because the market is only open on Sundays. “Bazaar” means market in the Uyghur language.

The Kashgar Sunday Bazaar is the largest livestock trading center in Xinjiang and even Asia. Boasting a history of over 2,000 years, the bazaar has become a symbol of the exotic culture of local Uyghur people and offers authentic experiences of the local atmosphere.

Xinjiang Kashgar Sunday Livestock Bazaar
Sunday Livestock Bazaar

Fast Facts of Kashgar Sunday Bazaar

  • Location: On the outskirts of Kashgar, Xinjiang, China
  • Opening Time: every Sunday from early morning (about 10:00 am) to 19:00
  • Area: Approximately 4 square kilometers
  • Time Needed: 2-3 hours
  • Highlights: A range of livestock, including cattle, sheep, goats, and camels, as well as a variety of local products, handicrafts, and food.
  • Suited to: Tourists interested in exploring the local traditions, customs, and foods of Xinjiang

What to See and Do in Sunday Livestock Bazaar

Just like the normal markets, the Kashgar Livestock Market is divided into different sections for different types of sales. The two main sections of the market are livestock trading area and food stall area. The livestock trading area is the most bustiling part with crowds of people mingles with a throng of animals. Some of the best highlights of the bazaar lie in:

Unique Trading Methods in the Market

Tradings in the market are all conducted face-to-face. Based on their age-old traditions, local men can judge the age and health of the animals by inspecting their teeth and body structure, no need to weigh the livestock.

After settling on an animal, they start to negotiate the price by “sleeve trade”, a highlight of the bazaar. The “sleeve trade” is an ancient trading form that is popular in Central and West Asia. Instead of bargaining loudly, the buyers and sellers negotiate prices within their wide sleeves. They use certain hand gestures to communicate the prices and the whole process is entirely silent, without uttering a word. The local men use different fingers to represent different numbers, so the bystanders aren’t aware of the agreed price.

Xinjiang Kashgar Sunday Livestock Bazaar
Observe the Livestock

Diverse Local Xinjiang Dishes and Snacks

There are various food vendors and stalls along the streets in the bazaar. Both locals and tourists can have a chance to savor a variety of local foods and dishes. With livestock slaughtered on the spot, the stalls offer the freshest of meats.

Some of the most popular foods here include pilaf, lamb skewers, roasted buns, lamb broth, and yogurt water. The roasted lamb leg is particularly recommended which will leave you an unforgettable taste with its rich red color and juicy flavors.

Besides the food stalls, visitors can also find many fruit stalls selling  local fresh fruits and dried fruits.

Distinctive Architectural Style of the Bazaar

The architecture of the Kashgar Livestock Market features the typical Islamic architecture elements. With all the architecture being constructed by traditional materials, such as brick, wood, mud and stone, the bazaar shows an original charm. The red buildings in the bazaar are still rustic and elegant even under the intense sunshine,  and don’t appear too glaring at all.

How to Get There

The bazaar is on the outskirts of Kashgar City, at a considerable distance from the city center. There is no frequent public transportation to the bazaar since locals typically get there by motorcycle or tricycle.

Tourists are recommended to take a taxi to get there. From the east gate of the Kashgar Old Town, a taxi ride will cost about CNY 30 for a single trip. Alternatively, you can take bus No. 23 and get off at the “Huangdi Township” station, then follow the crowd to walk a few hundred meters to reach the bazaar.

Travel Tips for the Bazaar

  • The Sunday Market is only open on Sundays, so don’t come at other times.
  • Don’t get there too early as the bazaar starts to get lively after 11:00 in the morning. The bazaar usually ends at 19:00.
  • The bazaar is often dusty since be crowded with animals, it is recommended to wear a mask and a hat.

Attractions Nearby Sunday Livestock Bazaar

  • Karakul Lake: Located approximately 200 kilometers from Kashgar, Karakul Lake is a stunning alpine lake that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and scenery.
  • Kashgar Old Town: With a history dating back over 2,000 years, Kashgar Old Town features cultural diversity and identity of the Uyghur people.
  • Abakh Khoja Tomb: Located nearby, the Abakh Khoja Tomb is a historic mausoleum that offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the region.

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