Watch Your Step

Kashgar’s Sunday Livestock Market experience is equivalent to going back in time. Horses waiting for a test drive and Bactrian Camels seemingly striking a pose for the cameras are a couple of highlights for curious visitors. This place is all business, so in the very least try to stay clear of the path of gallopingContinue reading “Watch Your Step”

Details just don’t matter

Take a close look at this picture.  Observe the hindu symbols and how the Arabic script and short phases do not flow from tile to tile.  They must not make any sense for those who can read them.  The how ironic is this wall of tiles? The site is a beautiful and mysterious place toContinue reading “Details just don’t matter”

Getting Dusted

There’s only one road to get to the Afaq Khola Mausoleum after getting off bus no. 20 and it’s a dusty one. Walking would be pleasant if it wasn’t for the all the dust made by vehicles operated by senseless drivers. Getting a ride in a horse and buggy can be a good but budgetContinue reading “Getting Dusted”

Pomegranate Tree of Life

A large pomegranate fruit sits in the middle of Kashgar’s Old City just behind the refurbished Id Kah Mosque.   The Chinese have long believed that this fruit symbolizes fertility and those consuming it will have a long life and possibly chance at immortality.  In ancient Egypt, the fruit represented ambition and prosperity. The consumption ofContinue reading “Pomegranate Tree of Life”

Time to head home

Animals usually travel to and from Kashgar’s Livestock Market on the backs of trucks, inside the trunks and back seats of cars, or packed inside trailers pulled either by a motor bike, horse or donkey.  Sheep and lamb are usually tossed in and out like bails of hay, while agitated cows, camels, horses and donkeysContinue reading “Time to head home”

There is more than one way to dress a sheep

Scenes from Kashgar’s Sunday Livestock Market in China’s Xinjiang Province are more typical of neighboring Kyrgyzstan or Kazakhstan then of the Motherland itself.  How big your flock is, how well they cared for and their appearance is a reflection on the owner and his family.  A respectfully dressed sheep and a nice knife are aContinue reading “There is more than one way to dress a sheep”

Silk Road Market Canteen

Sunday Livestock Market remains unfazed by political skirmishes, religious clashes and regional social shifts. At this point, regional disruptions pass through town like dust storms through the Karakorum desert. Most deals and negotiations being made each Sunday, whether it be an addition to the flock or more horse power, usually involve the parties acting inContinue reading “Silk Road Market Canteen”

The Beauty and the Beast

There’s just one word to describe the Celestial Mountain region in Kyrgyzstan – heavenly. The sweeping valleys are full of playful yaks, wild horses and yurts set up at the foot of the hills. Traders, spiritual nomads and adventurers trekked along these ancient Silk Road passages for centuries. Today, the dirt roads get more traffic,Continue reading “The Beauty and the Beast”

Bright Star

Some of the world’s most notorious leaders have passed through its gates – Timur, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan to name a few.  Istravshan or Ura-Tyube controlled the Silk Road trade in its early days, and attracted a large number of skilled merchants and craftsmen who built and rebuilt many beautiful mosque, madrassas, temples andContinue reading “Bright Star”

Colorful Past

The giant Lenin statue is gone and the crumbling, dimly lit Hotel Leninabad has embraced capitalism.  They open after dark – serving drinks and beats to locals until dawn. The most attractive vision of the past is this colorful pediment containing both Stalin and Lenin on the side of Khujand’s Panjshande Bazaar. This facade isContinue reading “Colorful Past”