Kashgar Grand Bazaar
Kashgar, Xinjiang, China
With thousands of stalls and up to a couple hundred thousands of shoppers every week, the Kashgar Grand Bazaar is one of the largest in all of Asia. Kashgar was, and still is, at a crossroads of cultures and nations, and a place for trading and selling. With goods ranging from jade, carpets, silk, fruits, and nuts, it still exhibits the Uyghurs colorful culture every day. Envision a merchant after crossing the Pamir Mountains or the Taklamakan Desert and finding rest and fortune in Kashgar. It is one of those few living treasures left on earth where a similar experience can be felt.
On Sundays it is particularly busy, a time where locals put on their best clothes and wander the endless stalls to find a hidden gem. Most of the bazaar lies inside a large warehouse, but there are some side streets equally interesting selling numerous fruits, nuts, and snacks. On the outskirts of Kashgar lies a different commotion, one of sheep, lambs, traders, shepherds, butchers, and, occasionally, tourists. This weekly spectacle and quirky assembly occurs only on Sundays, where Shepherds and butchers come from near and far to sell, trade, buy, or just observe the livestock on offer.
Kashgar, largest town of southern Xinjiang and historic crossroads of the Silk Roads.
A living and breathing bazaar, from a thousand years ago to today.
A place to buy and sell goods,, exchange livestock, meet friends, or a chance to display your Sunday best.
The bazaar is still bustling every single day in the heart of Kashgar, but it is especially busy on Sundays, where a livestock market also takes place outside of town.
We arrived in the morning when the stalls were just opening and the locals just arriving. The variety on display here is quite overwhelming, with each stall cluttered with numerous goods and wares. Being a food lover, we found the outside section the best of the bazaar. We walked away with a large bag of fresh almonds in their shells for only 5 yuan ($0.75)! Overall, the experience of wandering around for a couple hours and observing the local life is not to be missed while in Kashgar, and set a blueprint for our time in the heart of the Silk Roads. And the best part is that it is free to peruse, despite the fact you are hard pressed to leave without a bag of goods.