Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kashgar's Old Town - See it While You Still Can!

One of the main reasons why travelers seek out Kashgar, despite its remote location (the train ride takes days from Beijing or Shanghai), is its charismatic old town section. Unfortunately, the Old Town will be demolished within two or three years and replaced by Chinese-built apartment buildings. The government line is that the Old Town would be highly vulnerable to earthquakes, and thus the safe and reasonable thing to do is to raze it in a controlled manner. Rebellious speculators contend that the Old Town poses problems of control for the Chinese authorities. It is a highly mysterious labyrinthine warren of lanes, after all!

Follow the arrows to find your way back to a main street.

High walls, with few views into the private courtyards beyond. 

Is it earthquake-proof?

Some words from the government.

Graffiti - Old Town style.

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