As one of the popular places along the silk road, where you can experience ethnic cultures and taste the various delicacies.
It is said you will never know the real Xinjiang if you've never been to Kashgar, and a journey to Kashgar is never complete without savouring its local specialities. As one of the best cities to sample authentic Xinjiang cuisine, Kashgar is noted for its diversified food culture.
Introduction of Kashgar
Stepping into Kashgar is like being transported into one of the thousand and one nights of The Arabian Tales. This far-flung city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is a must-see for its beautiful scenery and intoxicating culture. Miraculously, modern China peels away to reveal the arresting sights, sounds, fragrance and atmosphere of a 2,000-year-old Middle Eastern town. Open-air markets hum with squawking livestock and the buzz of locals. Every so often, old mosques peep out from a labyrinth of well-worn. humble homes and rouse the neighbourhood with calls to prayer.
Perched on the western rim of the world's largest inland basin. the Tarim Basin and nestled beside the desolate Taklamakan Desert, which ominously means: "those going in never return," Kashgar is an oasis carved of sand and stone.
Located in a little cul-de-sac, framed by desert dunes, and rolling mountains, Kashgar was once a last stop outfitting station and trading post for travellers and merchants plying the ancient Silk Road that linked China, India, Pakistan and the great Roman Empire. Today, trade continues to weave its timeless magic.
Opposite the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar's old town lies the Haan Bazaar. When the evening closes in, the twilight marks the beginning of a culinary adventure. The market draws in large crowds of locals and visitors to fulfil their inner foodie desires.
Here are some must-try dishes in Kashgar's food paradise:
It's impossible to imagine the local diet without mutton and lamb. From smoke-grilled kebabs to whole roasted lambs, meat lovers simply can't resist the temptation. There are quite a few kebab stalls at the night market, filling the streets with lamb-laden curls of smoke.
Small pieces of lamb are grilled on skewers over charcoal with various spices sprinkled on them to add flavours. Visitors are drawn by the captivating smell from a distance. When they have their first bite, the tender and juicy meat create a lingering taste in their mouths.
Naan is a staple food for Uygurs. The bread is made from plain ingredients including flour, milk, salt and sugar, but it conjures up a host of wonderful sensations.
It comes in different sizes and shapes, typically round, with distinctive flavours. Grab a freshly-baked one, tear it off, and you'll find it surprisingly tasty compared with how it looks. The surface is slightly crispy and the texture inside is quite soft.
Don't underestimate the power of the humble-looking bread. These discs can last for a month or two. Many visitors can't help but bring some home when their journey ends.
Locally called Dogh or Baobing in Mandarin, it is a delicious mix of shaved ice, honey and yoghurt. There is nothing better than sweet and freezing dogh as a summer treat or an after-meal dessert.
The large block of ice is often the centre of attention. The master shaves the ice off an ice block and tops it with yoghurt and honey. The ingredients are then tossed high in the air so that they mix together.
You might be interested in where the giant block of ice comes from. They are retrieved from frozen rivers running down the snow-capped mountains in winter. They are then stored in ice cellars to keep them from melting. When summer approaches, they are ready for numerous cups of refreshing iced yoghurt.
Opke Hessip is a traditional snack favoured by locals. The mere sight of it stimulates the curiosity of many passersby.
Served with lamb lungs and rice-stuffed intestines in soup, it is something definitely worth a taste. The intestines are soft and the rice inside is glutinous.
Travellers are recommended to spend a couple of nights in Kashgar to fully explore some of its local specialities at the night market. A walk through the bustling stalls brings you the authentic flavours of Kashgar.
There is no need to bring cash as each food stall provides online payment, either via WeChat Pay or AliPay.