Kashgar has been the most exotic town so far. It has a real middle Eastern/Western China feel to it. The local women wear bright colourful clothes and the men wear suits and their Islamic hat. The men have dark leathery skin and white beards. They say that only the women are allowed to wear silk and gold – and they wear lots of it. The women all wear the most beautiful shoes with high heels. Even at the dirty stinky animal markets we spotted a woman with shiny red high heeled shoes.
We arrived late in the day and visited the main mosque. In Xinjiang, most mosques don’t allow women. Unlike Turkey and other places that have areas for women, Uyghurs prefer the women to pray at home and the men attend the mosque. They do allow female tourists to come in and look around though.
In the evening we wandered around some local markets then went to an Islamic restaurant. It was decorated with colourful tiles, Islamic archways, brass teapots, bright tablecloths, carved and painted cornices.. basically everywhere you looked… COLOUR! We had traditional local pilaf and an array of local vegetable and meat dishes. It was a little bit too bland for my taste, but the tea was wonderful. It was called Safran tea and made from Saffron, Cardamom, Rose flower and black tea – what really made it nice was adding rose infused honey.
After dinner we roamed the markets again.. surprise, surprise, Jennifer and I got lost for a while. We got back about 11.30pm and the street vendors were still in full force.