Before we left Kashgar we went to the Sunday market which has been moved outside of the city in the open air. Sheep, cows and even two horses and a camel were there to be sold. What a bustling place! Animals moved and mooed, deals were made. Food was cooked with fresh meat and vegetables and fruit were available at different stalls. It was an interesting experience digging into local life. There were a few other western tourists, the first we saw in Kashgar.
Then we took the brand new highway to Aksa. It’s on the route of the Northern Silk Road. There were several checkpoints and we had to arrive at each one at a given time. So we were driving rather slowly and got time to take a good look at the beginning of Taklamakan desert. On the left there were were hills in beautiful red brown grey and white colours.
Our hotel was in Aksa, a big modern city. All the old Uighur brick and earth houses are being teared down, the land being re-used to densify with new sky scrapers or other large buildings. The restaurant where Chang took us was above a department store. The food was tasty and I had for the first time the famous Mapo Doufu, tofu in Szechuan style, which is a very hot sauce.