|Today is our first full day in Kashgar, a city that was once a remote
desert oasis and the sole outpost of civilization after the vast desert
of Xinjiang to the high Karakoram peaks. China's westernmost city is no
longer that remote, but it is still an exotic place. Blacksmiths, carpenters,
and cobblers use hand tools on the streets. The alleyways of overhanging
terraces and mudbrick walls look medieval. The population is an interesting
mix of Uyghurs (a Muslim people who look like Oriental Turks), Uzbeks,
Kyrgyz, and Chinese.
|Always interesting, Uyghurs serve a soup of boiled goatheads (this trumps
that dish of chickenheads we had in Emei Shan).
|Other Uyghur dishes are 'laoman,' which is a beef and peppers sauce
for noodles, and meat dumplings which are cooked in these stoves tandoori
style (by sticking them to the sides of the kiln).
|Biking to Akbar Hoja's tomb in Kashgar wasn't easy because it is hard
to find. It's tucked away in a small Kashgar village and there are no
English signs posted. Who is Akbar Hoja anyway? Dunno, but he's got a