Waiting for train at Turpan
Back on the train for the 1580 km to Kashgar, passed oil wells, the industrial city of Korla which is part of the Mongolian Prefecture and a centre of the Petroleum industries. The centre seemed to have broad streets, many modern buildings and some very fashionably dressed young women joined the train here.
This is when I realised that there is no nowhere in China.
Then across Taklimakan Desert to Kashgar a city of 60 thousand of whom 74% are the ethnic minority Urygurs. However more Han Chinese are moving into this region. The faces are different, the clothes are different, women wearing scarves and outfits with lots of bling, there is Arabic script on all signs and the food is different.
We visited the 14 century mosque and the remains of the old city where much demolition is happening under the name of building better houses for earthquakes.
Our hotel was a decaying Russian Consulate built in 1840s, very grand in its day. We also saw the old British Consulate, more of a hill station building.
We went to the largest animal market in Central Asia, where goats, sheep, cattle and horses were being traded. Then to a very large market which was somewhat over whelming but I had a lunch of noodles, veg and bread for 4 yuan and shared the table with 3 generations of a Urygur family.