Lying on the northeastern part of the Pamirs and on the western edge of Tarim Basin, Kashgar is the uttermost western city in China. Kashgar is an ancient cultural city of the ethnic group of Uygur and a famous Islamic city in East Asia. In ancient times, Kashgar City was the meeting point of the southern route and the northern route of the Silk Road. Cultures of Central China, India and Persia mingled and fused in this area.
It is also the birthplace of the Shule music and dance, and a large grower of fruits. Buildings in the Islamic architectural style, handicrafts and Uygur customs in this prefecture are fascinating. Among the main tourist attractions are Mosque, Ahakh Hoja Tomb and Yusup Hazi Hajup Mausoleum.
Kashgar is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. Kashgar is the administrative centre of Kashi Prefecture which has an area of 162,000 km² and a population of approximately 3.5 million.
The city covers an area of 15 km². The altitude averages 1,289.5 m/4,282 ft. above sea level. The city is located in the western extreme of China — within both the Tarim Basin and the Taklamakan Desert — where it experiences an extreme desert climate.
Kashgar features an extreme cold desert climate (Koppen BWk) with hot summers and cold winters, with large temperature differences between those two seasons: The average high in January and July is 0.3 °C (32.5 °F) and 32.1 °C (90 °F). Spring is long and arrives quickly, while fall is somewhat short. The mean annual temperature is 11.9 °C (53.4 °F). Kashgar is one of the driest cities on the planet, averaging only 64 millimetres (2.52 in) of precipitation per year. The city’s wettest month, July, only sees on average 9.1 millimetres (0.36 in) of rain. Because of the extremely arid conditions, snowfall is rare, despite the cold winters. Records have been as low as −24.4 °C (−12 °F) in January and up to 40.1 °C (104.2 °F) in July. The frost-free period averages 215 days.
Kashgar’s Old City has been called “the best-preserved example of a traditional Islamic city to be found anywhere in Central Asia, but it is now being razed by the Chinese government which plans to replace the old buildings with new.” The demolition of swaths of the Old Town of Kashgar is being carried out in the name of modernisation and safety. The famed trading hub on the Silk Road, on which caravans carrying silk and jade from China crossed with merchants from Central Asia bringing furs and spices, will effectively disappear…A small area visited by tourists seeking a flavour of Kashi’s rich history will be preserved. At present, it is estimated to attract more than one million tourist visitors annually.
The Karakorum highway (KKH) links Islamabad, Pakistan with Kashgar over the Khunjerab Pass. Bus routes exist for passenger travel south into Pakistan. Kyrgyzstan is also accessible from Kashgar, via the Torugart Pass and Irkeshtam Pass; as of summer 2007, daily bus service connects Kashi with Bishkek’s Western Bus Terminal. Kashgar is also located on China National Highways numbered G314 and G315.
Kashgar has been chosen as the home of a planned special economic zone (SEZ).
Kashgar, an important hub on the Old Silk Road, is set to become an economic development zone (EDZ), as part of Chinese government’s efforts to transform the city into a prosperous trading post for China’s Central Asian neighbors. Chinese authorities have announced they will introduce preferential investment and taxation policies to boost investment in this ancient city in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in China, which borders Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan.