Exotic. Mysterious. A pulsating maze of colors, sights and smells, more Middle Eastern than Chinese. How do you begin to describe this mesmerizing 3000 year old oasis and trading mecca along the Silk Road?? An ethnic blend of Uyghurs, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and Han Chinese, some things in the Old Town of Kashgar haven’t changed since medieval times. Every narrow lane beckons you to explore the bazaars full of shimmering silk, knives, jewelry and carpets all moving to the rhythmic beat of metalworkers, cobblers, and weavers producing quality wares by hand; trades passed from generation to generation.
Back to my exploration, I had enough time to venture out the places like Rudaki Park, Somoni Statue, Tajikistan Palace, Rudaki Statue to Ayni Opera and Ballet theatre etc. The major part was an indelible trip to Khujand, second largest city in the northern most province. Khujand is also considered as the oldest city, approximately 2500 years old, sits on the banks of Syr river. It was around 6 hours drive through some kicksmacking landscapes, passing through Zeravshan Range, Turkestan Mountain and 10-12 km long tunnels up in the Himalayas. Almost half of Tajikistan is situated in an elevation of 3,000 meters with a maximum elevation of 5,500 meters.