Seeing Traditional Culture in Beautiful Tashkurgan
- On January 11, 2017
- By Cez Krol
- In Places to visit
If you are seeking adventure along the Karakorum Highway, then Tashkurgan is a great place to stop on your journey. This area is rich in culture, and home to the ethnic minority of the Tajik people. Located at the final reaches of China’s westernmost province Xinjiang, this is the last town before the border with Pakistan. Here in Tashkurgan, you’ll be as far away as it is possible from the glamor of eastern China. This small town is easy to get around, and there are many interesting cultural and historical sites nearby.
How can you see the best of Tashkurgan and enjoy an exciting and adventure-filled trip? Check out our top tips for Tashurgan travel below!
What to See in Tashkurgan
The history of these ruins spans over 2000 years, and once served as the ruling city for an empire that has long been turned to dust.
Walk up the broken and chipped stone stairs which bring you to the summit of this ancient place, and then wander around the inside. Here is where rulers once controlled those merchants who traveled along the Silk Road. Allowing them to come inside and have shelter before they continued on their long journeys. If you are with a guide, you’ll hear the stories of ancient China. The legends of virgin births and marriages between princesses and kings of ancient worlds long forgotten.
However, the inside of the fort is not the only beautiful sight that you will experience. As you climb to the peak of this hilltop embattlement, you will be surrounded by beautiful grasslands. The view is best in the misty morning hours just after dawn.
The entry fee for the Stone Fort is 30 yuan.
Also known as the Golden Grasslands, this area is where the people would let their herds of yak and cattle graze. Softly flowing brooks traverse this wide open field area, and now wooden walkways have been built to make it easier to wander around this silent, natural area.
Here, you’ll be able to see the Stone Fort from a different angle, with the majestic mountains rising above in the background. This is a great place for some interesting photo opportunities.
You may be able to experience a bit of the life of the local Tajik people, and see some of their yurt homes spread across the grassland.
How to Get to Tashkurgan
The closest major city to Tashkurgan is Kashgar, making it the easiest point to begin your journey to Tashkurgan. Buses are available for around 60 yuan from Kashgar, which is almost 300 kilometers to the north of Tashkurgan. Also, you have the option of taking a private taxi, which will give you more freedom of movement but will cost considerably more.
Where to Sleep
Staying in Tashkurgan is a possibility, or visit as one very long day trip. The cheapest option would be the K2 Youth Hostel for around 45 yuan per night. However, if you’re looking for comfort and great service for foreign tourists, then check yourself into the Crown Inn for around 500 yuan per night.
Also, if you’re looking to have a bit more of an adventure, try staying in a yurt at nearby Karakul Lake!
Top Tips for Visiting Tashkurgan
- Check to see if you’ll need a permit. If you plan on traveling on a public bus or with a tour group you don’t need to worry, but if hiring a car or otherwise arriving in Tashkurgan, you may need a travel permit. Check with a local travel agency in Kashgar to see and purchase this permit.
- If you’re planning to cross the border into Pakistan, then Tashkurgan is a great place to stop before you head up to the highest paved international border crossing on earth, the Khunjerab Pass.
- To get around Tashkurgan, you won’t need a car. Use your feet and wander the town, or rent a bicycle.
This beautiful town has ancient roots and is one of the many fascinating stops along the once bustling Silk Road route. If you’re looking to add some extra adventure and culture to your trip through the Xinjiang province, then Tashkurgan cannot be missed!
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