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We nearly missed the plane by 2 hours. Xinjiang and Urumqi run on 2 hours earlier than the official Beijing time – the unified time for all China. We managed to get to the airport in time and arrived in Kashgar this afternoon at 15H30.

I have never been offered a hotel room without window and then to be upgraded for one with window for an extra 10 dollars.


Kashgar is almost defunct. The old town is giving away to new buildings and new roads through the traditional houses area. Such a sad sight to see all the brick walls being torn down. In 5 years time nothing will be left and it will be just another city like everywhere else in China. The Uyghur people too looked sad and have this look in the eyes which knows that it is a lost battle and they are slowly but surely being absorbed by the Han official identity. Yesterday at the Urumqi Museum visit, I was quite amused with the exhibition of all the various minorities showing the traditions and customs of each ethnic group, Uzbek, Tajik, Kyrgyz, Uyghur, Tatar and Russian. The Russians were presented as a strange minority group which performs songs at Christmas and Easter. The world seen from the East and especially by the Middle Kingdom.

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