One of the most convincing reasons to visit Kashgar is, a little paradoxically, the opportunity to get out of town. Distances can be huge, public transport non-existent and the weather unrelenting, so it’s usually best to go through a tour operator. Among the tours on offer – other than those to places nearby – are mountaineering expeditions, trips to Tibet, day- to week-long camel treks across the Taklamakan desert, and visits to remote villages of minority peoples.
0998 2980473, www.kscits.com.cn. This Chinese tourist staple has a branch inside the Royal Qinibagh. Staff are friendly and speak English.
1389 9136195, [email protected] A long-time freelance operator organizing trips around Kashgar, his English is good and he knows the area well, but at heart he remains – as he started out – an expert in Kashgar’s carpet markets.
Kashgar Mountaineering Adventures
0998 2821832, ksalpine.com. Inside the Kashgar Gymnasium on Jiefang Nan Lu, the helpful, English-speaking staff here can organize a range of adventure activities including climbing and rafting trips. Contact them well in advance if you plan something ambitious, as most activities require some equipment and paperwork preparations.
Old Road Tours
1389 9132103, oldroadtours.com. Formerly Abdul Wahab Tours, this local company is run by six friendly brothers and marshalled by Abdul himself, a real fountain of local knowledge. They can organize any trip imaginable, big or small, and in a number of languages including French, German and Russian.