In my opinion the most beautiful, historic, and culturally tantalizing place to visit in all of China is the western part of the country, specifically the Xinjiang Province in the far northwest. And Kashgar (or Kashi), an oasis city in the southwestern part of the province, holds a special place in my traveling heart. That's why I was excited to come upon Kashgar: Oasis City on China's Old Silk Road recently in one of Hong Kong's bookstores. I flipped through it briefly and purchased it in record time. And this book, ripe with colorful photos and rich historical, cultural, and topographical descriptions, did not disappoint. I recommend it, particularly if you are planning a trip to Xinjiang or if you have been there and loved it as much as I have.
If you haven't been to this part of China, you should go soon. It is rapidly modernizing and much of the old city of Kashgar has already been demolished. I agree with this assessment, given in the Introduction: "The Old City of Kashgar remains unappreciated by visitors, yet it is an extraordinary example of a living, Islamic urban centre. The photographs in this book provide an insight into the visual beauty and tranquility of the old city. Walking into the old city of Kashgar is something that all visitors should consider doing, in order to appreciate the unique Uyghur architecture of the houses and street mosques and to meet the residents, local vendors, and artisans. Beyond the Kashgar prefecture, visitors can readily make their way northwards towards Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, visiting among other sites the fabulous Buddhist caves of Kuche. They can also travel towards Khotan [modern day Hotan] and other sites famous for their Buddhist relics. And while touring the Kashgar prefecture, modern visitors can read the quotations on page 153 to see what travelers in the past have said about the Old Silk Road city, its culture and people (15)."