A lot has been written about Kashgar over the past few years. Once a center of Silk Road trade in an area of the world now known as Xinjiang, it has inevitably become a more modern city.
Many people wish to keep the nostalgic feel of an ancient Silk Road oasis while others want to bring prosperity – and with it modernization – to this part of Xinjiang.
It’s a debate that has been played out multiple times throughout history in cities across the world.
In 2009 China began to tear down Kashgar’s Old City, promising safer homes and higher standards of living.
Two years and 20 million yuan later, China completed construction of the Kashgar Urban Planning Museum located on its own little island in the East Lake Park.
Inside are various exhibitions that showcase the Silk Road history, tourism models and special planning projects.
Most interesting of all, however, is the scale model of a “modern Kashgar” set up similar to what you’d find in Shanghai. As you look at the model in the photos below, try to use the East Lake as a frame of reference.
You are looking at the future of Kashgar. The future of Kashgar’s Old City. Some will love it. Some will hate it.
Photos courtesy Jingzhen News, Cqzlzz, and Mujaddid
Is this exhibit worth a visit on your trip to Kashgar? Probably not, unless you have extra time to kill or you’re especially interested in the future of Kashgar.
But it is interesting to note that China does have a very comprehensive plan for Kashgar, one that they hope will return the city to its Silk Road trading mecca status.