After leaving Kunming, our first stop on the road to Italy was Kashgar, the cultural capital of the Xinjiang Province in China. Kashgar is a multi-ethnic place but Uyghur people are the majority ethnic group. To us, the Uyghurs more closely resembled Eastern European people than their Chinese neighbors. They also have their own language and use Arabic script. Taking all this in while wandering the streets of Kashgar's old town, surrounded by mud brick houses with ornate arabesque arches, Erica and I felt like we had already traveled a long way from China.
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