Sometimes when you see a particular photo, there is no word to describe the feeling you had at the moment. You just knew you had to go and see it for yourself. And I am glad I went. A journey I thought I did because I wanted to cross it off my bucket list turned out to be a journey of self reflection. I strongly urge fellow Muslims to go to Xinjiang perfecture and spread some love to our fellow Muslims living there. Life is tough for them, as a minority. I hope my photos and some nuggets of what we went through would evoke a similar desire to travel here.
Frankly speaking, you can do it on your own without a tour but you will be missing out on the local perspectives. Having a guide made it easier to interact with the locals due to the language barrier. I did it with a local tour operator who became my friend after corresponding for a year plus.
The trip from 15-23 June 2013 met my expectations in terms of adhering to itinerary and comfortable transportation. What stood out for me was the service of ORT guides and drivers, special mention to Rapkat and Abdul (driver in Kashgar) who were outstanding and made the difference. I love the fact that they were patient, respectful and attentive to the needs of my 65 year old father. He had such a wonderful time and he will be writing about his trip in our local newspaper’s travel section. We were also fortunate to have enjoyed Abdul Wahab and his family’s hospitality and kindness who made our trip even more memorable.
I will be posting our travelogue in detail and once my dad’s article is published, I will scan and post it here. Oh, for readers of Kite Runners – the movie is shot in Kashgar. Another reason to make your way up far east. Insya’allah, we hope to come again, one day. Remember I have a gift for my nephew and nieces.;)