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Josh Summers  Photographer, travel writer and expat entrepreneur based in Xinjiang, China. Check out my new podcast! 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼


I love this photo! Taken near Tashkorgan with the Pamir mountains in the background and a prominent tomb in the foreground, I think it captures the remote beauty of this western edge of China. What do you think?

Photo by 📷 : @oli_smee
Every week, I repost a Xinjiang-related photo from travelers all across the globe 🌍 If you want to see your photo here, just tag it with #FarWestChina or contact me on Instagram!

What's the first thing that pops in your head when you see this photo? I took this in one of the alleys that snakes through Kashgar's Old City in western Xinjiang, China. It's a rebuilt portion of the Old City, but they retained the old doors and sections like this still feel authentic. Families still live here and this mother and son were headed out to buy vegetables in the winter cold.

The beautiful Apak Khoja Mausoleum in Kashgar, an old Silk Road oasis on the western border between China and Central Asia. Known for it's mesmerizing green-glazed tile, I consider it to be one of the more stunning structures in all of Xinjiang. When I first saw the building, it was missing quite a few tiles on the dome (there's even a sign that warns of "Falling Tiles!") but it has since been fixed up. The mausoleum has endured earthquakes, storms and changes in government over the 378 years of its existence.

The "winter wonderland" known as "Nanshan" to those of us living here in Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi. Everybody in the city knows that if you want to get some fresh (i.e. unpolluted) air and some reprieve from the constant police surveillance, the hour drive to the "South Mountains" is the best place to go. I've hiked and skied these mountains and I must say...they are prettier in person.

Fresh Uyghur bread is unbelievably delicious, no doubt about that. But when the temperature outside is below freezing, having a warm piece of bread in your hand becomes even more special. Ha!

This is one of the few Uyghur bread makers I ran across two weeks ago in Kashgar. Since we're in the middle of winter, the Kashgar Old City isn't quite as lively and active as it is during the warmer months. Still, these guys wake up crazy early to make the staple food of every Uyghur household in this area - Uyghur flat bread.

Don't you love the majesty of mountains? I grew up in Texas, which is about as flat a tract of land that there is. Then I moved out to Xinjiang and learned what the word "mountain" really means.
Photo by 📷 : @shaolongw
Every week, I repost a Xinjiang-related photo from travelers all across the globe 🌍 If you want to see your photo here, just tag it with #FarWestChina or contact me on Instagram!

The concept of a man dancing with another man may seem a bit, well...weird to us westerners. It’s quite common, though, and the more I see it, the more comfortable it feels. There’s nothing “intimate” about the dance, its just a vivacious form of celebration. For the Uyghur people of Xinjiang, it’s a part of their culture and its interesting that it’s more common for me to see man-man and woman-woman dancing than it is to see man-woman dancing 🤔

Pomegranates are a specialty out here in Kashgar, the beautiful Silk Road oasis in China’s Xinjiang region. They’re proven to be extremely healthy but most people don’t eat them often because they’re just tricky to eat (can anybody agree with me here!?). So instead, the Uyghur people of Kashgar prefer to squeeze the juice and drink the benefits of pomegranates instead! Have you had pure pomegranate juice before? I’ll tell you...it is TART!

The Old City of Kashgar has undergone a lot of change over the past decade. Some people appreciate the changes and others are horrified by them. Personally, I’m glad that I can still find remnants of ancient times if I walk around long enough. This door/window I found is a great example. If only doors could talk to tell me what they’ve seen and who has passed through them over the past century!

A traditional tea house in Kashgar, a place where the community of Uyghur elders gather to tell stories and stay warm. During the warmer months, this place acts like a bit of a tourist trap but in the winter it seems like it’s a very popular local hangout. I stopped by for a moment and the place was completely packed with men from the Old City. It was a beautiful scene!

This week I’m sharing photos from my recent trip to Kashgar, an old Silk Road oasis town on the westernmost edge of China. This photo was taken in front of the tomb of Yusuf Has Hajib, a respected Uyghur writer and poet from the 11th century.
The blue-glazed tile building is relatively new (his original tomb out in the villages was flooded and moved into Kashgar), but it’s one of the prettiest buildings in Xinjiang in my opinion.

Every year during the winter months here in Xinjiang, I get to witness a phenomenon known as "rime", which is what happens when a cloud or fog rapidly freezes, creating a beautiful frost. In this case, the entire tree here is covered in rime and the closer you look, the more intricate and beautiful this phenomenon becomes. Unbelievable creation!

Another excellent photo by 📷 : @xinjiangpics
Every week, I repost a Xinjiang-related photo from travelers all across the globe 🌍 If you want to see your photo here, just tag it with #FarWestChina or contact me on Instagram!

Got to eat some delicious lamb kebabs in Kashgar this week! Do you enjoy lamb kebabs? How many can you eat in one sitting? 😉

Oh yea!!! Anybody ever done or heard of "fire cupping" here in China?! It's a Chinese tradition that involved taking a glass ball, heating the air inside with a flame and then putting it on the skin where it then creates a vacuum on your skin. You end up looking like an octopus attacked you! The Chinese believe that it helps rid your body of bad toxins but I'm not completely convinced it works. It wasn't particularly comfortable, that much I know for sure :)

Can anybody guess what this tower is and where it's located? Like the photo and leave a comment below with your answer! :) One of my favorite parts of this particular tower is the intricate brick patterns. It's hard to see and appreciate from a distance, but up close you can see that a lot of care was taken in the design and construction of this mud-brick tower that has been standing for centuries.

Last week I spent some time at the local ski resort just south of our home here in Urumqi, Xinjiang. I tried snowboarding for the first time (I still can't figure out if I would rather ski or snowboard). I wouldn't say that this resort compares well to Colorado, Utah or the Alps, but I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was! If you haven't already, click the link in my bio to see the video from last week's ski excursion :)

Have you ever eaten Uyghur samsa before? Tag a friend who you think would enjoy a taste of this delicious Xinjiang snack!

When it comes to my favorite snack foods in Xinjiang, it's a toss-up for me between a nice piece of hot Uyghur flat bread or some delicious Uyghur samsa. For those who may not know what "samsa" is (also known as 烤包子 in Chinese), it's essentially a baked pocket of flaky bread with savory lamb meat and onion inside. It's a bit oily at times, but overall is such a tasty treat!

The elder Uyghur men have a very distinct look, don't you think? This photo was captured in front of the Id Kah mosque in Kashgar (you can see the yellow tiles in the background) and it's likely that he had just finished prayers.

Photo credit 📷 : @jun_z_63
Every week, I repost a Xinjiang-related photo from travelers all across the globe 🌍 If you want to see your photo here, just tag it with #FarWestChina or contact me on Instagram!

Warning: face plant imminent. Wait for it...... I had a blast snowboarding in Xinjiang for the first time ever! A few friends and I decided to take the afternoon to try it out and one of them convinced me to strap on a snowboard instead of the familiar skis. I did plenty of face plants...but I eventually got it! To watch the full video, click the link in my bio to catch it on YouTube :)

I remember the days when I used to explore the dirt paths and small villages of Xinjiang on the back of my motorcycle! Of course, this was back before I had two young kids filling my life with a different kind of excitement ;) Different seasons of life, you know what I mean?

Delicious Uyghur flat bread. What's your favorite kind of Uyghur bread? There are so many different kinds of Uyghur bread that it's hard to define exactly what it is. Each vendor has his own style, his own method and his own ingredients that he has perfected over the years. Whatever it may be, there's just nothing quite like bread fresh out of the tannur!

The Astana Caves were an ancient, underground burial for the Uyghur kings of ancient Turpan. It's a bit creepy in my opinion to descend these stairs where mummies laid to rest for centuries! I wouldn't say that this is a "must-see" sight in Turpan, but I did enjoy getting this one photo from my time there ;)

Gotta love a fun camel ride through the deserts of Xinjiang, China :) This particular photo was taken near the deserts of northern Xinjiang, not to be confused with the larger Taklamakan Desert in the south of the region.

In certain parts of Xinjiang, we call this a "schoolbus" :-) Photo credit 📷 : @kuanlinju
Every week, I repost a Xinjiang-related photo from travelers all across the globe 🌍 If you want to see your photo here, just tag it with #FarWestChina or contact me on Instagram!

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