A Happy Customer in Kashgar

My wife and I have been traveling to China since 1986. Of course one point of travel is to have an immersive experience, but there come moments when one wishes for the company of some familiar tastes and faces — and Internet. In Kashgar we found that place to be the Gallery Cafe. It’s operated by westerners who speak English, PutongHua, Uyghur, French and Cantonese.

The assortment of freshly ground coffees and desserts, and pizza were especially appreciated at that point of our sojourn to this preserved ancient world on the western border of china. The premises are clean and they use a cabinet type dish disinfector. This reassured us as our stomachs were in a fluttery state due to the local fare. A wifi connection to the Internet is free for customers.

The folks there also gave us some good suggestions on points of interest around town and suggested some tours. We are always wary of such recommendations but we found the prices the same as offered by other tour companies in town. We found the tours they connected us with understood our western sensibilities and interests and were well worth the money with no hidden charges.

We were going to do a self guided walking tour of the ancient city but they suggested it’s best seen with a tour guide. ‘Frank’ is a very friendly Ughyr who lives in the ancient city, speaks good english and is trained to conduct tours. They were right — if we had done a self guided tour we would have missed most of the high points and the details of this city’s rich history.

When we arrived at the cafe there were some French backpackers that had just returned from a Gallery Cafe arranged tour of the area around Tajikistan on the border with Pakistan and they were quite impressed with the experience. The cafe helped us to make arrangements to tour the same area (although we stayed in a 4 star hotel and yurt as we aren’t the backpack type). It was a very positive experience and I’ll write something about that separately and the cafe can post it if they wish.

The Gallery Cafe is a very hospitable and friendly place, and a good source of information on this region of China. Highly recommended.

Note: This article contributed to our blog from Gallery Cafe in Kashgar when they left from Kashgar middle of  summer 2011. We missed Gallery Cafe!

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