joost de Vries
Kashgar ‘off the beaten path’
Shipton’s Arch was by far the highlight of my trip to Kasghar.
I had found a local guide that was helpful from start to finish to arrange any trip in and around Kashgar. It was a local person from the local Uyghur ethnicity which is always the good decision to make.
We did it as a jeep tour arranged by Imam which was a good half day, but as a foot trekking it could be a 2 day tour. Personally, I’d recommend the foot trekking as the way is not too difficult and the vista’s are absolutely stunning. I simply did not know where to look all the time. A few wandering sheppard’s and some flock of goats making impossible jumps on the mountain were all encountered. No tourism to speak off, and definitely off the beaten path. The arch itself is reached after a good half hour climb that brings you to 2800 meter after the riverbed ends, and it is an overpowering view. We had a clear day and you can see the 4 layers of mountains growing up before you. STUNNING.
Other than the arch, the road itself to get there was a constant shift of nearby and extremely far viewpoints each worthy of many pictures in anybodies photo album.
Anyway, the short of it, extremely highly recommended for people that want a little more than the tourist stops with camels and guards.