Thursday, December 25, 2008

Kashgar And Chichicastenango Markets

A while back, I promised to compare and contrast the famed markets of Kashgar and Chichicastenango. In virtually every travel article about markets around the world, these two always get mentioned. This is my take on them:

Kashgar: Huge, sprawling, crowded
Chichicastenango: Compact, crowded

Somber moment:
Kashgar: Sheep heads lined up on a table, soon to be made into soup
Chichi: Funeral procession right through the market

Moment of reflection:
Kashgar: Watching Han traders slowly take over with ugly metal kiosks
Chichi: Sitting on the stone steps of Santo Tomas church

What I ended up buying:
Kashgar: Nothing
Chichi: Gallo (local beer) t-shirt

What I wished I had bought:
Kashgar: Dopa (Uyghur hat)
Chichi: A piece of local fabric

Most prevalent languages heard (in descending order):
Kashgar: Uyghur, Mandarin
Chichi: Indigenous, Spanish, English

Color vividness scale (out of 10):
Kashgar: 8
Chichi: 10

Annoying tourist level:
Kashgar: Low
Chichi: Moderate

Days to go:
Kashgar: Sundays
Chichi: Thursdays, Sundays

Status of indigenous people:
Kashgar: Oppressed, marginalized
Chichi: Ignored, marginalized

Chichicastenango Market

Kashgar Sunday Market


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