Ancient, modern under same roof

Updated: 2013-11-06 07:54

By Cui Jia (China Daily)

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Grave doubts quelled

Chen said that while foreign guests always wonder if the old town will maintain its original flavor, travellers from other parts of China are much more concerned about safety, because of a number of terrorist incidents, according to the police, that have occurred in the area, some of which have resulted in deaths.

Ancient, modern under same roof

Xianu Mijit (right) and her son, Abi Bulajon, in their renovated house.

The young man professed to be unconcerned: "I always warn people to watch out for thieves when they shop at the bazaars. Apart from that, there's nothing much to worry about."

Although Chen appeared unruffled, he was certainly prepared for trouble. One of the rooms in the hostel has a thick fireproof iron door - he called it the "safe room". "We store water and food in it, so if anything happens we can stay inside and wait for help to arrive," he said.

Ancient, modern under same roof

Chen Tao (center), runs the Pamir Youth Hostel in the center of the old town.

Chen Liang, the owner of Old Town Youth Hostel, located on the other side of the Id Kah, has witnessed the renovation project from the very beginning.

Ancient, modern under same roof

Assistants chat inside a cosmetics store.

"It was as if the whole old town became a huge construction site in 2010. I felt pretty sad, because I had grave doubts about the future of the old town," said the 33-year-old who in 2008 opened the first youth hostel in Kashgar. "But now it looks as though the old town is gradually recovering, with people moving back and decorating their houses with traditional Uygur features."

Ancient, modern under same roof

The scene on the streets of the old town.

He said that 80 percent of the originate flavor of the old town has been restored so far. "It won't be long before people forget that it's been renovated. After all, it will always be the one and only old town of Kashgar."

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