A little boy reaches eagerly for his second cone from an ice cream vendor in Kashgar on May 20. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)
Nothing says summer quite like the taste of fresh, in-season produce. And a walk through the winding streets of Kashgar's old city is a feast for the senses: the air fragrant with ripe, juicy melons, and fresh tea, and the streets alive with the sound of stall owners hawking their wares.
There has been a settlement on the site of modern-day Kashgar for over 2,000 years. The trading hub was once an outpost on the ancient Silk Road, offering respite for weary travelers as they moved between China, the Middle East and Europe. Its commerce roots run deep and continue to this day. In 2010, the city was made into a Special Economic Zone, the only city in western China with such distinction.
The city is more than a tourist destination, however, and more and more people are moving to Kashgar, drawn to the dynamic, promising business environment.
Alia stands on the street in Kashgar where she has just opened a juice shop. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)
A Uygur man prepares a popular shaved ice dessert in Kashgar on July 11. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)
A Uygur man plays the rewap, a stringed instrument, in an alley at Kantuman Bazaar, Kashgar on July 11. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)
An Australian tourist selects pottery in Tursun Zunun's studio. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)
Local handicrafts on display in downtown Kashgar. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)