Gaotay, Kashgar

Gaotay - the oldest settlement of Uyghur craftsmen

Kashgar is a tourist center of Xinjiang. However, despite a large number of historical monuments, oddly enough, the most popular place among the tourists is a small town of Gaotay located to the north-east of Kashgar. Its territory of 10 hectares is occupied by a famous craftsmen’s settlement numbering more than a thousand years according to the Uyghurs themselves.

Now the town is home to over 4,000 people, this is about 600 Uighur families, each having a venerable pedigree. The know-how of the craft is passed down by the locals from generation to generation, so all the applied works, created by Gaotay craftsmen are unique. There live potters, craftsmen wood and metal carvers, furthermore the locals make the best and most beautiful national Uyghur musical instruments.

The planning of Gaotay strikes with its peculiarity and originality. All houses are located on a slight slope, so they create the effect of layering of the houses on each other. The village has a lot of small streets, as well as rivers and ponds. Among the houses there are very old ones aged 100-400 years, which are also considered to be a part of historical monuments.

Gaotay is a place where history, culture and art of the Uyghur people merged together. There it is possible to learn not only the traditional Uighur handicrafts and purchase unique works of applied art, but also to get acquainted with the Uighur traditional way of daily life, unchanged for the past thousand years.