The Sunday Market inis said to be the biggest in all Central Asia. It is certainly a place where you can see a whole host of ethnic groups at their traditional market activities: buying and selling livestock in one area and just about every other conceivable item useful to the locals in another.
The livestock area is of most interest to most visitors as this is where the most amazing sights are to be found. Uyghur, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Tadjik and other ethnic group sellers bring their animals into the arena for a fee and then begin grooming whilst they wait for potential buyers to arrive. The fat-bottomed sheep are a Central Asian speciality, and to get a good price the seller needs trim their wool so as to show off their main assets (excuse the pun). Camels, horses, donkeys, goats, yaks and cows need less meticulous preparation but must still be tethered appropriately and kept calm.
Donkeys and carts are often test-driven as a pair at the far end of the arena. Take care here as there may be several drivers and, once they get up speed, cannot avoid minor obstacles like tourists. If you plan to focus through your lense have someone else watch out all around.
Also on display, usually by the gates, are local knives. These are often hand-made. Consider the issues of carrying such items if you do want one for a souvenir or gift. You will have to check it in on all flights - and some airlines will not be happy even then.
Do not forget to sample some of the delicious local snacks. The kebabs are fatty and tough - but that's the way the locals like them.
Back in town the Central Bazaar is where the crowds will gather if their needs are more domestic. This huge covered area and the streets around become packed with those seeking anything from a bucket to a new carpet. There are some stalls specifically targetting tourists but the vast majority serve the populace.
The goods on display change slightly with season. As winter approaches warm hats and thick coats are more prominent. The fruits available also depend upon the season, with Autumn being the best time to see the widest range.
(Please note: the Kashgar Sunday Market is a wonderful event and one where the range of sights and smells will have a lasting impression. If you do want to take photos you should respect the privacy of your subjects. For more on that issue, please read ournotes.