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Shache, known as Yarkand, is beside the Yarkand River. The Taklamakan desert is east and Kunlun Mountain is west. Zepu and Yecheng County are south, and Yuepuhu, Maigaiti and Yingjisha County are north. The city covers an area of about 8,000 square kilometers, and it has a population of 600,000. 98% of the people are Uighurs. It takes about 24 hours or so to go from Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, by motor vehicle (1644 kilometers).|
Shache, called the “silk capital,” was a key town along the Silk Road route, and it has a long history of sericulture and silk weaving. The local silk known as “Aidelaisi silk” sells well in Xinjiang and abroad. Shache County is also famous for its minority music and culture. In the 16th century, a famous poet and musician, Amannisha, collected and synthesized traditional Uighur music into a set of “Twelve Mukam” that have been popular for hundreds of years and are still sung throughout Xinjiang and abroad. This little visited area has an ancient culture, ancient archaeological sites and a rugged, beautiful land.
Shache is a special tourist destination because the Kunlun Mountains, the Taklimakan Desert, and the Yarkand River are unusual natural landscape. There are also the ancient mazars (palaces) and a magnificent mosque. Uighur rural customs are interesting. Shache is famous for earthenware crafts. Their pottery have fine shapes and brilliant colors. Shache’s earthware is outstanding in the Xinjiang area. In particular, while visiting earthenware workshops within the county, travelers will find their unique methods and styles charming and fascinating.