The Russian Consulate, Kashgar



Listening Posts of the Great Game
At the end of the 19th century, the Russian and British empires expanded and came very close to each other in this part of the world. Since the Crimean War in 1853, Russia had started to expand into Central Asia. Most of the Indian subcontinent had been run by the East India Company for the British. For several decades, each side tried to advance and strengthen its border by allegiances with local chiefs. "The British and Russian rivalry across the Pamir range was matched by personal rivalries across town - for information, influence and even Silk Road antiquities. The Russian and British consulates in Kashgar quickly became listening posts on the front line of the Great Game. While opening up mountain routes and expanding trade, the consuls-generals kept an anxious ear open for news of political alliances and military manoeuvres". 



Both British and Russian consulates were built around 1890 and used until 1949, year of the founding of the P.R.C. In the beginning of this century, the two consulates competed to become the place where explorers of the ancient cities of the Silk Road would call in for a welcome break. The wife of the British consul in Kashgar, Catherine Macartney turned the British consulate "into an island of European civility, with cuttings from English gardens, exotic flowers and pear and apple trees. Ping pong tables were set up indoors and tennis courts were built nearby. Brahms records provided melodious lullabies and eventually a piano was shipped over the mountain passes".


Decoration of the times, Russian Consulate, Kashgar


The Russian consulate has kept its old atmosphere by remaining in its original quiet courtyard. Walking back to the consulate from the Kashgar Sunday market, where little has changed over the centuries, one can easily imagine being an 100 years before. The consulate has now been transformed into 4 rooms and 2 suites that ooze with atmosphere. This is the closest thing to sleeping in a museum !




The reception hall, Russian Consulate, Kashgar


Kashgar's Sunday market : the most mind-boggling bazaar in Asia
The main reason most travellers come to Kashgar is to visit the amazing Sunday market. Several tens of thousands of people come to town to buy and sell goods that have disappeared from our countries decades ago. It is an incredible experience.



Seman Hotel
The Russian consulate is run by the Seman Hotel which was very kind in welcoming us as their guests during our stay in Kashgar. Besides the consulate, the Seman Hotel has several buildings with up to 500 beds and largest array of facilities in town. Its has a beautifully Uyghur decorated reception area.



Here's a list of the hotel amenities :
  • Private bath and-or shower
  • Colour TV
  • Personal bar (Russian consulate suite) 
  • Coffee and tea facilities
  • Electricity 220V/50 cycles
Guest Services and Shops
  • Manager on duty 24 hours
  • Airport transfer
  • 7 restaurants
  • Car park
  • Night club, Grape Vineyard Bar
  • Hair and beauty salon
  • Jewelry shop
  • Swimming pool
  • Express check-out
  • Laundry & valet
  • Shopping arcades
  • Major credit card accepted
  • Business Center : IDD calls, telefax, computer, photocopying


To stay at the Russian Consulate or at the Seman Hotel in Kashgar, contact the Seman Hotel :


SEMAN HOTEL, 337 Seman Road, Kashgar, P.R.C., Telephone +86 998 2552129, Fax +86 998 2552861


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