Kuqa in ancient China was called Qiuci. It is one of famous states on Silk Road. The culuture of this state was very comprehensive because it located on
the Silk Road and attracted cultures of many countries. If you have a Silk Road adventure, you should learn history of this place.
The Kuqa County is a county in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and is under the administration of the Aksu Prefecture. It contains an area of 15,200
km². According the 2002 census, it has a population of 450,000. It was once the home of an ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Kucha.
*Kiril Grottoes. One of China's four grottoes which was built earlier than Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang. The 10,000 sq m of murals, kept in 236 caves are
still in place today, are of high value for artists and researchers alike. edit 55RMB entry, 25 for students. Be advised you must go with a guide when
visiting the grottoes who will open the door to each individual cave for you from the outside. However unless you pay 100RMB for an English guide you will
have to do this with a Chinese group for free. As all the guides are volunteers they're (rightly so) very interested in their subject, which means you'll be
subjected to very long descriptions in Chinese about each grotto and frescos meanings, which can get a bit tedious if you don't speak the language!
*Kuqa Old Town Mosque. Sleepy town mosque, center of the local community.
*Tian Shan Grand Canyon Scenic Area a surprisingly impressave mountain trail through some beautiful red mountains, relative low on the annoying tourist
groups and some fantastic photo opportunities, especially on a clear day. 40RMB entry, half price for students.
A driver to take you to both the Tian Shan Grand Canyon and Kizil Grottoes (and a few other "sights" if you like...) can be arranged through the bus
station adjacent Jiao Tong Hotel (transportation hotel) 交通宾馆 front desk. It'll cost anywhere between 300 and 600 RMB depending on your bargaining skills
/ how Chinese you are (the guy started at 600, we managed to get him to 450 being Western but speaking Chinese, and then I was later told by an amused
policeman that I shouldn't have paid more than 300).
If you are interested in ancient history, you will find it is very worthwhile to have a China travel to Kuqa.
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