On our Silk Route PhotoSafari Journey in Oct 2010, we came across a Goats Trading Market. Mutton is the main meat of choice in this part of Xinjiang. Not many animals can survive in this harsh semi desert environment. Only goats and sheep can thrive here. For those who cannot stand the smell and taste of mutton will have a problem with food here. This is the only meat they served at every meal, other than breakfast.
The Goats Trading Market is situated north west of the Hotan outside the town of Kargilik. We stopped our bus at the side and went down to take some photos of this market. What was supposed to be a half hour stop eventually turned into two hours.
The market has an atmosphere of a carnival. It was packed with people. People who came here to trade and buy goats. There were some large goats traders who owned a large number of goats. Some small traders just had a couple.
I ventured into the market from the Donkey Cart Park. It is just like a car park and owners of donkey carts have to pay parking fees to park their donkeys and carts there.
The activities of the market were vibrant. Many potential buyers milled around the traders looking for a bargain. There were small supporting traders selling anything from water melons, naan and bread to clothing. The children were having lots of fun too.
I saw a buyer bargaining for his chosen goat and after much haggling; the deal was completed with a simple handshake. The buyer then paid the money, tied up the goat and took it to the storage compartment of a public bus and was on his way home. Some buyers just load their goats onto their donkey carts and some just herd their purchase home.
This is one of the most interesting places on the Silk Route and was also a very memorable experience.