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Taklamakan Desert Trekking Xinjiang Ancient Silk Road Tour - 12 Days

Destination: Taklamakan Desert Xinjiang Ancient Silk Road
Duration: no date
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Transportation: Vehicle
Best Travel Time:May - Oct
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The Taklamakan Desert, also known as Taklimakan and Teklimakan, is a desert in southwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwest China. It is bounded by the Kunlun Mountains to the south, the Pamir Mountains and Tian Shan to the west and north, and the Gobi Desert to the east.

The Taklamakan Desert has an area of 337,000 km2,and includes the Tarim Basin, which is 1,000 kilometres long and 400 kilometres wide. It is crossed at its northern and at its southern edge by two branches of the Silk Road as travelers sought to avoid the arid wasteland.[6] It is the world's second largest shifting sand desert with about 85% made up of shifting sand dunes ranking 18th in size in a ranking of the world's largest non-polar deserts.

Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$2400/persons 2400USD/Person

Day 01    Arrival in Urumqi
Arrival in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is the geographical center of Asian continent and the farthest city from the ocean in the world. Overnight at Urumqi

Day 02    Urumqi 每 Turpan
Drive to ancient Turpan town, an oasis town 154 meters below sea level. Full day tour in Turpan, including the Jiao He Ruins (with a history of over 2500 years), the Karez underground irrigation system, Grape Valley (Turpan is famous for its grapes, especially the seedless variety, called sultanas when dried). Overnight at Turpan.

Day 03    Turpan 
Go and explore the lowest elevation in China 每 Aydingkol Lake. Only about 50 km from Turpan city, while the road condition is poor and bumpy. 4WD will be ready for you to get to the lake. In the afternoon, continue to explore the Flaming Mountain, the ruins of Gao Chang - an ancient Chinese Silk Road garrison town (where you will be taken by donkey cart to visit the temple area), the Emin Minaret and the Bezeklik Caves, where ※Bezeklik§ means ※a place with beautiful decorations§. The final stop today is Tuyoq Village where it is an oasis-village in the Taklamakan desert, with a well preserved Uyghur orientation with very few outsiders' footprints.

Day 04    Turpan 每 Korla 
Drive 5 hours to Korla via express way (380km). En route we pass by Tianshan Mountain and also Bostun Lake - the largest reed base in China. Visit the Lop Nur Village after arrival in Korla, where you will learn about the lost kingdom 每 Loulan.

Day 05    Korla / Kucha
Drive about 3.5 hours to Kucha (280km), a quaint oasis town, once the center of a Buddhist civilization in the Tarim Basin. You will see the Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves or Kizil Grotto Temples, where boasts some of the most impressive Buddhist art in Central Asia and date to the third century. The surrounding countryside is with mulberry and poplar trees and streams.

Day 06 Kucha
Explore Kizil Kagha Grotto and Kizil Kagha beacon tower - the oldest one now in China. On our way to the Kizilya Valley, where the rocks in the red mountain appear to be the result of a huge explosion, you will visit the ruins of the ancient city of Subashi, or "old Kucha."

Day 07    Kucha 每 Hotan/Khotan
A long day ride (650km) to Hotan through Taklamakan Desert 每 the largest one in China. Estimated arrival time to Hotan is about 1800 pm. This road was the second desert highway in Taklimakan built in 2007. En route you will pass by Tarim River - the longest in-land river in China, and also possibly see some of the desert-surrounded local villages.

Day 08 Hotan 每 Taklamakan Desert
Take a half day tour of Hotan including the Jade River, Silk Village and a local Mosque. In the afternoon, drive half an hour deep into the desert and hop on a camel ride (3 hours). Camp overnight in the desert we sit beneath the enormous desert night sky, warming ourselves around a campfire.

Day 09    Rawak ruins 每 Hotan
Today, continue the camel ride to visit the ruins of Rawak Temple, where you will see the ruin of the oldest pagoda of China. It is the only temple of Gandhara style (similar form as an Indian temple) which is quite well preserved in Hotan district. The Uygur word "rawak" means "pavilion". The Buddhist temple was in the center of a group of Buddhist pagodas. The temple was surrounded by a courtyard wall. Outside and inside the courtyard there were large numbers of frescos, clay sculptures and Buddha figures scattered around. Also some wall paintings were found. On them some stories about Buddhism were painted such as a map of Samsara. After driving back to Hotan city, visit the smallest Buddhist temple in the world called Damko temple ruins (120km, 1.5 hours ride).

Day 10  Hotan 每 Kashgar
Drive about 10 hours to Kashgar (520 km), on the way, pay a short visit to the Yarkant King's Tomb and have lunch at Yarkan (Shache). Free time at leisure after arrival.

Day 11    Kashgar 
Kashgar is an oasis in the hostile Taklamakan Desert, which is a cultural and commercial crossroads.
Take a city tour to the Idkah Mosque, Handcraft Street, like its name Kashgar was so called as the center of hand crafts such as iron, wood, cooper and gold products. Visit the unique local Bazaar. Then take a walk at the Old town of Kasghar and visit a Urgur family.

Day 12    Kashgar 每 Urumqi departure
Transfer to the airport and fly to Urumqi, connecting your flight to your next destination.

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