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North to Southwest Xinjiang Tour - 12 Days

Destination: Xinjiang
Duration: Twelve Day
Tour Code:
Transportation: Vehicle
Best Travel Time:All year
Price From
US$2600/persons
 
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Tours of the same category:

Route: Urumqi 每 Turpan 每 Kucha 每 Taklamakan Desert 每 Hotan 每 Yarkand 每 Kashgar 每 Karakorum Highway 每 Tashkurgan


This tour is one of the most common tours for first time visitors to Xinjiang. It gives the visitor the opportunity to experience culture and custom of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang. You also visiting famous and historical sites in these major stops on the Ancient Silk Road China.

Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$2600/persons 2600USD/Person

Day 1: Urumqi Arrival
Pick you up at Urumqi Airport,Transfer to Hotel.
Accomodation: Urumqi
 

 

Day 2: Urumqi to Turpan
Sightseeing: Xinjiang Museum, Kariz Underground Water System, Jiaohe Ancient City, Emin Minaret
Xinjiang Museum is a large integrated museum, holding all key artifacts and cultural relics central to Xinjiang region and the Silk Road. The museum is famous for its rich collections of silk artifacts dating from many periods throughout history. The museum also contains several mummies some of them dating back 4000 years, which can easily rival those found in Egypt. Then drive from Urumqi to Turpan (3 hours drive). On the way we can see the largest wind powered station in China (da ban cheng). After arrival and check-in, we begin our tour of Turpan. Kariz underground water system is the China's third most important ancient engineering feat with a total length of 3100 miles and dating back more than 2000 years. Jiaohe Ancient City is the oldest, largest, highest ancient city built of mud in the World. Many cultural relics were unearthed, such as antefix of the Tang Dynasty and Buddhist scriptures at the Ancient City of Jiao he.
Emin Minaret was built in 1777, it is the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang and it is the only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China.
Accomodation: Turpan


Day 3: Turpan
Sightseeing: Gaochang Ancient City, Astana Ancient Tombs, Tuyuk Village
After breakfast we drive to Gaochang Ancient City, 47 km east of Turpan. The city was built in the first century B.C; it was a key point on the ancient Silk Road. Then we head to Astana Ancient tombs, the capital tombs and underground museum of Xinjiang where many important writings, paintings and mummies have been discovered. Next we will have a traditional Uygher lunch in Tuyuk Valley. We will visit the Tuyuk Village where we can see traditional Uyghur life. Villagers live in traditional homes made of mud.
Accomodation: Turpan

 

Day 4: Turpan to Kucha
Sightseeing: Tianshan Mountains
After breakfast we will leave for Kucha. Our journey will take us across the TianShan Mountain Range, the range which divides Xinjiang into two parts: Northern Xinjiang and Southern Xinjiang. TianShan Mountain is known to the Uyghur people as ※Tangry Tagh§ which means ※God Mountain§. This was due to the life sustaining properties the first Uyghur settlers found here. The first settlers inhabited both sides of the range and received water from the mountains and green pastures on which to graze their herds. We will enjoy a picnic lunch along the route. We will arrive in Kucha late afternoon and you will have free time to explore the city.
Accomodation: Kucha

 

Day 5: Kuqa
Sightseeing: Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves, Beacon Tower, Kuqa Grand Mosque, Old Town, Subash Ancient City
After breakfast we will the Kizil Thousand Buddha caves, dating from the 5th and 6th century AD. These are the second best preserved Buddhist caves in China.  We will enjoy a Chinese lunch at the caves before continuing on our tour of Kuqa. Kuqa is the biggest county of Aksu prefecture. Kuqa was previously the most important pass on the middle silk road (route) in Xinjiang. Kuqa is also a center for Buddhism in southern Xinjiang. Following we will visit Kuqa Grand Mosque and have some free time to stroll through the streets of Kuqa's old town. We will then set off for Korla making a few visits on route.  First we will visit the Beacon Tower, the highest tower on the silk road, at 13m high and made of mud and wood. The Beacan Tower was previously used for sending out fire signals to warn of the arrival of enemies. We will then visit Subash ancient city, a well preserved 1 sq km where Uyghur ancestors used to worship in the temples of the city during the Buddhism periods.
Accomodation: Kuqa (Kuche)


 
Day 6: Kucha to Hotan
Sightseeing: Taklamakan Desert Highway
The day's journey will have us cross the width of the Taklamakan Desert, along the 450km long Taklamakan Desert Highway. Taklamakan desert is the second largest shifting sands desert in the World, covering an area of 337,600 square km. Taklamakan Desert is known as the ※sea of death§ by the silk road traders that used to cross it in their caravans in times gone by. Many traders who entered the desert lost their way and were never to be seen again. We will arrive in Hotan late in the afternoon for dinner.
Accomodation: Hotan


 
Day 7: Hotan
Sightseeing: Taklamakan Desert, Local Silk, Carpet, Jade Workshops, White Jade River, Hotan Bazaar
After breakfast we will visit Hotan's amazing Hotan Market, a huge lively market which is like taking a journey back in time, experiencing donkey gridlock. Hotan is particularly famous for its high quality Jade products; the best Jade in China being found here in White Jade River. We will visit the river and try to find some Jade for ourselves and watch the locals at work digging and sifting for the precious rock. We will also visit the white Jade factory to see how the Jade is processed and made into jewelry and ornaments. Hotan is also renowned for its high quality wool carpets. We will visit a carpet workshop to see the weaving process. Late in the afternoon we will take a camel ride out into the Taklamakan Desert and camp over night here.  We will enjoy a camp fire dinner and breakfast in the desert.
Note: We will provide you with all the necessary camping equipment, tents, sleeping bags and blankets etc.
Accomodation: Taklimakan Desert Camp

 

Day 8: Hotan to Kashgar
Sightseeing: Yarkant Golden Graveyard, Tomb of Aman Nisahan, Yarkand Old Town, Yegisar Knife Factory
We will leave for Kashgar after breakfast. On our way to Kashgar we will make a stop in the county of Yegisar. Yegisar is the most famous region in Xinjiang for making traditional Uyghur knives. We will have the chance to visit one of the many knife factories here and view the making process and purchase souvenirs.  Next stop a further two hours down the road will be Yarkand (shache in Chinese). In Yarkand we will first visit the Golden Graveyard.   This graveyard dates from the 17th Century and is the burial place of Royal family members of the Yarkand Uyghur Kingdom. Next to this is the Tomb of Aman Nisahan, the wife of the second King of the Yarkand Kingdom. Aman Nisahan is a famous Uyghur poet, musician and composer. She is most renowned for her transcription of the Twelve Mukam of famous traditional Uyghur music. We will enjoy a traditional lunch of corn noodles, pumpkin dumplings and kebab in a local Yarkand teahouse.  After lunch we will continue our journey to Kashgar and arrive in Kashgar in the late afternoon.
Accomodation: Kashgar

 

Day 9: Kashgar to Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan
Sightseeing: Karakoram Highway, Opal Village, Red Mountain, Corner Lake, Sand Mountain, Mt. Muztagh Ata,  Mt.Konger, Karakul Lake
Today we take drive on Karakurum highway, renowned as the highest paved border crossing in the World and regarded as one of the World's most beautiful highways). We will see the following on our drive: Opal village is a 1 hour drive from Kashgar. It is a good location to take photos of village life and traditional activities like bread making and Uyghur food stalls. Half an hour drive from the village we will arrive in Oytagh Red Mountain. The mountain valley is surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of multi-coloured mountains topped by snowcapped peaks. Corner Lake (Bulung Kul) is a tranquil shallow lake where you can take very nice photographs of the lake with stunning reflections of the sand mountains. Karakul Lake is 3600 meters above sea level. It is located between Mt. Muztagata (7546 meters) and Mt. Gonger (7719 meters), which are said to be 2 of the 6 most beautiful mountains in the World. We will visit the local Kyrgyz Yurts and listen to their stories about traditional ways of nomadic mountain life.
Picnic lunch: We will then enjoy our picnic lunch of fruits and fresh bread that we purchased in Opal village in a beautiful picnic spot overlooking the Karakul Lake. We will take 1.5 hours drive from Karakul lake to Tashkorgan. It Tashkurgan is an interesting small town located on the Pamir Plateau.  This area was extremely isolated until the rebuilding of the Karakurum highway in 1987 and even today the local community still lives in a very traditional fashion with only a single road reaching here from Kashgar, so it has retained a certain uniqueness. This region is commonly known as the main road of the ※old Silk Road§ the main route leading from China to West Asia. The average elevation is 4000 meters.
Accomodation: Tashkurgan.

 

Day 10: Tashkorgan to Kashgar
Sightseeing: Tashkorgan Stone Fort, Tashkorgan Grassland, Subash Pass
After breakfast we will visit the Stone fort, located in downtown Tashkurgan. It has a history of more than 2000 years. In times gone by it was the central palace of the Tajik kingdom. Then we will hike around the Tashkurgan grassland and enjoy the scenery of Mt. Mutztah Ata and Mt. Pamir. We take the Karakorum Highway back to Kashgar and arrive in the late afternoon.
Note: Guests will need to carry their passports on this tour as they will be required to show these at the Gaz check point (around an hour after the colorful mountain on the first day and also on the way back to Kashgar). Everybody at this point needs to be registered by the authorities due to its close proximity to many bordering countries. It is also advisable to bring warm clothes as temperatures can be colder than those found in Kashgar at the higher altitudes.
Accomodation: Kashgar

 

Day 11: Kashgar
Sightseeing: Apak Hoja Tomb, Sunday Market, Old Town, Id Kah Mosque, Handicraft Street
We will begin our tour of Kashgar City by visiting the Apak Hoja tomb, also called fragrant concubine tomb (Xingfei in Chinese). This is a very tranquil place and a beautiful example of Uyghur Islamic architecture. Next we will head to the Infamous lively Sunday market, renowned as the biggest market in Central Asia. It is said you can buy anything you want from the Sunday market except chicken milk and Cow eggs. We will then enjoy lunch in a typical Uyghur restaurant.
After lunch we will wander through the narrow winding streets of the historic Old town brushing shoulders with the friendly Uyghur residents. Located at the spiritual heart of old town is Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China.  We will go inside and have the chance to understand a bit more about the Islamic life of the Uyghur people. We will pass down Handicraft Street where we can view pots being hammered, wood craftsmen at work and traditional musical instrument workshops.
Note: For entering the Mosque visitors should dress respectfully: no shorts or short sleeved shirts and women should cover their heads with a scarf.
Accomodation: Kashgar

 

Day 12: Kashgar Departure
We will send you to Kashgar airport and assist you with your checking in luggage.

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