OVERVIEW

Explore Xinjiang from south to north in 12 days. It is ideal tour to travel in-depth from Kashgar to Taxkorgan, Urumqi, Tianchi, Buerjin, and Kanas in Xinjiang, China. You will view the snow-convered mountains, the grassland, the pictuesque lake, and desert etc. Moreover, you will meet the Uyghur people in the old town of Kashagr, and make friends with nomadic Kazek people in Kanas.

ITINERARY

Day 1Kashgar Arrival Transfer

Welcome to Kashagr, the historical city on the ancient Silk Road. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to hotel. Enjoy your free time if you arrive early.

Transport: Private vehicle
Accommodation: Overnight in Kashagr

Day 2Kashgar to Karakul & Taxkorgan by car(320KM 6H)

Today you will take a car ride to the Pamir Plateau. Firstly, the red mountains on the China-Pakistan Friendshp Highway is amazing. Then the White Sand Lake beside the snow-capped mountains is impressively pretty. At lunch time, you will arrive at the Karakul Lake, which is situated by the renowned Muztag Ata, the father of Ice. Karakul Lake is a beautiful mountain lake with altitude nearly 3600 meters. It is a stunning scenery to view the lake and the snow-capped mountains at the same time.

The Kirgiz are local people living in the houses and yurts near the lake.

Later, you will continue the driving to Taxkorgan that is situated at the border between China and Pakistan, where there are Tajik people living here. Tonight you will stay in a hotel with the altitude around 3300 meters. 

You could taste the yak hot pot for your dinner.

Transport: Private vehicle
Accommodation: Overnight in Tashkurgan
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3Taxkorgan back to Kashagr by car (320KM 6H)

Enjoy the small town scenery in Taxkorgan this morning, then you will visit the Stone City that was built 2000 years ago, and the ruin still can trace back its original style. It said the stone city used to be the small state in the history in the ancient Silk Road.

Moreover, you will also view the grassland on the Paimr Plateau, where there are yaks, sheep and horses etc.

Later, you will take a car ride back to Kashgar.

Transport: Private vehicle
Accommodation: Overnight in Kashgar
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4Kashgar city tour, then fly to Urumqi

Today it is a busy day to explore Kashgar with a local guide. You will take the city tour by the first stop to visit the Apa Hoja Mausoleum which was built in 1640 by local Imam for his father, and later it became a family graveyard to bury 72 people for 5 generations. The mausoleum is impressive for its delicate Uyghur architectural style including the blue tiles, the dome and the minaret. 

Next, you will visit Kashgar old town to explore the interesting area where there are old houses for shops, workshops, restaurants, bakery, and tea houses etc. It displays the long history and vivid lifestyle in Kashgar from ancient Silk Road period to today. Handicraft Street is a must-see section in the old town, where the huge music instruments and bronze vessels are very impressive. You might taste some local snacks here, such as Nang Bread, grilled eggs, dried fruits etc. before visiting the old Id Ghar Mosque, the biggest mosque in Xinjiang. Enter the mosque at non-praying time to appreciate its architecture and decor, please wear long pants and cover the shoulders for ladies while visiting this mosque. 

In the afternoon, you will wander around the Grand Bazaar in Kashgar, which is well known in Central Asia for its colorful and lively market. As a Uyghur saying goes that you can buy everything except for your parents. There are more people in the afternoon, because the farmers will drive to here from different area in the morning and buy things in the afternoon at the market. Actually the bazaar opens every day, and more people on Sunday. The animal bazaar is relocated near Kashgar Airport and opens only on Sundays. If it is Sunday, you will also visit the Animal Bazaar.

When your tour is finished, you will be transferred back to Kashgar airport to catch flight to Urumqi. Upon arrival, transferred to hotel.       

Transport: Private vehicle + flight
Accommodation: Overnight in Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5Urumqi to Tianchi, then drive to Beitun via Gurbantunggut desert

Today you will take a private vehicle for one hour from Urumqi to Tianchi or Heavenly Lake in English. It is high-mountain lake hidden in Tianshan Mountains, with an altitude of 1980m. Walking beside the lake to view the snow-covered mountains is a pleasant experience.

Then you will drive about  5 hours to Beitun via the huge Gurbantunggut Desert. Check in hotel upon arrival. 

Transport: Private vehicle
Accommodation: Overnight in Beitun
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6Beitun to Hemu Village 250KM, 5H

Today you take car ride along the Ertix river this morning to Hemu Village, a quiet place hidden the Altai mountains. It is a Tuwa ethnic group residential village, which still keeps the original life style in the traditional wooden houses.

Then you will explore the picturesque village this afternoon, viewing the mountains, river, and woods.  Moreover, you can enjoy the sun set in the evening. Tasting some local kebab is a unforgettable experience.

Transport: Private vehicle
Accommodation: Overnight in Hemu Village
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7Hemu to Kanas Lake, then check in hotel in Jiadengyu

Enjoy the morning scenery in Hemu Village, then take the sightseeing bus to Kanas Lake. This is very popular attraction in China with its fantastic lake and rive landscape. You will visit the Wolong Bay, Moon Bay, and Fairy Bay. It is a must-do to climb up the Observation Fish Pavilion to look at the lake.

Later, you will check in the hotel in Jiadengyu that is a place to accommodate the travelers.

Transport: Private vehicle + sightseeing bus
Accommodation: Overnight in Kanas Jiadengyu
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8Kanas to Buerjin County, visit the Multi-colored Bay( 150KM 3H)

Enjoy the quiet early morning landscape in the mountains, the drive back to Buerjin for about 3 hours. Upon arrival, you will visit the Multi-colored Bay, which is a colorful clay bay beside the Ertix River, about 20km from Buerjin County. 

Then you will wander around the Buerjin Night Market this evening to taste the local roasted fish, and drink some local beer.


Transport: Private vehicle
Accommodation: Overnight in Buerjin
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9Buerjin to Urumqi via Ghost City (630KM 7-8H)

After hotel breakfast, you will take about 3.4-hour car ride to the Urho Ghost City that is a yardan landform park with all sorts of clay formations. It is a wonderful place to take fantastic wester photos.

Then you will continue driving for about 4 hours to get back to Urumqi, and check in hotel.

Transport: Private vehicle
Accommodation: Overnight in Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast

Day 10Urumqi to Turpan by car, sighteeing in Turpan

Today you will take 3-hour car ride to Turpan, which used to be a hub on the ancient Silk Road in the history.  

In Turpan, you will visit the endless Kumtag Desert, which is wonderful place to walk on the Sand.

Today you will visit the impressive Bezklik Thousand Buddha Caves where you will learn the history of Turpan on the ancient Silk Road.  The caves are situated in the amazing Flaming Mountain valley, it is a wonderful place to take photos.

Moreover, you will view Emin Minaret, the token of the city of Turpan with typical Uyghur architecture, which was built in 1777AD. 

Then you will head to hotel to check in Turpan.

Transport: Private vehicle
Accommodation: Overnight in Turpan
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11Turpan to Urumqi by car after sighteeing Jiaohe City Ruin and Karez

Today you will explore the Ancient City of Jiaohe that is a huge city ruin built on a big terrace being protected by two rivers. 

Then, you will visit the Karez Irrigation System, which supplies the water to the people living in the dry Turpan Depression by the underground system. 

Then you will drive back to Urumqi, you have opportunity to visit the Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar before moving back to hotel.

Transport: Private vehicle
Accommodation: Overnight in Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12Departure from Urumqi

Today you will depart from Urumqi. You will be transferred to Urumqi airport to catch your flight, where the wonderful tour concludes. 

Transport: Private Vehicle
Accommodation:
Meals: Breakfast

INCLUDED

- Local guide

- 3 or 4-star hotel 11 nights (Half room per person)

- Private vehicle for transfer

- Airfare Kashgar/Urumqi(Economy)

- Entrance fees 

- 10 Chinese breakfasts

EXCLUDED

- Dinners and lunches

- Arrival/Departure transfer

- China Visa 

- Gratuity

TRIP NOTES

Tour duraton: 12 days

Difficulty: Easy

Group size: Min 2 - Max 15

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