OVERVIEW

It is an amazing province, Xinjiang! It is well-known for its spectacular history and landscape attracting travelers to explore. This is a 8-day budge tour to travel from  Urumqi to Tianchi, Turpan, Kashgar, Karakul, Taxkorgan by overnight train and car. You will enjoy the adventure on the amazing land on a budget way.

ITINERARY

Day 1Arrival Day: Urumqi

Today is arrival day. Welcome to Urumqi. You can check in the hotel with your passport. If you need airport transfer, please contact us for add-on services.

Transport: N/A
Accommodation: Overnight in Urumqi

Day 2Urumqi to Heavenly Lake, then back to Urumqi

Today you will take one-hour car ride to Heavenly Lake, or Tianchi in Chinese, which is a high-mountain lake located in the valley of Tianshan Mountains. Inscribed on the list of natural heritage by UNESCO, Tianchi is a well-known attraction near Urumqi. You will take the sightseeing bus to the hill, then view the impressive lake with the snow-capped mountains. There are some kazak yurts on the hills, these white tents make a stunning picture with the green lake and mountains.

Later, you will be transferred back Urumqi after sightseeing.

Transport: Vehicle
Accommodation: Overnight in Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3Urumqi to Turpan by Bullet Train/Car, sightseeing in Turpan

Today you will catch 1-hour bullet train or 3-hour car ride to Turpan, where you will explore with a local guide. Turpan used to be the hub of the business on the ancient Silk Road. Due to its dry climate, there are many ruins and relics that are preserved very well.

Today you will visit Kumtag Desert in Shanshan, to enjoy the fun to walk on the sand.

Then you will visit Bezklik Grottos that is situated in the Flaming Mountain, which still can see the colorful frescos in the caves.

Later, you will view the Jiaohe City Ruin that is a clay city and abandoned about 700 years ago, but you still can see the well-preserved houses and lanes.

Time permiting, you can visit either Karez or Emin Minaret before check in the hotel.

Transport: Private Vehicle or Bullet Train
Accommodation: Overnight in Turpan
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4Free day time, then catch overnight train Turpan/Kashgar

Enjoy your free day time before catching the 14-hour overnight train to Kashgar in the evening. You can visit Turpan Bazaar, or Turpan Museum(free entrance with your ID, close on Mondays) in the city. Note you need to check out the hotel room before 2pm, but you  can store your baggage in the hotel reception.

Transport: Overnight train
Accommodation: Overnight on the hard sleeper train
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5Kashgar City Tour

It is a busy day today to explore Kashagr with a local guide. You will take the city tour by the 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 your hotel.

Transport: Public bus/Taxi
Accommodation: Overnight in Kashgar

Day 6Kashgar 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 7Taxkorgan 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 8Departure from Kashgar

Today is departure day, you can depart as per your flight time, but check out by 2pm from your hotel. Please contact us if you need airport transfer.

Transport: N/A
Accommodation: N/A
Meals: Breakfast

INCLUDED

- Local guide

- 3-star hotel 6 nights (Half room per person)

- Overnight hard sleeper train Kashgar/Turpan

- Public bus or private car 

- Entrance fees 

- 6 Chinese breakfasts

EXCLUDED

- Dinners and lunches

- Arrival/Departure transfer

- China Visa 

- Gratuity

TRIP NOTES

Tour duraton: 8 days

Difficulty: Easy

Group size: Min 2 - Max 15

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