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.
Today you will take about 4 hours by a private vehicle departing from Kashgar to Karakul Lake. You will drive along the renowned friendship highway to Pamir Plateau. On the way, you will stop at Upar Uyghur town to buy some snacks and fruits before heading to the mountains. Then you will view the pretty White Sand Lake that looks like a mirror reflecting the snow-capped mountains on the lake water. After lunch, you will wander around the stunning Karakul Lake(3600 meter), which is situated beside Muztagh Summit. The mountain, the lake and the yurt around the lake create a picture of paradise. Later, you will be transferred back to Kashgar.
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.
Lunch is arranged at a local Uyghur's house for you to taste the authentic and traditional Uyghur food including nang bread, hand-stretched noodles, and pilau...etc.
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.
This morning you will take 1-hour ride to Heavenly Lake, or Tianchi in Chinese, which is a high mountain lake with stunning scenery in the Tianshan Mountains. After lunch, you will visit the renown Xinjiang Museum that is famous for the well-preserved mummies, particularly Loulan Beauty and Xiaohe Princess.
Afterwards you will take 3-hour car ride to Turpan via the desert, grassland, and Tianshan highway.
Turpan is a hub on the ancient Silk Road, and there are lots of historical attrations that are renowned for its well-preserved conditions. Today you will visit Bezklik Grottos, Astana Ancient Tombs, the Ancient City of Jiaohe and Gaochang, Karez Irrigation System, and Emin Minaret with a local guide. You will taste some dried fruits and eat Uyghur food.
Take 3.5-hour bullet train from Turpan to Liuyuan, where you will take 2-hour car ride to Dunhuang. Wander around the Minsha Shan or Singing Sand Dunes this afternoon, and view the crescent spring in the dunes.
It is nice to eat or wander around the Dunhuang night market this evening. Or you can watch the performance copied from Mogao Caves.
In the morning, you will visit Mogao Caves, the gem of the ancient Silk Road. The early history of Mogao can be tracked back to the 4th century, and built many times in the histoty. The colorful fresco, statues in Mogao Caves display various stories about Buddhism.
After lunch, you will take 5-hour car ride to Jiayuguan via the western Hexi Corridor. Enjoy the sceney on the way for Gobi Desert, oasis towns, and snow-capped Qilian Mountains.
Today you will visit the western end of the Great Wall, Jiayuguan Fortress, which was built on the narrowest area in the Hexi Corridor between Qilian Mountain and Black Mountain. Afterwards you will climb up the Overhanging Wall to enjoy the amazing mountain view.
Later, you will be transferred to visit the tomb brick painting in the Wei and Jin Ancient Cemetery, where the fresh colors painted on the brick are very impressive.
Drive 3 hours to Zhangye Danxia where you will view the fantastic and colorful Danxia mountains. Afterwards you will be transferred to hotel in Zhangye.
Today you will take 2-hour bullet train from Zhangye to Xining, then visit the old Dongguan Mosque that is the biggest mosque in Xining with the combination of Chinese and Arabic styles. Afterwards, you will wander around a local market to view different food, vegetables, and teas etc.
This morning visit Kumbum, one of the six biggest Tibetan monasteries, with many well preserved relics, colorful statues and yak butter carving. Kumbum Monastery is where Tsongkhapa, the founder of Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, was born.
This afternoon you will catch approx. 19-hour overnight train to Lhasa. Enjoy the fantastic plateau scenery on the train.
Today you will visit the famous Patala Palace, Jolkhang Temple and Barkhor Streets. Potala Palace was first built in the 7th century by the famous Tibetan king—Songtsen Gampo. The current one was built by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century. The Potala is divided into Red Palace and White Palace. The red palace was for religious use and the white one for political use. It takes whole morning to visit Potala Palace.
Then you will have lunch at the local restaurant.
Afterwards you will walk to visit Jokhang Monastery that is situated in the old section of Lhasa, which was built in the 7th century AD by king Songtsen Gampo. It is the most sacred place in Tibet as it houses the sculpture of 12-year-old Sakyamuni that was brought by Wencheng Princess in the7th century.
Barkhor street is a big free market around Jokhang Monastery where you can purchase all sorts of Tibetan souvenirs. Barkhor Streets is also an essential pilgrim route.
Today you will visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and the Norbulingka Park.“Drepung” in Tibetan means "the hill of rice". The white Monastery looks like a big hill of rice which is situated halfway up Mt Ganpoi Uze in the western suburbs of Lhasa. It was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje, a Disciple of Trongkhaba, founder of the Yellow Hat sect. The monastery, occupying an area of 250,000 square meters with 7700 lamas in the past, is the largest monastery in Asia.
Sera in Tibetan means "Haistone", legend tells that it hailed during the foundation of this famous monastery. It is situated at the foot of Mt. Peibuqie in the northern suburb of Lhasa. Sera monastery was founded in 1419 by Jamchen Choje, another disciple of Tsongkaba. It used to accommodate 5500 lamas in its golden age, and is proud of its glorious history during The Ming Dynasty.
Norbulingka park, known as Jewel Park, was the site of the Dalai Lamas' summer palace. It is situated one kilometer west of the Potala Palace and covers a total area of 360,000 square meters. In 1752, the 7th Dalai Lama built the first palace in this park, and Norbulingka has become the summer palace since then for successive Dalai lamas to carry out their political and religious activities during the summer season.
Today is departure day. You will be transferred to Lhasa Airport to catch your flight to your next destination, where the tour concludes.
Group Size: 2--15 people
Travel Season: April to Nov.
Accommodation: 4-star hotel
Transport: Chartered car or bus
Fast train Liuyuan/Turpan (First Class)
Fast train Zhangye/Xining (First Class)
Overnight train Xining/Lhasa (Soft Sleeper)
Listed in the itinerary
Guide: English-speaking local guides
Entrance Fees: Sites stated
China Visa required
Passport information required
Tibet Permit required (We will apply for you)