7 days Memories of Xinjiang tour
Starting from Urumqi, this Xinjiang Highlights tour provides a memorable experience to two must-see cities, Turpan and Kashgar. Cultural heritages and natural landscapes are balanced in this trip. You will be fascinated by the unique scenery of deserts, lakes, and forests while exploring the past civilizations along the ancient Silk Road. The unique Uyghur culture is yet another a highlight of this tour.
Travel along the Silk Road to pursue the unique beauty of this ancient and historically important trade route in the world. Explore the past civilizations which have influenced the culture of China, Central Asia and the west for thousands of years.
This memorable Silk Road Xinjiang tour starts in the capital of of this province, Urumqi. Upon arrival at the airport or railway station, be assisted to the downtown hotel by your local driver and guide. Have the day to rest or explore this city on your own.
In the morning, drive to Turpan, an oasis city located in the southeast of Urumqi. This city was built at the lowest elevation in China. The drive takes about 3 hours, on the way you will see the largest wind power station in China.
Upon arrival, the first stop is the Gaochang Ruins, an ancient city with over 2,000 years history. Regarded as the largest ruins preserved from the Western Region, Gaochang Ruins occupies an area of 2 million sq. m. (494 ac.). Many mud buildings were collapsed after thousands of years erosion. However, you will still clearly recognize the temple, sermon house and courtyard, feel the past magnificence of this city during your visit.
Next with a visit to the Astana Tombs, a serious of underground graves situated in the Gobi desert in north of Gaochang city. Due to the hot and dry climate, thousands of precious artifacts including mummies, paintings and epigraphs remains remarkably well preserved today. Afterwards, head to the Tuyuk Valley to visit a local village, which is the oldest Uyghur settlement in Xinjiang. Enjoy a traditional Uyghur lunch here before you visit the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves. As this area has undergone numerous changes of rulership, invasions and migrations, you can see lots of precious artworks created by the people from different cultures, depicting their daily life and religion.
End the tour today by visiting the Flaming Mountains, which are some barren, eroded and red sandstone hills in Tian Shan Mountain range. Thanks to the classic novel, Journey to the West, Flaming Mountains is a popular attraction all around China. Afterwards, drive back to the hotel in Turpan city and prepare for the next day.
Continue your journey in Turpan today. First visit the Karez Well in the morning. Known as one of the great three ancient projects in China, this Well is a unique irrigation system with an incredible length of 5,000 km. (3,100 mi.) underground. You will not believe that many channels are still maintained and functioning today until you see them.
Next drive to the east countryside of Turpan to visit another famous ancient city, Jiaohe Ruins. This city once was an important stop along the Silk Road trade route, and was abandoned hundreds of years ago because of the war. The city got its name as it is situated on an island where two river converge. Afterwards, drive to the Sugong Pagoda, which is the only Islamic tower among the thousands of famous towers in China. Standing 37 m. (121 ft.) high, this pagoda was built of brick, displaying both Uyghur and Han architectural style.
In the afternoon, drive back to Urumqi for the flight to your next destination, Kashgar. Get settled into the hotel upon your arrival.
Start today by heading to the Abakh Khoja Tomb 5 km. (3 mi.) northeast of Kashgar city. This ancient Islamic architectural complex is famous and admired due to a great woman, Xiangfei (means "Fragrant Concubine"). She is the only Uyghur concubine among the 41 wives of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty. Learn about the touching tales of Xiangfei from your local guide as you visit her and her family's final resting place, which filled with history and symbolism.
Followed by a walk around the bustling Sunday Market, Here you can see the handcrafts from Pakistan, or the scarves from Turkey. After, wander along the streets of Kashgar Old Town to explore the local life of the Uyghurs. The last sight of today is the Id Kah Mosque located in the heart of Kashgar city. You will be astonished by the old Islamic architectures with strong ethnic style and religious features when you visit this largest mosque in China. Thousands of worshippers come to pray every day, please do not disturb their prayer during your visit.
Enjoy a scenic drive from Kashgar to the breathtaking Karakul, a well known Moraine Lake situated at the foot of Mount Muztagata. Stop at the Opal Village, the last village before you enter the Kunlun Shan Mountain range. Experience the village life and traditional activities here.
Once get to the Karakul Lake, spend couple of hours to hike along the shore of the lake. Immerse yourself into the enchanting natural beauty with lofty and mysterious snow mountains surrounded by. Notice that the color of the water always changes with the time and climate. When the sun rises, the lake changes its color from purple to golden red and then to pink, presenting a magical sight to you. During your stay here, visit a local Kyrgyz family to explore their daily life. Then drive 1.5 hours to Tashkorgan for retire.
Spend this morning to visit the Stone Fort in Tashkorgan. Standing at an elevation of 3,100 m. (10,170 ft.), the fort is admired as a historical heritage and ancient ruin along the ancient Silk Road. Here see the remaining city wall, which resembles a royal guard protecting the past glory of his city. Spend half a day here, you will savor the beautiful scenery of the surrounding Tashkorgan Grassland, snow mountains and even the local custom of the Tajik people.
In the afternoon, drive back to Kashgar and say farewell to this city as you take the flight to Urumqi.
Sadly all thing must come to an end, today your guide and drive will pick you up from the hotel and drive to the airport or train station for departure. If you wish to continue your travels, we are experts in tailor made trips and ready to assist you in extending your stay in China.