8 days North Xijiang grassland tour
This 8 day offers a great chance to enjoy the grand and spectacular landscapes in northern Xinjiang, you will visit two biggest grasslands in Ili - Narati grassland & Bayanbulak Grassland, also the unspoiled alpine lake - Sayram lake. Gain in-depth understanding of the Kazakh culture as you visit some local families and experience their daily life. This journey is a great opportunity to escape from the modern life.
Upon arrival, be greeted and assisted to the downtown hotel by your local guide. Rest and refresh.
If time is allowed, visit Xinjiang Museum, which is a large state museum as well as the center for collection and study of the historical relics left by the ancient civilizations along the Silk Road. Spend couple hours to walk around here for learning about some history and ethnic lifestyles of this region. One of the highlights in the museum is the ancient corpse which has survived for almost 4,000 years. Unlike the mummies in in Egypt that were created by skilled embalming procedures, the corpse here was dried by the particular natural environment.
In the evening explore Urumqi Grand Bazaar, which is regarded as the world's window in Xinjiang. The word "bazaar" means market in Uyghur language. Wander around here to see lots of stores selling ethnic handicrafts, carpets and dry fruits. Built in the traditional Moslem style, the buildings here show distinctive ethnic and folk culture.
Today drive to Sayram Lake, it takes abour 6-7 hours. The rest of today will be your time to explore Sayram Lake, which is the largest alpine lake in Xinjiang. Admire the spectacular natural scenery of this fairyland once you arrive at the lake. Walk along the lake shores to see the pure water resembling a brilliant emerald inlaid in the basin surrounded by snow capped Tianshan Mountains. Flocks of ducks and swans coast on the surface of lake, flourishing cypress and cedar trees cover the whole mountain range, all the scenery in your eyes is innocent and unspoiled. It is a great place for hiking or horse riding. Overnight at local nomad guest yurt.
Another morning at Sayram Lake in the morning, hiking or horse riding to enjoy this beautiful land.
Then leave to Yining (about 2-3 hours) and enjoy the fantastic views along the way including Guozigou (Fruit Valley), known as the first scene of Ili. It is about 28km long stretching along in the rough direction of the Urumqi-Yining Highway, which is also known as the Northern Silk Road. Guozigou is a natural storehouse of plant species with a wide range of fruits and herbs growing wild in the area.
Rest of the day is for you freely explore Yining, visit Grand Mosque and bazzars.
After breakfast, continue your trip along the Kunes River to the Narat Grassland. Then spend the whole day to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the boundless grassland. The word "narat" means the first place to see the sun in Mongol language. The famous Ili River flows through the grassland, you can choose to hike or ride a horse along the shore to see the dense forest, vast grassland dotted with colorful flowers and local Kazak ethnic family. You will stay overnight at the local guest house on the grassland as it is a great chance to learn about the lifestyle of local Kazak people.
Bayanbulak Grassland, the second largest grassland in China, is the destination today. With mountains encircling, lakes dotting on and rivers flowing by, this vast grassland is a perfect place for trekking, sightseeing and taking photos. Seeing the luxuriant grass plus herds of sheep and cows will make you forget about the bustling life in modern city and completely embrace the nature with your heart.
During your trip here, head to the Swan Lake for a visit. In fact it is not just one single lake, but is the name of a serious of lakes dotting on the Buyanbulak Grassland. It is called so because that there are many water birds, especially swans come here to give birth and live every year due to its rich water grass, cool climate and plenty rainfall.
Morning set out for Kuqa and drive through Tushuk Tagh which is another adventure driving day for you. On the way stop to visit the Dragon Lake and Mystic Grand Canyon of Tianshan Mountain.
The Dragon Lake is surrounded by many snow capped mountains all year around. Along the shores of the lake, you will have a vibrant view of the green plants and grass, free cows and sheep as well as the beautiful herdsmen's tents.
The Mystic Grand Canyon of Tianshan Mountains is the result of wind and rain erosion on the russet rocks over millions of years. Spend couple hours to walk around here and take some photos before you drive to Kupa. Upon Arrival, your local guide will assist you to the hotel for retire.
Morning drive to visit Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves, which is regarded as the earliest Buddhist art treasure trove in China. It is a pleasant experience to walk along the corridor which contains lots of murals, and learn about its significant position in Buddhism as well as in the history of Kuqa. Afterwards, visit one of the largest temple ruins that have been discovered in Xinjiang, the Ruins of Subash Ancient City. This city is divided into two parts by Kuqa River. By witnessing the remains and archeological discoveries on the site, you will have a knowledge of the development of the civilizations in this region.
Late afternoon airport drop off and fly back to Urumqi. Overnight at Urumqi.
Today Urumqi airport or train station drop off, end the travel with WindhorseTour. 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.