10 days Amazing northern Xijiang Kanas Lake tour

⇀ Turpan
⇀ Kanas Lake
⇀ Karamay
⇀ Urumqi
Enjoy a Xinjiang photography tour with a scenic drive to the Kanas Lake. Every of your stop is overflowing with picturesque scenery. Mixed in with people watching in Turpan to explore the unique Uyghur cultures. Please keep your camera ready.
10 days
Trip code
From CN¥ 10,200 per person

This Xinjiang Photography tour is filled with a large collections of natural landscapes. Start with a visit to the Tian Chi Lake in Urumqi, then follow along the track of the North Silk Road to the awe-inspiring Kanas Lake, which is at the apex of China, Mongolia and Russia. Visit the locals to experience their simple life and ethnic customs. More awaits in this trip as you discover the relics left by the ancestors in Turpan. Pursue the past glory along this noted trading route.

Day 01 :
Arrive Urumqi

Compared with your other experience in China, traveling along the Silk Road provides a different way to explore the past civilizations and ethnic culture of China. The spectacular lakes and magnificent deserts will make you forget about the bustling life in the modern city. Completely immerse yourself into the great natural landscapes.

This amazing tour starts in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. Our local guide and driver will pick you up at the airport or train station once your arrival. After getting settled into the downtown hotel, spend the time today to have a rest or explore the Uyghur culture of this city on your own. 

Day 02 :
Drive to Turpan - Turpan Highlights Tour

Morning drive to Turpan, an oasis city which is located in the southeast of Urumqi. Lying on the basin with the lowest elevation, this city is regarded as the hottest place in China. The drive takes about 3 hours, notice the largest wind power station in China along the way. Firstly visit the Gaochang ancient city Ruins, the city was built in the first Century BC and later became capital of the Idikut (Gaochang) Uighur Kingdom in the 8th Century. Today the layout of Goachang city still can be recognized clearly. Some of the temples and pagodas have been well preserved. Spend some time to walk around here to see the past glory of this city still remains. 

Afterwards, head to the Tuyuk village, a beautiful village with friendly Uighur community. Here you will be arranged to visit local family and have a traditional Uyghur lunch in a local family home. It is a chance that you get to know some Uyghur culture and their life style. 

Afternoon, visit the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, rated as the place where holds the largest number of caves with the most intricate and exquisite frescos in Xinjiang. Learn about the Buddhist culture along the Silk Road, which could be a different experience in Xinjiang.

On the way back to hotel, stop at the Flaming Mountain, it is said that this is the hottest and driest place along the silk road. You will learn its tales in the classic novel Journey to the West from your guide.

Day 03 :
Another half day in Turpan - Drive back to Urumqi

Continue exploring the historical relics of Turpan today. After breakfast, head to the Karez Well to admire this great project left by the ancient local people 2,000 years ago. Also known as the source of life in Turpan, Karez Well is a unique irrigation system which channels underground water to solve the local problem of water shortage. You will be astonished that this system is still maintained and functioning today. 

Followed with a visit to the Jiaohe Ancient City Ruins, an ancient city which once was an important stop along the Silk Road. The city got its name as it is situated on an island where two rivers converge. Standing like a huge castle on the desert, Jiaohe has witnessed the rise and fall of many kingdoms for 2,000 years. But now, it has become a historic relic waiting to be witnessed. The last sightseeing is 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. 

After lunch, return back to Urumqi (roughly 3 hours). If you are not tired, you may take an exploration at the Grand Bazaar in Urumqi. 

Day 04 :
Drive to Fuyun (480km about 7 hours drive)

After breakfast, meet your guide and driver at the hotel lobby and begin today's journey to Fuyun county through Kurbantongut desert, enjoy the vast desert steppes of the China's second largest desert. 

After 3 hours of driving, you will reach to Multi Colored Bay(Wucai Wan), admire the uncanny workmanship of nature here as you will have a imposing view of a typical Yardan land form composed of numerous colorful hills and odd rocks. The multi colored Bay is one of the main locations for the Oscar Winning Best Foreign language film 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'. 

After then continue the tour and driving through the 'Karamay Wilk Animals Protection Area', where you will have a chance to witness many wild horses, camels or deer. You can stop to take photos at any time you want.  Stay one night at Fuyun County. 

Day 05 :
Drive to Burqin County, visit multi-colored beach

After breakfast leave for Burqin (about 4-5 hours). As a small county in the border area with Russia, Kazakstan and Mongolia, Burqin is the last stop before you get to the Kanas Lake.
In the afternoon, drive to visit Wucaitan. It is located about 25km from Burjin county, Wucaitan means “multi-colored beach” as it is formed with many different colors and located on the North Side of Irtysh River while South Side of South Bank is full of luxuriant trees, rolling forest, the distant meandering hills and panoramic view of the desert scenery. Return to Burqin for overnight. 

Day 06 :
Drive to Jiadengyu - visit Kanas Lake

This morning, take a 3 hours drive to Jiadengyu, which is the entrance of Kanas Lake Nature Reserve. Kanas Lake is a great place for outdoor activities, you have chances of hiking, boating, horse riding and river rafting as you like (on your own expenses). This afternoon we suggest that you take the shuttle bus or boat to enjoy the sceneries at Lying Dragon Bay, Immortal Bay and Moon Bay which are the most well-known and beautiful spots of this area.

Then take the shuttle bus to Guan Yu Tai (Fish Watching Pavilion) which is the highest point and is the best place to take an incredible panoramic view of the entire lake (on your own expenses). Kanas Lake is famous for changing its colors. The color of the water changes several times a day, from dark green to sky blue, then to gray and white. The higher you climb up, the more colors you will see.

Day 07 :
Another day at Kanas Lake & Hemu village

Another day to enjoy the beauty of Kanas Lake Nature Reserve, we suggest you to get to Guan Yu Tai (Fish Watching Pavilion), the highest point and the best place to have the incredible panoramic view of the entire lake. The Kanas Lake is famous for changing its colors. The color of the water changes several times in a day, from dark green to sky blue, then to gray and white. The higher you climb up, the more colors you will see. 

In the afternoon, drive to the Hemu Village to visit some local Tuwa families. This small place has been ranked by China National Geography as one of the six most beautiful villages in China. Have a rest in the hotels of Hemu Village. 

Day 08 :
Hemu village - Drive to Burqin

Get up early morning and hike up to Meili feng Hill where you will enjoy a great view of the village at the sunrise. Then you can choose to ride a horse or just walk around in the village. Visit some Tuwa people to be deeply impressed by their simple life style and character. After having lunch in the village, drive back to Burqin for overnight.

Day 09 :
Drive to Kuitun, visit Ghost City & Oil Zone on the way

After breakfast, set out for Kuitun. Stop at Karamay when you drive through the western edge of Dzungarian Basin, and explore the unique Yardang landform here. One typical attraction is the Ghost City. This place is named as such for just the wind rather than its appearance. Be impressed by the raised stratum which has been carved into great mounds with various shapes. Next with a visit to the Hundred Miles Oil Zone, then drive to Kuitun for the evening. 

Day 10 :
Drive to Urumqi, departure from Urumqi

Morning drive back to Urumqi (250 km, about 3 hours). Upon arrival, airport drop off arranged for your departure, end the travel with WindhorseTour. If you wish to continue your journey, we are experts in tailor made trips and ready to assist you in extending your stay in China.

Tour notes:

Please note prices are based in CNY.

General inclusions:

2 bottles of mineral water provided daily.
All required government taxes and fees.
Your selection of 3, 4 or 5 Stars hotel (shared twin room, private bathroom and daily breakfast)
The hotel accommodation is based on two persons sharing one standard twin room with private facilities in all relevant locations. If a single client requests a twin room alone, the single room supplement will be charged.
All entrance tickets as noted in the tour's itinerary.
Guide fluent in English, Chinese or Japanese that is certified by the state tourism build and from the local community. (If your native language is not listed please let us know, we are certain we can assist your needs.)
Airport and/or train station pick-up and drop-off.
All domestic flight and train tickets. Economy-class for flights and soft sleeper / seat for train tickets.
Transportation will we be provided via a comfortable and clean car, minivan or tourist bus depending upon the groups size.
Meals as remarked in the itinerary. (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

General exclusions:

Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, internet access, fax, telephone calls etc.
Tips for your guide and driver.
Optional Attractions that are not specified in the itinerary.
Flight and/or railway ticket(s) to the first city of the tour and departure from the last city of the tour.
Meals not specified in the itinerary.

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Steven Ng
Steven Ng
Sat, 06/20/2015

We have 8 - 10 people for travel and appreciate if you can quote for :
1. 13 Days Memorable Silk Road Adventure tour
2. 11 days Xinjiang Silk Road Grassland Sightseeing

One and maybe 2 couples may want to add Xinjiang Silk Road Photographic Tour but exclude any overlap in itinerary.

Thank you.


Steven Ng

Replied by
Tagong grassland by July Yuki
Yuki Yi
Thu, 06/25/2015

In reply to by Steven Ng (not verified)

Hi Steven,

Thanks for your inquiry! We can surely provide the quotations based on your requirements. I've just send you the detailed email, please take a look. Kindly let me know for any comments and thoughts you may have.

Best Regards,