Destination: Turpan -Kashgar – Hotan – Urumqi
Our 6 day Xinjiang Cultural Tour help you to understand and learn about the cultures of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang. The four cities we visit played a significant role both during the great Silk Road times and are also significant cities today.
Day 1: Arrival to Urumqi then Transfer to Turpan
Attractions: Jiaohe Ancient City, Karez Underground Water System, Emin Minerat
Activities: Our guide and driver will meet you at Urumqi Airport then transfer you to Turpan. Upon your arrival to Turpan, you will check in to your hotel and refresh yourself.
Afterwards, you will start your Turpan tour by visiting the Jiaohe Ancient City which is known as Yarghul Ancient City in Uyghur language. It’s 13 kms to Turpan City, it was the capital of the State of South Cheshi which was the one of the thirty six states of the Western Region. Karez System an underground gravity irrigation system developed by the Uyghur’s over centuries. Karez is composed of a series of wells along the snow-covered mountains and linking underground channels that use slopes and gravity to bring water to the surface. There are around 1600 Karez Systems in Xinjiang and length of the Karez in Turpan is around 5000 km. It is considered as one of the three great ancient projects in China. Emin Minaret or Turpan Tower was built 1778 AD by Suleman, the Aqimu Boke, in memory of his father. The circular tower is 37 meters high and its bottom diameter is 10 meters. The whole sun dried brick tower tapers skywards in geometric and floral patterns. There are 77 spiral steps up to the top. Night will be spent in Turpan.
Day 2:Tour in Turpan then back to Urumqi for Flight to Kashgar
Attractions: Gaocheng Ancient City, Flaming Mountain, Tuyuk Village, Astana – Karakhoja Tombs
Transportation: Bus/Car, Flight
Activities: We start our Turpan tour by visiting Gaochang Ancient Citywhich is located 50 km southeast of Turpan.
The city was built as a garrison town in the first century BC and developed into one of the key points along the Silk Road. The town was known as Kocho and ruled a wide area. In the 14th century however, it was abandoned after continued warfare between the Mongols and the Uyghurs. Flaming Mountains stretch 100 km from east to west and are about 10 km wide. In the summer, temperatures go as high as 80 C and the airflow shimmers above the mountains like a fire. Tuyuk Village is a one of the oldest Uyghur settlements in Xinjiang. In this village, we can see how the local Uyghur’s living in this village, visit their house in order to get general idea about their life style. You can also have your lunch in a Uyghur family in the village if you want to. Astana – Karakhoja Tombs is a public cemetery of the Ancient Gaochang Kingdom. Archeologist excavated many tombs and found mummies, ancient books, paintings, pottery, clay figures, wood works, gold and stone wares, ancient coins, cotton and silk textiles in great value. After the tour in Turpan, you will be transferred to Urumqi to catch your evening flight to Kashgar.
Day 3: Day Tour in Kashgar
Attractions: Sunday Market, Id Kah Mosque, Kashgar Old Town, Appak Hoja Tomb/Fragrant Concubine Tomb, Handcraft Street
Activities: We start our Kashgar tour by visiting Apak Hoja Tomb. Legend has it that seventy-two persons in five generations of the Hoja family are buried in the tomb. The legend goes that among the Hoja descendants buried here, a lady named Iparhan was one of the concubines of the Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong.
Kashgar Sunday Market also known “The Grand Bazaar” in Uyghur language. It is the biggest market in Xinjiang. As early as two thousand years ago, it was the collecting and distributing center for trade. Id Kah Mosque is a grand Islamic structure built in 1442 AD. It was extended and renovated time and again through the ages, finally reaching its present shape and size. The mosque is the largest in all China with covering an area of 16,800 square meters. Kashgar Old Town is located in center of the city. By walking through narrow streets and visiting the families there, you can learn about Uyghur culture and custom. The Handicraft Street provides place where tourists can see traditional Uyghur craftsmen engaged in making different types of articles for special and daily use. Night will be spent in Kashgar.
Day 4: Drive to Hotan from Kashgar
Attractions: Yingsar Knife Workshops, Yarkand Golden Graveyard, Yarkand Old Town
Activities: We set out to Hotan early in the morning from Kashgar. On the way to Hotan, we will visit Yingsar which is the famous town for making Uyghur knives in Xinjiang and visit the knife factory. Stop in Yarkand (known as Shache in Chinese) to visit the Golden Graveyard which is the Yarkand Uyghur Kingdom’s Graveyard dates back to 16th century. Local people called it Golden Graveyard to show respect to the kingdom. It is also known as Aman Nisahan Tomb who is a lady who combined the Famous Uyghur Twelve Mukam and invented one Mukam herself. She is also wife of the second king of Yarkand kingdom. After the Golden Graveyard, we will visit the Old Town in Yarkand. We will be in Hotan late in the afternoon. Night will be spent in Hotan.
Day 5: Day tour in Hotan
Attractions: Hotan Sunday Market (Bazaar), White Jade River, White Jade Factory, Hotan Museum, Mulberry Paper Making
Activities: The Hotan Bazaar is located in northeastern corner of the city, sprawling over a vast area rivaling all other bazaars in the region.
On every Sunday, the whole city and countryside community converge on the bazaar to trade, shop and enjoy themselves conjuring up a fascinating Aladdin’s world. The Jade Factory carries on Hotan’s more than 3000 years old tradition of supplying jade to central China where Hotanese jade was used to make the Imperial seals of power. The Hotan Museum highlights are the mixtures of Caucasian and East Asian “mummies” reaching back two thousand years proving Hotan’s historically rich blend of peoples, cultures and religions. Mulberry Paper Making which was thrived in the area decades ago but today it is replaced with modern equipment, it is a good place to see how the Uyghur’s makes a paper from bark of the Mulberry tree. Night will be spent in Hotan.
Day 6: Take morning flight to Urumqi for Urumqi tour
Attractions: Heavenly Lake
Transportation: Bus/Car, Flight
Activities:Our guide and driver will take you to Hotan Airport after your breakfast at the hotel.
You will take morning flight to Urumqi. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by our guide and driver in Urumqi to visit Heavenly Lake. The Heavenly Lake is located east of Urumqi in the middle ranges of the Bogda Peak. It’s nearly 100 meters deep and covers an area of 4.9 square kms. Heavenly Lake is considered the Pearl of the Tianshan Mountains with its spectacular lpine scenery often compared to Switzerland’s. After your trip in Urumqi, we will take you to your hotel or to the airport for and late evenig flight for your next detination. This will be the end of our service.