8 Days Mysterious Xinjiang Tour
Destinations: Hotan- Yarkand- Kashgar- Turpan- Urumqi
Our 8 dayMysterious Xinjiang Tour takes you to less visited cities along the ancient Silk Road in China. These cities have long histories, rich in culture and custom. It (which city?) played a significant role during the ancient Silk Road times back 2,000 years ago.
Day 1: Arrival to Hotan
Activities: Our guide and driver will meet you at Hotan Airport then transfer you to your comfort hotel. You will be given time to rest and explore the area near to your hotel rest of the day. Hotan is the principal town located on the south of the Tarim basin. People have settled in the oasis for thousands of years and Marco Polo wrote that everything necessary for human life is here in the greatest plenty. In addition to its abundance in agriculture, Hotan became a centre for silk production, carpet weaving, metal work and jade. Today the town remains a very pleasant place for visitors to linger in and explore “A Whole New World”. Night will be spent in Hotan.
Day 2: Day Tour in Hotan
Attraction: Hotan Sunday Market (Bazaar), White Jade River, White Jade Factory, Carpet Factory, Silk Atlas Factory
Activities: We start our tour by visiting the Atlas Silk Factory. Atlas is the Uyghur word for the soft and graceful silk and means “tie dyed silk fabric”. Visitors can see the whole process of handmade silk from boiling the silk worm cocoons till weaving the cloth on the looms. Hotan Carpet Factory is on the way to Silk Atlas Factory. Hotan Carpets were sought after in ancient times and antique carpets are collector items. Modern carpets are considerably cheaper and the factory can make custom carpets to order. The Hotan Bazaar is 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 Hotan 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. 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. If you wish to do short camel riding in the desert and spend the night in the desert by camp fire you can do so, you need to let us know when we discuss the itinerary.
Day 3: Driving from Hotan to Yarkand
Attractions: Yarkand Golden Graveyard, Amannisahan Tomb, Yarkand Old Town
Activities:We start our tour after the breakfast at the hotel or taking the breakfast in the desert if we spend the night in the desert. We drive to Yarkand after the breakfast. Yarkant is another county of Kashgar’s, and is known as Shache in Chinese. Yarkant was once the capital of a Kingdom and was an important station on the ancient Silk Road, with a history of over 2000 years. Aman Nisahan, the wife of the second king of the Yarkant kingdom and the compiler of the famous Uyghur 12 Music Mukams, is buried in a tomb in the Golden Grave Yard. We will visit the Yarkand Old Town after visiting the Golden Graveyard. Yarkand Old Town is a none tourist residential and local business area where you can see how the locals daily life looks like. Night will be spent in Yarkand.
Day 4: Yarkand to Kashgar
Attractions: Yingsar Uyghur Knife Factory, Kashgar Old Town, free by your own
Activities: We set out to Kashgar after the breakfast at the hotel. On the way to Kashgar, we will visit Yingsar which is famous for making traditional Uyghur knives known as Yingsar knives. Visitors can visit workshops to observe how these sought after knives are made and maybe pick up one or two as souvenirs. We will be in Kashgar by noon and visit the Kashgar Old Town after our lunch and check in to the hotel.Id Kah Mosque is a grand Islamic structure located in the center of Kashgar city. It was first built by Shakesimirza in 1442 AD, who was then ruler of Kashgar at that time. 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 and is 140 meters long from south to north and 120 meters from east to west, covering an area of 16,800 square meters. Kashgar Old Town is located in center of the city. The inhabitants of the Old Town are Uyghur’s whose ancestors have been living there since the city was established two thousand years ago. By walking through narrow streets and visiting the families there, you can learn about Uyghur culture and custom. After the trip in Old Town, we will head back to our hotel. You will be given information about the Uyghur Night Market in front of the Id Kah Mosque to visit it in the evening by your own.
Day 5: Kashgar Tour
Attractions:Sultan Sutuk Boghrahan, Mor Buddhist Pagoda, Sunday Market, Id Kah Mosque, Appak Hoja Tomb/Fragrant Concubine Tomb, Handcraft Street
Activities: We start our tour early in the morning by visiting the Sultan Sutuk Boghrahans Tomb which is located in Atush. He is a first person to accept the Islam among the Uyghur’s. On the way, we will visit Mor Buddhist Pagoda which is the only pagoda remained from the Buddhism in Kashgar. The Handicraft Street is located next to the Id Kah Mosque and provides a place where tourists can see traditional Uyghur craftsmen engaged in making different types of articles for special and daily use. At the same time, tourist can see the daily lives of Uyghur people in Kashgar.Apak Hoja Tomb is located in the northeast of Kashgar city. 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. She was called Xiangfei (Fragrant Imperial Concubine) because of the delicate fragrance emitting from her. Kashgar’s Sunday Market is also called The Grand Bazaar in Uyghur. It is the biggest market in Xinjiang. As early as two thousand years ago, it was the collecting and distributing center for trade. Nowadays, it has become even busier. Various special local products, handicrafts, articles of daily use, fruits and vegetables as well as all kinds of domestic animals can be found here. Night will be spent in Kashgar.
Day 6: Morning Flight to Urumqi then Transfer to Turpan
Attractions: Jiaohe Ancient City, Karez Underground Water System
Transportation: Bus/Car, Flight
Activities: Our guide and driver in Kashgar will transfer you to your morning flight to Urumqi. Upon your arrival to Urumqi, you will be transferred to Turpan then visit Jiaohe Ancient City which is known as Yarghul Ancient City in the Uyghur language. Located about 13 kms from Turpan City, it was first the capital of the State of South Cheshi which was the one of the thirty six states in the Western Region. The Jiaohe Ancient City was bordered by rivers flowing by, hence the name of ‘Jiaohe’ or ‘the city of joining rivers’. Turpan owes its existence the 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. Night will be spend in Turpan.
Day 7: Day Tour Turpan then back to Urumqi
Attractions: Gaocheng Ancient City, Flaming Mountain, Astana Karahoja Ancient Tombs, Emin Minaret, Tuyuk Village
Activities: We start our tour by visiting Gaochang Ancient 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.The remains of the city still testify as to its past glory, with courtyards, Buddhist temples and pagodas scattered over 10000 square m in area. Emin Minaret (Tower) 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. The 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. Astana – Karakhoja Tombs located near to Gaochang Ancient city, it 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. 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.
Day 8: Tour in Urumqi then End of Our Service
Attractions: Xinjiang Museum
Transportation: Bus/Car, Flight
Activities: After our breakfast, we start Urumqi tour.Urumqi is the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It is located at the northern foot of the Tianshan Mountains, and is surrounded by spectacular mountains in the east, west and south. Urumqi has a population of more than 2 million people and is a pleasant modern metropolis.The Xinjiang Museum is located in a new building incorporating elements of traditional Uyghur architecture and houses several thousand cultural relics from all over Xinjiang. It serves as the archaeological and history research center of the region. The museum is famous as the home of the thousands year old Europoid mummies discovered in the deserts of southern Xinjiang at the end of the last century. After our trip at the museum, we will head to Urumqi International Airport to see you off. End of our service.