9 Days Xinjiang Silk Road Tour
Destinations: Kashgar- Tashkorgan- Yopurga- Urumqi- Turpan
Our 9 days Xinjiang Silk Road Tour takes you to the Khunjerab Pass on the Karakorum Highway, the Taklamakan Desert in Yupurga, the Kariz Underground Water System in Turpan and many more Buddhist and Islamic architectural sites along the Silk Road Xinjiang.
Day 1: Arrival to Kashgar
Transportation: Flight or Train then Bus/Car
Activities: Our guide and driver will meet you in Kashgar airport then transfer you to your comfort hotel.
Day 2: Kashgar to Karakul Lake
Attractions: Karakoram Highway, Opal village, Red Mountain, Corner Lake & Sand Mountain, MT. Muztagh Ata (7546m) & MT.Konger (7719m), Karakul Lake.
Activities: Today we take a drive on Karakurum highway, renowned as the highest paved border crossing in the World and regarded as one of the World’s most beautiful highways. Following on our drive, we will see the Opal village which is 1 hour drive from Kashgar. It is a good location to take photos of village life and traditional activities like bread making and Uyghur food stalls. Half an hour drive from the village we will arrive in Oytagh Red Mountain. The mountain valley is surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of multi-colored mountains topped by snowcapped peaks. Corner Lake (Bulung Kul) is a tranquil shallow lake where you can take very nice photographs of the lake with stunning reflections of the sand mountains. Karakul Lake is 3600 meters above sea level. It is located between Mt. Muztagata (7546 meters) and Mt. Gonger (7719 meters), which are said to be 2 of the 6 most beautiful mountains in the World. We will visit the local Kyrgyz Yurts and listen to their stories about traditional ways of nomadic life.
Accommodation: Kyrgyz Yurt by the Lake
Day 3: Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan then to Khunjerab Pass
Attractions: Subash pass,Tashkorgan, Stone fort, Tashkorgan grassland,Khunjerab Pass
Activities: We set off to Tashkurgan after our breakfast. Tashkurgan is an interesting small town located on the Pamir Plateau. This area was extremely isolated until the rebuilding of the Karakurum highway in 1987 and even today the local community still lives in a very traditional fashion with only a single road reaching here from Kashgar, so it has retained certain uniqueness. This region is commonly known as the main road of the “old Silk Road” the main route leading from China to West Asia. The average elevation is 4000 meters. we will visit the Stone fort, located in downtown Tashkurgan. It has a history of more than 2000 years. In times gone by it was the central palace of the Tajik kingdom. Khunjerab Pass elevation 4,693 metres (15,397 ft) is a high mountain pass in the Karakorum Mountains on the northern border of Gilgit-Baltistan and the Xinjiang Autonmous Region of China. The name is derived from Wakhi for Blood Valley. The Khunjerab Pass is the highest paved border crossing in the world and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway.
Day 4: Tashkorgan to Kashgar
Activities: We take the Karakorum Highway back to Kashgar and arrive in the late afternoon. If you wish to stop by Karakul Lake, you are more than welcome to do so.
Note: Guests will need to carry their passports on this tour as they will be required to show these at the Gaz check point (around an hour after the colorful mountain on the first day and also on the way back to Kashgar. Everybody at this point needs to be registered by the authorities due to its close proximity to many bordering countries. It is also advisable to bring warm clothes as temperatures can be colder than those found in Kashgar at the higher altitudes.
Day 5: Kashgar to Davakul Taklamakan Desert
Attraction: Davakul Taklamakan Desert
Activities: This trip takes you on a exciting camel trek through the Taklimakan Desert.
Legend says that you can enter this desert but never leave! The direct translation of Takilmakan is ‘Sea of Death’. Legend states that this area was once a propherous city where many lived. The people were not good at following the rules of religion and it is believed the Gods punished them by raining sand down apon them, the town and all its inhabitants perished under the sand. When the wind blows up into a storm you can sometimes glipse gold and other artifacts from this ancient buried village. Transfer from Kashgar to Yopurga, the last village before the Taklimakan Desert. We will stop at Yopurga village to purchase food supplies for the trip and then continue to the edge of the desert. We will then load our baggage on camels and begin the trek. The trek normally commences at 14:00 local time. The afternoon is spent on camel back through the desert. Dinner is provided and accommodation for the night is in tents.
Accommodation: camp in the Taklimakan desert
Day 6: Yupurga to Kashgar then Shipton’s Arch
Attraction: Shipton’s Arch
Transportation: Four wheel Drive
Activities: We will head back to Kashgar after our camel trekking trip in Taklamakan Desert. Upon our arrival, we will head to Shipton’s Arch. It is the world’s tallest natural arch.
Though long familiar to locals, it was visited in 1947 by English mountaineer Eric Shipton, while he was traveling between Tashkent and Kashgar – and made known to the West in his book Mountains of Tartary. The arch once figured in the Guinness Book of Records for its exceptional height, but editors of the book could not verify the location of the arch exactly, so the listing was dropped. It was only as recently as May 2000 that an expedition sponsored by National Geographic rediscovered the arch for foreigners. The height of the arch is estimated to be 1,200 feet, about the height of the Empire State Building. The span of the arch is roughly 180 feet. The “true” height of the arch is debatable: viewing the arch from the east (normal approach route) it appears to be 200 feet tall from the top of the 100 foot rubble pile; from the west side (approachable via a technical canyon ascent), the height is closer to the estimated 1,200 feet. The height depends upon what constitutes the base of the arch, which is either the base of the rubble pile (which is partially under the arch and where the span achieves its maximum width) or the floor of the west side canyon head, 900 feet lower. Night will be spent in Kashgar.
Day 7: Kashgar City tour
Attraction: Apak Hoja tomb, Sunday market, Old Town, Id Kah Mosque, Handicraft Street
Activities: Our tour starts after the breakfast at the hotel. We will begin our Kashgar City tour by visiting the Apak Hoja tomb also known as fragrant concubine tomb (Xingfei in Chinese).
This is a very tranquil place and a beautiful example of Uyghur Islamic architecture. Next we will head to the Infamous lively Sunday market renowned as the biggest market in Central Asia. It is said you can buy anything you want from the Sunday market except chicken milk and Cow eggs. We will then enjoy lunch in a typical Uyghur restaurant. After lunch we will wander through the narrow winding streets of the historic Old town brushing shoulders with the friendly Uyghur residents. Located at the spiritual heart of old town is Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China. We will go inside and have the chance to understand a bit more about the Islamic life of the Uyghur people. We will pass down Handicraft Street where we can view pots being hammered, wood craftsmen at work and traditional musical instrument workshops. Night will be spent in Kashgar.
Note: For entering the Mosque visitors should dress respectfully, no shorts or short sleeved shirts and women should cover their heads with a scarf.
Day 8: Arrival to Urumqi then Transfer to Turpan
Attraction: Kariz underground water system, Jiaohe ancient city, Emin Minaret
Activities: AFter your breakfast at the hotel. Our guide and driver will transfer you to your flight to Urumqi. Upon arrival to Urumqi, you will be greeted by our guide and driver there and transferred to Turpan.
In Turpan, you will visit Kariz Underground Water System which is the China’s third most important ancient engineering feat with a total length of 3100 miles and dating back more than 2S00 years. Jiaohe Ancient City is the oldest, largest, highest ancient city built of mud in the World. Many cultural relics were unearthed, such as antefix of the Tang Dynasty and Buddhist scriptures at the Ancient City of Jiaohe. Emin Minaret was built in 1777, it is the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang and it is the only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China. Night will be spent in Urumqi.
Day 9: Turpan Tour then Urmqi to Your Flight to Next Destination
Attraction: Gaochang Ancient City,Astana Ancient Tombs, Tuyuk Valley
Transportation: Bus/Car, Flight
Activities: Gaochang, Ancient City was built in the first century B.C; it was a key point on the ancient Silk Road Astana Ancient tombs is known as capital tombs and underground museum of Xinjiang where many important writings, paintings and mummies have been discovered Tuyuk Valley. Here the most traditional Uyghur life can be seen with the people living in traditional homes made of mud. Drive from Turpan To Urumqi in afternoon (180Km) 2hours to 2.5h. Evening flight to your next destination.