Tour Highlights: Our 2 day Tour to Tashkurgan on the Pamir Plateau takes you to the Pamir Plateau. Pamir means “roof of the world” in local Tajik language. You will enjoy mountain scenery as well as culture and customs of Kirgiz and Tajik people on this two day trip.
Day 1: Kashgar to Karakul Lake then to Tashkorgan
Todays activities include: Opal village,Oytagh colouful mountain, Corner Lake (Bulung Kul), Karakul Lake, Muztagh Ata, Kyrgyz yurt visit
Place & Transport: car/bus
Activities: Opal village is one hour drive South West from kashgar and is the last village before we enter the Kumlun Mountain range. We make a stop here to buy fresh fuits and freshly baked bread for our picnic, this is also a good location to take photos of village life and tradional activities like bread making and Uyghur food stalls. If you are lucky enough to travel here on a Monday you will be able to witnes the busy village market which will show you how the Kashgar Sunday market used to be twenty years ago.
Oytagh colourful mountain is the point where we enter a beautiful oasis valley at the start of the Kunlun Mountain range. We will be surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of multi coloured mountains topped by snowcapped peaks.? Here we will stop for taking photographs.
Karakoram highway Leaving Opal our journey will take us along the famous Karakoram highway, beginning in Kashgar and ending in Islamabad, Pakistan, this road is in excess of 1000km long. It is renound as the highest paved boarder crossing in the World and is regarded as one of the Worlds most beatuful highways. An epic road to travel.
Korner Lake(Bulung Kul) is a tranquil shallow lake.? Flowing into this lake is the Gaz river, originating from the Karakul lake, this river carries sand to the lake which has then been picked up by the wind and blown to create impressive sand covered mountains on the far side. You can take very nice photographs of the lake with stunning reflections of the sand mountains.
Karakul Lake is a breathtaking high altitude lake at 3600 meters above sea level. It is located between the towering Muztagh and Kongger Mountains, both rising over 7000 metres and permanantly snowcapped.? The lake is inhabited during the summer months by nomadic Kyrgyz people who live inside Yurts.? We will visit the Yurts going inside one to drink some local yak milk tea whilst listening to stories about traditional ways of nomadic mountain life. Then there will be time to walk a little around the lake or ride horses, donkeys or camels along its shores.
Mt. Muztagata is said to be one of the five most beautiful mountains in the World which provides a beautiful backdrop to Karakul lake at 7546 meters, on the opposite side the yet to be conquerred peak of Gongeer rises to 7719 meters above sea level.
Picnic lunch: We will then enjoy our picnic lunch of fruits and fresh bread, that we purchased in Opal village, in a beautiful picnic spot overlooking the Karakul lake.
Late in the afternoon we will drive to Tashkorgan, which takes in the region of 2 hours where we will overnight in a comfortable hotel.
NB: There is also the option available on request to spend the night at Karakul lake camping within one of the traditional Yurts (best to come well prepared with warm clothes). This would mean that longer treks around the lake or surrounding mountains could be arranged for the afternoon. In this case we would leave for Tashkorgan early the following morning.
Day 2: Tashkorgan to back to Kashgar
Attractions: Tashkorgan, Stone fort, Tashkorgan Grassland
Place & Transport: car/bus
Tashkorgan is an interesting small town located on the Pamir Plateau.? This area was extremely isolated until the rebuilding of the Karakoram highway in 1987 and even today the local community still live in a very traditional fashion with only a single road reaching here from Kashgar it has retained a certain uniqueness. The population numbers around 33,000 people of which Tajik are the majority at 87%. Bordering this county are the countries of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. ?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.
Stone Fort is located in downtown Taskorgan . It has a history of more than 2000 years, in times gone by it was the central palace of the Tajik kingdom.
Tashkorgan Grassland: You will have time to take a walk through the Tashkorgan grasslands,during the walk you will encounter local Tajik people, heards of grazing animals, and you may visit their traditional yurt houses. You will have the opportunity to take photos of traditional life on the Pamir Plateau and of the beautiful scenary of the surrounding Pamir mountains.
Subash Pass: On the journey back to Kashgar we will pass over Subash Pass, located between Karakul lake and Tashkorgan. This will be the highest point on the tour at 3700m above sea level.? Here we will stop to take in the Panoramic views and take some more photographs.
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 colourful mountain on the first day and also on the way back to Kashgar). Everybody at this point needs to be registered by the authorites 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.