5 Days Northern Xinjiang Photography Tour

Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Kashgar Live Stock Market
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours

Destinations: Altay – Kanas – Hemu Village – Altay

Our 5 day Northern Xinjiang Photography Tour allows you to do a short trek to Kanas Lake in order to capture the beauty of Kanas Lake and it’s settlement. It also allows you to enjoy and capture the beauty of Hemu Village, reported to be third most beautiful village in China.

Day 01: Arrival to Altay

Attractions:

Transportation: Flight, Bus/ Car

Activities: You will take a connected flight from any cities of China to Altay via Urumqi. Our guide will meet you at Altay airport then transfer you to your comfort hotel.

Accommodation: At a 3 stars hotel

Day 02: Altay to Kanas Lake

Attractions: Grassland Stone Man Statues, Jadengyu, Bays

Transportation: Bus/ Car

Kanas Lake Moon Bay, Xinjiang

Activities: After breakfast you will drive to Jiadengyu, on the way you will visit the Stone Man Statues and stop at Jiadengyu for lunch. Jiadengyu is the tourist distribution center of Kanas area. After lunch you will continue the drive toward Kanas lake, it is a drive of one hour. You will see the beautiful landscape all along the road and will be stopping in different location to take photos of the Laying Dragon Bay, Immortal Bay and Moon Bay. They are the most well known and beautiful scenery in this area.

Accommodation: Kazak or Tuwa Wooden Guesthouse

Day 03: Kanas to Hemu Village

Attractions: Kanas Lake, Hemu village

Transportation: Bus/ Car

Altay Kanas Lake, Xinjiang

Activities: After breakfast, you will hike on your preferred location for several hours. Kanas Lake is famous for its changing 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 you go to Hemu Village. A Hemu village is supposed to be the 3rd most beautiful village town in China.

Accommodation: Hemu Village Local Hotel or Guesthouse

Day 04: Hemu Village to Altay

Attractions: Hemu Village, Tuwa people

Transportation: Bus/ Car

Activities: Today you can get up early to enjoy the spectacular sunrise scenery of this lovely village. Enjoy some free time to ride a horse or walk around and explore the Tuwa Tribe, the local ethnic minority who have been inhabited here for centuries and have developed their unique custom.

After having lunch in a local restaurant, you will drive back to Altay

Accommodation: 3 stars hotel

Day 05: Altay departure

Attractions:

Transportation: Flight, Bus/ Car

Activities: Our guide and driver will take you to Altay airport, and then you can take a morning flight from Altay to Urumqi and leave for your next destination in Xinjiang or in rest of China.

13 Days Xinjiang Tour by Crossing Taklamakan Desert

Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Kashgar Live Stock Market
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours

Destinations: Kashgar – Tashkorgan – Hotan – Niya – Taklimakan Desert – Kuqa – Korla – Turpan – Urumqi

Our 13 day Xinjiang Tour by Crossing the Taklamakan Desert will give you a slightly different experience to the previous tour. The 13 day Xinjiang Tour cross the Taklamakan Desert from Niya via Tarim whereas the above tour crosses it via Alar which is a much shorter distance.

Day 1: Arrival to Kashgar

Attractions: 

Transportation: Flight, Bus/Car

Activities: Our guide and driver will meet you at Kashgar 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.

Accommodation:

Day 2: Tour to Karakul Lake on KHH

Attractions: Karakorum Highway, Kirgiz People, Kirgiz Yurt, Karakul Lake, Snow Capped Mountains, Muztagh Ata Mountain

Transportation: Bus/Car

Corner Lake, Karakorum Highway, Kashgar, Xinjiang

Activities: We start our tour after our breakfast at the hotel. Karakoram highway known as the Friendship Highway in China. From Kashgar in  Xinjiang to Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan, it traces 1300km along one of the routes of the Ancient Silk Road to India. The views are unparalleled along this one of the highest roads of the world. It also cuts along the collision zone of the Eurasian and Indian plates where China, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan come close to one another. Bulung Kul (Corner Lake) is located besides the Karakoram Highway. The view of the lake reflecting the mountains of sand in the distance is absolutely stunning. Karakul Lake is the highest lake on the Pamir plateau where the Pamir, Kunlun and Tianshan mountain ranges meet. Surrounded by mountains which remain covered by snow throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake  are the Muztagh Ata (7546m), the Kongur Tagh (7649) and the Kongur Tiube (7530m). Every summer, mountain climbers from all over the world descend to Karakul lake to climb the  Muztagh Peak.  There are two Kirgiz settlements along the shores of the Karakul lake, living in yurts and mud stone houses. Night will be spent at Karakul Lake.
Accommodation:

Day 3: Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan then back to Kashgar

Attractions: Tashkurgan, Stone City

Transportation: Bus/Car

Tashkurgan Stone City, Kashgar

Activities: We continue our trip to Tashkurgan after the tour at the lake. Tashkurgan is located on the eastern part of the Pamir Plateau, where the Kunlun, Hindukush, and Tianshan  Mountain Ranges merge to form the  Pamir Plateau.   From here, it just 130 km away from the Sino-Pakistan border and the Khunjerab  Pass which is 4693 meters above the sea level.  The Tajik nationality lives here and engage in farming and animal husbandry. The Stone City is located in the north of Tashkorgan town and dates to the Tang dynasty. Several coins and documents from Hotan have been unearthed here. The city is surrounded by beautiful green pasturelands and streams with a beautiful view of  the surrounding  snow capped mountains. Only some broken sections of the city’s walls remain but it was once an important fort on the ancient Silk Road guarding the roads from Kashgar, Yengisar and Yarkant leading to the mountain passes towards Central Asia and India. After our trip in Tashkurgan, we return to Kashgar by driving same way.

Accommodation:

Day 4: Kashgar City Tour

Attractions: Sunday Market, Id Kah Mosque,  Kashgar Old Town, Appak Hoja Tomb/Fragrant Concubine Tomb, Handcraft Street

Transportation: Bus/Car

Kashgar Livestock Market, Xinjiang

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.

 Kashgar Sunday Market 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. Various special local products, handicrafts, articles of daily use, fruits and vegetables as well as all kinds of domestic animals can be found here. Id Kah Mosque is a grand Islamic structure located in the center of Kashgar city. It was first 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 and 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. 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. Night will be spent in Kashgar.

Accommodation:

Day 5: Kashgar to Hotan

Attractions: Yingsar Knife Factory, Yarkand, Golden Grave Yard, Yarkand Old Town

Transportation: Bus/Car

Yarkant Golden Graveyard

Activities: Early in the morning after breakfast we leave to Hotan. Khotan is 520 km from Kashgar. On  the way, we will stop several cities to do sightseeing. First is Yingsar, Yingsar is 78 km from Kashgar and 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 souveniers. Yarkant is another county of Kashgar’s, and is known as Shache in Chinese.  Yarkand 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. After your trip in Yarkand, we will continue our journey to Hotan, we will be in Hotan late in the afternoon. Night will be in Hotan.

Accommodation:

Day 6: Day Tour in Hotan

Attractions: Atlas Silk Factory, Hotan Carpet Factory, Hotan Bazaar, Jade Factory, Hotan Museum, Mulberry Paper Making

Transportation: Bus/Car

Hotan Village Market

Activities: Our day starts by visiting 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 located 5 kilometres from Hotan and still manufactures handmade carpets. Hotan Carpets were sought after in ancient times and antique carpets are collector items. 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. 

Accommodation: 

Day 7: Half Day Tour in Hotan then Drive to Niya

Attractions: Hotan Museum, Mulberry Paper Making

Transportation: Bus/Car

Mulberry Paper Making, Hotan

Activities: We start our tour by visiting Hotan Museum which exhibits 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 Makingwhich was thrived in the area decades ago but today it is replaced with modern equipments, it is a good place to see how the Uyghur man makes a paper from bark of the Mulberry tree. After our tour in Hotan, we drive to Niya to spend the night there before crossing the desert. It is 280km from Hotan to Niya.

Accommodation: 

Day 8: Taklimakan Desert Crossing from Niya to Kuqa

Attractions: Taklamakan Desert, Sand Dunes

Transportation: Bus/Car

Taklamakan Desert, Xinjiang

Activities: Set out early in the morning after our breakfast from Niya to Kuqa to travel across the Taklimakan dessert. Taklimakan dessert is the second largest shifting desert in the world; it covers an area of 337,600sqkm. From one side to the other of the Taklimakan dessert along the highway is 522km. It used to be called Death of the Sea before 1993; this is the year in which the Taklimakan Highway was built. The word Taklimakan means Death of Sea in Uyghur language: once you come in you can never come out. Enjoy the fascinating scenery of the dessert and sand dunes. Arrive in Kuqa by late in the afternoon. It is 722km from Niya to Kuqa.
Stay in Kucha over night.

Accommodation: 

Day 9: Tour in Kucha

Attractions: Tianshan Grand Canyon, Subashi Ancient City, Kuqa Grand Mosque, Kucha Old Town

Transportation: Bus/Car

Tianshan Mysterious Grand Canyon, Kuqa, Xinjiang

Activities: We start our tour by visiting Tianshan Grand Canyon which is also known as the Kezilya Grand Canyon. It is located 64 km away from Kuqa town. It runs east to north for about 5.5 km and has an average altitude of 1600 m. This natural wonder was formed by erosion resulting from wind and rain. Subashi Ancient City was also an ancient capital of the Kingdom of Qiuci dating back to the 4th Century AD. Tourist can still see the ruins of halls, towers, houses, pagodas and monasteries. Kuqa Grand Mosque is located in the north of the old city of Kuqa County. It is the second largest mosque in the region after the Id Kah Mosque. The construction of the mosque, which even has its own religious court, was started in 1922. Kucha Old Town is located next to Kucha Mosque, it is a also good place to wonder around to get the idea of how the locals daily life looks like. Night will be spent in Kucha.

Accommodation:

Day 10: Kuqa Tour then to Korla

Attractions: 

Transportation:

Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves

Activities: We will visit Kizil Thousand – Buddha Caves before we continue our journey to Korla. Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves which is the one of the four biggest groups of grottoes in China.  75 of the caves are still intact with well-preserved frescoes. The Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves were amongst the earliest large-scale grotto-type temples built. The special grotto structures, the themes of the murals and artistic styles reflect the Buddhist faith of ancient Qiuci. Upon our arrival to Korla, we will visit Iron Gate Pass. The Iron Gate Pass leading to Karashahar is about 7 km north of Korla city. It played an  important role in protecting the ancient Silk Road from nomads raiding  from the north. Night will be spent in Korla.

Accommodation: 

Day 11: Korla to Turpan then Tour in Turpan

Attractions: Jiaohe Ancient City

Transportation:

Turpan Kariz Underground Water System

Activities: We start our trip early today after the breakfast. It is 320km from Korla to Turpan. We go to Turpan by crossing the TianShan Mountain which divides Xinjiang into two parts, Northern Xinjiang and Southern Xinjiang. Upon our arrival, we check in to our hotel and do short refresh, We start our Turpan tour by visiting Jiaohe Ancient City which is known as Yarghul Ancient City in the Uyghur language. 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’. Karez System is 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 spent in Turpan.
Accommodation: 

Day 12: Day Tour in Turpan then to Urumqi

Attractions: Gaochang Ancient City, Emin Minaret, Astana – Karakhoja Tombs, Tuyuk Village

Transportation: Bus/Car

Gaochang Ancient City, Turpan

Activities: We start our tour by visiting Gaochang Ancient City which 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.The remains of the city still testify as to its past glory. 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. 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.  Tuyuk Village is a one of the oldest Uyghur settlements in Xinjiang. You can visit their house and have your lunch in a Uyghur family in the village if you want to. After the tour in Urumqi, we will go to Urumqi.

Accommodation:

Day 13: Tour in Urumqi then Fly Out

Attractions: Heavenly Lake

Transportation: Bus/Car, Flight

Urumqi Heavenly Lake

Activities: Today is the last day of our trip. We start our tour by visiting Heavenly Lake which 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 our trip to Urumqi, we will take our lunch then see you off at Urumqi Airport after check in to your flight to your destination. This will be the end of our service for this tour.

12 Days Xinjiang Tour via Taklamakan Desert

Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Kashgar Live Stock Market
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Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
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Xinjiang tours

Destinations: Kashgar-Hotan-Taklimakan desert- Aksu –  Kucha – Korla-Turpan_Urumqi

Our 12 day Xinjiang Tour via the Taklamakan Desert gives a unique view of the Ancient Silk Road by touring along less commonly used routes. During the 12 days, you will be travelling in mountains, through countrysides, visit markets, and cross the second largest sand desert. (? in the world or in China)

Day 1: Arrival to Kashgar

Attractions: 

Transportation: Flight, Bus/Car

Activities: Our guide and driver will meet you at Kashgar 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.

Accommodation:

Day 2: Tour to Karakul Lake on KHH

Attractions: Karakorum Highway, Kirgiz People, Kirgiz Yurt, Karakul Lake, Snow Capped Mountains, Muztagh Ata Mountain

Transportation: Bus/Car

Marie on Karakorum Highway, Kashgar

Activities: We start our tour after our breakfast at the hotel. Karakoram Highway known as the Friendship Highway in China. From Kashgar  it traces 1300km along one of the routes of the Ancient Silk Road to India. The views are unparalleled along this one of the highest roads of the world. It also cuts along the collision zone of the Eurasian and Indian plates where China, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan come close to one another. Bulung Kul(Corner Lake) is located besides the Karakoram Highway. The view of the lake reflecting the mountains of sand in the distance is absolutely stunning. Karakul Lake is the highest lake on the Pamir plateau where the Pamir, Kunlun and Tianshan mountain ranges meet. Surrounded by mountains which remain covered by snow throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake  are the Muztagh Ata (7546m), the Kongur Tagh (7649) and the Kongur Tiube (7530m). Every summer, mountain climbers from all over the world descend to Karakul lake to climb the  Muztagh Peak. There are Kirgiz settlements along the shores of the Karakul lake, living in yurts and mud stone houses. We will return to Kashgar after our trip.

Accommodation:

Day 3: Kashgar City Tour

Attractions: Sunday Market, Id Kah Mosque,  Kashgar Old Town, Appak Hoja Tomb/Fragrant Concubine Tomb, Handcraft Street

Transportation: Bus/Car

Apak Hoja Tomb, Kashgar

Activities: We start our Kashgar tour by visiting Apak Hoja Tomb 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. Kashgar Sunday Market biggest market in Xinjiang. As early as two thousand years ago, it was the collecting and distributing center for trade. Various special local products, handicrafts, articles of daily use, fruits and vegetables as well as all kinds of domestic animals can be found here. Id Kah Mosque is a grand Islamic structure was 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. The inhabitants of the Old Town are Uyghur’s whose ancestors have been living there since the city was established. By walking through narrow streets and visiting the families there, you can learn about Uyghur culture and custom. The Handicraft Street 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. Night will be spent in Kashgar.

Accommodation: 

Day 4: Kashgar to Hotan

Attractions: Yingsar Knife Factory, Yarkand, Golden Grave Yard, Yarkand Old Town

Transportation: Bus/Car

Yarkant Golden Graveyard, Kashgar

Activities: Early in the morning after breakfast we leave to Hotan. Khotan is 520 km from Kashgar. On  the way, we will stop several cities to do sightseeing. First is Yingsar, Yingsar is 78 km from Kashgar and 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 souveniers. Yarkant is another county of Kashgar’s.  Yarkand 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. After your trip in Yarkand, we will continue our journey to Hotan, we will be in Hotan late in the afternoon. Night will be in Hotan.

Accommodation: 

Day 5: Day Tour in Hotan

Attractions: Atlas Silk Factory, Hotan Carpet Factory, Hotan Bazaar, Jade Factory, Hotan Museum, Mulberry Paper Making

Transportation: Bus/Car

Hotan Silk Atlas Factory

Activities: Our day starts by visiting 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 manufactures handmade carpets. Hotan Carpets were sought after in ancient times and antique carpets are collector items. The Hotan Bazaar 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. 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 equipments, it is a good place to see how the Uyghur man makes a paper from bark of the Mulberry tree.

Accommodation: 

Day 6: Drive to Aksu Via Crossing the Taklimakan Desert

Attractions: Taklamakan Desert, Sand Dunes

Transportation: Bus/Car

Taklamakan Desert, Hotan

Activities: Our plan for today is to cross the Taklamakan Desert which is the second largest shifting sand desert in the world, covering an area of 337,600 square km. The ancient silk road traders regarded it as the “sea of death”  and dreaded the camel caravan crossings through it. Many traders entered the desert and were never seen again. Marco Polo himself recorded traveller’s stories of evil spirits haunting the desert and luring unwary travellers to their deaths. The desert road between Hotan and Aksu is the second desert Highway in Xinjiang which crosses Taklamakan Desert. We will be in Aksu by in the afternoon.

Accommodation: 

Day 7: Aksu to Kucha then Tour in Kucha

Attractions: Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves, Kucha Grand Mosque, Kucha Old Town

Transportation: Bus/Car

Kuqa Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves

Activities: We start our journey to Kucha after our breakfast at the hotel. On the way, we will visit Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves which is the one of the four biggest groups of grottoes in  China.  75 of the caves are still intact with well-preserved frescoes. The Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves were amongst the earliest large-scale grotto-type temples built. The special grotto structures, the themes of the murals and artistic styles reflect the Buddhist faith of ancient Qiuci. Kuqa Grand Mosque is located in the north of the old city of Kuqa County. It is the second largest mosque in the area after the Id Kah Mosque. The construction of the mosque, which even has its own religious court, was started in 1922. Kuqa Grand Mosque is the center of religious activities in Kuqa. Kucha Old Town is located next to Kucha Mosque, it is a also good place to wonder around to get the idea of how the locals daily life looks like. Night will be spent in Kucha.

Accommodation:

Day 8: Kucha Tour then Leave for Korla

Attractions: Subashi Ancient City, Tianshan Grand Canyon, Iron Gate

Transportation: Bus/Car

Tianshan Mysterious Grand Canyon, Kuqa

Activities: We will have half day tour in Kucha before we head to Korla. We start our tour by visiting Subashi Ancient City was also an ancient capital of the Kingdom of Qiuci dating back to the 4th Century AD. Tourist can still see the ruins of halls, towers, houses, pagodas and monasteries. Tianshan Grand Canyon also known as the Kezilya Grand Canyon. It is located 64 km away from Kuqa town in the southern foothills of the Tianshan Mountain Range. It runs east to north for about 5.5 km and has an average altitude of 1600 m. This natural wonder was formed by erosion resulting from wind and rain. After our arrival to Korla, we will visit Iron Gate. The Iron Gate Pass leading to Karashahar is about 7 km north of Korla city. It played an  important role in protecting the ancient Silk Road from nomads raiding  from the north.

Accommodation:

Day 9: Korla to Turpan then Tour in Turpan

Attractions: Jiaohe Ancient City, Karez Underground Water System

Transportation: Bus/Car

Karez Underground Water System, Turpan

Activities: We will leave for Turpan after our breakfast at the hotel. We go to Turpan by crossing the TianShan Mountain which divides Xinjiang into  two parts, Northern Xinjiang and Southern Xinjiang. Upon our arrival, we check in to our hotel and do short refresh, We start our Turpan tour by visiting Jiaohe Ancient City which is known as Yarghul Ancient City in the Uyghur language. Located about13 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 (Old name for Xinjiang today). The Jiaohe Ancient City was bordered by rivers flowing by, hence the name of ‘Jiaohe’ or ‘the city of joining rivers’. Karez System is 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.

Accommodation:

Day 10: Day Tour in Turpan

Attractions: Gaochang Ancient City, Emin Minaret, Astana – Karakhoja Tombs, Tuyuk Village

Transportation:  Bus/Car

Chris Group from New Zealand

Activities: We start our day tour by visiting Gaochang Ancient City which 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. 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. There are 77 spiral steps up to the top. Astana – Karakhoja Tombsis 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. You can visit Uyghur house and have your lunch in a Uyghur family if you want to.

Accommodation:

Day 11: Turpan to Urumqi then Tour in Urumqi

Attractions: Nanshan Pastureland, Xinjiang Museum, Erdaoqiao Market

Transportation: Bus/Car

Urumqi Nanshan Pasture

Activities: We will head to Urumqi after our breakfast. Before entering to Urumqi, we will visit South Mountain Pasture Land which is very big with West Baiyanggou, Juhuatai, East Baiyanggou, Mount Zhaobi, Miaoergou and Daxigou from west to east. Visitors can visit locals’ houses to have some milk tea and mutton while you are there. You can also rent a horse to ride around the grassland. If you are fortunately enough, you can watch the activities of horse racing, sheep catching and girls’ whip. You can also climb up the mountain for trekking if you wish to do so.  The Xinjiang Museum 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. Visit the Erdaoqiao Market in the evening. Night will be spent in Urumqi.

Accommodation: 

Day 12: Urumqi Tour then Fly Out

Attractions: Heavenly Lake

Transportation: Bus/Car

Urumqi Heavenly Lake

Activities: We will visit the Heavenly Lake which 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 our trip to Urumqi, we will take our lunch then see you off at Urumqi Airport. This will be the end of our service for this tour.

10 Days Southern Xinjiang Silk Road Tour

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Kashgar Live Stock Market
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Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours
Xinjiang tours

Destinations: Urumqi – Turpan – Kuqa – Hotan – kashgar

Our 10 day Southern Xinjiang Silk Road Tour takes you to remote and less travelled areas in far west China. It is recommended for “first time” visitors to Xinjiang and those who are keen to learn about the culture, custom, history and natural scenery of Xinjiang and its people.

Day 1: Arrival to Urumqi

Attractions:

Transportation: Flight, Bus/Car

Activities: Our guide and driver will meet you at Urumqi Airport then transfer you to your comfort hotel. You will be given time to rest and explore the area near to your hotel. Night will be spent in Urumqi.

Accommodation: 

Day 2: Urumqi to Turpan then Tour in Turpan

Attractions: Gaochang Ancient City, Tuyuk Village, Astana – Karakhoja Tombs,  Flaming Mountain

Transportation: Bus/Car

Turpan Flaming Mountain

Activities: We start our Turpan tour by visiting Gaochang Ancient City which 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. Tuyuk Village is a one of the oldest Uyghur settlements in Xinjiang. In this village, you can see how the local Uyghur’s living, visit their house in order to get general idea about their life style.  You can have your lunch in a Uyghur family if you wish to do so. 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. 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.

Accommodation:

Day 3: Day Tour in Turpan then Back to Urumqi

Attractions: Jiaohe Ancient City, Karez Underground Water System, Emin Minerat, Erdaoqiao Market, International Market

Transportation: Bus/Car

Chris Group from New Zealand

Activities: We start our tour by visiting Jiaohe Ancient City which is known as Yarghul  Ancient City in Uyghur language. Located about13 kms to Turpan City, it was  the first 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’. 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. 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. There are 77 spiral steps up to the top. After our trip in Turpan, we will be back to Urumqi then visit the Erdaoqiao and International Markets. Night will  spent in Urumqi.

Accommodation:

Day 4: Morning Flight to Kucha then Tour in Kucha

Attractions: Kucha Beacon Tower, Subash Ancient City, Kucha Mosque, Kucha Old Town

Transportation: Flight, Bus/Car

Kuqa Subash Ancient City

Activities:We will take morning flight to Kucha after the breakfast at the hotel. Upon our arrival to Kucha, you will be greeted and transfered to your comfort hotle for quick refresh. We start our Kucha tour by visiting the Beacon Tower which is located in the northwest of Kuqa County, about 12 km away from the town. The tower was the bulwark of a warning alarm system against enemy attacks. Subashi Ancient City was also an ancient capital of the Kingdom of Qiuci dating back to the 4thCentury AD. Tourist can still see the ruins of halls, towers, houses, pagodas and monasteries. Kuqa Grand Mosque is located in the north of the old city of Kuqa County. It is the second largest mosque in the area after the Id Kah Mosque. The construction of the mosque, which even has its own religious court, was started in 1922. Kucha Old Town is located next to the moque, we will wonder around the Kucha Old Town before going to dinner.

Accommodation: 

Day 5: Kucha Tour then to Aksu

Attractions: Tianshan Grand Canyon, Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves

Transportation: Bus/Car

Kuqa Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves

Activities: We will visit Tianshan Grand Canyon before continuouing our journey to Aksu. Tianshan Grand Canyon isalso known as the Kezilya Grand Canyon. It is located 64 km to Kuqa town in the southern foothills of the Tianshan Mountain Range. It runs east to north for about 5.5 km and has an average altitude of 1600 m. This natural wonder was formed by erosion resulting from wind and rain. The Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves is the one of the four biggest groups of grottoes in China.  75 of the caves are still intact with well-preserved frescoes. The Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves were amongst the earliest large-scale grotto-type temples built. The special grotto structures, the themes of the murals and artistic styles reflect the Buddhist faith of ancient Qiuci.  After the caves, we continou our journey to Aksu. We will be in Aksu late in the afternoon. Night will be spent in Aksu.

Accommodation:

Day 6: Aksu to Kashgar

Attractions: Sultan Sutuk Boghrahan

Transportation:

Activities: We start our journey early in the morning from Aksu to Kashgar. On the way, we will visit Sultan Sutuk Boghrahan’s Tomb, who is the first person to accept Islam among Uyghurs. We will be in Kashgar late in the afternoon. You will wonder around the Uyghur Night Market in front of Eid Kah Mosque in the evening.  Night will be spent in Kashgar.

Accommodation: 

Day 7: Day Tour to Karakul Lake

Attractions: Karakorum Highway, Muztagh Ata, Karakul Lake, Kirgiz People

Transportation: Bus/Car

Karakul Lake, Karakorum Highway, Kashgar

Activities: We will start our day tour to Karakul Lake after our breakfast at the hotel. We will drive southwest of Kashgar to karakul lake. Karakul Lake is located at the foot of Muztag Ata which means “Father of Ice Mountain”, it is 7546m above sea level and located on the Karakorum Highway. Karakul Lake means black lake in both the Kirgiz and Uyghur languages. You can do some trekking around the lake either by walking or riding horse or camel. It is 3600ms above sea level. The nationalities living at the lake are Kirgiz and they live both in Kirgiz Yurts and mud stone houses. We will have chance to visit the Kirgiz yurts during our time their if you wish to do so. Kirgiz people are nomads; they raise sheep, goats, donkeys, horses, camels, cows, and yaks. Return to Kashgar early in the afternoon.

Accommodation:

Day 8: Karakul Lake to Tashkurgan then to Kashgar

Attractions: Tashkurgan, Stone City

Transportation: Bus/Car

Tashkurgan Stone City, Kashgar

Activities: We will start our journey to Tashkurgan after the breakfast. Tashkorgan located on the eastern part of the Pamir Plateau, where the Kunlun, Hindukush, and Tianshan  Mountain Ranges merge to form the  Pamir Plateau. From here, it just 130 km away from the Sino-Pakistan border and the Khunjerab  Pass which is 4693 meters above the sea level.  The Tajik nationality lives here and engage in farming and animal husbandry. The Stone City is located  in the north of Tashkorgan town and dates to the Tang dynasty. The city is surrounded by beautiful green pasturelands and streams with a beautiful view of  the surrounding  snow capped mountains. Only some broken sections of the city’s walls remain but it was once an important fort on the ancient Silk Road guarding the roads from Kashi, Yengisar and Yarkant leading to the mountain passes towards Central Asia and India. If you wish to do the Tajik family visiting, we can do so but you need to let us know earlier. After the trip, we will return to Kashgar.

Accommodation: 

Day 9: Davakul Taklamakan Desert then Kashgar City Tour

Attractions: Davakul Taklamakan Desert, Eid Kah Mosque, Handicraft Street, Kashgar Old Town

Transportation: Bus/Car

Kashgar Davakul Taklamakan Desert

Activities:We start our trip by visiting Taklamakan Desert from Davakul Lake in Yupurga. The Taklamakan Desert is the second largest shifting sand desert in the world, covering an area of 337,600 square km. There you will have chance to ride camel or horse in to the desert. After your trip in the desert, we will come back to Kashgar then visit the Eid Kah Mosque was first built in 1442 AD and 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. The Handicraft Streetis 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. 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. Night will be spent in Kashgar.

Accommodation:

Day 10: Kashgar City Tour then End of Our service

Attractions: Apak Hoja Tomb, Sunday Market

Transportation: Bus/Car, Flight

Kashgar Sunday Market

Activities: We start our tour by visiting Apak Hoja Tomb, 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. After the trip in Sunday Market, we will take our lunch then see you off at Kashgar Airport. This will be end of our service.

8 Days Memories of Xinjiang Tour

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Kashgar Live Stock Market
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Destinations: Torgat Pass of Kyrgyzstan – Kashgar-Hotan – Aksu – Atush – Irkashtam Pass of Kyrgyzstan

Our 8 day Memories of Xinjiang Tour is designed for those who are entering from Kirgizstan to Kashgar at the Torgat border, then exits to Kirgizstan at the Irkashtam border. The short stay in Xinjiang focuses on Kashgar, Yarkand, Hotan and crossing the Taklamakan Desert.

Day 1: Arrival to Kashgar via Torgat pass then drive to Kashgar

Attractions: 

Transportation: Bus/Car

Activities: Meet with the group at Torgat pass which is the border between China and Kyrgyzstan. It is 170km from Kashgar. Since Torgat Pass is not for third country citizens, we will need to arrange permit, and send it with our guide and driver to pick you up from country gate. Our guide and driver will be at the country gate around noon time. Once you arrive, they will pick you up and bring you to Kashgar.

Accommodation:

Day 2: Day Tour to Karakul Lake

Attractions: Karakorum Highway, Muztagh Ata, Karakul Lake, Kirgiz People

Transportation: Bus/Car

Karakul Lake, Karakorum Highway, Kashgar

Activities: We will start our day tour to Karakul Lakeafter our breakfast at the hotel. We will drive southwest of Kashgar to karakul lake.

Karakul Lake is located at the foot of Muztag Ata which means “Father of Ice Mountain”, it is 7546m above sea level and located on the Karakorum Highway. Karakul Lake means black lake in both the Kirgiz and Uyghur languages. You can do some trekking around the lake either by walking or riding horse or camel. It is 3600ms above sea level. The nationalities living at the lake are Kirgiz people and they live both in Kirgiz Yurts and mud stone houses. We will have chance to visit the Kirgiz yurts during our time their if you wish to do so. Kirgiz people are nomads; they raise sheep, goats, donkeys, horses, camels, cows, and yaks. While you are there, you can go horse and camel riding around the lake. Return to Kashgar early in the afternoon.

Accommodation: 

Day 3: Day Tour in Kashgar City

Attractions: Apak Hoja Tomb, id Kah Mosque, Handcraft Street, Kashgar Sunday Market, Kashgar Old Town

Transportation: Bus/Car

Kashgar Eid Kah Mosque

Activities: We start our Kashgar tour by visiting Tomb of Appak Hojawhich was the leader and master of white mountaineer Sufism in the Southern Xinjiang. Afterwards, we will visit Kashgar’s Sunday Market which 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 traders. Various special local products, handicrafts, articles of daily use, fruits and vegetables as well as all kinds of domestic animals can be found here. Id Kah Mosque which is the biggest mosque in China, and was built in 1442. The Handicraft Street is located next to the Id Kah Mosque and provides a place for tourists to see traditional Uyghur craftsmen engaged in making different types of articles for special and daily use.  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.   Night will be spent in Kashgar.

Accommodation: 

Day 4: Drive to Hotan from Kashgar

Attractions: 

Transportation: Bus/Car

Yarkand Golden Graveyard

Activities: We set out from Kashgar early in the morning to Hotan. On the way to hotan, we will visit the Yingsar which is famous town for making Uyghur knives in Xinjiang. We will visit the knife workshop. Next stop will be Yarkand (Shache in Chinese), Yarkant  is the biggest county of Kashgar.  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. Next to Golden Graveyard is the Yarkand Old town which is very authentic and traditional. We will be in Hotan late in the afternoon. Night will be spent in Hotan.

Accommodation: 

Day 5: Day Tour in Hotan

Attractions: Atlas Silk Factory, Carpet Factory, White Jade River, Hotan Sunday Market, Jade Factory

Transportation: Bus/Car

Hotan Sunday Market

Activities: We will start our tour by visiting the Atlas Silk FactoryAtlas 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, it is located same direction with Silk Atlas Factory. It is located 5 kilometres from Hotan and still manufactures handmade carpets. 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. On our way to returning to Hotan city, we will visit White Jade River which is the river where the famous Hotan White jade is found. Hotan Bazaar 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. Night will be spent in Hotan.

Accommodation:

Day 6: Drive Cross the Taklimakan Desert from Hotan to Aksu

Attractions: Taklamakan Desert, Sand Dunes

Transportation: Bus/Car

Taklamakan Desert, Xinjiang

Activities:We start our tour after our breakfast at the hotel. We leave for Aksu early in the morning for to travel cross the Taklamakan dessert. The road from Hotan to Aksu is the second road which cross the Taklimakan Desert; it is officially opened to the public since late 2007. Taklimakan Dessert is the second largest shifting desert in the world; it covers an area of 337,600sqkm.?Taklimakan desert used to be called Death of the Sea before 1993; this is the year which the first Taklamakan Desert Highway from Niya to Korla or Kuqa was built. The word Taklimakan means actualiy Death of Sea in Uyghur language: once you come in you can never come out. Enjoy the fascinating scenery of the dessert and sand dunes. Arrive in Aksu early in the afternoon and wonder around in town. It is 450 km from Hotan to Aksu. Night will be spent in Aksu.

Accommodation:

Day 7: Aksu to Kashgar

Attractions: Sultan Sutuk Boghrahan’s Tomb

Transportation: Bus/Car

Activities: We start our journey early in the morning from Aksu to Kashgar. On the way, we will visit Sultan Sutuk Boghrahan’s Tomb, who is the first person to accept Islam among Uyghurs. We will be in Kashgar late in the afternoon. You will wonder around the Uyghur Night Market in front of Eid Kah Mosque in the evening.  Night will be spent in Kashgar.

Accommodation:

Day 8: Kashgar to Erkashtan Pass of Kyrgyzstan

Attractions:

Transportation: Bus/Car

Activities: We start our journey after our breakfast at the hotel. We will try to cross the border before the lunch at the Chinese Customs House there. Once you successfully cross the customs house and immigration. It will be end of our service.

Note: You need to arrange Kirgistan side pick up or need to let us know early so that we will arrange it by our own. 
Set out from Kashgar to Erkashtan border early in the morning. Help the group to pass the border. This is the end of our service.