As the middle line of ancient Silk Route, South Xinjiang attracts millions of worldwide tourists every year. This 10 days tour departs from Kashgar, through Tashkurgan, Shache, Kuqa and Turpan, ends in Urumqi, will bring you a true adventure of both cultural relics and natural landscapes with the oldest grottoes, the earliest Mosques as well as the biggest baked Nang. Accompanied by friendly tour guide and professional driver, you will get a life-time experience of the Northwest China.
Highlights of this tour: *Discover famous Id Kah Mosque, a complex of ancient buildings with strong ethnic style and religious characteristics. *Feel the local lifestyles and splendid culture in Shache Old City and Kashgar Old Town. *Explore the unique mountains and rivers in breathtaking Karakuri Lake. *Immerse yourself in the picturesque scenery in Heavenly Lake. *Trace the history and story in Jiaohe Ruins and Kizil Grottoes and Ye’erqianghan Mausoleum. *With private driver and English guide, as well as our 10+ years experience, you will love your tour and completely feel the magic of this wonderland.
Upon your arrival at Kashgar airport, the local driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and transfer to downtown hotel for check-in. Free and easy on your arrangement for rest of the day.
After breakfast, meet your guide and driver at the hotel lobby. You will start Kashgar tour with theKashgar Old Town to have a glimpse of the local people’s lifestyle and unique architectural styles. Next, go on to Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China and the most famous mosque in Xinjiang. Later, come to stroll down the local Handicraft Street, a special exhibition center for traditional handicrafts of Kashgar and Central Asia to learn further about local culture.
In the afternoon, continue your visit to the local Sunday Bazaar (Livestock Market). The products sold here are large animals such as cow, sheep, donkey, and camel. You will not only see the livestock but also witness the whole process of selling and buying from pulling the livestock carrier into the field, unloading the animals from the car, bargaining, to making a deal. It can be very interesting for people that never experience this. You can see ancient primitive ways of trading in this lively market.
Today you will head to the amazing Karakuri Lake. The driving lasts around 4 hours from Kashgar city to the lake, which would be a good chance to enjoy the mountain-and-lake view on the way.
Karakul Lake, the name means “Dark Ocean”, which is corresponded to its appearance: the water is deep and unfathomable, the grass growing well on the banks where Kirgiz shepherds usually stay for grazing. The Lake embraces the inverted images of the snowy pinnacles, green grass and leisure flocks and herds when sunny days while it turns to be dark and bleak in the rainy days. You must totally relax yourself after the full day sightseeing.
After breakfast, come to enjoy the unique scenery in Tashkurgan Stone City which is a famous relic along ancient Silk Route, occupying a vital position in sense of ancient military. It was the Capital of Puli Kingdom of Han Dynasty and a stronghold set by Tang Dynasty to governing the surrounding areas. The significant value in trade and politic brought it prosperous time in old time and left many treasures you can see today including pottery shard, gold, silver and jewelry, scriptures, silk…
In the afternoon, drive around 5.5 hours back to Kashgar and rest yourself at the local hotel.
Get up early in the morning and drive about 3 hours to a trade center, Shache, which is also an oasis at the western end of the Taklimakan Desert. The first stop in Shache is Ye'erqianghan Mausoleum. The mausoleum was originally built in 1533 containing the remains of 11 emperors and other royal family members. Its unique layout and exquisite decoration attract plenty of visitors each year. Next, continue your visit to the mysterious Shache Old City. This is a typical Uighur settlement where you will deeply understand the lifestyle of the local people.
After the visit, you will head to Shache airport to catch the flight to Kuqa. Upon arrival at Kuqa airport, there will be the local driver picking you up at the exit gate by holding a name board and drive to local hotel.
Kuqa, known as Guizi in ancient times, boasts lots of cultural relics such as ancient city walls, temples, caves and tombs. Today the knowledgeable tour guide will lead you to learn more about this city. You will visit a typical Buddhist grotto first, Kizil Grottoes. It is the earliest and westernmost large-scale grotto group in China. There are 4 grotto areas with 236 officially numbered grottoes. Most of the statues have been destroyed, but 81 caves still have delicate murals which are valuable historical and cultural remains of the ancient Guizi Kingdom.
Afterwards, continue to explore the magnificent Tianshan Grand Canyon, the best geological park in the world. It records the entire process of crustal movement in Xinjiang for nearly 400 million years.
At last, move on to Kuqa Old City to savor local gourmet food and experience the life of the local people. This pristine place will definitely leave you an unforgettable memory.
Taking morning flight from Kuqa to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. Upon arrival, there will be the local English speaking guide and driver picking you up at the exit gate by holing a welcome board with your name. Then, drive about 3 hours to Turpan, a transportation hub connecting central China with Central Asia, South Xinjiang, and North Xinjiang in ancient times and also a major stop on the ancient Silk Road. You can have a nap in the car or enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way.
Today you will officially start exploring the amazing Turpan. The first stop will be Tuyu Valley. It is the oldest Uyghur village in Xinjiang and a nice place to soak up Buddhist and Islamic culture. Next, go on to admire the largest ancient tower in Xinjiang, Sugong Tower. Then, head to Karez Well, an underground irrigation system created by ancient Xinjiang people. This project can be called the source of life for the arid northwestern region. The last stop will be Jiaohe Ruins, the largest, oldest and best-preserved raw-soil building in the world with a history of more than 2,000 years. You will wander around this ancient city stepping back in time to trace past civilizations.
At the end of our Turpan tour, you will drive for another 3 hours back to Urumqi and check into the hotel.
In the morning, drive about 1.5 hours to visit the 2,000-meter-high Heavenly Lake in the Tianshan Mountain. The mountain is covered with snow all the year round. The Heavenly Lake Scenic Area centers on alpine lake with picturesque scenery. Snow-capped peaks are reflected in the turquoise lake, and the lake surrounded by spruce trees is smooth like a mirror. If you are interested, you can stroll along the lake or take a boat to see the lake from different angles.
In the afternoon, drive back to Urumqi and pay a visit to Xinjiang Regional Museum where you will learn more about the famed Silk Road and minority culture and appreciate the precious unearthed relics.
Today’s last stop is Xinjiang International Bazaar, the largest bazaar in Urumqi. You will see all kinds of stuff such as fruits, clothes, crafts, knives, and rugs in the bustling market. You can buy some souvenirs or local dried fruits and nuts for your family and friends if you would like to
The core of our service is excellent travel guides. Over 20 years, we have built up a considerable professional guide team that is knowledgeable, attentive and flexible. The most experienced and reliable guides will be arranged for your unique China tour. Our passionate guide team is full of contagious enthusiasm and keen interest to share culture and history in a pleasant manner. We are always glad at your service to lead you to explore a real China and experience authentic local life in China.
Our Driver and Vehicle
The first mission of our service is to ensure you feel safe and comfortable during your travel. The vehicles we use are air-conditioned, clean and well-maintained. Our drivers are all licensed drivers with many years of driving experience. Moreover, we offer free baby seats for families with little kids.
Food is a very important part of Chinese culture. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to taste the real local Chinese food!
Buffet breakfast will be included in the hotel if you would like accommodation to be arranged by us. Having lunch at local restaurants close and convenient to the attractions you will visit, you would enjoy the local dishes in each city. Chinese style, Vegetarian or Muslim meals are all available. If you have any other diet requirements or allergies, please feel free to let us know, we will try our best to organize it.
For daily dinner, you are suggested to have it on your own when you are exploring each city in your own time, this way would be more flexible for you to choose food as per your interest and preference.