Explore the most scenic part of Xinjiang in this 12 days in-depth North Xinjiang trip along the ancient Silk Road! Linking Urumqi, Fuyun, Burqin, Kanas, Hemu, Kuitun and Turpan, the 12-day adventures with luxury travel service provides opportunity to visit the marvelous Gurbantunggut Desert, Kalamaili Nature Reserve, Koktokay National Geological Park, Kanas Lake, Hemu Village, Karamay, Sayram Lake, Jiaohe Ruins, Urumqi Bazaar…It’s a journey to relax your spirit into the picturesque natural wonders.
Gurbantunggut Desert, Kalamaili Nature Reserve, Keketuohai National Geological Park, Tunnel of Mine No.3, Kanas Nature Reserve, Kanas Lake, Hemu Village, Multi-colored Bay, Karamay, Urho Ghost City, Sayram Lake, Tuyu Valley, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Karez Well, Grape Valley, Jiaohe Ruins, Xinjiang International Bazaar
Private tour guide + Driver + Vehicle + Tickets entrance fee + Hotels with breakfast
Upon your arrival at Urumqi airport / train station, 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 at the hotel, you will officially start the Silk Road tour. Driving along the National Highway 216 through the Gurbantunggut Desert and feel the charm of wildlife paradise, Kalamaili Nature Reserve. If you are lucky, you may see wild donkeys and goats running on the Gobi desert.
Passing by Huoshaoshan Mountain, you will be amazed by the vast expanse of red sea. The rocks which were not red originally turned into red due to spontaneous combustion of the underlying coal seam. It looks as if the mountain is still burning. Pull over to take some beautiful pictures here would be perfect! Then, continue driving and enjoy the spectacular scenery along the way.
Today you will explore Keketuohai National Geological Park. It is the first national geopark with typical mines and deposits in the country. You also can visit the Tunnel of Mine No.3 which is the largest mine in the world and known as the Geology and Mineral Museum. Once you come to Keketuohai, you will be hugely impressed by the rare and magical geological heritage.
After saying goodbye to this world wonder, you will drive for 3-4 hours to Burqin.
The mesmerizing Kanas Nature Reserve is a must-see for visitors to Xinjiang. After about 3 hours’ ride on the winding road, you will arrive at Jiadengyu for lunch, and then take the scenic shuttle bus to the legendary Kanas Lake. Because the natural beauty is unspoiled and local people still keep the original simple lifestyle here, it is dubbed as “the pure land on earth” as well as "the oriental Switzerland”. Strolling along the Kanas River to see the virgin forests, Fairy Bay, Wolong Bay, Moon Bay, and Wild Duck Lake, and take some nice photos, you definitely will love this amazing place.
Finishing the relaxing sightseeing, you will check into the hotel.
Today you will continue the Kanas Lake tour. You may have never seen so beautiful mountain lake. As the seasons change, the lake bursts into different colors, crystal blue, dark green or even gray. If you don’t have enough time on the previous day, you can walk from one bay to another and take pictures today. You will have a relaxing time immersing yourself in idyllic beauty and embracing nature.
After the tour, drive back to Jiadengyu and go to your hotel for a good rest.
If weather permits, you can get up early to catch the stunning sunrise of Kanas Scenic Area, and then drive to Hemu Village. Hemu Village is one of the three settlements of Tuva people in China. We will enter the village on a shuttle bus. It’s truly a paradise for photographers. The tranquil village, dense woods, and herds of cattle and sheep make a picturesque landscape. You can freely walk around the village to experience the unique lifestyle of the local Tuva people who have lived here for centuries.
Early bird will be rewarded with the amazing sunrise of Hemu Village. After saying goodbye to the pristine village, drive about 4 hours to the Multi-colored Bay in Burqin. The scale of the Yadan landscape is not very large, but it is quite a surreal spot created by water erosion and wind erosion. Sitting on the north bank of the rippling Eerqisi River and facing the lush greenery on the opposite bank, it seems like an alien world. Because the rocks contain different kinds of mineral substances, they show different colors under the sunshine. The sunset, river, forest, and colorful bank make an incredible picture that will make you dizzy with too many things for your eyes to feast on. There is a suspension bridge at the far end. It looks like a beautiful oil painting!
After breakfast, driving for 5-6 hours to Kuitun via the famous oil city, Karamay.
You will arrive at the Urho Ghost City following the Gurbantunggut Desert. The Ghost City is also known as “Wind City” because of the howling winds throughout the year. The eerie landform is the joint result of intermittent torrential scouring and strong wind erosion. You can tour the whole Ghost City on a shuttle bus. After visiting this seemingly horrifying site, drive to Kuitun and check into a local hotel.
Today will start with the visit to Sayram Lake, another highlight of your trip to northern Xinjiang. The lake is the highest and largest alpine lake in Xinjiang with intoxicating scenery. It also has a nickname of “Atlantic Ocean’s last teardrop” because it is the last place that the warm and humid air of the Atlantic Ocean reaches. The lake water is limpid and pure. You can stroll along the lake and enjoy the colorful wild flowers and rolling grassland.
On the way to Sayram Lake, you will have opportunity to see the famous Guozigou Bridge which is the largest and most important bridge in Xinjiang. You will see many impressing S-shaped curves and admire the most beautiful valley in northern Xinjiang, Guozigou Valley.
After breakfast, drive about 5.5 hours to Turpan, one of the important stops on the Silk Road. Along the way, you will have a glimpse of China's largest wind power station.
Arriving in Turpan, the first scenic site will be Tuyu Valley. It is the oldest Uyghur village in Xinjiang and a nice place to soak up Buddhist and Islamic culture. Next, continue to explore the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves. Among all the grottoes in Turpan, Bezeklik has the largest group of caves and the most abundant murals. It is also one of the large Buddhist cave temple sites in Xinjiang. There are 57 caves open to visitors now.
After breakfast, follow your guide to further explore the amazing Turpan! The first stop will be 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. Then, continue your visit to Grape Valley, 11 kilometers northeast of Turpan. The valley located in the Flaming Mountain and fed by melted snow water of Buyiluke river is famous for grapes. Later, move on to Jiaohe Ruins, the largest, oldest and best-preserved raw-soil building in the world with a history of more than 2,000 years. We will wander around this ancient city stepping back in time to trace past civilizations.
Finishing the sightseeing, drive around 3 hours to the capital of Xinjiang, Urumqi. Upon arrival, just follow your guide to tick off 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 12 days to Northern Xinjiang trip will end by today. We will arrange airport transfer for you and wish you a pleasant journey home! If you want to visit more places in Xinjiang or other Chinese cities, please feel free to contact us. We will be very happy to be helpful for you.
11 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels with daily breakfast
Entrance tickets as listed in itinerary
Excellent English-speaking tour guide
Private transfers in air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver
Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour
Any optional activity/battery car/shuttle bus/horse rides/boat cruise inside the attractions
Our package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase commercial travel insurance before your trip for any unforeseen circumstance.
Any item beyond "Price Includes"
Gratuities to guide and driver (recommended if you are satisfied with their services)
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.