Looking for the best side trip around Urumqi? Turpan would be the first selection! Regarded as a pearl-like city along the ancient Silk Road, Turpan processes a large number of cultural relics like Jiaohe Ruins, Sugong Pagoda as well as Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves. In addition, the delicate-designed Karez Well definitely will give you a “wow” moment when you come closely for visit. Just pick it, you will find it worthwhile!
Tuyugou Valley, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Flaming Mountains, Karez Well, Sugong Pagoda, Jiaohe Ruins
In the morning, our English speaking tour guide and driver will pick you up from Urumqi downtown hotel and head to Turpan. The driving lasts around 3 hours, you can enjoy scenery on the way, and talk with your guide for more background information and stories about Turpan, the amazing city.
After an early lunch in a local restaurant, your exploration begins with Tuyugou Valley. Tuyugou Valley Scenic Area locates at 55km away from southeast Turpan, composed by three major parts: Tuyugou Valley, Tuyugou Thousand Buddha Caves and Mazha Village. It’s a melting pot of different religions, history and culture since the remote old days. As you know, mysterious tales always comes with “ancient”, the old folk village and the Buddha grottoes with rich stories sublimates the surface natural beauty of the valley beyond doubt.
Later, continue your visit to Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, nestled on the Flaming Mountainside, had been the most beautiful and important grottoes along the Silk Road. As the imperial temple and grottoes of Gaochang Kingdom, the incredible value of Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves incurred the terrible loot and destruction from foreign explorers. Although the existed caves here are broken in some degree, how gorgeous the original paintings were still could be imagined from the only remaining parts. You will read the meaningful culture exchange emerging together with Silk Trade Route on some preserved caves.
Afterwards, move on to the Flaming Mountains. You agree that Flaming Mountains completely deserves the name when you behold that the mountain body is in fire-baked red like a rising flame. People start to marvel at this place from the huge thermometer standing in its entrance gate and showing the real-time temperature there. “Hot” is the only theme. An interesting phenomenon here is that you bury an egg into the sands here, a few minutes later, you can eat it! Amazing, right?
Friendly tip: Please take hats, umbrellas, sun glass, sun creams and things like that are recommended as you will be exposed directly under the heat for hours without shelter.
Today you will further explore the cultural Turpan with your guide! The first stop will be Karez Well, which is a special Irrigation System distributed in Turpan area, sharing the same fame with Great Wall as “Great Human Engineering”. With a little rainfall volume yearly, it’s almost impossible for Turpan to use water in the surface to irrigate farmland. However, Turpan locates in a basin embraced by the snowy mountains around, so, fortunately, it is rich in water resources underground. Local people brought into full play the tilted terrain of the basin, dug many Karez and connected them together into a subterranean irrigation system.
Moving on to Sugong Pagoda, you will witness this typical Islam architecture with the largest scale among all pagodas in Xinjiang. It was built by the local governor to show appreciation for Qing Government, today symbolizing national unity. The conical body of the Pagoda was engraved with beautiful paintings of strong ethnic flavor, vividly telling its old stories for the visitors. Behind the Pagoda stands the biggest Mosque in Turpan, consisting a harmonious picture in the scenic area.
Then, you will head to Jiaohe Ruins. If you ever watched the aerial photo of Jiaohe Ruins, you will find it roves in the vast Turpan basin just like a giant aircraft carrier. Located at a ship-like loessal mesas eroded by rivers for thousands of years, the ancient city later emerged with the coming of Cheshi people whose great wisdom could be deduced easily on their masterpieces: the dwellings, streets and city layout that they built on a clever use of the local geographic conditions, thus we could have opportunity to have a look to the relics of the largest city made of natural soil in the world with long history, about 1700 years.
Finishing the sightseeing, drive back to Urumqi.
1 night accommodation in Turpan centrally located hotel with breakfast
2 Chinese style lunches
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
Accommodation in Urumqi
Any optional activity/battery car/shuttle bus/horse rides 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.