5 Days Xinjiang Highlights Tour with Urumqi and Turpan
Looking for a short Xinjiang tour of the essential attractions? This 5-day tour departing from Urumqi, including both cultural relics and natural landscapes like Heavenly Lake, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Jiaohe Ruins as well as Xinjiang Bazaar, will take you to deeply trace the brilliant culture in the old Urumqi and Turpan. Of course you would have enough chance to taste the local foods!
Heavenly Lake, Xinjiang Regional Museum, Tuyugou Valley, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Flaming Mountains, Karez Well, Sugong Pagoda, Jiaohe Ruins
Upon your arrival at Urumqi airport/train station, our local driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and transfer to local hotel for check-in. Free and easy on your own for rest of the day.
After hotel breakfast, meet your guide at hotel lobby and your exploration begins! The first site will be Heavenly Lake of Tianshan Mountain. Heavenly Lake, read Tianchi Lake in Chinese, is an alpine lake nestled against the slope of the snow-covered Bodga Mountain. Heat, the special feature coming with summer is seldom there due to its geographical conditions. Looking out over the scenic area, the white snowy mountains mirroring in the green lake and colorful flowers spotted on the green grassland along the lake, plus the tour guide’s commentary to the tale of Queen Mother of the West bringing it some color of mystery, both your eyes and souls will be fully pleased by the pure beauty here.
Afterwards, move on to Xinjiang Regional Museum.As the only autonomous region class museum in Xinjiang, Xinjiang Regional Museum houses over 40,000 collections including all kinds of relics and specimens, exhibited in five separate halls. You can find many treasures ever glittering on the famous Silk Road. The No.1 star exhibition in the museum is the unprecedented ancient corpse with even tiny fingernails well preserved.
Then, come to Xinjiang International Bazaar for further sightseeing. It’s one of the bazaars with largest scale in the world with strong Islam flavor in its buildings. You should not miss this site during your tour to Urumqi, even if you are not going for shopping, you would favor the experience for the strong ethnic flavor here. Eyes are dazzled by an overwhelming of goods in the stalls while ears are excited by the hawking, bewildering you if you are travel through space and time to the ancient silk road to glimpse the prosperous trades between different nations.
Today you will head to Turpan. The driving lasts around 3 hours, you can enjoy the 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?
A warm notice especially for the tour there: 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.
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.