Discover the best Xinjiang highlights like never before with our classic 7-day Xinjiang trip. You will get an insight into the culturally and naturally rich destinations that showcase the best Xinjiang has to offer. Kashgar will offer you a glimpse into local’s daily life, centuries-old neighborhood and unique religious sites; Urumqi will allow you to see Xinjiang’s modern aspect, feel the bustle of local bazaar; the Heavenly Lake in Tianshan Mountain will offer a fabulous lake scenery surrounded by snow-capped mountains and tree-blanketed valleys. Not to mention the secret Tuyuq Village, brilliant Bizeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, enchanting natural beauty in Karakuri Lake and more historical heritages.
Highlights of this tour: *Explore the most remote city from any sea in the world – Urumqi; the captivating Kashgar Old City； *Wander around the peculiar ancient city of Jiaohe, which was built by digging down instead of building up from the ground; *Visit Tuyuq Village – the oldest existed Uygurs village in China and learn about their traditions, cultures, living habits, and religious beliefs; *Unveil the secrets of an ancient underground irrigation system – the Karez Well System; *Take a adventure through the hottest place in China – the Flaming Hill; soak in the natural beauty of Heavenly Lake and its legendary story.
English speaking tour guide + Driver + Vehicle + Entrance fee
Your guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel lobby and head to Karakuri Lake in the morning. A precious alpine lake 3 hours drive away from Kashgar City, Karakuri Lake (also Karakul Lake) is known for its enchanting natural beauty with Muztaga Peak, Kongur Peak and Kongurjiubie Peak reflect in its water.Decorated with bright skies, gentle breeze, shimmering water, and clear reflection of the surrounding snow mountains, walking around the lake can provide very inspiring views and a tranquil mind.After sightseeing around Karakuri Lake, drive back to Kashgar.Hotel: Overnight in Kashgar
After breakfast, take a visit to the Kashgar Old Town. It is defined as the soul of Kashgar where you can delve into the local’s daily life, traditional architectures, and millennia of history and culture. The mud-brick-made houses here can be mostly seen in 2 or 3 storeys high which range in age from decades to centuries-old; the alleys and lanes can be seen twist randomly through workshops and neighborhoods where locals have lived and worked for hundreds of years.
You will move to the local Handicrafts Market with colorful local features. You will follow the crowd to wander around the various stalls with authentic local handicrafts and souvenirs such as ceramics, woodcarvings, traditional musical instruments, carpets, etc. Do not forget to bargain when you are picking some as souvenirs.
After that, come to the largest Islam Mosque in Xinjiang - the Id Kah Mosque. Originally built in 1442 on a small scale, it is actually an Islamic construction complex that was continuously renovated and expanded during the following centuries and finally reached its current size. Highlighting its strong ethnic and religious style, the Mosque is composed of a chapel, a pagoda, a garden, and a scripture hall, and has been taken as the spiritual heart of Kashgar even Xinjiang.
Take the morning flight from Kashgar to Urumqi. Upon arrival at Urumqi, the local guide and driver will transfer you from the airport to Turpan (around a 2.5-hour drive).
The first stop in Turpan will be the Karaz Well. An ancient underground irrigation system can be traced to 2000 years ago, Karaz Well is crucial to Turpan’s glory. Due to the reliable water supply provided by the ancient irrigation system, Turpan, one of the hottest places on earth, can exist as an oasis of prosperity among the barren desert. It is no wonder that some visitors say it is more impressive than the Great Wall and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.
Then, head to Sugong Pagoda. A splendid gem dating from 1777 in Qing Dynasty, this largest ancient pagoda in Xinjiang was built to record a local general’s (named Emin Khoja) remarkable contribution to the country, and known for its strong Islamic architectural features.
The last stop will be Jiaohe Ruins, a magnificent ruin of the capital of Jushi Kingdom. The former trade hub along the Silk Road, Jiaohe has witnessed a history of over 2300 years, making it the oldest earthen construction in the world. Due to the desert wind, the ruin is disappearing, surely calling for your visit while it is still available.
After hotel pick-up in the morning, you will pay a visit to the Bizeklik Thousand Buddha Caves which nestle on the cliffs of Mutou Valley under the Flaming Mountains. What makes it different from other famous grottoes is that it combines murals of people from different nationalities, working, and living, and the inscriptions that accompany the paintings are written in Chinese and several other languages.
Then we will visit Tuyuq Village, one of the oldest and most mysterious villages in northwest China. Thanks to the unique geology, stunning Buddhist caves and frescoes, the ancient earth-and-wood structure of Uygurs house, Tuyuq Village is ideal for photography and painting.
The last stop in Turpan will be the hottest place in China- the Flaming Mountain (aka Red Mountain). Here the ground surface temperature can rise to 80 degrees Celsius in summer. It is said that eggs can even be roasted on the ground due to the high temperature. Why not have a try when you are there?
Drive back to Urumqi and visit the International Grand Bazzar in Erdaoqiao. This is a great place to experience the life of the local minority region, featuring an architectural complex with strong Islam flavor, authentic ethnic food, and souvenirs. Negotiating with vendors will be a fun experience.
After breakfast, you will drive about 1.5 hours to visit Heavenly Lake (aka Tianchi Lake in Chinese) in the Tianshan Mountain. An alpine lake nestling in the Tianchi Lake National Park, the Heavenly Lake is a popular destination offering a brilliant display of snow-capped mountains, wildflowers, tree-blanketed valleys, and fabulous lake scenery. You can either hike around the lake and capture some photos or take a boat to enjoy the charming views. (optional)
In the afternoon, we will drive back to Urumqi to visit Xinjiang Regional Museum where you can look into the former glory of the western region, historical and cultural relics in Xinjiang, and ethnic customs of Xinjiang.
After breakfast at the hotel, you may have all your belongings and luggage packed, check out of the hotel by yourself. Our driver will drive you to the airport to take the homeward flight (no guide service).
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.