Looking for a short tour to catch the most beautiful part of North Xinjiang? This 8 days tour departs from Urumqi, through Burqin, Hemu, Kanas, Karamay, Turpan, finally ends in Urumqi, with inclusive of a large number of natural landscapes like the Heavenly Lake of Tianshan Mountain, Hemu Village, Kanas Lake and the amazing Urho Ghost City, as well as cultural relics such as Jiaohe Ruins, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Sugong Pagoda, definitely will bring you a memorable experience of beauty, nature and culture. Picking it, you won’t be regret!
Hemu Village, Kanas Lake, Urho Ghost City, Jiaohe Ruins, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Astana Tombs, Karez Well, Sugong Pagoda.
Upon your arrival at Urumqi airport / train station, the local English speaking tour guide and 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. Duly refreshed, follow your guide to explore 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.
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.
In the morning, if weather permits, you can get up early to appreciate the gorgeous sunrise in Irtysh River. Later, drive around 4 hours 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.
The mesmerizing Kanas Nature Reserve is a must see for visitors to Xinjiang. After about 2 hours’ ride on the winding road, you will arrive there and then take the scenic shuttle bus to the legendary Kanas Lake.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. Walking from one bay to another and taking some pictures, you will have a relaxing time immersing yourself in the idyllic beauty and embracing nature. 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, you will see the virgin forests, Fairy Bay, Wolong Bay, Moon Bay, and Wild Duck Lakewhich would be a perfect chance to take nice pictures!
Finishing the relaxing sightseeing, you will check into the hotel.
Early bird will be rewarded with the amazing sunrise of Kanas Nature Reserve. After saying goodbye to the this amazing place, driving for 5-6 hours to the famous oil city, Karamay.
On the way, you will pay a visit to 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.
Get up early in the morning and head to Turpan, one of the most important stops on the Silk Road.
Arriving in Turpan, follow your guide to find a local restaurant to fill your stomach at first. Then, your visit begins with the 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. Later, enjoy a Xinjiang Ethnic Dance Performance in a local theater before transferring to local hotel.
Today you will further explore the best of Turpan city! The first scenic site will be 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.
Later, move on to Astana Tombs. Nearby Gaochang Ruins, about 40km away from Turpan city, stretches out an ancient tomb group named Astana Tombs. There are over 500 tombs in total with owners varying from the nobility, officials and civilians, gaining a high reputation in archeology.
Next, continue to Karez Well, an underground irrigation system created by ancient Xinjiang people. Then, move on to Sugong Pagoda, you will witness this typical Islam architecture with the largest scale among all pagodas in Xinjiang.
At end of the tour, you will head to Urumqi for overnight.
The 8 days Silk Road 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.
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.