8 Days Southern Xinjiang Highlights Tour with Sayram Lake
This 8 days tour including Urumqi, Yining, Kashgar, Aksu, Kuqa, Korla and Turpan, covers the essential attractions in Southern Xinjiang. Follow the excellent tour guide and driver, you can not only appreciate the gorgeous natural beauty from Sayram Lake which is called “The last tear of the Atlantic”, Fruit Gully and Tianshan Grand Canyon, but also admire the rich historical civilization through Kashgar Old Town, Id Kah Mosque, Abakh Hoja Tomb, Kizil Grottoes as well as Jiaohe Ruins. Of course you would have enough chance to taste the authentic foods and experience the real local people’s life.
Highlights of this tour: *Explore “the last tear of the Atlantic”—Sayram Lake. *Enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes in Fruit Gully and Tianshan Grand Canyon. *Experience the local lifestyle and special culture in Kashgar Old Town. *Visit the must-visit Abakh Hoja Tomb and Jiaohe Ruins to find their history and story. *Learn the Buddhist culture in Kizil Grottoes. *With private driver and English guide, as well as our 10+ years experience, you will love your tour and completely feel the magic of this wonderland.
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.
Taking morning flight from Urumqi to Yining. Upon arrival, you will find the local English speaking tour guide and driver waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name.
The first stop will be Sayram Lake, also called the Last Teardrop of Atlantic. Locates in Bozhou of Xinjiang, 600km far from Urumqi. With the snowy mountains at back and vast grassland covering both the banks, Sayram Lake seems to be a wonderland, pure and blue water wrinkled by the light breeze and the feasted flocks and herds leisurely flicking their tails. The grassland grows into the fine pasture and the colorful flowers pop out all over in summer, thus the time from June to July is the best time to visit here.
Nearby the lake, you will also visit a beautiful field of lavender in bloom with the glittering snowy mountains as the background.
Later, move on to Fruit Gully whichconnects Sayram Lake at north end and Ili River Valley at south end, stretching about 28km. In the bottom and slops of gully, grow lots of wild apple trees, apricots, walnut trees and more, hence the name. The nice geographical environment and climates here attracts various animals to nestle, making it a beautiful natural paradise for plants and animals. The best time to visit it is from May to September when trees getting green and flowers blossoming.
In the morning, you can enjoy some peaceful free time on your own or follow your guide to further explore Yining city. In the afternoon, taking flight to Kashgar. When you land at Kashgar airport, there will be the local English speaking tour guide and driver picking you up from the exit gate by holding a name board.
No doubt the first site will be Kashgar Old Town. Kashgar’s spirit is in the old town with curved lanes distributed in the maze-like Islam blocks, which is the thing that bewilders you to be here. Eyes on face and camera in hands should be busiest during visit, elegant folk dwellings, neat streets, cozy tea houses gathering leisure old people, naughty kids playing in front of doors and bursting into laughter when you walking closely… soul warmth rising from bottom of hearts along your slowly wander.
Later, move on to the local Handicrafts Market. Spending some time in the handicrafts market is also a top things-to-do in Kashgar. Follow the local crowd to walk leisurely and stop at a stall interesting you or talking with those hawkers with ethnic faces. Do not forget to bargain when you are picking some as souvenirs.
Last, come to the largest Islam Mosque in Xinjiang - the Id Kah Mosque. It’s an ancient architectural complex sitting in the city center with strong ethnic and religious color, composed by four parts: the pagoda, garden, scripture hall and praying hall. Not only functioned as center for religious activities, is the Mosque also the place for local people to celebrate festivals. If you are lucky to visit it on a praying day and or festival day, you will meet an extreme busy scene that thousands of Islam followers gather on the Square.
In the morning, you will further explore the amazing Kashgar by visiting Abakh Hoja Tomb. Abakh Hoja is well-known to Chinese as tomb owner is said to be a famous concubine of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty. Started to be build since 1640, in Ming Dynasty, it’s actually a family graveyard of the local chief. Following the tour guide, you will be pleased by the beautiful ancient architectures here and also enchanted by the rich historical stories about the people buried in the tombs.
Later, move on to visit the Local Livestock Market. At suburb of Kashgar City, it is an interesting window for you to learn local culture and folk customs of South Xinjiang. It is said to be the largest livestock market in Asia, mainly with trade of flocks and herds. Hawking from sellers, bargaining from buyers, moo and bleat from the animals forming a busy and down-to-earth scene before you.
In the afternoon, drive around 5 hours to Aksu. You can enjoy the scenery on the way.
After breakfast, drive around 3 hours to Kuqa. Known as Guizi in ancient times, Kuqa boasts lots of cultural relics such as ancient city walls, temples, caves and tombs. Today the knowledgeable tour guide will lead you to learn more about this city. You will visit a typical Buddhist grotto first, Kizil Grottoes. It is the earliest and westernmost large-scale grotto group in China. There are 4 grotto areas with 236 officially numbered grottoes. Most of the statues have been destroyed, but 81 caves still have delicate murals which are valuable historical and cultural remains of the ancient Guizi Kingdom.
Afterwards, continue to explore the magnificent Tianshan Grand Canyon, the best geological park in the world. It records the entire process of crustal movement in Xinjiang for nearly 400 million years.
In the morning, follow your guide to further explore Kuqa city. First, come to Kuqa Old City to savor local gourmet food and experience the life of the local people. This pristine place will definitely leave you an unforgettable memory.
Later, pay a visit to the Great Mosque to learn more about the local culture.
After lunch, drive around 4 hours to Korla. You can have a nap on the van or just lying down to enjoy the outside scenery on the way.
Today you will head to another important city along the ancient Silk Road- Turpan where takes 5-6 hours’ driving from Korla city.
After lunch in Turoan local restaurant, you will officially start exploring 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.
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. You will wander around this ancient city stepping back in time to trace past civilizations.
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.