Xinjiang Sayram Lake
Home China City Tours Xinjiang Tours Xinjiang Travel Best 10 Days Northern Xinjiang Scenic Tour

Tour Overview

Xinjiang is a noble destination for travelers from home and abroad, enchanting people to pack bags with its name alone. This 10 days Northern Xinjiang scenic tour with a brilliant itinerary covering the sites in Northern Xinjiang takes you to experience the most scenic adventure along Silk Road. With local expert guide and driver’s considerable commentary as well as comfortable vehicles, you will discover beautiful lakes, rivers, hills, snowy mountains, desert, woods, grassland…in Burqin, Kanas, Karamay, Sayram, Naraty, Bayinbuluk and Korla.

Highlights of this tour:

*Visit the Gurbantunggut Desert that ranked second among the eight deserts in China.
*Marvel at the picturesque natural landscapes in Kanas Lake, Fairy Bay, Wolong Bay, Moon Bay, Wild Duck Lake.
*Discover some interesting things or local souvenirs in Xinjiang International Bazaar and Burqin Market.
*Visit the magical and enchanting Urho Ghost City, Lavender Garden and Nalaty Prairie.
*Enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes in Kanas Nature Reserve and Kalamaili Nature Reserve.
*Explore the Huoshaoshan Mountain and Tianshan Mountain to capture the romance of Mountains.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. 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. The rest of the day is at your disposal. You can have a good rest at the hotel or freely explore the city.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Urumqi

  2. 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.

    After dinner in Burqin, you can have some relaxing walk in Burqin Market to further enjoy the local snacks and culture.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Burqin

    Xinjiang Kalamaili Nature Reserve
    Kalamaili Nature Reserve

  3. The mesmerizing Kanas Nature Reserve is a must see for visitors to Xinjiang. After about 3 hours’ ride on the winding road, you will arrive at Jiadengyu for lunch, 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 Lake which would be a perfect chance to take nice pictures! Finishing the relaxing sightseeing, you will check into the hotel.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Kanas

    Xinjiang Kanas Lake
    Kanas Lake

  4. 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.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Karamay

    Urho Ghost City
    Urho Ghost City

  5. Get up early to enjoy sunrise in Urho Ghost City. Later, drive around 5 hours to  Sayram Lake. It definitely will be another highlight of your northern Xinjiang trip. The lake is the highest and largest alpine lake in Xinjiang with intoxicating scenery. It also has a nickname of “Atlantic Ocean’s last teardrop” because it is the last place that the warm and humid air of the Atlantic Ocean reaches. The lake water is limpid and pure. You can stroll along the lake and enjoy the colorful wild flowers and rolling grassland.

    Besides, you will have opportunity to see the famous Guozigou Bridge before arriving at Sayram Lake, which is the largest and most important bridge in Xinjiang. You will see many impressing S-shaped curves and admire the most beautiful valley in northern Xinjiang.

    Last, you will check in in a local wooden house in the Fruit Gully.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Fruit Gully

    Sayram Lake in Xinjiang
    Sayram Lake

  6. In the morning, enjoy yourself in Fruit Gully which connects 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.

    Later, drive to Yining to enjoy the beautiful lavender garden with the glittering snowy mountains as the background.

    After that, you will head to Naraty for overnight.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Naraty 

    Xinjiang Fruit Gully
    Fruit Gully

  7. Come to visit the beautiful Nalaty Prairie in the morning! Also named Ili Prairie, means “the place witnesses the sunrise firstly” by National Geographic, Nalaty Prairie impresses visitors with good quality of grass, colorful wild flowers in summer, snowy mountains and blue sky as background for the lovey animals wandering there. That’s a good place for people to approach and interact with nature.

    In the afternoon, drive around 2.5 hours to Bayinbuluk, here you will visit Swan Lake-the Most Beautiful Myth of Bayanbulak. Swan Lake of Bayanbulak is the only natural reserve for swans in China, inhabited by Chinese largest wild swan population. Consisted of many interlinked small lakes, Swan Lake entertains the visitors with the inverted images of white clouds in these lakes, big or small. The swans also greet the visitors from the whole world with their elegant figures and beautiful dancing moves.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Bayinbuluk

    Xinjiang Nalaty Prairie
    Nalaty Prairie

  8. Today you will head to Korla via Tianshan Mountain, one of the 7 mountain systems in the world. Driving along the edge of the mountain, you will see the unique snow scenery since many part of the mountain is till covered with snow. If you are lucky, you will see lots of wild animals and plants on the way.

    Arrival in Korla, follow your guide to find a nice restaurant to fill your stomach and have good rest for tomorrow’s exploration.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Korla

  9. After breakfast, pay a visit to Iron Gate Pass. Lying in the Iron Pass Valley, upstream the Kongque River, Iron Gate Pass is regarded as throat on the middle route of ancient Silk Road, connecting South and North Xinjiang. Passing the gate, you are welcomed by a narrow path meandering forth with murmuring stream flowing with jagged rocks of grotesque shapes standing alongside. Those great men like Zhang Qian, Ban Chao and Xuan Zang who created incredible contribution in history also left their footprints here.

    After that, drive around 6 hours to Urumqi. Upon arrival, follow your guide to tick off 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.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Urumqi

    Souvenir stalls in Xinjiang International Bazaar
    Souvenir stalls in Xinjiang International Bazaar

  10. The 10 days Northern Xinjiang tour will end by today. We will arrange an 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.

    Accommodation: N/A

Tour Price Per Person

The price varies depending on the activity, number of people, travel date, and selected hotel. Please contact us for a specific price.


Price Includes

  • 9-night accommodation in centrally located hotels with daily breakfast
  • 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
  • Government taxes

Price Excludes

  • China Visas/flights/trains
  • Any meal
  • Any optional activity/battery car/shuttle bus/horse rides/boat cruise 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)
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