Xinjiang Kashgar Old Town head
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Tour Overview

Located south of the Tianshan Mountain range, South Xinjiang fully demonstrates Xinjiang’s millennia-old history and embodies the cultures of different ethnic groups. This 7-day South Xinjiang group tour will take you to explore the region’s rich cultural heritage as well as its breathtaking natural beauty.

From the bustling markets of Kashgar to the ancient ruins of Tashkurgan to the vibrant desert oasis of Turpan… You’ll enjoy rugged mountain scenery, serene alpine lakes and the remains of the ancient Silk Road. Your expert local guide will take you deeper into Uyghur traditions, discover local cuisine, and learn about the fusion of Islamic and Chinese influences.

Heavenly Lake, the final stop on this South Xinjiang package tour, is one of the highlights of the trip, where alpine beauty meets mythological charm.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Explore the bustling markets and Islamic architecture of Kashgar.
  • Appreciate breathtaking views over snow-capped peaks and pristine lakes while traveling along the Karakoram Highway.
  • Gain an insight into traditional Tajik culture and wander through the ruins of ancient cities.
  • Experience interesting desert jeeps, camel rides & enjoy the beautiful sunset scenery.
  • Pay a visit to a serene alpine lake on foot or by a cruise, from a different perspective.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Welcome to Kashgar, the largest city in southern Xinjiang, which is the western junction of the Silk Road between China's northern, central, and southern routes, and a transportation hub and gateway for economic and cultural exchanges between China and the West.

    Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by a local driver and transferred to our carefully selected hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this thousand-year-old city.

    Note: It is suggested that you arrive at Kashgar airport around 2 pm, 4 pm, or 6 pm for pick-up.

    Meal: N/A

    Accommodation: in Kashgar

  2. Today, your guided southern Xinjiang tour will officially begin! After breakfast, we will drive 1 hour along the Karakoram Highway to Opal Village. Along the way, shoot some of the highest and most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. Opal Village is one of the best places to taste local fruit and authentic Uygur bread.

    Afterwards, head for Oytagh Red Mountain, the first major attraction on Karakoram Highway that displays a red tint. Next, we will arrive at White Sand Lake, where the scenery of snow peaks reflected on the teal-colored lake must be a feast for your eyes.

    White Sand Lake Xinjiang
    White Sand Lake

    Then, pay a visit to the Karakul Lake. It's a moraine lake surrounded by a series of high mountains. At the lakefront, there is grassland with roaming flocks and herds, creating a fair and charming picture.

    Pass through Subash Pass en route, and we could make a stop at Tagharma Village to visit a local Tajik family if you like. Finally, get to Tashkurgan overnight.

    Note: The travel policy in Xinjiang is changeable all the time. If a local Tajik family visit is not available for tourists, our tour guide will show you around the outside of Tagharma Village.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Tashkurgan

  3. After breakfast, we will visit the Stone City, which is more than 2,000 years old. This is one of the iconic sites of Tashkurgan County, located on a hill on the west bank of the Tashkurgan River. The ruins of this city bear witness to the prosperity of the ancient Silk Road and the historical changes in the Tashkurgan region. Here, your guide will take you through the ancient city ruins, view historical artifacts, learn about local folk culture and more.

    Xinjiang Tashkurgan Stone City
    Tashkurgan Stone City

    Afterwards, you will visit Golden Grass Beach, aka Alar National Wetland Park. It is a beautiful place with abundant water and grass, cattle and sheep everywhere. The snowy mountains and white clouds and blue sky in the distance are very beautiful. Visitors can participate in horseback riding, yak riding and other experience programs at their own expense.

    After the visit, we will drive back to Kashgar for overnight.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Kashgar

  4. Your south Xinjiang group tour begins today with the exploration of the ancient city of Kashgar. First, you will visit the Sunday Livestock Market, where you can find and buy various things such as handicrafts, livestock, local specialties, and vegetables, as well as many other kinds of things from second-hand items to needles and thread.

    Sunday Livestock Market in Kashgar
    Sunday Livestock Market in Kashgar

    Then, we move to Kashgar Old Town. Enjoy leisurely wandering in this Islamic-style city block, which highlights the centuries-old mud-brick architecture and twisting alleys through workshops. Afterwards, explore a local bazaar to discover some of your favorite snacks and interesting souvenirs.

    Later, take a visit to Id Kah Mosque, a construction complex with a magnificent chapel, pagoda, garden, and scripture hall in Islamic style. After that, you'll be escorted to Kashgar airport for your flight to Urumqi. Stay overnight in Urumqi.

    Xinjiang Kashgar Old Town
    Our Guests in Kashgar Old Town

    Note: If the day is not Sunday when you are in Kashgar, there won't be a Sunday Livestock Market there, or it might get closed randomly by local policy. Our tour guide would arrange for you guys the Local Handicraft Market instead if the Sunday Livestock Market is not available.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Urumqi

  5. After breakfast, we will drive 3.5 hours to Turpan, known as the "Hometown of Melons and Fruits". Turpan is a major city on the ancient Silk Road, with more than 4,000 years of cultural deposits. And it used to be one of the political, economic, and cultural centers in the western region.

    Tuyugou Valley is the first stop of the day, an over 1,700-year-old Uyghur village that still preserves the most time-honored Uyghur traditions and folk customs. Then, have a stop at Flaming Mountains, which is a striking geological wonder known for its intense heat and vibrant red hues. You will witness a surreal landscape, characterized by red sandstone formations that appear to glow in the sunlight.

    Xinjiang Tuyugou Valley
    Tuyugou Valley

    Afterwards, drive to Kumutag Desert, where you can take a thrilling jeep ride to experience the rolling sand dunes or ride a camel into the desert to watch the sunset (at your own expense). Back in Turpan, you can visit the local busy night market on your own.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Turpan

  6. Your South Xinjiang group tour in Turpan is almost over! After breakfast, we visit the Sugong Pagoda, also known as the Emin Pagoda, an Islamic pagoda with a novel and chic shape.

    The exterior of the building is made of clear gray and yellow bricks, and basically no wood is used except for the top window panes. Completed in 1778 AD, the pagoda has a history of more than 230 years and is the largest surviving ancient pagoda in Xinjiang.

    Xinjiang Sugong Pagoda
    Sugong Pagoda

    Then, drive to Jiaoha Ruins, which was very prosperous during the South and North Dynasties (420-589) and the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Later, due to years of war, the city was abandoned and became a ruin.

    The buildings in the ancient city are all made of yellow earth rammed into the ground, which is very characteristic. You will see the remains of China's intact city which has been preserved for more than 2,000 years in this ancient city. At the end of the tour, we will drive to a hotel near Heavenly Lake to spend the night so that you will have more time to visit the lake the next day.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: near Heavenly Lake

    Xinjiang Jiaohe Ruins
    Well-planned Jiaohe Ruins

  7. After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will take you to visit the beautiful Tianchi, also known as the Heavenly Lake, which in ancient Chinese mythology was the place where the Queen Mother of the West bathed.

    At an altitude of 1,910 meters and a depth of 105 meters, the Heavenly Lake mirrors Mount Bogda and is surrounded by spruce, making it look like a fairyland. Strolling in this scenic spot, you will enjoy the natural landscape of alpine lakes, wetland meadows and forest canyons.

    Optional Activities: You can take a boat tour on the lake for an additional fee to get a unique perspective.

    Xinjiang Heavenly Lake Boat Ride
    Rent a Boat and Explore the Heavenly Lake

    After the visit, your China tour in southern Xinjiang comes to a perfect end. Your driver will escort you to the airport for departure. (It is suggested to book a flight after 6 pm). Safe travels! Looking forward to your next trip with us.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: N/A

Price Includes

  • 6 nights' accommodation in well-selected hotels;
  • Meals listed in the itinerary;
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle with licensed drivers;
  • Excellent local English-speaking tour guides services as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Entrance tickets as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day;
  • China Travel Insurance.

Price Excludes

  • Flights to Kashgar or off Urumqi;
  • A flight from Kashgar to Urumqi;
  • Any optional activities inside the attractions like boat cruise on Heavenly Lake;
  • Any item not mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Single Room Supplement;
  • All kinds of gratuities for guides, drivers & others.
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