Discover the soul-stirring beauty of Southern Xinjiang in this 7-day journey. From the opulence of Opal Village on the Karakoram Highway to the serenity of Karakul Lake and the rich tapestry of Tashkurgan, each day unfolds a new chapter. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Kashgar, explore ancient wonders in Turpan, and find respite at the Heavenly Lake. This tour weaves together landscapes, traditions, and experiences, promising an unforgettable exploration of Southern Xinjiang’s diverse treasures.
2. Tashkurgan Tapestry: Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Tashkurgan, from Stone Castle to the dreamlike Golden Wetland.
3. Sunday Market Spectacle: Delight in the vibrant Sunday Livestock Market, or a lively Local Handicraft Market, for a taste of Kashgar’s cultural heartbeat.
4. Ancient Marvels: Wander through Turpan’s ancient Tuyugou Valley and Jiaohe Ruins, witnessing over 1,700 years of Uyghur traditions and earthen architecture.
5. Desert Adventure: Conquer the Flaming Mountains and Kumutag Desert, experiencing the red sandstone spectacle and thrilling sand dunes in Turpan.
6. Heavenly Respite: Bask in the tranquility of Heavenly Lake, a 2,000m alpine gem surrounded by Tianshan’s beauty, offering optional cruises or scenic treks.
- Day 1: Arrival in Kashgar
When you arrive at Kashgar, the local driver will pick you up and transfer you to the well-selected hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to freshen up or explore the city.
Note: You're suggested to land at Kashgar airport around 2 pm, 4 pm, or 6 pm for airport pickup.
Accommodation: in Kashgar
- Day 2: Kashgar - TashkurganOpal Village, Oytagh Red Mountain, White Sand Lake, Karakul Lake
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. Arrive at White Sand Lake, where the scenery of snow peaks reflected on the teal-colored lake must be a feast for your eyes.
Then, visit 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.
Accommodation: in Tashkurgan
- Day 3: Tashukurgan - KashgarStone Castle
Today you'll visit Stone Castle, an ancient fortress perched along the historic Silk Road. Dating back over 2,000 years, the city boasts well-preserved stone walls and structures. You can explore the ruins, marvel at the strategic location overlooking the Pamir Mountains, and appreciate the historical significance of this Silk Road outpost. Tashkurgan Stone City offers a captivating journey into the region's ancient past, with panoramic views of the surrounding rugged landscapes.
After finishing the visit, drive you back to Kashgar.
Accommodation: in Kashgar
- Day 4: Kashgar City - UrumqiSunday Livestock Market, Kashgar Old Town, Id Kah Mosque
Start your Kashgar city tour at 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.
Then 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. After that, 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.
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 a Local Handicraft Market instead if Sunday Livestock Market is not available.
Accommodation: in Urumqi
- Day 5: Urumqi - TurpanTuyugou Valley, Flaming Mountains, Kumutag Desert
After breakfast, drive around 3.5 hours to Turpan and visit Tuyugou Valley, 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. Witness the surreal landscape, characterized by red sandstone formations that appear to glow in the sunlight.
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.
Accommodation: in Turpan
- Day 6: Turpan - Heavenly LakeSugong Pagoda, Jiaohe Ruins
Today, you will be guided to Sugong Pagoda, the largest ancient pagoda in Xinjiang with diverse Islamic geometric and floral carvings.
Then drive to Jiaohe Ruins. Once the capital of the Jushi Kingdom, Jiaohe has witnessed a history of over 2,000 years and holds the best-preserved earthen architecture in the world. Enjoy the spectacular view of Jiaohe Ruins in the sunset.
At end of the tour, we will drive to a hotel near Heavenly Lake overnight, that way you will have more time to visit Heavenly Lake the next day.
Accommodation: near Heavenly Lake
- Day 7: Departure from UrumqiHeavenly Lake
Today, we will visit Heavenly Lake, a picturesque Alpine lake that is 2,000m up in the Tianshan mountain range. You can choose to absorb the beautiful surroundings by taking a cruise or trekking along the lake...
After enjoying, escort you to Urumqi airport for departure. (Please book a flight to depart from Urumqi airport after 6 pm.)
Note: Taking a cruise on the lake is an optional activity, which will be at your own expense if you want to experience it.