Xinjiang Karakuri Lake
Home China City Tours Shanghai Tours Shanghai Silk Road Tours 12 Days Silk Road Tour from Shanghai to South Xinjiang: Shanghai – Kashgar – Shache – Kuqa – Urumqi – Turpan

Tour Overview

A Silk Road tour from Shanghai to Xinjiang is a good choice for those who want to discover China’s modern metropolis and ancient hubs and heritages along the Silk Road in one trip. Shanghai is the largest metropolis of China with international flights to/from many big cities all over the world. Thanks to the convenient flight and high-speed railway networks in China, it is easy for tourists to travel from Shanghai to Xinjiang, from the east to the far west from the most modern city to the most time-honored ones.

Highlights of This Tour:
*Explore the best highlights of Shanghai, including Yu Garden, Nanjing Road, the Bund, etc.
*Admire the ancient Uyghur neighborhoods, architecture, and market in Kashgar Old City.
*Uncover the life of Tuyu Village – the oldest Uyghur village in existence.
*Absorb the iconic natural beauty of Xinjiang – Karakul Lake & Heavenly Lake in the Tianshan Mountain.
*Trace the history of ancient Silk Road Xinjiang’s former glory by visiting many well-preserved historical sites, including Jiaohe Ruins, Sugong Tower, Karez Well, Shache Old City, Kizil Grottoes, Kuqa Old City etc.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Welcome to Shanghai, upon arrival at Shanghai Pudong/Hongqiao Airport, our local driver will be ready to greet you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name, then transfer you to the downtown hotel for checking-in. The rest day is free for you (no guide service)

    Accommodation: Hotel in Shanghai

  2. AM: After breakfast, meet your guide at the hotel lobby and begin your Shanghai exploration with a visit to Shanghai Museum (closes each Monday). Established in 1952, the Shanghai Museum has a collection of more than 120,00 rare cultural pieces from the Old Stone Age to modern times.

    Then, move on to the Yuyuan Garden, a popular ancient garden in Shanghai’s Old City which is built in the Ming Dynasty. Follow your expert guide to admire the beautiful scenery, exquisite architecture, and layout of China’s ancient garden.

    Afterward, wander around the lively Yuyuan Market, a gathering place of various traditional Chinese crafts and delicacies, such as chopsticks, fans, pottery, steamed buns, crab shell cake, pork chop with rice cakes, etc. Don’t forget to haggle for a better price.

    Noon: Lunch in a local restaurant.

    Shanghai Yuyuan Garden
    Yuyuan Garden

    PM: This afternoon, your guide will accompany you to visit the Former French Concession, introduce you to many old beautiful ancient European-style buildings, and narrate the rare-known history between 1849 to 1943.

    Later, get up to the 100th floor of Shanghai World Financial Center to have a marvelous panoramic view of the Huangpu River. It will be an exciting experience to walk on the 55-meter-long transparent sightseeing corridor.

    Head to Nanjing Road, the earliest and one of the most bustling shopping streets in Shanghai. Follow your guide to see some time-honored department stores, listen to its history, and try some delicious food here.

    The last stop today is the Bund, one of the most sought-after places in Shanghai because of its historic significance and impressive view. It's enjoyable to walk along the waterfront, watch the ships passing, and appreciate old colonial buildings.

    Optional night activities:

    Option A: Attend an entertaining Acrobatic Show in one of China’s best theaters, being amazed by the agility and awesome skills of the daring acrobats.

    Option B: Take a relaxing Huangpu River night cruise to enjoy the spectacular city skyline night scenery.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Shanghai

    Shanghai Huangpu River night cruise
    Huangpu River night cruise

  3. Our local driver will pick you up at the confirmed time, and transfer you to the airport for a flight to Kashgar.

    When your flight arrives at Kashgar airport, our local driver will wait for you at the arrival exit by holding your name sign and transfer you to your hotel in a comfortable van. The rest of the day is at your disposal. You can have a good rest at the hotel or freely explore the city (no guide service).

    Accommodation: Hotel in Kashgar

  4. AM: After breakfast, our local guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby. Start your tour with a visit to Kashgar Old Town where you will have a glimpse of the local people’s lifestyle and unique Uyghur architectural styles.

    Go to admire Id Kah Mosque, the largest and most famous mosque in Xinjiang, before you stroll down the Handicraft Street being teemed with various traditional handicrafts of Kashgar and Central Asia.

    Noon: Lunch in a local restaurant.

    PM: Visit Sunday Bazaar (Livestock Market) in the afternoon to witness how locals buy and sell their livestock, and experience ancient primitive ways of trading.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Kashgar

    Xinjiang Kashgar Sunday Livestock Bazaar
    Kashgar Sunday Livestock Bazaar

  5. AM: Today we will have a whole day exploration of Karakul Lake which at over 3600m above sea level. Its name means “black lake” in Kirgiz's language because the water is pretty deep and dark. The scenery here is out of the world.

    Noon: Lunch in a local restaurant.

    PM: After a great time at the picturesque lake, we will drive to Tashkurgan.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Tashkurgan

    Karakul Lake in Xinjiang
    Karakul Lake

  6. AM: Today we will visit the Stone Fortress, a famous ancient city ruin on the ancient Silk Road in Xinjiang. It is located on the north side of the Tajik Autonomous County of Tashkurgan. The castle was built on a steep high hill and surrounded by multiple tiers of city walls. The piles of stones scattered everywhere form the unique stone city scenery.

    Noon: Lunch in a local restaurant.

    PM: In the afternoon, we will drive for about 5 hours back to Kashgar. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. After arriving at the hotel, you can take a good rest to relieve the fatigue of the journey.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Kashgar

    Xinjiang Tashkurgan Stone City
    Tashkurgan Stone City

  7. AM: In the morning, we will get up early and drive for about 3 hours to a trade center, Shache, which is also an oasis at the western end of the Taklimakan Desert. Our first stop in Shache is Ye'erqianghan Mausoleum. The mausoleum was originally built in 1533 containing the remains of 11 emperors and other royal family members. Its unique layout and exquisite decoration attract plenty of visitors each year.

    Noon: Lunch in a local restaurant.

    PM: Next, we will visit the mysterious Shache Old City. This is a typical Uighur settlement where you will deeply understand the lifestyle of the local people.

    After the tour, you will head to Shache airport to catch the flight to Kuqa. Our local driver will greet you at the arrival exit and take you to check into a hotel.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Kuqa

    Xinjiang Shache Ancient City
    Ye'erqianghan Mausoleum in Shache Ancient City

  8. AM: Kuqa, known as Guizi in ancient times, boasts lots of cultural relics such as ancient city walls, temples, caves, and tombs. Today our professional and knowledgeable tour guide will lead you to learn more about this city. We will firstly visit Kizil Grottoes - the earliest and westernmost large-scale Buddhist 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.

    Noon: Lunch in a local restaurant.

    PM: Afterwards, we will explore the magnificent Tianshan Grand Canyon, the best geological park in the world which has witnessed the entire process of crustal movement in Xinjiang for nearly 400 million years.

    At last, we will visit Kuqa Old City to savor local gourmet food and experience the life of local people. This pristine place will definitely leave you with an unforgettable memory.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Kuqa

    Xinjiang Tianshan Grand Canyon
    Tianshan Grand Canyon

  9. Today you will take a morning flight to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. Your local guide and driver will pick you up at the airport. Then we will drive for about 3 hours to Turpan, a transportation hub connecting central China with Central Asia, South Xinjiang, and North Xinjiang in ancient times and also a major stop on the ancient Silk Road. You can have a nap in the car or enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Turpan

  10. AM: Your Turpan exploration begins after breakfast at the hotel. Our first stop will be Tuyu Valley. It is the oldest Uyghur village in existence in Xinjiang and a nice place to soak up Buddhist and Islamic culture.

    Next, we will go to admire the largest ancient tower in Xinjiang, Sugong Tower.

    Noon: Lunch in a local restaurant.

    PM: Then we will head to 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.

    The last stop will be Jiaohe Ruins, the largest, oldest and best-preserved earth building in the world with a history of more than 2,000 years. We will wander around this ancient city to step back in time and trace past civilizations.

    At the end of the Turpan tour, drive for another 3 hours back to Urumqi and check into the hotel.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Urumqi

    Xinjiang Jiaohe ruins
    Jiaohe ruins

  11. AM: Our guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel lobby in the morning. Then drive for about 1.5 hours to visit the 2,000-meter-high Heavenly Lake in the Tianshan Mountain. Snow-capped peaks are reflected in the turquoise lake, and the lake surrounded by spruce trees is like a huge mirror. If you are interested, you can stroll along the lake or take a boat to see the lake from different angles.

    Noon: Lunch in a local restaurant.

    PM: In the afternoon, we will return to Urumqi to visit Xinjiang Regional Museum where you will learn more about the famed Silk Road and minority culture and appreciate various precious unearthed relics.

    Today’s last stop is 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.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Urumqi

    Xinjiang Heavenly Lake
    Heavenly Lake

  12. Your 12 days Silk Road tour from Shanghai to Xinjiang will end today. Say goodbye to your tour guide and driver, then you’ll be transferred to the airport for your departure flight. Wish you a pleasant journey!

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

  • 11 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels with daily breakfast
  • Economy class flight tickets (Shanghai – Kashgar, Kuqa – Urumqi)
  • Private transfers in air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver
  • Excellent English-speaking tour guides service during tours
  • Entrance tickets as mentioned in itinerary
  • Chinese style lunches as listed in the itinerary
  • Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour
  • Government taxes

Price excludes

  • China Visas or international flight
  • Any optional activity / battery car / shuttle bus inside the attraction
  • Any item beyond “Price includes”
  • Our package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase commercial travel insurance before your trip for any unforeseen circumstance
  • Gratuities to guide and driver (recommended if you are satisfied with their services)
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