Scenic landscapes and the ancient past will come to life in this 10 day voyage through the Xinjiang province. Discover the ancient cities of the silk road, colourful markets, architectural feats and natural wonders that China's most North western region boasts. Please note this itinerary is based on a group tour (up to 8 people) with fixed departure dates in 2018 being: April 19th, May 4th, May 17th, June 7th, June 21st, July 12th, July 19th, Aug 9th, Aug 23rd, Sept 6th, Sept 20th, Sept 29, Oct 1st, Oct 18th
This morning take your flight to Urumqi. Upon your arrival your guide and driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your hotel for check in.
After breakfast at the hotel, your driver will transfer you from Urumqi to Turpan, which is 180 km away (about 2.5 hours’drive). On the way, you will past Da Ban Cheng, one of the largest wind power stations in China. After arriving in Turpan, check in your hotel before launching your Turpan tour.
First you will inspect the Kariz Underground Water System, China’s third most important ancient engineering feat with a total length of 3100 miles and dating back more than 2000 years. You will go to one of the natural Kariz spots in Turpan. Then visit Jiaohe Ancient City which is the world’s oldest, largest and tallest ancient city built of mud. Many cultural relics have been unearthed, at Jiaoche, such as an antefix of the Tang Dynasty and early Buddhist scriptures. Emin Minaret was built in 1777, it is the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang and it is the only Islamic tower among the hundred most famous towers in China. After the tour, you will spend the night in Turpan.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will go to Gaochang Ancient City, located 47 km east of Turpan. The city was built in the first century B.C. and was a key point on the ancient Silk Road. Afterwards head to Astana Ancient Tombs, the royal tombs and underground museum of Xinjiang where many important scriptures, paintings and mummies have been discovered.
Then you will visit Tuyuk Village where you can observe traditional Uyghur life. Villagers live in traditional homes made of mud brick. You will also visit the non-touristy part of Flaming Mountains which extend 100 km from east to west and are about 10 km wide. In the summer, temperatures reach as high as 80 C and the air flow shimmers above the mountains like a fire. After lunch head to the Turpan Railway Station to catch the train from Turpan to Kashgar, which departs Turpan at 18:28 and arrives in Kashgar at 09:45 in the next morning.
Your train arrives in Kashgar at 09:45am. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel.
You will begin your Kashgar City Tour by visiting the Apak Hoja Tomb, also known as the “fragrant concubine tomb”. This is a very tranquil place and a beautiful example of Uyghur Islamic architecture. Next you will head to the famous live animal market, one of the biggest in the region where you will see livestock being traded. Then you will continue to the Sunday Market, renowned as the biggest in Central Asia. It is said you can buy anything you want at the Sunday Market except chicken milk or cow eggs. After Sunday Market, you will have your lunch either in a Uyghur private home or in a Uyghur restaurant (note: the request for having lunch in a Uyghur home must be made in advance).
After lunch you will wander through the winding narrow streets of the historic Kashgar Old Town rubbing shoulders with the friendly Uyghur residents. Located at the spiritual heart of Old Town is Eid Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China. You will go inside and learn about Islam in Kashgar and how it is practiced by the Uyghur people. After your visit to the Mosque, you will stroll down Handicraft Street, viewing pots being hammered, wood craftsmen at work and traditional musical instrument workshops.
Note : For entering the Mosque visitors should dress respectfully: no shorts or short sleeved shirts and women should cover their heads with a scarf.
Today transfer to the desert of Taklamakan which is China's largest desert, situated in the middle of the largest Basin, Tarim in Xinjiang Province. This is reputed to be the world's second largest shifting-sand desert covering an area of over 33, 700 square kilometers (over 13,000 square miles). Today you will also have the opportunity to enjoy camel riding. After the day tour, go back to Kashgar for the night.
Today you will have a day tour to Shipton's Arch site, a giant natural stone arch, maybe the biggest in the world (45 minutes’ walk). Go back to Kashgar in the afternoon.
This morning take the beautiful Karakoram highway. On your way to Karakul Lake, stop at the Opale village, around one hour from Kashgar. We recommend you to try the pilaf rice. And head afterwards to the local market where you will buy the bread and fruits for the next days. Get back into the car and enjoy the scenery. After 30 minutes you will arrive at the Red Oytagh Mountain.
After a stop at the check point you will arrive at the Karakul Lake (3600 meters) located between the Gonger Mount (7719m) and the Mount Mutzgah Ata (7546m). Today is an easy walk along the lake and meadows under the watch of the Mutzagh Ata. Transfer to Tashkurgan for the night.
After breakfast you will visit Stone Fort, located in the center of Tashkurgan. As it is said, old more than 2000 years, it was formerly the royal residence of the Tajik kingdom. You will hike across the Tashkurgan grassland under the watchful gaze of Mt. Mutztah Ata and Mt. Pamir.
Free at leisure until your driver transfers you to the airport.
|2 People||4 People||5 People|
|Price per person High Season||£1,560||£1,260||£1,530|
|Price per person Low Season||£1,390||£1,160||£1,020|
|Single Supplement High Season||£270||£270||£270|
|Single Supplement Low Season||£260||£260||£260|
|Contact Agency for 2019 Tour Dates|