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7 Days Discover Xinjiang Tour Enquiry

This tour takes you to the far west of China where you will discover different cultures and the history of the Silk Road. It finishes with a trip along the awe inspiring Karakoram Highway to Lake Karakul with its fantastic reflections.

Urumqi – Turpan – Kashgar – Urumqi

Heavenly Lake, Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar, Urumqi Wind Power Mill, Jiaohe Ancient City, Emin Minaret, Karez Well, Bezeklik Caves, Flaming Mountain, Gaocheng Ancient City, Idkah Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Karakoram Highway, Karakul Lake

Itinerary Day By Day

Day 1 – Arrival in Urumqi

Our guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area at Urumqi Airport and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Meals: No meals provided.

Day 2 – Urumqi

Attractions: Heavenly Lake, Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar

One hundred and twenty kilometres northeast of Urumqi is Heavenly Lake (Tianchi) and our destination for today. The clear waters of the lake are surrounded by snow capped peaks and forested hills, a stunning sight. After a boat ride on the lake you can enjoy lunch in a Kazakh yurt. Then you can hike down the valley following a rushing stream past waterfalls and peaceful pools. Back in downtown Urumuqi you can browse in the bustling Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar for handicraft souvenirs like rugs, Uygur style hats, embroideries and jade carvings.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel
Lunch in a Kazazk yurt

Day 3 – Turpan

Attractions: Urumqi Wind Power Mill, Jiaohe Ancient City, Emin Minaret, Karez Well

Today we will drive to Turpan which is located 154 metres below sea level making it the lowest place in China and the second lowest in the world behind the Dead Sea. It is also China’s hottest place making the climate ideal for grape and melon growing. Historically it was a major stopping place on the Silk Road route.

Not far out of the city of Urumqi you will begin to notice lots of wind turbines. These are part of the Urumqi Wind Power Mill project and are a stunning sight against the mountain backdrop. The road then leads downwards to Turpan. First stop is Jiaohe Ancient City which was a prosperous trading and military stronghold 1,600 years ago. It is the largest, oldest and best-preserved earthen city in the world.

Emin Minaret was built in 1777 to honor a Turpan general named Emin Khoja and it is the tallest Islam minaret in China. Also of interest is the Karez Well, an underground irrigation system which collected the melting snow and kept it from evaporating in the heat.

You will stay overnight in Turpan.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 4 – Turpan to Urumqi to Kashgar

Attractions: Bezeklik Caves, Flaming Mountain, Gaocheng Ancient City, Grape Valley

Your day begins with a tour to the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves which were carved by Buddhist monks over a 900 year period between about 400 and 1300AD. They are near the Flaming Mountains where some of China’s highest temperatures have been recorded. Gaochang Ancient City is another ruin from the days of the Silk Road. Finish your Turpan experience at Grape Valley where you can sample some fresh fruit in the cool arbors.

You will then be driven back to Urumqi where you will connect with your flight to Kashgar.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 5 – Kashgar

Attractions: Idkah Mosque, Apak Hoja Tomb, Grand Bazaar

Kashgar used to be the Silk Road crossroads of Central Asia and in modern times it is China’s Muslim center with a predominantly Uygur population. On your way to visit the Mosque you will walk along the handicraft street where you will see craftsmen producing all manner of amazing goods. The Idkah Mosque is one of the largest and busiest in China and dates from 1442. You must be modestly dressed to enter. Not far away is the largest Islamic mausoleum in China, the Apak Hoja Tomb with its beautiful glazed tiles.

You can’t leave Kashgar without visiting the famous markets. From jewelry to carpets, hats and scarves, musical instruments and prayer mats, raisins and figs, you will find it all there. Try to visit on a Sunday when the Live Stock Market is in operation. It offers a glimpse of the past with the intense buying and selling of lambs, donkeys, goats and the occasional camel.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 6 – Kashgar

Attractions: Karakoram Highway, Karakul Lake

Today you will drive along the famous Karakoram Highway on the road towards Pakistan. The snow capped mountains beckon as you leave Kashgar and soon you are amongst them climbing up the Gez river valley. There is spectacular scenery on all sides but the highlight of the day is Lake Karakul. Situated at 3,600 metres and surrounded by snowy peaks it is famous for its amazing reflections.

You will return to Kashgar in time to connect with your flight to Urumqi.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 7 – Depart Urumqi

Today you will be transferred back to Urumqi Airport for your flight to your next destination.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel