13-Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi and Kashgar

Visit world famous Mogao grottoes in Dunhuang, Explore the best preserved ancient city ruins around Turpan, hiking around Heavenly lake , experience local life and culture of Uighur people in Kashgar and drive along Karakoram Highway to have adventure feeling on Pamire Plateau

Day 1
Arrive in Dunhuang
pick from airport and transfer to your hotel
Day 2
Dunhuang Tours
We spend the whole morning at World heritage famous Mogao Grottoes which were constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to 14th centuries. The caves are also known as the Thousand Buddha Caves have the double distinction of being one of the most notable grottoes in China as well as the best preserved treasure house of Buddhist art, sutras, murals and sculptures in the world. After lunch we push to Dunhuang Museum which exhibits relics excavated from the local area, including paper and coins. The museum is also home to an excellent reconstruction of the Great Wall during the Han Dynasty. In the end, Riding camels, sliding high sand dunes or simply walking around and stop over at the mysterious crescent lake which no-one can explain the formation of such a geological oddity would be the great experience. Finally you take the overnight first class soft sleeper train to Turpan
Day 3
Turpan tours
meet you at Train station of Turpan and then sight seeing in Turpan. Our special itinerary today includes sightseeing in Turpan and drive back to Urumqi after Lunch. First we visit Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city which is one of the best preserved ancient cities in China , the ruins of the buildings are divided into temples, civilian dwellings and government offices, workshops and residential houses in the streets are still visible and time there is time spent in a world long disappeared. After an hour of walking around the city area, we’ll push on to see the world famous Karez irrigation system, unique to this part of the world. The system is considered as one of the three great projects in China with the other two being the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. Then visit the Emin Suliman minaret which is a magnificent combination of ancient Uighur and Islamic architecture. It is the tallest ancient pagoda in Xinjiang and the only Islamic ancient pagoda in the country. Locals call it “pure tower.”
stay in Turpan
Day 4
Turpan tours , then drive to Urumqi
First we visit Idikut (Gaochang) ancient city which was first built in the first Century BC and later became capital of the Idikut (Gaochang) Uighur Kingdom in the 8th Century, then drive to Toyuq ancient Village which is an old, beautiful and timeless village with a friendly Uighur community, then drive to Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves which used to be an important center for Buddhist worship under the Xizhou Huigu government of the Idikut (Gaochang) Kingdom.
Finally, on the way back we will stop at the Flaming Mountains which people claim are so hot and dry that “flying birds even a thousand miles away dare not to come”
Stay in Urumqi
Day 5
Day trip to Heavenly Lake
Leave for Heavenly Lake after breakfast and travel 115 kms (71 Miles) over two hours by vehicle. Your stay at the heavenly lake is your time to ride horses, go boating, take photos or simply trek around the lake for as long as you like. You can eat lunch together with a local Kazak family or just pay them a visit! This is certainly the easiest way to understand the life style of the Kazak people in such a short time.
Stay in Urumqi
Day 6
Urumqi to Kashgar
in the morning visit the Xinjiang Museum which houses an impressive collection of exhibits, covering artifacts and relics from more than 12 minority groups.
then take afternoon flight to Kashgar
stay in Kashgar
Day 7
Explore Kashgar City
Explore the rich, endless culture of the Uighurs in Kashgar. spend time by the Id Kah mosque, the largest mosque in China and marvel at the intricate architecture of Kashgar’s historic Apak hoja tomb. We’ll also spend time today in the Kashgar old town and have dinner with a local Uighur family.
Day 8
Kashgar to Karakul Lake
We set out along the Sino – Pakistan Karakorum Highway, on the Pamir plateau (the roof of the world) for your visit to Karakul Lake (3600m above sea level). The lake sits at the feet of the notorious, Muztagh Ata ( 7546m ) and Gongur ( 7719m ) mountains. ‘Muztagh Ata’ means Father of the Ice Mountain and is one the most beautiful and mysterious mountains in the world.
People travel to experience the lives of another culture, which is why we spend the night in the yurt of a local Kyrgyz family and really experience another way of life.
Day 9
Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan
Tashkurgan Tajik autonomous county was once an important hub on the old Silk Road. The area borders Pakistan and Afghanistan and is connected to them via the Kunjerab Pass.
After arriving at Tashkurgan, you’ll have an opportunity to see the town’s ancient stone fort – still standing after 1800 years! ‘Tashkurgan’ is a translation of ‘Stone Fort.’ Walking around Tajik neighborhoods, and pay a visit to Local Tajik families live around this historic town.
stay at Tashkorgan
Day 10
Tashkorgan to Glacei park and Kashgar
Oytagh Mountain is a part of the famous Kunlun Mountain Range. Oytagh is also a fantastic place to trek around the Forest or Ice Mountains
Stay at Kashgar
Day 11
Kashagr Sunday market
Visit the largest bazaar in Central Asia at the Kashgar Sunday market, livestock market,
stay in Kashgar
Day 12
Day trip to Yarkand
Yarkand is a small oasis town close to the edge of the Taklamakan Desert. The old part of town offers a more rural contrast to Kashgar’s Old City, and Yarkand also boasts several fascinating cemeteries, including the tombs of the Altun Kings – a Uyghur dynasty that ruled over the region for several centuries – and Amannisahan, a famous Uyghur Queen and compiler of Uyghur classical music.
Stay in kashgar
Day 13
Depart from Kashgar

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