13-Day Xinjiang Silk Road Tours

  • Tour Code: CNXJ17

  • Destinations:Urumqi, Turpan, Kucha, Taklamakan Desert Highway, Niya, Keriya, Hotan, Yarkant, Yingsar, Kashgar, Karakul Lake, Karakoram Highway

  • Tour Type: Private Tour

FAQ

Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy a nice hike in the Grand Canyon of Tianshan.
  • Discover hand made silk textiles, carpets, papers and unique Jades of Hotan.
  • Experience a journey through middle of the longest desert highway in the World.
  • Enjoy the earliest Buddhism Art, Ancient Xinjiang Buddhism and the Silk Road center of Xinjiang.
  • Visit Karez underground irrigation channels one of the three Great Projects in China.
  • Explore the ancient city of Jiaohe, which was built by digging down from the ground.
  • Explore the culture, history and see the real life of Kashgar in the Old City.
  • Visit Golden Mosque and Royal family Tombs of Yarkend.

Day 1
Arrive in Urumqi
Meals:No Meals
Activities: Warmly welcome you at Urumqi airport and transfer to your hotel
Our guide will pick you up from Urumqi airport and accompany you to your Hotel. For the first day in Xinjiang you are free to explore on you own as you will.
Urumqi is the capital city of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of the people’s republic of China. It is located in the north – west of the country. Urumqi was a major hub on the Silk Road during China’s Tang dynasty and developed its reputation as a leading cultural and commercial center during the Qing dynasty. Literal translation of Urumqi means “beautiful pasture” in Mongolian language. It is the largest city in China’s western region. Since 1990s Urumqi has developed economically and now serves as a regional transport hub, educational,cultural and commercial center.
Day 2
Urumqi to Turpan
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: visit Xinjiang Museum in the morning then drive to Turpan
After breakfast, visit the Xinjiang Museum which houses an impressive collection of exhibits, covering artifacts and relics from more than 12 minority groups. By this way you have a good understanding about Xinjiang and the Silk Road.
Drive to Turpan after lunch, it is 180km which takes about 2:30-3:00 hours.
Day 3
Turpan For Whole Day
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: Visit Idikut (Gaochang) ancient city, Astana tombs, Toyuq village, Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves and Flaming Mountains
After breakfast We start our exciting day in Turpan with a visit to the ancient city of Idikut (Gaochang). The city was first built in the first Century BC and later became capital of the Idikut (Gaochang) Uighur Kingdom in the 8th Century. We’ll spend one hour in this ancient city and then drive to Karakhoja Astana tombs, a Tang-dynasty burial ground which is also known as the “Underground Museum”. Astana means “capital” in the Uighur language and Karakhoja is a name of a legendary hero of an ancient Uighur Kingdom who saved his people by killing a vicious dragon.
Move on to Toyuq village, an old, beautiful and timeless village with a friendly Uighur community. Here we visit several local families and have lunch with a local family at their home. This could be the highlight of your tour of the day.
After lunch visit Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves which used to be an important center for Buddhist worshipers under the Xizhou Huigu government of the Idikut (Gaochang) Kingdom.
On the way back to the hotel we will stop at the Flaming Mountains which people claimed to be the hottest and driest along the silk road that “flying birds even a thousand miles away dare not to come”
Day 4
Turpan to Kucha By Overnight Train
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: Visit Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city, Karez underground Irrigations system and Emin Minaret. Take overnight train to Kucha
Following a hearty breakfast at the Hotel we start our wonderful day in Turpan. Our special itinerary today includes sightseeing in Turpan and take overnight train to Kucha.
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,residential houses and the streets are still visible and time there is a time spent in a long lost world.
After an hour of seeing around the ancient city, we’ll drive 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.
Later visit Emin Suliman minaret which is a magnificent combination of ancient Uighur and Islamic architecture. It is the tallest ancient tower in Xinjiang and the only Islamic ancient minaret in the country. Locals call it “pure tower.”
End of the day Take overnight soft sleeper train to Kucha. The train journey is about 8:00-9:00 hours.
Train Info
The train Journey from Turpan to Kucha which is about 8:00-9:00 hours. We book first class soft sleeper tickets, there are 4 beds in one compartment, this tour includes one ticket per person. so if you are less than 4 people and want to get all 4 beds, you have to pay for the rest of the beds then you can stay privately without any other strangers. please let us know when you make booking.

Day 5
Kucha For Whole Day
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: Visit Kizil Thousand Budha caves and Tianshan mysterious Grand Canyon
In the morning visit the Kizil Thousand Buddha caves which sit high on the cliffs over the Northern bank of the Muzat River, 75km (46miles) from Kucha city. The caves were hewn between the 3rd and 8th century and formed one of the earliest Buddhist art treasure troves in China. In fact the caves were in use one century before the famous Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang.
we have lunch at a restuarant next to the caves and drive to Tianshan mysterious Grand Canyon which is about a little more than an hour distance from the caves. Tianshan Great Canyon is located about 70km from Kucha city. The canyon is attractive not only for its colors but also the formation of the rocks. Today, Tianshan Grand Canyon is regarded as one of the ten most beautiful in China.
Drive back to Kucha after a long and exciting one day trip and have dinner before going back to hotel.
Day 6
Kucha to Desert
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: Drive along the desert Highway and camp overnight on the way
An early start today as we set out for Desert after breakfast and drive into the Desert Highway. This desert highway was built from 2005 to 2007 and opened in 2008. Today we drive about 200km through local villages and 420kms more on the desert highway.
You’ll love the highway with the outstanding scenery of Sand dunes. we can stop whenever you like to take for photos, walking around or to some fun.
The word ‘Taklimakan’ means Sea of Death: “once you come in you can never go back”, This will certainly be an unforgettable part of your trip.
before the sun sets down, we’ll stop at a place with high sand dunes and set up tents.
In the evening make fire and cook kabab for dinner.
Day 7
Desert to Hotan
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: Keep driving to Hotan and visit Grand Market, Silk Fabric, Jade River, carpet making.
Get up early in the morning and enjoy the sunrise over the sand dunes (on a good day) and pack up tents.
Keep driving to Hotan city and arrive by lunch time.
A shower at the hotel would be nice to get rid of the sands and the dusts of the desert, but the memory remains forever.
In the afternoon walk around Hotan grand Bazaar for a few hours; Then drive to Traditional Silk Fabric where you can see how to get the silk and weave into cloth by the traditional way.
Then visit Hotan museum, carpet making factory and jade carving factory.
Day 8
Hotan to Yarkand
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: Drive to Yarkant, in the afternoon tour around Yarkant
In the afternoon enjoy the local culture and do some sightseeing. visit Golden Mosque (built in 1533) and its graveyard including several hundred years old tombs. Yarkand was the capital of many Uighur Kingdoms in ancient times and an important station on the old Silk Road.
Day 9
Yarkant to Kashgar
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: After breakfast Drive to Kashgar and have free time.
After breakfast set out for Kashgar which is about 3 hours driving distance.
Have free time in the afternoon.
If you want,you can walk around the old city and our guide will provide you an English Map of the city which helps you walk around by yourself.
Day 10
Kashgar to Tashkorgan
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: Drive along the KKH, Stop at Opal Village, Oytagh Kunlunshan Colorful mountain range, Gaz Valley and check point, Bulungkol Valley (white sand mountain), Karakul lake and local Kyrgyz family visit
We set out along the Sino – Pakistan Karakorum Highway, on the Pamir plateau (the roof of the world)visit Karakul Lake (3600m above sea level). The lake sits at the foot of the notorious, Muztagh Ata (7546m) and Gongur (7719m) mountains. ‘Muztagh Ata’ means Father of the Ice Mountain and is one of the most beautiful and mysterious mountains in the world.
Lunch will be at local Kyrgyz family or at the lake side restaurant as your like.
You can stop at some good spots along the way for photos as much as you like or hiking around Karakul lake for a few hours. Our driver and guide never mind for your stops or time for hiking
Arrive Tashkorgan in the late afternoon and stay overnight
Day 11
Tashkorgan to Kashgar
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: Visit Stone Fort, Tajik village, Hike on the Grassland and drive back to Kashgar after lunch
Tashkurgan Tajik autonomous county was once an important hub on the old Silk Road. The area borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan via the Kunjerab Pass and Wahan Corridor.
After breakfast, you’ll have an opportunity to see the town’s ancient Stone Fort – still standing after 2200 years! ‘Tashkurgan’ is a translation of ‘Stone Fort.’ Later Hike on the grassland next to the Stone Fort.
After lunch, drive back to Kashgar and you can make stops along the way if you like.
Day 12
Explore Kashgar City
Meals:B,L,D
Activities: Visit Grand mosque, Apak Hoja tomb (which is also called Fragrant Concubine Tomb), Old city walking tours, livestock market, Sunday market and dinner at a local Uighur family
Explore the rich, endless culture of the Uighurs in Kashgar. First visit livestock market which happens on every Sunday and people bring their horses, sheep, goats, camels,cows,bulls,yaks and donkeys to the market for sale. It provides a great opportunity to take photos of the faces of local people, study traditional local market culture, test-drive a donkey or horse or even make its shoes. Like opening a window, today is a real glimpse into a time lost in the annals of the Silk Road’s past and an opportunity not to be missed.
Later move on to Sunday market main Bazaar which is considered one of the largest market in Central Asia. From fluffy sheepskin hats to rugged camel-hide boots, not to mention beads, buttons and buckets of locals. Everything – including plenty of kitchen sinks – is for sale at this fairytale bazaar. It is the best chance to practice your bargaining skills.
After lunch spend some time by the Id Kah mosque, the largest mosque in China and marvel at the intricate architecture of Kashgar’s historic Apak Hoja Tomb which is also known as Fragrant concubine tomb).
We’ll also spend time in the Kashgar Old Town and have some walking tours through some ancient historical parts; Stop at a century-old tea house for a short break and taste local medicinal teas such as those containing rose, saffron, honey and many other ingredients.
Finally, we wrap up one day Kashgar city tour with a dinner at a local family which offers a great opportunity to deeply understand real local life, culture and traditions of Uighurs (only if it is available)
Day 13
Kashgar To Your Next Destination
Meals:Breakfast
Activities: See you off at Kashgar airport
Today is the last day of your tour with us, so we hope this shouldn’t be the last. We strive to make every day of your time with us the one that you’ll always remember and if you’d like to book some other tours please Contact us for more information

Tour price

  • Our Tour prices are seasonal, and we are specialized in organizing private tours, if you are interested in this tour, please let us know the time of your travel; the number of the PAX; the hotel star rating and other info as detailed as possible.
    So One of our tour consultants will contact you within 24 hours with more details.

Service Includes

  • Air-conditioned private Vehicle for whole land transportation
  • Private excellent English speaking local Tour guides
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary (one room shared by two people)
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary.
  • Entrance fee for the sights as listed in the program (including shuttle bus)
  • Expenses of the guides, drivers and vehicles (Accommodation and meals for guide and driver; Highway fee, oil and parking fees for the car)
  • Soft Sleeper train ticket from Turpan to Kucha
  • Visa support

Service excludes

  • Tips for the guides and drivers
  • Beverages
  • Arrival and Departure flights
  • Chinese visa
  • Personal excursions like horse or camel riding at the spots or boating Etc.

Trip Notes

  • Here are some notes for the above tour. If you want to make any changes according to your personal request , please let us know , one of our tour specialist will tailor make your tour just for your needs

1. Accommodation

  • —Different types of Hotels are available, including famous 5-star hotel chains, 4-star hotels in best locations, good value 3-star hotels, or boutique hotels that reflect the style of the region.
    —Hotel fees are based on two people sharing one room with twin beds at the hotels listed above
    All hotels listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities
    –If you have any special requests for hotels, please let us know, our travel experts will try to meet your requests and find out the perfect one for you.

2. Meals

  • Breakfast is usually at the hotels. Lunch and dinners will be provided at good conditioned, clean local restaurants or tourist restaurants.
    You can also taste authentic local dishes of different minorities along the Silk Road.
    sometime also arrange local family meals wherever it is possible to let you deeply understand local life and culture. You Could also join the cooking if you like.

3. Transportation

  • Air-conditioned good conditioned vehicles for whole land transportation including Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing. China is a big country, distance from one city to another is a long way to drive, so We usually arrange flights or trains to your destinations.

4. Drivers and Car Types

  • All of our tour guides are very experienced and helpful, who could create unique and unforgettable experiences to share with you.
    Our tours include excellent English-speaking local tour guides in each destination, so they don’t travel with you on the trains or flights. But our driver/guide always pick up you from railway stations or airports with “your name” on a welcome board.

    All of our drivers are experienced tourism licensed who are very helpful, friendly and easy going.
    We provide following cars for the tour:
    1. 1-2 PAX: Sedan, SUV or MPV
    2. 3-5 PAX: MPV
    3. 6-8 PAX: 13-15-Seater minibus
    4. 9-10 PAX: 17-22 Seater Minibus
    5. 11 or more PAX: 33 seater or bigger coaches.

Welcome to Silk Road Tours

  • Your concerns are ours, and we treat every guest with the highest regard. We are continually striving to provide the best possible experience for all our guests and give them a chance to discover real life and culture along the Silk Road and Xinjiang region
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