Destinations:Kashgar - Karakul Lake - Kashgar - Hotan - Taklamakan Desert - Kucha - Turpan - Dunhuang - Jiayuguan - Xining - Xiahe - Lanzhou - Tianshui - Xi'an
Our guide and driver will welcome you at Kashgar airport and take you to Hotel. On the way, guide will tell you the basic information about the Kashgar city and the area.
Overnight in Kashgar
Apak Hoja tomb, Livestock Market, Sunday Market, Id kah Mosque, Old city.
In the morning visit the Apak Ghoja Tomb, a religious and historical site, was built in 1640. Then we drive 15km out of city to Livestock Market, where you can see thousands of animals like sheep, goat, camel, cow, yak, horse and donkey etc, as well as the animal trading just same as ancient way. After lunch, we will visit Sunday Bazaar which is the Market for both locals and tourists, then visit the biggest Arabic style mosque in China – Id Kah Mosque. After that, you can walk in the handcrafts street around the Mosque. Then spend the rest of the day in the Old town of Kashgar, an old style houses and buildings.
Overnight in Kashgar
Drive along the Karakorum highway, Opal Village, Oytagh Valley, White sand mountain and Karakul Lake
After breakfast, we travel to karakul lake. We drive on the China – Pakistan friendship road – Karakorum Highway, on the way we will stop in opal village, Oytagh valley and White sand mountain for photo, on the road we will also see different landscapes, sand and stone desert, green oasis, dry mountain, snow peaks and high altitude lakes.
The Karakul lake is at the feet of the famous 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. After visit the lake and Kirgiz yurts around it, drive back to Kashgar.
Overnight in Kashgar
Agricultural fields, Yarkand county, Golden Mosque, and Royal cemetery
We start early from Kashgar to Hotan. On the way, we see many agricultural fields watered by Karakorum mountains, see the plants of cotton, wheat, corn and different fruit trees. After 3hours drive we arrive Yarkand county, we stop here and do sightseeing tour at Golden square, visit Golden Mosque (built in 1533) and Royal cemetery, which includes several hundred years of old tombs. Yarkand was the capital of many local Kingdoms in the ancient times and an important station on the Silk Road. From Kashagr to Hotan, we drive through the oasis between the Karakorum mountains and Taklamakan desert.
Overnight in Hotan
Travel through the second largest shifting sand desert – Taklamakan from South to North
Hotan located at the very south of the big desert, North of the Tibet. Hotan was on the south silk road, The desert highway runs parallel to the Hotan river, so by the road we can always spot some trees and bushes. The Taklamakan has different means Uyghur language, one is “No coming out after go in”, and another is “the is a world under the sand” since many ancient cities were buried by the sand. Taklamakn in rich in underground water because the water surrounding mountains sink into the desert in the end. It is 500km wide from south to north and 1000km long from west to east. Today there are no proper restaurants in the desert, so we need to prepare for picnic on the sand dunes.
Overnight in Kucha
Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves, Tianshan Mysterious Grand Canyon, Kucha grand mosque, old city, local Bazaar.
Kucha is a big oasis at the south of Tianshan mountains, an important city on the silk road. In the morning, we will take a tour to the mountain area, visit Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves, which was buid around 4th century, biggest caves in the region. Between 3-5th century, Kucha was the Buddhism center for the world. After the caves, we will visit the Tianshan Mysterious Grand Canyon, one unique natural views of the southern Tianshan mountains. Afternoon, we will have a tour in city, visit the Kucha grand mosque, old city, and local Bazar. After Buddhism, Kucha became Muslim area around 10th century. During the city tour, you can see the local houses, people and daily shopping. Kucha is famous for its apricot and big size of Nun bread.
In the evening take overnight soft sleeper train to Turpan.
Idikut (Gaochang) Ancient City, Astana tombs, Toyuk village, Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves and Flaming Mountains
All the sites for today are around the flaming mountain. First, we visit Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves, was dug on the hill of the Flaming mountain. The caves built during 5-12 century, which shows the Buddhism art of western region and also indicated that how Buddhism was important part of peoples life in the past. After the caves, we will have a walking tour in the Idikut (Gaochang) Ancient City, which is UNESCO site. Gaochang was the capital of Buddhism kingdom between 10-14th century, once ruled the one third of the whole Xinjiang region. The big city walls, remains of Buddha temples will fascinate you. After lunch, we will visit the Astana tombs, which contributes lots of relics to both Xinjiang regional museum and Turpan museum. At the tomb site, we can go into three special underground tombs which was built during Tang dynasety.(6-9 century). Tuyuk village is also part of Flaming mountain. The village took its main shape about 100 years ago, did not change much since then. The house, streets local people reminds you the mid-century life.
Yarghol (Jiaohe) Ancient city, Karez underground Irrigations system and then take overnight train to Liuyuan
Jiaohe Ancient city is also a UNESCO site, the best preserved soil structured city ruins in the country. It also called Yarghol by local people, means city on the cliff. Many foreign expedition teams visited and dug for relics about 100 years ago. It is a quite surprising work that well planed and structured 2300 years ago. The Karez has a history of 2000 years, one of the three great projects in ancient china. The underground water system sourced by Tianshan mountains. The Karez consist of four parts, underground channel, open channel, vertical well and reservoir. After the tour finish, we drive to Daheyan train station for overnight soft sleeper train to Liuyuan.
Mogao grottoes, Crescent Moon Lake and Mingsha Mountain.
In the morning, your guide and driver will pick you up from the train station and travel to Dunhuang city. After Lunch in Duhuang, we drive to Mogao caves, then go to the digital center to watch movies, it is about 40 minutes, the first movie is about the background of Mogao grottoes, another one is brief introduction of Mogao cave’s arts. Then take a visit to Mogao caves. Then drive to Crescent Moon Lake and Mingsha Mountain, it is called “the wonder in the desert”, there you can ride camel with double humps, you can also play the sand-sliding and gliding for entertainment. You can stay in the desert for longer and enjoy the sunset in the desert.
Overnight in Dunhuang
The historical Museum in Dunhuang, Jiayuguan Fort, Overhanging Great Wall
In the morning visit the historical Museum in Dunhuang, is a very important and famous local historic museum of its all kind over China. In this museum, more than 4000 pieces of relics were stored witch were unearthed in Dunhuang area and they can help you understand Dunhuang history. Then travel to Jiayuguan city, on the way you can enjoy the scene of Gobi desert, some beacon towers which were made in Han dynasty. After lunch in Jiayuguan city, visit Jiayuguan Fort, is the western starting point of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall, and it has the reputation of the first grand pass under the sky, then drive to Overhanging Great Wall, it looks like the wall hanging over the mountain, your guide will give you some time to climb up.
Overnight in Jiayuguan
After breakfast take the fast train to Xining which is the provincial capital city of Qinghai province, the train will cross Qinlian mountain which is a famous mountain at the north-east edge of Tibetan plateau, and along the railway, the natural scenery is very beautiful. After arriving at Xinning railway station, another guide and driver will pick you up and take you to the Kumbum Monastery which is the birth place of Tsongkapa who was the founding father of Tibetan Buddhism yellow sect. After this, go to Xining city for overnight.
Overnight in Xining
In the morning, we travel to Xiahe county which belongs to Gansu province. Along the trip, there are big beautiful mountains and marvelous grasslands. After arriving in Xiahe, Visit Labrang Monastery which is the highest school in Amdo Tibetan area. This Monastery is one of six great monastery of Tibetan Buddhism yellow sect, it Includes six colleges, even nowadays there are more than 3000 monks living in it. Overnight in Xiahe
Binglingsi grottoes temple
In the morning travel to Liujiaxia reservoir via Linxia city which belongs to Linxia Hui autonomous prefecture, it is the capital city of the prefecture where you can see strong Moslem custom. Arrive at the wharf, transfer to the speed boat to Binglingsi grottoes temple. This is a distinctive grotto temple, it has not only man-made relics, but also has very beautiful natural sceneries. although nowadays it looks like a “dead corner”, in ancient time it was on the southern route of the ancient silk road. after visiting, back by the same yacht to the same wharf and travel to Lanzhou.
Overnight in Lanzhou.
Today we Travel to Tianshui city which is the second biggest city of Gansu province. After lunch drive to Maiji mountain and visit Maiji Grottoes, is one of the four greatest Buddhist grottoes in China. Maiji Grottoes is located in the famous Qingling mountain area and it is famous for it’s large quantity of sculptured status, which were made in different period of time and has different characteristics, because of this, Maiji grotto is called “the exhibition building of oriental sculptures”
Overnight in Tianshui
Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum
In the morning Travel to Xi’an, after arriving we will have lunch and start the tour to Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, it is the eighth wonder of the world. Study shows that they are the guards of the Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum – the first emperor of China.
City Wall, Great Mosque, Hui min streets
In the early morning, we drive to the City Wall, which was built during the Ming Dynasty, is one of the special sites of Xi’an and best preserved part of the great wall. From the City Wall you can see the whole view of the ancient city. Then we drive to the Xi’an Great Mosque, is the mixing architecture of Chinese and Arabic, also the biggest mosque in China. Then we will have a walking tour in the Hui min streets, where you can see various of Hui cuisines and snacks, we will have lunch here and transfer to airport. Fly back to sweet home.
All flight tickets
Tip for guide and driver