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8-Day Xinjiang Silk Road Discovery Tour

Route: Urumqi – Turpan – Kashgar – Yarkand – Hotan

Activities: This 8 days Xinjiang Silk Road Discovery Tour suitable to those who has limited time, and also their first time to visit Xinjiang. This tour allows you to discover what Silk Road Xinjiang offer by specifically focusing on historical and ethnically diverse cities along the Silk Road China.

Day 01

Place & Transport: Flight from Shabghai or Beijing to Urumqi

Day’s Activities:Airport to Hotel Transfer (Urumqi)

Place to stay: Urumqi


Day 02

Place & Transport: Drive from Urumqi to Turpan (180KM) then Turpan tour

Day’s Activities: Kariz underground water system, Jiao he Ancient City, Emin Minaret

  • Kariz Underground Water System
  • Jiaohe Ancient City
  • Emin Minaret

Place to stay: Turpan

The drive from Urumqi to Turpan is about 3 hours. On the way we can see the largest wind powered station in China (da ban cheng). After arrival and check-in, we begin our tour of Turpan. Kariz underground water system is the China’s third most important ancient engineering feat with a total length of 3100 miles and dating back more than 2000 years.

Jiaohe Ancient City is the oldest, largest, highest ancient city built of mud in the World. Many cultural relics were unearthed, such as antefix of the Tang Dynasty and Buddhist scriptures at the Ancient City of Jiao he

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 famous towers in China).


Day 03

Place & Transport: Drive from Turpan to Urumqi (180Km) Evening flight to Kashgar

Day’s Activities: Gaochang Ancient City,Astana Ancient Tombs, Tuyuk Valley

  • Gaochang Ancient City
  • Astana Ancient Tombs
  • Tuyuk Village

Place to stay: kashgar

After breakfast we drive to Gaochang Ancient City, 47 km east of Turpan. The city was built in the first century B.C; it was a key point on the ancient Silk Road. Then we head to Astana Ancient tombs, the capital tombs and underground museum of Xinjiang where many important writings, paintings and mummies have been discovered. Next we will have a traditional Uygher lunch in Tuyuk Valley.We will visit the Tuyuk Village where we can see traditional Uyghur life. Villagers live in traditional homes made of mud.

After lunch we head to Urumqi early in the afternoon to catch the flight to Kashgar (4 hours).


Day 04

Place & Transport: Kashgar to Karakul Lake to Kashgar (400Km round trip)

Day’s Activities: Opal willage, Oytagh red mountain, Corner Lake, Karakul Lake, Muztagh ata,Konger mountain, Karakurum Highway

  • Karakoram Highway
  • Corner Lake
  • Mt. Muztagh Ata
  • Karakul Lake

Place to stay:Kashgar

Today we take a drive on Karakoram highway, renowned as the highest paved border crossing in the World and regarded as one of the World’s most beautiful highways). We will see the following on our drive: Opal village is a 1 hour drive from Kashgar. It is a good location to take photos of village life and traditional activities like bread making and Uyghur food stalls. Half an hour drive from the village we will arrive in Oytagh Red Mountain. The mountain valley is surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of multi-coloured mountains topped by snowcapped peaks. Corner Lake (Bulung Kul) is a tranquil shallow lake where you can take very nice photographs of the lake with stunning reflections of the sand mountains. Karakul Lake is 3600 meters above sea level. It is located between Mt. Muztagata  (7546 meters) and Mt. Gonger (7719 meters), which are said to be 2 of the 6 most beautiful mountains in the World

We will visit the local Kyrgyz Yurts and listen to their stories about traditional ways of nomadic mountain life.

Picnic lunch: We will then enjoy our picnic lunch of fruits and fresh bread that we purchased in Opal village in a beautiful picnic spot overlooking the Karakul Lake. We will return to Kashgar in time for dinner.


Day 05

Place & Transport: Kashgar City tour

Day’s Activities: Apak Hoja tomb, Sunday market, Old Town, Id Kah Mosque, Handicraft Street

  • Kashgar Apak Hoja Tomb
  • Kashgar Sunday Market
  • Kashgar Old Town
  • Kashgar Id Kah Mosque
  • Kashgar Handicraft Street

Place to stay:Kashgar

We will begin our tour of Kashgar City by visiting the Apak Hoja tombalso called fragrant concubine tomb (Xiangfei in Chinese). This is a very tranquil place and a beautiful example of Uyghur Islamic architecture.

Next we will head to the Infamous lively Sunday market renowned as the biggest market in Central Asia. It is said you can buy anything you want from the Sunday market except chicken milk and Cow eggs.

We will then enjoy lunch in a typical Uyghur restaurant.

After lunch we will wander through the narrow winding streets of the historic Old town brushing shoulders with the friendly Uyghur residents. Located at the spiritual heart of old town is Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China. We will go inside and have the chance to understand a bit more about the Islamic life of the Uyghur people. We will pass down Handicraft Street where we can view 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.


Day 06

Place & Transport: Kashgar to Hotan (540KM)

Day’s Activities:Yegisar knife factory, Graveyard of the Yarkent Uyghur Kingdom, Tomb of Aman Nisahan,Yarkent Old town

  • Yegisar knife factory
  • Yarkand Golden graveyard
  • Yarkent old town

Place to stay: Hotan

We will leave for Hotan after breakfast. On our way to Hotan we will make a stop in the county of Yegisar.  Yegisar is the most famous region in Xinjiang for making traditional Uyghur knives. We will have the chance to visit one of the many knife factories here and view the production process and purchase souvenirs.  Next stop, a further two hours down the road is Yarkent (shache in Chinese). In Yarkand we will first visit the Golden Graveyard.   This graveyard dates from the 17th Century and is the burial place of Royal family members of the Yarkand Uyghur Kingdom. Next to this is the Tomb of Aman Nisahan, the wife of the second King of the Yarkand Kingdom. Aman Nisahan is a famous Uyghur poet, musician and composer. She is most renowned for her transcription of the Twelve Mukam of famous traditional Uyghur music. We will enjoy a traditional lunch of corn noodles, pumpkin dumplings and kebab in a local Yarkand teahouse.  After lunch we will continue our journey to Hotan (around four and a half hours)


Day 07

Place & Transport: Hotan tour, Evening flight to Urumqi

Day’s Activities: Taklamakan desert, Imam Asim Tomb, Local silk, carpet, jade Workshops, White Jade River

  • Taklimakan Desert
  • Local Silk
  • Carpet Factory
  • Jade Workshops
  • Hotan Bazaar

After breakfast we will drive to Taklamakan desert, the second largest sand desert in the world where you have the option to ride a camel. Imam Asim tomb (10th century) is located in the desert. Hotan is particularly famous for its high quality Jade products; the best Jade in China is found in the White Jade River. We will visit the river and try to find some Jade for ourselves and watch the locals at work digging and sifting for the precious rock. We will also visit the white Jade factory to see how the Jade is processed and made into jewelry and ornaments. Hotan is also renowned for its high quality wool carpets. We will visit a carpet workshop to see the weaving process. After dinner we will take the evening flight to Urumqi.


Day 08

Place & Transport: Urumqi tour the transfer to Urumqi airport

Day’s Activities: Xinjiang Museum

After breakfast we will visit the extensive Xinjiang Museum. It is a large integrated museum, holding all key artifacts and cultural relics central to the Xinjiang region and the Silk Road. The museum is famous for its rich collections of silk artifacts dating from many periods throughout history. The museum also contains several mummies, some of them dating back 4000 years, which can easily rival those found in Egypt. After lunch we will take you to the airport for your respective onward journeys.

After lunch we will take you to the airport and help you check in your flight home.