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8-Day Xinjiang Silk Road Tour including Dunhuang

 Route: Kashgar – Tashkurgan – Urumqi – Turpan – Dunhuang

Activities: This 8 days Xinjiang Silk Road Tour including Dunhuang designed to let you experience the Muslim and Buddhism culture and custom on the Silk Road China. It includes top historical attractions, comfortable hotels, and featured restaurants together with selected hard working local guides and drivers for your unforgettable once in your life time trip.

Day 01

Place & Transport:Arrival to Kashgar Via Urumqi

Day’s Activities:Kashgar  Airport pick up

Place to stay: Kashgar

You fly in kashgar with connected flight from Beijing or Shanghai via UrumqiWe will meet you at Kashgar  Airport then transfer to Hotel

 

Day 02

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 tomb, also called fragrant concubine tomb (Xingfei 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 03

Place & Transport:Kashgar to Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan

Day’s Activities:Karakoram Highway, Opal village, Red Mountain, Corner Lake & Sand Mountain, MT. Muztagh Ata (7546m) & MT.Konger (7719m), Karakul Lake

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








Place to stay: Tashkurgan

Today we take a drive on Karakurum 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 take 1.5 hours drive from Karakul lake to Tashkorgan. It Tashkurgan is an interesting small town located on the Pamir Plateau.  This area was extremely isolated until the rebuilding of the Karakurum highway in 1987 and even today the local community still lives in a very traditional fashion with only a single road reaching here from Kashgar, so it has retained a certain uniqueness. This region is commonly known as the main road of the “old Silk Road” the main route leading from China to West Asia. The average elevation is 4000 meters.

 

Day 04

Place & Transport:Tashkorgan to Kashgar (300Km)

Day’s Activities: Tashkorgan, Stone fort, Tashkorgan grassland, Subash pass

  • Tashkorgan Stone City
  • Tashkorgan Grassland









Place to stay: Urumqi

After breakfast we will visit the Stone fort, located in downtown Tashkurgan. It has a history of more than 2000 years. In times gone by it was the central palace of the Tajik kingdom. Then we will hike around the Tashkurgan grassland and enjoy the scenery of Mt. Mutztah Ata and Mt. Pamir. We take the Karakorum Highway back to Kashgar and arrive in the late afternoon.In the evening take an evening flight to Urumqi.

Note: Guests will need to carry their passports on this tour as they will be required to show these at the Gaz check point (around an hour after the colorful mountain on the first day and also on the way back to Kashgar).  Everybody at this point needs to be registered by the authorities due to its close proximity to many bordering countries. It is also advisable to bring warm clothes as temperatures can be colder than those found in Kashgar at the higher altitudes.

 

Day 05

Place & Transport:Urumqi tour

Today’s Activities:Heavenly lake, Xinjiang musuem

  • Heavenly Lake
  • Heavenly Lake








Place to stay: Urumqi

You will meet with your guide in your hotel after breakfast then set off for Urumqi tours. Your guide and driver will take you to Heavenly Lake, which is 110km away from Urumqi. s After Heavenly tour we will visit the extensive Xinjiang Museum. It is a large integrated museum, holding all key artifacts and cultural relics central to 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.

 

Day 06

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 07

Place & Transport: Turpan tour and Night train to Dunhunag

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

  • Gaochang Ancient City
  • Astana Ancient Tombs
  • Tuyuk Village
  • Flaming Mountain








Place to stay: On the train

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.

In the evening we take the night train to Dunhuang

 

Day 08

Place & Transport:Transfer Dunhuang Railway Station to Hotel then Tour in DunHuang

Day’s Activities:Mogao Caves, Echoing sand dunes, Crescent Moon Spring

  • Mogao Caves
  • Echoing sand dunes
  • Crescent Moon Spring








Place to stay: Dunhuang

We arrive at the Dunhuang railway station early in the morning and then take a 1.5 hour drive from the station to Dunhuang city to check in to our hotel and freshen up. We head to Mogao Grottoes that morning. Constructed over a millennium ago, from the 4th to the 14th centuries, the caves hold the world’s richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.

We will have lunch at Mogao Caves and then drive to Crescent Moon Spring, 6km south of Dunhuang in the Singing Sands Mountains. It is quite literally an oasis in the desert. The spring’s name derives from the crescent moon shape taken by the small pool of spring water between two large sand dunes. Although the area is very dry, the pool doesn’t dry up as one might expect.

We return to Dunhuang in the afternoon and take a walk around Shazhou Market in town. After dinner we will watch the Flying Sky Show (Fei Tian), a traditional Buddhist dance. End our service this evening.