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9-Day Xinjiang Southern Silk Road Tour

Route: Urumqi – Turpan – Hotan – Taklamakan Desert – Yarkand – Kashgar

Activities: Tour starts from regional capital city of Urumqi and ends in Kashgar, the important hub on ancient Silk Road. During this 9 days trip, you will be visiting the Heavenly Lake in Urumqi, Gaocheng ancient city in Turpan, riding camel and camping by campfire in Taklamakan Desert in Hotan. Concluded the tour by visiting the Sunday Market in Kashgar.

Day 01

Place & Transport: Arrival to Urumqi

Day’s Activities: Transfer to Hotel from Urumqi Airport

Place to Stay: Urumqi

Our guide and driver will meet you at Urumqi Airport then transfer you to your hotel. You will be given time to rest after long flight journey.


Day 02

Place & Transport: Urumqi to Turpan then Turpan Tour (180KM)

Day’s Activities: Kariz Underground Water System, Jiaohe Ancient City, Emin Minaret

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

Place to Stay: Turpan

After breakfast we 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: Turpan Tour

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

  • Gaochang Ancient City
  • Astana Ancient Tombs
  • Tuyuk Village

Place to Stay: Turpan

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.


Day 04

Place & Transport: Turpan to Heavenly Lake via Urumqi (300km)

Day’s Activities: Heavenly Lake, Kazak Family Visiting

  • Heavenly Lake
  • Heavenly Lake

Place to Stay: Local Kazak Yurt

After breakfast you will drive from Turpan to Heavenly Lake and enjoy the fascinating scenery of the lake as well as the snow capped Boghda peak. Night will be spending the night with Kazak people in their traditional yurts.


Day 05

Place & Transport: Heavenly Lake to Urumqi (110Km)

Day’s Activities: Xinjiang Museum, Erdaoqiao International Market

After breakfast we will drive back to Urumqi (110KM) to 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. After that we will visit the Erdaoqiao grand Bazaar which can be the cymbal of Xinjiang area. Later of the day you will take an evening flight from Urumqi to Hotan.


Day 06

Place & Transport: Hotan Tour & Desert Camp

Day’s Activities:Taklamakan desert, Imam Asim Tomb, Local silk, Carpet, Jade Workshops. White Jade River, Hotan Bazzar

  • Taklimakan Desert
  • Local Silk
  • Carpet Factory
  • White Jade River
  • Hotan Bazaar

Place to Stay: Taklamakan Desert Camp

After breakfast we will visit Hotan’s amazing Hotan Market, a huge lively market which is like taking a journey back in time, experiencing donkey gridlock. Hotan is particularly famous for its high quality Jade products; the best Jade in China being found here in 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. Late in the afternoon we will take a camel ride out into the Taklamakan Desert and camp over night here.  We will enjoy a camp fire dinner and breakfast in the desert.

Note: We will provide you with all the necessary camping equipment, tents, sleeping bags and blankets etc.


Day 07

Place & Transport: Hotan to Kashgar (540KM)

Day’s Activities: Yarkand Golden Graveyard, Tomb of Aman Nisahan,Yarkand Old Town, Yegisar Knife Factory

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

Place to Stay: Kashgar

We will leave for Kashgar after breakfast. On our way to Kashgar 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 making process and purchase souvenirs.  Next stop a further two hours down the road will be Yarkand (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 Kashgar and arrive in Kashgar in the late afternoon.


Day 08

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 09

Place & Transport: Fly Out from Kashgar

Day’s Activities: Transfer to Kashgar Airport

After the breakfast at the hotel, our guide and driver will see you off at Kashgar Airport and help you with your checking in.