Highlights

● Visit Xinjiang's most representative and exotic city- Kashgar get amazed by its famous Sunday bazaar; and feel the exotic culture in the Kashgar Old Town where you can experience the authentic Uighur living style.

● Driving on the China-Pakistan Highway to enjoy the stunning landscape surrounding the Karakul Lake, which is in the middle of the Pamir Mountains, higher than the legendary Lake Titicaca in South America. 

● Enjoy the traditional Farmer Painting, Not having received formal training in art, these farmer-painters follow their own instincts when drawing. Themes are all based upon the farmers' lives.

● Step into the caves of Kizil Grottoes, which is the oldest Chinese Buddhist Cultural Palace, also the first stop of Buddhism in China to find out why it was the seat of the ancient Qiuci Kingdom and what role it has played on the ancient Silk Road and in the development of Chinese culture.

● Travel to N39° Desert, one of the 100 most beautiful shooting locations. To conquer the death desert that Swedish Explorer Sven Hedin did not make 122 years ago. Mysterious and seductive, it is a dream destination for both domestic and foreign explorers and outdoor enthusiasts.

● Visit the ancient Jiaohe Ruins, which is one of the best-preserved earthen architecture sights in the world. Admire the precious cultural treasures to find out why it was an ancient city and what role it has played on the ancient old Silk Road. 

ITINERARY Close All

Day 1Arrive in Kashgar

Welcome to Kashgar! It is the most representative and exotic city in Xinjiang. Kashgar is an ancient city with Uighur people as its main inhabitants. It has strong ethnic characteristics and it's a place where Chinese and Western cultures blend; Kashgar people are warm and hospitable. Your tour guide will meet you at the Airport (or railway station), then escort you to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to explore this beautiful ancient city. 

Traffic: Car
Hotel: Overnight in Kashgar
Altitude: 1289m

Day 2Drive on Karakoram Highway to visit Karakul Lake

In the morning, enjoy your nice buffet breakfast. Driving on the China and Pakistan highway about 4hrs to enjoy the landscape of Pamirs Plateau. The following day will be spent exploring the stunning landscape surrounding the Karakul Lake, where the herds of livestock around the lakeside are reflected in lake and is extraordinarily graceful, where Kirghiz herdsmen usually settle down and graze their herds. Located on the roof of the world, Karakul Lake is about 4,000 meters above sea level, in the middle of the Pamir Mountains, higher than the legendary Lake Titicaca in South America. In the surreal morning light, the ghost town by the lake roams the village with its whitewashed blue houses like something out of a Greek island. However, the whole place feels like a ghost town, with few residents going out as the hot sun during the summer months and brutally cold high-altitude temperatures freeze the town and lake for the rest of the year. Take your time to wander around the lake and the town to enjoy the landscape and take photos until returning time. 

Traffic: Car
Hotel: Overnight in Kashgar
Meals: Breakfast
Altitude: 1289m
  • Karakoram-highway.jpg

    Karakoram-highway

  • Karakul-lake.jpg

    Karakul-lake

Day 3Kashgar Sunday Market, Makit Farmer Painting

Today we will do full day Kashgar city excursion. around 09:00 we will visit the Idigar Mosque, the largest Mosque in China and the most sacred mosque for the locals to practise their Islamic activities. Around 10:30 we have to visit the Old Town when the open ceremony ready to greeting all the tourists with the culture show, further exploration to the special culture. Lunch arranged in the local Restaurant. 

We will pay a visit to the famous Sunday bazaar, the outdoor Animal Bazar is the first bazaar we visit, where the farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, motorbike or on foot, with their animals. It's loud, lively and cheerful as they arrive. It is quite interesting to witness their typical methods of bargin. Afterwards, . The tour today ends with the wandering to the bustling Handicraft street, dazzling jewelry, primitive pottery,unique musical instrument, daily resources of the locals. 

We are going to the next stop Makit and pay a visit to Dolan Farmer Painting, which are welcomed by farmers and artists because of their bold and bright colors. The creative medium is quite diverse and you will be dazzled by the paintings created by local farmers, who have received no professional training and been enriched by the local traditional culture. 

Traffic: Car (170kms)
Hotel: Overnight in Makit
Meals: Breakfast
Altitude: 1195m
  • Sunday-market.jpg

    Sunday-market

  • Dolan-farmer-painting.jpg

    Dolan-farmer-painting

Day 4Taklamakan Desert Adventure, then drive to Aksu

Today you will cross 39° North Latitude, the longest hinterland of Taklamakan Desert, to conquer the dead desert that Swedish Explorer Sven Hedin did not make 122 years ago. Mysterious and seductive, it is a dream destination for both domestic and foreign explorers and outdoor enthusiasts. The entire trip is expected to be 1,500 kilometers, which is incomparably difficult to describe. Crossing this forbidden area of death has become the lifelong goal of millions of explorers. "Taklimakan" means "Abandoned Hometown" in Uighur, also known as "Sea of Death", is the second largest mobile desert in the world. The height of the dunes is generally 100-200 meters, and the highest is about 300 meters. In the desert hinterland, the types of dunes are complex and diverse. The compound sand hills and ridges are like giant dragons resting on the ground; the tower-shaped dunes are in various honeycomb, feather, and fish scale shapes, which are unpredictable and also called solid ocean. However, along the way you will pass through the Populus euphratica forest, the tree of life in the desert. Or riding camels, or driving CRV these outdoor adventures on the moving sand. Following in a lunch in the local restaurant, we will drive all the way to Aksu for overnight stay.

Traffic: Car (390kms)
Hotel: Overnight in Aksu
Meals: Breakfast
Altitude: 1104m
  • N39-desert-1.jpg

    N39-desert-1

  • N39-desert.jpg

    N39-desert

Day 5Drive to Kuqa, stop at the ancient Kizil Grottoes

A new day began, we are heading to Kuqa where used to be the center of ancient Qiuci and the first stop of Buddhism spreading to the East. Our first stop in Kuqa will go to the Kizil Grottoes, as the one of the four grottoes in China, it is the oldest one, but many architectures and murals are in well preservation; here you will learn more about the culture and history of Buddhism and ancient Qiuci Kingdom. 

Historically,  Kizil Grottoes was the seat of the ancient Qiuci Kingdom, a transportation hub on the ancient Silk Road, and was once the political, economic and cultural center of the Western Regions. Buddhism was first introduced to Xinjiang from India to form "Western Buddhism", and then introduced to the Central Plains. Therefore, Qiuci is an important node for the introduction of Buddhism into the Central Plains.

Traffic: Car (250kms)
Hotel: Overnight in Kuqa
Meals: Breakfast
Altitude: 1059m
  • Kuqa-kizil-grottoes.jpg

    Kuqa-kizil-grottoes

  • Kizil-grottoes.jpg

    Kizil-grottoes

Day 6Mysterious Tianshan Grand Canyon Exploration

The tour begin from the mysterious Tianshan Grand Canyon, which is the excellent geological park all over the world. It recorded the whole process of crustal movement in Xinjiang during the past 400 million years. You can enjoy the red cliffs and hike in the canyon. The charm of Tianshan Grand Canyon lies in its majesty, steepness, deepness, tranquility and mystery. The mysterious A'ai Grottoes in the canyon are less than 2 kilometers away from the mouth of the valley. They are suspended above the cliffs. At first, they could only climb up the hanging ladders more than 30 meters high. Now, stone steps have been added next to them. According to research, the grottoes were built in the early Tang Dynasty. The grotto is very small, less than 5 meters deep, about one person high, and the top of the cave is arched. There are remnants of murals on three sides of the cave, and Chinese characters appear on the murals, which are very different from hundreds of other caves in the ancient Western Regions, fully showing the traces of Han culture. We will drive to Korla in the afternoon.

Traffic: Car (300kms)
Hotel: Overnight in Kuqa
Meals: Breakfast
Altitude: 934m
  • Tianshan-grand-canyon-kuqa.jpg

    Tianshan-grand-canyon-kuqa

  • Tianshan-grand-canyon.jpg

    Tianshan-grand-canyon

Day 7Drive to Turpan to enjoy the beautiful Jiaohe Sunset

Breakfast at the hotel, then we will drive to Turpan to visit the Jiaohe Ancient City. It is an ancient city that was strategically located along the ancient Silk Road. Perching on a plateau, it acted as a natural barrier from the attacking enemies in the old times. Meanwhile, enjoy the sunset of Jiaohe Ruins with a history of 2,300 years lies between two rivers on a loess plateau atop a cliff of over 30m. It is one of the best preserved ruins of its ancient era in China, it was include in the World Heritage List on June 22, 2014.  Jiaohe Ruins is a city without city walls; it was once one of the most prosperous cities on the ancient Silk Road. It is an ancient city in the Western Regions as famous as the ancient city of Loulan, known as the "Oriental Pompeii". And Jiaohe Ruins is currently the largest, oldest and best-preserved city with earthen buildings in the world. It is the only and most complete Han Dynasty city site in China. Take your time to wander around the ancient city to enjoy the beautiful Jiaohe sunset and take photos until returning time.

Traffic: Car (400kms)
Hotel: Overnight in Turpan
Meals: Breakfast
Altitude: 36m
  • Jiahe-sunset.jpg

    Jiahe-sunset

  • Jiaohe-ruins.jpg

    Jiaohe-ruins

Day 8Oldest Uighur Village, Karez Well, Sugong Minaret

Full day sightseeing in Turpan. A must and first visit is the oldest Uighur village Tuyoq Village located in the very center of Flaming Mountain Canyon. Tuyoq Valley is a tourist area with both natural scenery and cultural relics, which is also the most mysterious place in western China, Turpan City, Xinjiang Province, about 55 kilometers to the east of Turpan City. This is the cultural land of the four major civilizations in the world. Various religious cultures such as Islam, Buddhism, Manichaeism and Nestorianism collide and gather here. The scenery of the desert canyon and the ancient Uighur villages complement each other. The Thousand Buddha Caves in Tuyoq Valley is the earliest and largest excavation in Turpan area; and the Mazaar ancient village, known as the "living fossil of folk customs of traditional Uighurs".

Following a lunch in the restaurant, we will drive all the way of 1hr to Sugong Minaret, the largest Islamic minaret in China built in 1778 by Sulaiman that is the ruler and leader of Turpan to commemorate and commend his father's achievements of the reunion of Xinjiang. This famous and the largest existing ancient minaret in Xinjiang, Sugong Minaret, is the product of a historical event, and is an exquisite national architectural art treasure on the Silk Road in the Western Regions.

In the afternoon we will also pay a visit to discover the brilliant project of Karez System. Together with the Great Wall and Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the Karez System is regarded as one of China's Three Greatest Ancient Projects. It is a special kind of irrigation system consisting of vertical wells, underground canals, ground canals and waterlogging pond. The vertically dug wells are linked together to channel the water which occurs during summer rain season, or is melted from snow mountains of Tianshan range to desired farmlands in the desert area. Thereafter, we will drive all the way to Urumqi, passing by the wind power station which is the largest one in Asia spreading at the foot of Tianshan Mountain. 

Traffic: Car (200kms)
Hotel: Overnight in Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast
Altitude: 836m
  • Karez-well.jpg

    Karez-well

  • Sugong-minaret.jpg

    Sugong-minaret

Day 9Picturesque Heavenly Lake, Xinjiang Regional Museum

After Breakfast, we will meet you at the hotel and then drive you to visit the Heavenly Lake (or Tianchi in Chinese). With an altitude of 1980 meters, Heavenly Lake and its alluring surroundings truly offer you a visual feast like heaven, featuring in serene alpine lake, rugged slopes with snow-capped mountains, pure glaciers, wild forest, vast grassland as well as unique ethnic culture.  

After the exploration of the Heavenly Lake, we will drive back to Urumqi, and continue your journey at the Xinjiang Regional Museum to see archaeological treasures from the Silk Road and Xinjiang's minority cultures. The museum displays the history of Xinjiang and the folk customs of various ethnic groups, as well as domestic rare exhibitions such as the mummified museum. The exhibits are very distinctive of Xinjiang. The famous "Loulan beauty" ancient corpse, "Five Star out of the East" Han Dynasty brocade and other cultural relics can also be seen here, which is a must-see scenic spot in Urumqi. All these important exhibitions help you learn deep into the history and culture of Xinjiang as well as the ancient Silk Road.

Traffic: Car (120kms)
Hotel: Overnight in Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast
Altitude: 836m
  • Heavenly-lake.jpg

    Heavenly-lake

  • Xinjiang-museum.jpg

    Xinjiang-museum

Day 10Depart from Urumqi

After breakfast, you will be escorted to catch your flight or train to the next destination, wish you have a pleasant journey home.

Traffic: Car
Hotel: Overnight in Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast
Altitude: 836m

INCLUDES

  • Private transportation through out the itinerary. SRT will arrange for all travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure based on your flight info.

  • Shared accommodations in well located, tourist to superior class hotels include breakfast, service charge and government tax.

  • All entrance fees(shuttle bus) sightseeing; excursions and activities as per the itinerary

  • Domestic flights and 2nd class express train listed in the itinerary

  • Private friendly and professional English-Speaking guides (French, Italy, Russian, German can be arranged per your request)

  • Visa support letter for you to apply Chinese visa easily.

  • Travel and health insurance when travel with us.

  • A 24/7 helpline while you are traveling.

EXCLUDES

  • International and domestic flights not indicated.

  • Food, Lunch or dinner not specified

  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers

  • Personal expenses and the other tours or activities not mentioned

TRIP NOTES

  • We will upgrade trains to 1st class where available if book the tour 5 months in advance of departure.

  • There is no problem to travel Silk Road during Ramadan.

  • Complimentary 2 bottles of water each person on daily use.

Transportation

We will use business MPV to luxurious coaches and trains.

Accommodation

All the hotels we selected are 4-5star well-located in the city center with good and proper breakfast for our clients.

Guides

Our guides are very friendly, knowledgeable, helpful. And our group tours will be escorted from SRT.

Climate and Altitude

Generally speaking Mid March—End Oct are the best time to visit Silk Road. And we strongly suggest you come in May, June, October to avoid the heat and crowd. No need to worry about high altitude along the Silk Road. We will prepare Oxygen bags if the package includes Xiahe, Qinghai Lake and Taxkorgan County.

We offer beneficial Cancellation Policy to our customers.

Client’s Reviews Write Review

QUICK INQUIRY Are you interested in this tour?
This tour can be tailored.