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4 Days Short Turpan Urumqi Tour with Tianchi Lake Visit

Silk Road at a Glance

If you just have 4 days and want to see as many aspects of Xinjiang as you can, just go to Urumqi and Turpan – top two destinations that you can’t miss. Turpan is an oasis along the edges of a vast desert and a charming outpost along the Silk Road while Urumqi is the provincial capital with attractive suburbs. Because of the short distance, traveling them together is convenient.

This 4 days Turpan Urumqi tour takes you to enjoy some of Xinjiang’s most extraordinary natural landscape – barren red sandstone hills, eroded city ruins, snow-capped mountains, greenish-blue waters, etc., as well as the cultural relics along the ancient Silk Road. You will start your tour from Turpan which is well connected with other Silk Road cities (like Dunhuang, Zhangye, Lanzhou…) by train and then drive to Heavenly Lake of Tianshan for a nature feast and go to Urumqi for a short glimpse at last.

  • Type : Private Tour
  • Tour Code : CD-XTT-04
  • Price : from
    1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
    2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
  • Theme : Photography / Nature / Culture
  • Physical Demands :

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR

  • Explore the magic Karez Irrigation System (on a par with the Great Wall) in Turpan City to unlock the mystery that how ancient people wisely make Turpan an oasis with in the barren dessert;
  • Visit the mysterious Jiaohe Ancient City which is renowned as the "perfect ruin of earth building" and has been well-preserved for almost two thousand years and enjoy a splendid sunset here;
  • Intoxicate yourself with the steely-blue Heavenly Lake plonked below sky-kissing peak of Mt. Bogda – the highest peak of Tianshan Mountain, as well as green vegetation, wild forest, and a lot of houses and sheep;
  • Discover the long-lasting history and diverse culture of Xinjiang region as well as Silk Road, and pay a visit to the rare “European” mummies in Xinjiang Regional Museum.
Itinerary Day by Day (Can Be Customized)
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Day 1 Turpan Arrival

Urumqi airport/train station pick up

Welcome to Turpan - China's hottest city that its highest temperature reaches about 50°C in summer and an outpost on the Silk Road and a lot of cultural heritage sites can be explored. Meet your tour guide and driver at the airport/train station, then transfer a short while to the downtown of Turpan. Check in to your hotel. The rest time is free for you to relax. Feel free to ask for recommendations of places to go from your guide.

How to get to Turpan? There are nonstop flights to Turpan from Lanzhou (2.5 h), Changsha (4.5 h), Zhengzhou (4.5 h)… as well as high speed trains from Xian (12.5 h), Xining (8 h), Lanzhou (10 h), Zhangye (6.5 h), Dunhuang (3.5 h)…

Warm Tip: Be ready for the hot weather in Turpan, especially in Flaming Mountain and always remember to drink more water.

  • Turpan North Railway Station Turpan North Railway Station

Day 2 Turpan Sightseeing (B, L)

Today's highlights: Tuyuk Valley, Jiaohe Ancient City, Karez System

After breakfast in the hotel, you will drive to Tuyu Valley along Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon, which condenses the essence of the landscape of Flaming Mountain - the hottest spot in Turpan. Flaming Mountain is immortalized in the Chinese classic Journey to the West as a blazing mountain that the monk Xuan Zang has to pass through. Finally, they use a magic fan to extinguish the blaze and go on with their trip. Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon splits the whole mountain in half and you will clearly admire the unique landform - red sandstones looking like flaming fire, distinctive rocks showing the uncanny workmanship of nature and deep gorge with crisscross valleys. The magnificence, strangeness, danger, and elegance of Flaming Mountain are fully shown here.

The winding road hanging on the cliff of Flaming Mountain will soon lead you to Tuyuk Valley (Tuyugou in Chinese) which is an Uighur valley with lots of historical sites. Mazar Village, the oldest existing Uighur village with a history of over 2,600 years, is a big highlight of the valley. Mazar Village holds a significant status in Buddhism and Islam. It is said that 6 Muslims came to China and started preaching there, so Mazar Village is called Eastern Mekka. Before Islam, it once was a Buddhist center as well. Many Buddhist caves can be found in the village, but the statues and murals failed to survive. The villagers still live peacefully in the village and you can clearly see how they run their daily lives in the old mud adobe houses.

Next Drive back to drive back to Turpan City to discover the brilliant project of Karez System. Together with the Great Wall and Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Karez System is regarded as one of China’s Three Greatest Ancient Projects. It is 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 be melt from snow mountains of Tianshan range to desired farmlands on the desert area. Visiting Turpan Karez Museum, you will not only see the pictures and models detailing the history of Karez System, but also visit the real underground tunnels.

Your last stop is the famous relic - Jiaohe Ancient City - 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. Now, it is renowned as the best-preserved earthen architecture in the world. The interesting sculptures, videos and some other displays in Jiaohe Cultural Village Museum will give you an appreciation of the history of Jiaohe City before you start exploring. Then, take a shuttle bus to the core scenic area. Walking up along the pathway uphill, and you can see many historical structural remains, including the residential area, official area and Buddhist temples. It is also available to walk to the central platform for a more awesome view of the whole park. When the night drops, you will feast on a breathtaking sunrise over the ruins.

Stay overnight at Turpan.

  • Jiaohe Anicent City Sunset Jiaohe Anicent City Sunset
  • Vertical Well of Karez Vertical Well of Karez
  • Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon
  • Traditional Mud Houses in Mazar Village Traditional Mud Houses in Mazar Village

Day 3 Urumqi - Tianchi Lake (B, L)

Today's highlight: Heavenly Lake full day exploration

In the morning, you will drive about 4.5 hours to Heavenly Lake (or Tianchi in Chinese) which is only about 290 km away from Turpan downtown. To protect the authenticity of the natural environment, our private car can only bring you to the entrance of the park. You will then shift on to a park bus to the parking lot around the lake area. Walking about 15 minutes, you will get to the lakeside of the Heavenly Lake. The rest time is free for you to stroll along the periphery of the lake, breathe the remarkably fresh air, and soak in the wonderful scenery. With an altitude of 1980m, Heavenly Lake and its alluring surrounding 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.

Generally speaking, there are three ways to explore Heavenly Lake. You can go to walk around the lake, take a boat cruise, or ride cable car to the mountain top. If time allows, you can even enjoy all the experiences. The Boat cruise and cable car need extra fees. Tell your preference to your guide who will then arrange accordingly for you.

- Walking around the lake. Plank roads were constructed to encircle the lake. But since the lake is very large, it takes about 5 hours to finish the circle. You can decide the hiking length on your own according to your physical condition and time. Fee: free.

- Boat Cruise on the lake. It is very popular among travelers to take a boat cruising to the deeper area of the lake and back, which is leisure and scenic. There are modern ships, Chinese-style ships and high-speed boats available with different prices. Fee: about CNY 100.

- Panoramic view from Maya Mountain. If you want more landscape, you can take a cable car up to Maya Mountain where you can enjoy the panoramic view of Heavenly Lake and closer view of Tianshan Mountain Range. Fee: about CNY 220.

After the landscape trip, take park bus to exit the park, and drive back to Urumqi

  • Heaven lake Heaven lake

Day 4 Urumqi Departure (B)

Today's highlights: Xinjiang Regional Museum, Red Hill Park, International Bazaar

This morning after breakfast, you will be taken to have an educational visit to the Xinjiang Regional Museum. It is the most important ancient Silk Road themed museum in China which exhibits about 50,000 historical relics including more than 400 National First-class relics (60% of the total in Xinjiang). Among all the exhibitions, the most unique exhibition is the Mummy Hall. It collects 10 more than 4000 years old mummies which were mostly found in Loulan Ancient Kingdom Ruin and preserved almost intact. Loulan Princess, the most famous mummy in the museum, will definitely strike you with its typical European face. All these important exhibitions help you learn deep into the history and culture of Xinjiang as well as ancient Silk Road.

Continuing your Urumqi city tour, you will move to Red Hill Park which is regarded as the symbol of Urumqi. It is the most popular place for the locals to relax and gather. For travelers, it is a great place to experience folk culture and living style. Finding a higher location in the park, you are rewarded a pleasant panoramic view of Urumqi city. Leaving the Red Hill Park, you will get to Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar to enjoy a leisure stroll. If you want to purchase some souvenirs, here is the best place.

The rest of today is free for you to relax until you are escorted to catch your flight/train to the next destination. Tour ends.

  • Urumqi city view from Red Hill Park Urumqi city view from Red Hill Park
  • Uygur dancers at Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar Uygur dancers at Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar

Recommended Add-on Options

The quotation for this trip is from Per Person

1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2022.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.65. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.

What's included?

  • Professional licensed English-speaking guide;
  • Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);
  • Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;
  • Domestic flights (economy class) and high-speed trains (second class) as listed in the itinerary;
  • Airport (and train station) pick up and drop off;
  • Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;
  • All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);
  • Accident insurance;
  • Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

What's excluded?

  • China visa;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;
  • Single Room Supplement;
  • Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
  • Recommended optional activities;
  • Flights or trains not listed in the itinerary;
  • Excess Baggage Charges;
  • Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.

Check What our Customers Say...

Dear Lyn Wang

We had a very fine and well planned trip to Guilin and are most grateful to this great experience.

We think the tour was a fine mix of three very different and well selected locations.

We were especially grateful for the pleasant and professional guiding by Steven.

In all respects an absolutely positive experience for us.

Sincerely

Helle and Leif Thuesen

Leif - 2021.07.14‚ Denmark, July 14, 2021

Hi Rosalyn,

We enjoy our trip. The boat is very clean, the food is good and the staff nice and helpful. We enjoyed vey much the scenery from the boat. However, the includes visits were a bit disappointing.  Moreover, we could not go to Chongming because of the navigation. We are globally satisfied with our stay.

Christine - 2021.07.14‚ France, July 14, 2021

Hi Rita, sorry for the delay in responding. Yes, I really enjoyed the cruise! Thank you for your help in arranging!

Cliodhna - 2021.07.14‚ UK, July 14, 2021

Hi Zeva,

Hahahaha so perfect.

Matt is really good. I think i even visit more than we have in itinerary.

Matt is really good. He know how to manage the route efficiently and make the good vibes along the trip.

Miko - 2021.07.11‚ Indonesia, July 11, 2021

Thanks for all your help for our group holiday. We will be using this group for our group communication.

Suresh - 2021.07.11‚ India, July 11, 2021
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We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.

The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.

There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.

All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!

Here are recent candid photos of this China trip

  • Turpan North Railway Station Turpan North Railway Station
  • Jiaohe Anicent City Sunset Jiaohe Anicent City Sunset
  • Vertical Well of Karez Vertical Well of Karez
  • Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon
  • Traditional Mud Houses in Mazar Village Traditional Mud Houses in Mazar Village
  • Heaven lake Heaven lake
  • Urumqi city view from Red Hill Park Urumqi city view from Red Hill Park
  • Uygur dancers at Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar Uygur dancers at Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar

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