Urumqi and Kashgar are the two Must-go destinations for all first-timers. They are the very essence of Xinjiang, no matter whether you are seeking for Silk Road history, authentic local culture, or marvelous scenery.
Urumqi is usually the first stop in Xinjiang. It has the most flexible arrival of transportation, high-end food and hotels as well as the alluring Heavenly Lake. Kashgar, about a 1.5 hours’ flight from Urumqi, represents the best cultural experience you can get in Xinjiang. Attending the bustling Bazaar, enjoying a cup of tea in an old tea house in the ancient town, admiring exquisite Islamic architecture... there are so many unique things to do. All the above experiences are covered in our 6 Days private Xinjiang tour. To make your Xinjiang trip more memorable, we even extend your trip to the overwhelming Pamirs, a romantic plateau full of diversities – pure plateau lake, vast grassland, dominating snow mountains, beautiful ethnic towns which are the shooting sites for the great movie “the Kite Runner”.
This is a worry-free packaged tour that covers all the sightseeing, private tour guide, transfer, hotels, tickets, meals (usually breakfast + lunch), etc. Feel free to make an enquiry. Valuable local price is guaranteed.
Day 1 Urumqi ArrivalUrumqi airport/train station pick up and hotel check-in
Welcome to Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Meet your tour guide and driver at the airport/train station, then transfer a short while to the downtown of Urumqi. 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 Urumqi? Currently, you can take flights to Urumqi from Beijing (about 4 hours), Xian (about 3.5 hours), Shanghai (about 5.5 hours), Guangzhou (about 5 hours), Chengdu (about 3.5 hours), etc., or high speed trains from Turpan (about 2 hours), Dunhuang (about 4.5 hours), Lanzhou (about 11 hours), Xining (about 9.5 hours), etc.
Free time idea: 1) 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 local living style. Finding a higher location in the park, you are rewarded a pleasant panoramic view of Urumqi city; 2) Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar, a great place to enjoy a leisure stroll and purchase some snacks, souvenirs, etc.
- Modern Urumqi city with Tianshan Mountains as background
Day 2 Urumqi - Heavenly Lake - Urumqi (B, L)Today's highlights: Heavenly Lake full day exploration, Xinjiang Regional Museum
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.
Leaving the museum, you are going to explore the Heavenly Lake (or Tianchi in Chinese) which is only about 70km (about 1.5 hrs' drive) away from Urumqi 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.
- Loulan Princess mummy in Xinjiang Regional Museum
- Stunning scenery of Heavenly Lake of Tianshan
- Grandiose view of Tianshan Mountains from Heavenly Lake
Day 3 Urumqi & Flight to Kashgar (B, L)Today's highlights: Kashgar Old Town, Ancient Tea House, Id Kah Mosque, Abakh Hoja Tomb
This early morning, you will take a flight to Kashgar (about 2 hrs), the southwestern border city of Xinjiang which used to be the epicenter of the regional trade and cultural exchange of ancient Silk Road for more than two millennia. Upon arriving at the airport of Kashgar, you will be welcomed by your local tour guide and driver, and escorted to Kashgar downtown. The rest time of today is guided tour of this legendary Silk Road city.
You will visit the Abakh Hoja Tomb first which is not a simple tomb but an exquisite architectural complex including chapels, gardens, archways, etc., as the best place in the region to admire Uygur people’s extraordinary aesthetics and skills of Islamic architecture. It also offers a rare opportunity to see and learn about funeral custom of Uygur families because there is a large Islamic family of five generations whose name is Abakh Hoja buried here. The Abakh Hoja was a local Islam master who had strengthened the spread of Islam in Kashgar area, which later earned a great reputation for him and his family.Next, you will visit the landmark of Kashgar - Id Kah Mosque which is regarded as the holy shrine for the Muslims. Every day, there are thousands of Muslims worshiping here. In the history, Id Kah Mosque used to be a school where Islam culture and history was taught. Many scholars and honored clergies graduated from here. Only several minutes' walking from the mosque is the exotic Kashgar Old Town where you can experience the authentic Uyghur living style. Explore the traditional earth buildings where local people are living in, walk through the famous Handicrafts Street where you can sew how the local craftsman making handicrafts. It is a good place to buy some interesting souvenirs for your families and friends. You will also take a break and enjoy a cup of local tea at the Ancient Tea House which is more than 100 years old. The locals also like to spend some leisure time in the tea house with friends and families - drinking, chatting and playing music sometimes.Today’s activities end. Have a good rest in your hotel in Kashgar.
- Id Kah Mosque is the most influential Islamic mosque in Xinjiang
- Welcome to Kashgar
- Kashgar Old Town
Day 4 Kashgar - Karakul Lake - Tashkurgan (B, L)Today's highlights: Karakul Lake, Muztagh Ata, Baishahu Lakes, Pamirs Plateau
Today, you are going to visit the famous Karakul Lake which is about 190km/about 3 hours’ drive from Kashgar downtown. Although it is a long drive, you are surprisingly compensated by the constant landscape of the overwhelming Pamirs Plateau - harsh and lonely snow mountains, inhabited barrens, expansive grassland, pure glaciers, peaceful villages… Make a stop at Baishahu (White Sands Dunes Lake) where a tranquil lake lies under the towering snow mountains of Pamirs Plateau. The sands of Taklamakan Desert fly westward, get stopped by the edge of Pamirs and deposit at the slopes of the mountains, then get washed by the melting ice of the snow mountains, which is the reason why you can see white sand dunes surrounding the White Sand Lake.
You will get to Karakul Lake around noon time. After lunch, throw yourself into the breathtaking scenery of the lake and its surrounding. With an altitude of 3600m, Karakul Lake is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in Central Asia. It welcomes visitors with stunning views of pristine lake nestled against Pamirs mountains which provide an azure backdrop as they are covered with snow all year around, including three gigantic mountains - Muztagh Ata (7546m), Kongur Tagh (7649m) and Kongur Tiube (7530m). From other sides, there is a mixture of boundless grasslands, deserts and valleys. A few Kirghiz nomads put their yurts and graze their herds of sheep, horses and camels near the lake. Take your time to wander around the lake to enjoy the landscape and take photos until returning time.
Keep driving about 1 hour to Tashkurgan. Have a good rest in this beautiful Tajik town.
- Tranquil Karakul Lake in October
Day 5 Tashkurgan - Kashgar (B, L)Today's highlights: Tashkurgan Fort (Stone City), Alaer Golden Grassland
This morning, it is strongly recommended to get up early to watch the pink and golden dawn light of sunrise shining on the Stone City and surrounding snow mountains. What a peaceful and beautiful scene for really nice photography.
After breakfast, you are going to visit the legendary Stone City, also known as Tashkurgan Fort, which has stood on the hill at the northeast side of the county for nearly 2000 years. It is one of the World Four Stone Cities with great architecture value. Puli Kingdom, one of the 36 Kingdoms in Western Regions, also set its capital here. Unfortunately, most of the architectures have been destroyed by wars and natural erosion. Currently, only about 100,000 m2 of ruins survived including city, temple and residential houses of Tang Dynasty and government office of Qing Dynasty. For travelers, it is a fantastic experience to stand on the city ruin, experience the vicissitudes of the ancient city and imagine the ancient merchants, travelers, churchmen from West and East met here, or the king of the city looked upon the vast land and his people from the high castle. The fortress at the same time is a perfect sightseeing platform from which you can stretch your horizon to far grassland and desert, also admire nearby dominating snow mountains including the majestic Muztagh Ata. Under the foot of the Stone City lies the beautiful Alaer Golden Grassland. Walk leisurely on the plank roads to enjoy the spectacular long-distance views. Just as its name implies, the grassland turns to a golden world when the sunrises and sunsets come. It’s also beautiful in the morning especially when you frame the grassland with the stone city and surrounding snow mountains. Nourished by the Tashkurgan River, Alaer Golden Grassland is an important pasture for local nomads.
Lastly, you will leave Tashkurgan and drive back to Kashgar city. Accommodate in Kashgar city.
- Tashkurgan Fort (Stone City Ruin) with snow mountains as background
- Beautiful Alaer Golden Grassland in August
Day 6 Kashgar Departure (B)Today's highlights: Kashgar Bazaar, Livestock Market
After breakfast, go to visit the famous Kashgar Bazaar which is huge, busy, crowded, amazing, chaotic, interesting and colorful. Bazaar, in Uygur, means the large market. Kashgar Bazaar has been the largest and busiest trading center of West and Central Asia since the origin and flourish of the Silk Road. Here you can buy anything from Muslim millinery to authentic Iranian saffron, from pashminas to carpets, from fruits to spices, from a cradle to a camel… or find a place to sit down to enjoy some local snacks, or just experience local culture.
If you happen to visit Kashgar on a Sunday, don't miss the opportunity to experience the Livestock Market, which takes place once a week on Sunday. By lunchtime, numerous sheep, camel, horse, cow and donkey will be driven by the Uyghur farmers and herders to squeeze through the gates of the bazaars for trade. It’s dusty, smelly and crowded, but most people find it very exotic.
After the tour, you will be escorted to catch your flight or train to the next destination, or be sent to the border if you want to exit China by land port.
- Sunday Bazaar
Kanas is an area resplendent with virtually untouched natural beauty - turquoise lake, beautiful rivers and bays, pure snow mountains, thick wild forest, fresh air and peaceful Tuva minority villages. It is no doubt one of the most beautiful places in China. Its major attractions are Kanas Lake, Kanas Rivers, Kanas Three Bays, Hemu Village, Beautiful Peak, etc. To explore Kanas to the fullest, you should stay at least 3 full days in the nature reserve, usually 1 day for Hemu Village and 2 days for Kanas Lake Scenic Area (Kanas Lake, Kanas Rivers, Kanas Three Bays…).
Turpan surprises visitors with spectacular natural landscape - vast expansion of desert, lush and exuberant valleys of grape, tenacious desert plants, and Silk Road history. In Turpan, you can spend 1 day visiting the highlights in the city area, including Karez System – the brilliant irrigation project, Turpan Museum – the best place to discover Turpan from all perspectives and Jiaohe Ancient City – a disappearing city of earth. On the next day, you can explore surroundings Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves with precious murals, Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon with breathtaking landform and Mazar Village – an old Uyghur village. Besides, Kumtag Desert is also recommended if you love the wild desert view and desert activities.
1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room 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 6.45. 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.
Everything was very good, yes. Thank you for that. I am also happy to provide recommendation on TripAdvisor.
Sorry for the late reply but the trip was awesome for us! I think we both had a good time. The only thing I wish that maybe was different was the grasslands, we thought we’d see more sparse land rather than an organized villa kind of thing. Otherwise the rest of the trip was great, our driver was awesome and timely and Herry was also super sweet and got everything organized perfectly for us! We really got to know him. Thanks!
A friend of mine wants to book Inner Mongolia, so I’d like to share your contact. Can you add me back?
Thank you for helping to arrange our trip. We had a great time!
Can you please send through the fapiao?
My trip to Napa Lake today very nice, driver very nice.
Everything is fine, we had a good time and saw a lot of new areas.
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After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
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Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.
Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.
Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!
Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!
Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.
Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!
In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!
The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.
If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.
Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.
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!
Xinjiang can satisfy all your desires about different styles of travel, no matter you are seeking for nature fun, culture experience or some adventures. Generally speaking, Kashgar, Turpan and Urumqi are most popular as the Golden Triangle. They provide you Silk Road history and culture as well as Xinjiang featured scenery – beautiful lakes, gorges, mountains, etc. They are the best options for the first-timers, needing about 6~8 days. Kanas, with tranquil lake and bays, primitive villages and ethnic culture, is strongly recommended too. A trip to Kanas usually takes about 4~7 days. If you prefer natural landscape, the western Xinjiang offers you superb grassland, alpine like, wild flowers. Recommended places include Sayram Lake, Karajun Grassland, Naraty Grassland, etc. The southern Xinjiang has many hidden gems for an in-depth adventure, such as historical Silk Road cities, Takilamakan Desert, Hotan, Kuqa, etc. Such a trip usually costs over 10 days, but it is definitely worth your time and effort.
Xinjiang is far away from the sea with surrounding high mountains, forming an obvious temperate continental climate. The temperature difference is large; the sunshine time is sufficient; the ultraviolet ray is strong; the air is very dry. Since Xinjiang has a vast area, the climate differs a lot by regions. Generally speaking, the southern Xinjiang is hotter than northern Xinjiang; northern Xinjiang has more rainfall than the southern area. You can easily find different places to travel in different seasons.
♦ April to June: Ili Apricot Valley, Tianshan Tianchi Lake, Sayram Lake, Tashkurgan, Naraty Grassland, Urumqi, Turpan, Kashgar, etc.
♦ July to August: Urumqi, Sayram Lake, Karajun Grassland, Naraty Grassland, Kanas, Urumqi, Turpan, Kashgar, etc.
♦ September to early November: Kanas, Taklimakan Desert, Populus Euphratica in Tarim Basin, Kuqa Grand Canyon, Tashkurgan, Naraty Grassland, Urumqi, Turpan, Kashgar, etc.
♦ Mid November to March: Urumqi, Turpan, Kashgar, Kanas, etc.
Getting there: it usually takes a longer time than other China cities to get to Xinjiang. Travelers usually arrive in Urumqi first by flight or train then transfer to other cities of Xinjiang. Currently, you can take flights to Urumqi from Beijing (about 4 hours), Xian (about 42.5 hours), Shanghai (about 5.5 hours), Guangzhou (about 5 hours), Chengdu (about 3.5 hours), etc., or high speed trains from Dunhuang (about 4.5 hours), Lanzhou (about 11 hours), Xining (about 9.5 hours), etc. Kashgar is the secondly-used arrival hub. It operates some domestic flights to Xian, Chengdu, etc.
Getting around: from Urumqi, you can keep traveling by flights to Kashgar, Kanas, Kuqa, Ili, etc. Actually, traveling by driving is more popular than taking flight and train, because the best scenery can usually be reached by car. But it's hard to travel by public bus to many remote scenic areas.So let a travel agency like China Discovery arrange transfer for you is the best choice.
Apart from a few major cities such as Urumqi, Kashgar and Turpan whose hotels have complete facilities and wifi. In many other places, especially in some remote scenic spots, accommodation is relatively simple and basic, such as Kanas, Sayram Lake, Naraty, Tashkurgan, etc. where you can stay in a guesthouse, a homestay or a local yurt. Also, during the busy season from June to October every year, hotel occupancy will be much higher than normal days, so it is necessary to book your hotel in advance.
China Discover has included accommodation in our every tour package so that you don’t have trouble with booking hotels on your own. All our hotels are well-selected, comfortable, well-equipped with friendly services.
● Remember to always follow your groups instead of heading to the heart regions by your own, or you may get lost. Cell phone signal may be weak or zero in the grassland or forest areas in Xinjiang, stay calm.
● Wear the harness correctly when enjoying horse riding and follow the direction to keep safe!
Xinjiang’s Uyghur food and other local cuisine will be a memorable part of your trip. The local Uyghur food is famous throughout China and popular among travelers. There are not only Uyghur foods, but also traditional Chinese food, Hui food, Kazakh food, etc. Some hotels and restaurants in bigger cities, such as Urumqi, Kashgar, Turpan, Ili, etc., also provide western food and coffee.
We usually cover your breakfasts in your hotels and lunches during your trip. Dinner is your own chance to explore local food or other food you are interested in. Feel free to let your guide know your dinning interest and requirement in advance so that you can arrange meals accordingly.
Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi - Kashgar
Kashgar - Karakul Lake - Tashkurgan - Kashgar
Urumqi - Turpan - Kashgar - Tashkurgan
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