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9 Days Taklamkan Ancient Silk Road Tour

Urumqi / Kashgar / Khotan / Ala'er / Kucha

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  • Taklamakan Desert
  • Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves
  • Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves
  • Taklamakan Desert
Tour Code:
CT-XT-09
Tour Type:
Private Tour
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    Our private tour features:
  1. Affordable & worry free;
  2. Just you or your group;
  3. 1-to-1 travel consultant within 0.5~23.5 hrs;
  4. Flexible departure & itinerary;
  5. Private guide & vehicle;
  6. Customizable to your needs & interests;
  7. All inclusive service;
Departure:
You Choose!
Experience:
CulturePhotograph
Overview:
The Silk Road evokes exotic images of long caravan lines stretching across vast sand dunes and dusty travelers relaxing in the shade of a desert oasis.
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Highlights

Visit:
Souther Pasture
Sunday Bazaar
Id Kah Mosque
 
Taklamakan Desert
Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves
Experience:
Follow the footsteps on the South Silk Road;
Explore the anthentic living style around the Taklamakan Desert.

Sampling Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Urumqi Arrival

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Welcome to Xinjiang! Your tour guide will meet you at the Urumqi Airport. Then be escorted to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is yours to explore the mysterious city on the Silk Road.

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Day 2 Urumqi & Flight to Kashgar (B, L)

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After breakfast, drive to visit the Southern Pasture. It is a well-known alpine pasture boasting lush grass, dense forests, snow-caped mountains, deep valleys and zigzag streams.

In the afternoon, visit the Xinjiang Regional Museum which is an integrated museum, located in the Urumqi City. It is a beautiful building decorated by Uygur style, and has more than 5,000 arts and history relics. It features in three exhibition hall: Ethnic Exhibition, History Reclics Exhibition and Mummy Exhibition.

Afterwards, take a flight to Kashgar.

Southern Pasture
Day 3 Kashgar (B ,L)

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Kashgar is the largest oasis city in Chinese Central Asia. We schedule our arrival to coincide with the Sunday morning bazaar, a massive gathering of farmers and merchants from across the area. This colorful and lively market provides a great opportunity to pick up some of the Silk Road's most interesting souvenirs, from handmade leather boots, to traditional musical instruments, to bags of fresh spices. Kashgar is also the heart of Islam within China, and thus we pay a visit to the Id Kah Mosque, the largest in mosque in China. This beautifully decorated mosque more closely resembles a mosque in Pakistan or Afghanistan than China, and will attract up to 10,000 worshippers for Friday prayers.

Id Kah Mosque
Day 4 Kashgar to Khotan (B ,L)

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Get up early to drive across the desert to Khotan (Hetian). The modern conveniences of air conditioned vehicles provide a much more comfortable alternative to traversing this route on camel back. The road to Khotan is lined with many small oasis towns, and occasionally we stop to visit the local mosques and bazaars. Yarkand (Shache), for example, once had a larger bazaar than Kashgar and today retains the quaint atmosphere of a small trading town. If you're up for a bit of a culinary adventure, you can sample some of the traditional specialties such as laghman, a kind of noodle, poluo, a tasty fried rice pilaf, or even goat's head soup! Of course, the most popular food, lamb kebab seasoned with Xinjiang spices, is everywhere.

In the late afternoon, we arrive at Khotan, and explore the city on donkey-drawn carts.

Khotan
Day 5 Khotan to Ala'er (B ,L)

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For centuries, Khotan was an important supplier of jade, silk, and carpets on the Silk Road. These goods - such as the traditional hand woven Aidelaixi silk, and intricately embroidered wool carpets - were treasured in China and Central Asia for their outstanding craftsmanship. We visit one or two family workshops to see how carpets, silk, and other handicrafts are traditionally made, and have the opportunity to pick up some of these treasures for ourselves.

We then set out for the 6 hours' scenic driving to Ala'er, crossing over the heart of the Taklamakan Desert. If departing during the summer, we have the option to camp overnight in the desert. As we sit beneath the enormous desert night sky, warming ourselves around a campfire - we can begin to appreciate our relation to the vast and uncompromising wilderness around us.

Khotan silk
Day 6 Ala'er to Kucha (B ,L)

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After crossing the Taklamakan Desert, we will arrive at Kucha on the Northern Silk Road. This quaint oasis town, not often visited today, was once the center of a Buddhist civilization in the Tarim Basin. On the outskirts of the present day town lie the ruins of an ancient capital, and scattered around the surrounding countryside are several grotto complexes, which attest to the significance Buddhism once played here. The most important of these is the Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves.

Having arrived at Kucha the afternoon, we first freshen up at the hotel before a traditional dinner of Uygur food at a local restaurant.

Taklamakan Desert
Day 7 Kucha (B ,L)

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During the cool of the morning, we have time to roam through the open Kucha bazaar and see the local mosque before heading out to the Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves in the afternoon. The Grottos hold some of the most impressive Buddhist art in Central Asia and date to the third century. Unfortunately, many of the finer frescoes were removed by foreign archeologists in the early twentieth century; however, what remains is truly worth the visit.

The surrounding countryside is pretty area of mulberry and poplar trees and streams, which make for a very pleasant afternoon.

Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves
Day 8 Kucha & Flight to Urumqi (B ,L)

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We explore some of the other Buddhist grottos around Kucha today. On our way to the Kizilya Valley, where the rocks in the red mountain appear to be the result of a huge explosion, we visit the ruins of the ancient city of Subashi, or "old Kucha." In the evening, we take a flight to Urumqi. Overnight in Urumqi.

Subashi
Day 9 Urumqi Departure ( B )

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Today is free for you to explore Urumqi by yourself until your tour guide escort you to airport for your flight.

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Enquiry about this trip

Recommended Add-on Options

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Read what other travelers think about this China trip. We only accept reviews from actual, confirmed travelers who purchased the tour / activity from us, so you can be sure the reviews are unbiased and authentic.

Hi Jack,

We loved it! Will definitely do it again if we go back to china. The book was lovely, the staff was great, scenery was gorgeous and we loved the entertainment. Wish it could have been longer.

Wilbur Reinfeld‚ Israel, November 10, 2019

Hi Wonder

We just came back from our great vacation. Thank you so much for coordinating the trip for Xiamen & its surrounding areas. Everything went very smoothly and you had done an excellent job!!  You also have a good team of guides & drivers, they are all very good & helpful. Definitely we are happy to recommend your company to our friends & relatives who want to visit China or may be for our next trip.

Every thing was really well planned & arranged and you were very responsive so our experience was really good.

Thank you

Agnes‚ UK, November 9, 2019

Hi Rita,

Thank you so much for the return of funds I left in the Hong Kong hotel.  I really appreciate your efforts on my behalf.

Additionally that you for the lovely gift, reflecting the Panda, Gand Chinese opera.  It was most thoughtful, and very much appreciated.

We were treated most wonderfully by our guide Cherry.  She was helpful, flexible, informative and kind

Robb Hennessey‚ USA, November 9, 2019
>>Read Details

Here are recent candid photos of this China trip. If you want to share your own tour photos, simply email your photos to info@chinadiscovery.com with your Booking ID Number. Thanks in advance for sharing!

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Southern Pasture
Southern Pasture

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Id Kah Mosque
Id Kah Mosque

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Khotan
Khotan

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Khotan silk
Khotan silk

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Taklamakan Desert
Taklamakan Desert

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Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves

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Subashi
Subashi

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CT-XT-09
9 Days Taklamkan Ancient Silk Road Tour
Urumqi / Kashgar / Khotan / Ala'er / Kucha

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