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6 Days Urumqi Turpan Kashgar Efficient Tour

Brief Xinjiang Impression

Urumqi, Turpan and Kashgar are the three most popular destinations for all Xinjiang first-timers. Urumqi is the capital of Xinjiang with the most flexible choices of arrivals and departures while Turpan and Kashgar keep the very essence of Xinjiang’s Silk Road culture – ancient city ruins, old bazaar, sacred mosque… They are also not short of pleasant landscape too, such as the alluring Heavenly Lake, overwhelming Pamirs plateau, etc.

Our 6 Days Urumqi Turpan Kashgar Tour is a time-and-money efficient tour on which you will start your tour from Urumqi and end in Kashgar with a well-arranged itinerary. You will have all the classic experiences of Urumqi, Turpan and Kashgar in your pocket, and at the same time enjoy vacation-standard tour services, including pre-booked flight from Urumqi to Kashgar, comfortable hotels, your private tour guide and driver, etc. It is available all year around.

  • Type : Private Tour
  • Tour Code : CD-UTKT-06
  • Price : from Request
    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 : Nature / Culture
  • Physical Demands :

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR

  • Kashgar in-depth Silk Road experience including strolling in the Ancient City, drinking a cup of local tea, attending the busy Kashgar Bazaar, etc.;
  • Heavenly Lake alluring landscape of tranquil lake, magnificent snow peaks, primitive forest, lovely grasslands, etc.;
  • Pamirs Plateau adventure with overwhelming harsh landscape along the driving and breathtaking scenery of Karakul Lake and White Sand Lake;
  • Exotic Turpan exploration including visiting the ancient Uyghur village in Tuyuk Valley, walking deep into the ancient city ruin of Jiaohe, etc.
Itinerary Day by Day (Can Be Customized)
Expand all

Day 1 Urumqi Arrival

Urumqi 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.

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

Day 2 Urumqi - Heavenly Lake - Urumqi (B, L)

Today's highlight: Heavenly Lake full day exploration

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 the ancient Silk Road.

Leaving the museum, you are going to explore the Heavenly Lake (or Tianchi in Chinese) which is only about 70 km (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 onto a park bus to the parking lot around the lake area. Walking for about 15 minutes, you will get to the lakeside of 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 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.

Generally speaking, there are three ways to explore Heavenly Lake. You can walk around the lake, take a boat cruise, or ride a 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 at 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 a closer view of Tianshan Mountain Range. Fee: about CNY 220.

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

  • Taking a relaxing cruise on Heavenly Lake Taking a relaxing cruise on Heavenly Lake
  • Green mountains at the lakeside of Heavenly Lake (August) Green mountains at the lakeside of Heavenly Lake (August)
  • Grandiose view of Tianshan Mountains from Heavenly Lake Grandiose view of Tianshan Mountains from Heavenly Lake

Day 3 Urumqi - Turpan - Urumqi (B, L)

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

Today is a long-hour day trip to Turpan to visit the classic Silk Road sites, which means you have to get up earlier than other days and may return to Urumqi in the late afternoon. Turpan is China's hottest city, also an outpost on the Silk Road and a lot of cultural heritage sites can be explored.

You will drive about 3.5 hours (245 km) from Urumqi to Turpan to visit Tuyuk Valley along Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon, which condenses the essence of the landscape of Flaming Mountain - red sandstones looking like flaming fire, distinctive rocks showing the uncanny workmanship of nature and deep gorge with crisscross valleys. Mazar Village, the oldest existing Uighur village with a history of over 2,600 years, is a big highlight of Tuyuk Valley. It holds a significant status in Buddhism and Islam. 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. Some villagers kindly ask the travelers to visit their vineyards and taste their fresh grapes or preserved fruits. You will then 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 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 be melted from snow mountains of Tianshan range to desired farmlands on the desert area. 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.

After Turpan exploration, drive the same way back to Urumqi for accommodation.

  • Underground Canals of Karez Underground Canals of Karez
  • Earthy Yellow Jiaohe Ancient City Ruins under Blue Sky Earthy Yellow Jiaohe Ancient City Ruins under Blue Sky
  • Peaceful Mazar Village in Tuyugou Valley Peaceful Mazar Village in Tuyugou Valley
  • An Old Villager in Mazar Village An Old Villager in Mazar Village

Day 4 Urumqi - 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 of today is a 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 the funeral customs 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 Islamic master who had strengthened the spread of Islam in the 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 Muslims. Every day, there are thousands of Muslims worshiping here. In history, Id Kah Mosque used to be a school where Islamic culture and history were taught. Many scholars and honored clergies graduated from here.

Only several minutes' walk 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 live, walk through the famous Handicrafts Street where you can see how the local craftsman makes handicrafts. It is a good place to buy some interesting souvenirs for your family 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 Id Kah Mosque is the most influential Islamic mosque in Xinjiang
  • Abakh Khoja Tomb Abakh Khoja Tomb
  • Kashgar Old Town Kashgar Old Town

Day 5 Kashgar - Karakul Lake - Kashgar (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 190 km/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. After lunch, throw yourself into the breathtaking scenery of the lake and its surroundings. With an altitude of 3600 meters, 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 (7546 meters), Kongur Tagh (7649 meters) and Kongur Tiube (7530 meters). 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.

Drive the same way back to Kashgar, and have a good rest in Kashgar city.

  • Reflection of Snow Mountain on Karakul Lake Tranquil Karakul Lake in October
  • Tranquil Karakul Lake in October Tranquil Karakul Lake in October

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 a 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, camels, horses, cows and donkeys 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 Sunday Bazaar

Recommended Add-on Options

+2~3 more days to Kuqa's Mysterious Canyon and Kizil Caves...

Kuqa was an important historical city on the ancient Silk Road, and the capital of the Buddhist Kingdom of Kucha, the largest of the "Thirty-six Kingdoms of the Western Regions" in over 2000 years ago. It was the melting pot of different cultures. It surprisingly has three World Heritage Sites - Kizil Gaha Beacon, Kizil Grottoes and Subash Ruins, with significant cultural value. You shouldn't miss Tianshan Mysterious Canyon which allows a relaxing hike around 2 hours on the river bed surrounded by towering woven shades of red sandstone.

Walking in Kuqa Grand Canyon (Tianshan Mysterious Canyon)
+3~4 more days to Kanas to Explore Untouched Natural Beauty

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…).

Moon Bay (autumn) - the iconic sight of Kanas

The quotation for this trip is from Request 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 6.45. 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.

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;
  • Flight (economy class) from Urumqi to Kashgar;
  • 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;
  • Excess Baggage Charges;
  • Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.

Check What our Customers Say...

This feedback is for Vivien Li our travel agent at China Discovery has been long overdue. (Sorry for that Vivien). :

Vivien planned our first trip to the Silkroad in Summer 2021. Vivien has been a great support from the beginning to the end in organizing the whole trip and was always there to answer all my questions. Since we travelled with a small child she also put a lot of effort in our travel itineray and included the starting and end time for all our activities. This helped us a lot. It was the first time we had a guide with us and she found a great guide for us. We were really excited to start our Silkroad trip in August and it was a great trip. We enjoyed every minute. Unfortunately with few Covid cases coming up we had to return to Shanghai. During this time Vivien also was a big help in organizing a worryless trip back to Shanghai. With Vivien as our travel agent I know I have a reliable travel agent on my side I can fully trust.

I can fully recommend Vivien as your travel agent. Thanks a lot Vivien for your patience and your great service. Looking forward to our next trip to plan together. Tutty and Family

Tutty and Family

Tutty - 2021.10.18‚ German, October 18, 2021

Dear Tracy,

1. Yes, you are very efficient and accommodating to my needs. Tracy gets back to me very quickly, even when she is not officially at work. We communicate through WeChat. :

2. Arrangements are very efficient. Everything went as planned.

3. Yes, happily recommend you and have done so.

4. I have used the company twice for private tours and will do so again. Arrangements have been smooth and helpful. The two guides I have had have been excellent.

5. Keep searching out for more slightly off-beat tours. It’s helpful to try to avoid crowds; this is very difficult during Chinese holidays of course, but there is so much that is interesting that alternatives to some of the main sights can be probably be found at these times.

Geoffrey

Geoffrey - 2021.10.11‚ UK, October 16, 2021

Dear Echo,

First of all we want to share with you that has been an amazing trip, one that we will not forget. We definitely loved it! Going into detail: :

• Guide: Gary was outstanding, he had a very positive attitude and he had never lost the smile although travelling with kids can be challenging. He was willing to help beyond his responsability, flexible when needed and passionate about his job. Simon, was a good guide and help us when asked for his support although it was a bit difficult to understand. The only thing that it could be improved was that when we went to Dunhuang for the private dinner in the desert, nobody spoke english there and Simon didn't come with us so it was a bit difficult in the beginning.

• Driver: He was good and drive very safely.

• Hotel: Generally speaking all the hotels were ok but the hotel in Dunhuang was not really what we understand as a 5 star hotel (breakfast was very chinese, no decent coffee, issue with the heating, no english,...). Hotel in Jiayuguan was very good although the rooms were a bit small. Hotel in Zhangye was very good, they had a lot of details (our family room was customize for kids, little presents every day in the room, dinner was very nice and they had the best coffee of the 3 hotels in the breakfast, they try to speak in english).

• Hotel: Generally speaking all the hotels were ok but the hotel in Dunhuang was not really what we understand as a 5 star hotel (breakfast was very chinese, no decent coffee, issue with the heating, no english,...). Hotel in Jiayuguan was very good although the rooms were a bit small. Hotel in Zhangye was very good, they had a lot of details (our family room was customize for kids, little presents every day in the room, dinner was very nice and they had the best coffee of the 3 hotels in the breakfast, they try to speak in english).

• Hotel: Generally speaking all the hotels were ok but the hotel in Dunhuang was not really what we understand as a 5 star hotel (breakfast was very chinese, no decent coffee, issue with the heating, no english,...). Hotel in Jiayuguan was very good although the rooms were a bit small. Hotel in Zhangye was very good, they had a lot of details (our family room was customize for kids, little presents every day in the room, dinner was very nice and they had the best coffee of the 3 hotels in the breakfast, they try to speak in english).

Cristina

Cristina - 2021.10.11‚ Spain, October 11, 2021

Dear Vivien,

Please let me give you more detailed feedback on the Silk Road trip:

1) Driver in Xining was outstanding, very attentive and also supported for check-in etc. So definitely recommend for future. The driver for the second part was also very polite and a very calm driver.
2) Guides:
a. Shawo was very knowledgeable and could provide lots of information. Probably based on her professional background working in university.
b. Lisa was very passionate about her job and anyone who wants to know details about Chinese culture should go with her.
c. Andy was from my pov the least engaged guide. For logistics he organized everything well and no problems. For the cultural parts he could provide information, but I personally did not perceive him as too motivated or passionate about guiding. So for groups who just want the logistics done, he’s fine. He did share some personal insights on how Dunhuang changed from his childhood to now which was super interesting.
d. English level of all guides was soso.

3) The Badain desert was my personal highlight extremely impressive nature and really great Jeep drive through the desert! Our Jeep driver was the best, I would always recommend him again for further tours! Second highlight were the rainbow mountains both for sunset as well as sunrise in the morning. To make this happen, the Kaoshan tents are necessary as it is so close by walking distance.

4) The national geologic parks were also interesting ad the nature was different in different spots, a guide who has more geologic knowledge would have been desirable.

5) Mati Temple was way too crowded. Dunhuang desert was also very touristy and crowded, so not the scenery I would have wished for.

6) Hotels were very good standard, I was actually surprised of the level offered!!! In Jiayuguan a bit dirty, but overall good. I did not like the mongol yurt in the Badain desert though, if it is basic standard, I would have wished it to be less touristy, but it was yurts, yes, but all else was just mass tourism. Something I know now I just have to accept. I had hoped for a remote small local touch experience, which it definitely wasn’t. Also, there was a group partying with loud music and fireworks in the morning. So I would prefer a hotel (and I now learnt it even exists) in the desert as the local experience is not given anyways.

Norma

Norma - 2021.10.11‚ German, October 11, 2021

Echo,

My Experience was quite exciting and wonderful, the tourist guide (May and Cherry) had strong knowledge of every place, history and Culture. The drivers were on time and very respectful, the hotels were so beautiful and well located and the food was very delicious, I hope I can come back again, thank you very much for your service

Emilse

Emilse - 2021.10.11‚ Mexico, October 11, 2021
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How Our Teams Serve you at China Discovery

"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.

Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.

1-on-1 Travel Consultant

China Tour

Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!

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.

Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.

We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.

Local Tour Guides

China Tour

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!

Local Drivers & Vehicle

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!

Comfortable & Homelike Hotels

China Tour

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.

Meals & Dining

China Tour

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!

Photo gallery of this trip

  • Uygur dancers at Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar Uygur dancers at Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar
  • Urumqi city view from Red Hill Park Urumqi city view from Red Hill Park
  • Taking a relaxing cruise on Heavenly Lake Taking a relaxing cruise on Heavenly Lake
  • Green mountains at the lakeside of Heavenly Lake (August) Green mountains at the lakeside of Heavenly Lake (August)
  • Grandiose view of Tianshan Mountains from Heavenly Lake Grandiose view of Tianshan Mountains from Heavenly Lake
  • Underground Canals of Karez Underground Canals of Karez
  • Earthy Yellow Jiaohe Ancient City Ruins under Blue Sky Earthy Yellow Jiaohe Ancient City Ruins under Blue Sky
  • Peaceful Mazar Village in Tuyugou Valley Peaceful Mazar Village in Tuyugou Valley
  • An Old Villager in Mazar Village An Old Villager in Mazar Village
  • Id Kah Mosque is the most influential Islamic mosque in Xinjiang Id Kah Mosque is the most influential Islamic mosque in Xinjiang
  • Abakh Khoja Tomb Abakh Khoja Tomb
  • Kashgar Old Town Kashgar Old Town
  • Reflection of Snow Mountain on Karakul Lake Reflection of Snow Mountain on Karakul Lake
  • Tranquil Karakul Lake in October Tranquil Karakul Lake in October
  • Sunday Bazaar Sunday Bazaar

Most Important Xinjiang Trip Notes

Essential Xinjiang Travel Guide
1. Xinjiang is so vast that a longer trip is more recommended!
Xinjiang is the largest province in China. Its size is about 3 times of France and full of both natural and cultural charms. Xinjiang is not only vast but also remote from major big cities. So it is strongly recommended to plan your trip as longer as possible so that you can make best use of both your time and money.
2. Best places to visit in Xinjiang and How to plan your itinerary?

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.

3. Xinjiang weather, best time and wearing tips?

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.

4. How to get to & around Xinjiang?

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.

5. Xinjiang accommodation condition?

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.

6. Useful Travel Tips to Visit Grasslands / Deserts in Xinjiang?

● 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!

More useful tips & packing list for desert travel in China >

7. What to Eat During the Trip in Xinjiang?

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.

8. What is the Itinerary Time of Each Day?
Your daily sightseeing usually lasts about 8~10 hours, and differs by itineraries. If you are going to visit remote areas, such as Kanas, Sayram Lake, Naraty, Takilamakan Desert, etc., your sightseeing time is usually longer since there are some distant drivings to be taken. If you wish to watch sunrise and sunset, your sightseeing hours will be longer too. Your tour guide usually will tell you exact starting hour of each day.
Payment and Booking Guide
1. What kind of payment method do you accept?
PayPal, Wire Transfer/Bank Transfer, Western Union are acceptable before your arrival, and after your arrival, CASH is required.
2. How soon before our trip do you need payment?
Early booking is always better than being rushed, and we would suggest booking to be 2-3 month earlier than your arrival so as to guarantee the booking items. If you are interested in any of our tours, you can pay a deposit first and balance to be paid 30 days prior to your arrival. You can also choose to pay the full amount so as to avoid small loss caused by currency exchange rate fluctuation. If booking is less than 30 days, full payment is required.

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