16-Day North And South Xinjiang Tours

  • Tour Code: CNXJ21

  • Destinations:
    Urumqi; Sayram Lake; Yining; Narat Grassland; Bayinbulak Grassland; Tianshan mountain; Kuqa; Taklamakan Desert; Niya (Minfeng); Keriya (Yutian); Hotan; Yarkant; Kashgar; Karakoram Highway; Karakul lake; Tashkorgan;

  • Tour Type: Private Tour


Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy the beautiful scenery of Heavenly Lake with life of Kazaks at Tianshan Mountain.
  • Enjoy stunning sceneries along the Karakorom Highway with Tajik and Kyrgiz people’s cultures.
  • Enjoy the highest and the second biggest Grassland in China in the middle of Tianshan Mountain.
  • Experience a journey through middle of the longest desert highway in the World.
  • Enjoy the earliest Buddhism Art, Ancient Xinjiang Buddhism and the Silk Road center of Xinjiang.
  • Enjoy scenery of the highest and the biggest lake Sayram in Xinjiang.
  • Enjoy the diversified cultural relics and mummies in Xinjiang Regional Museum.
  • Explore the culture, history and see the real life of Kashgar in the Old City.
  • Immerse yourself in the mystery of the world famous underground irrigation channels of Turpan.
  • Enjoy ancient cities perspectives by walking in the streets of Jaohe and Gaochang.

Day 1
Arrive in Urumqi
Meals:No Meals
Activities: Warmly welcome you at Urumqi airport and transfer to your hotel
Our guide will pick you up from Urumqi airport and accompany you to your Hotel. For the first day in Xinjiang you are free to explore on you own as you will.
Urumqi is the capital city of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of the people’s republic of China. It is located in the north – west of the country. Urumqi was a major hub on the Silk Road during China’s Tang dynasty and developed its reputation as a leading cultural and commercial center during the Qing dynasty. Literal translation of Urumqi means “beautiful pasture” in Mongolian language. It is the largest city in China’s western region. Since 1990s Urumqi has developed economically and now serves as a regional transport, educational, cultural and commercial center.
Day 2
Day Trip to Heavenly Lake and Visit Xinjiang Museum
Activities: Drive to Heavenly lake in the morning and visit Xinjiang Provincial Museum in the afternoon.
Our guide and driver see you at the hotel lobby and Leave for Heavenly Lake after breakfast which is 115 kms (71 Miles) over two hours by vehicle.
This beautiful and crystal-clear waters of Heavenly Lake is guarded by the Tianshan mountain and once you are at the like, you will have free time to roam around the lake, simply trekking up the mountains through the various valleys as long as you want. You can go for boating or take cable car(own expense)up to the top of the mountain for full scenery of the lake.
You can have lunch with a local Kazak family or just pay them a visit! This is certainly the easiest way to understand the life of the Kazak people in such a short time.
whenever you are ready at the lake, drive to Urumqi city and check into your hotel.
In the afternoon, visit the Xinjiang Museum which houses an impressive collection of exhibits, covering artifacts and relics from more than 12 minority groups. By this way you have some understanding about Xinjiang and the Silk Road.
Day 3
Urumqi To Turpan
Activities: After breakfast drive to Turpan and visit Tuyuq village; Flaming Mountain; Bezeklik Thousand Buddha caves and Grape Valley
Today after breakfast at the hotel we’ll drive to Turpan for a full day sightseeing around Turpan: which will include visiting picturesque Tuyoq ancient village the oldest in Turpan area, Buddhist caves dated back to the 4th century. Visit local Uygur families enjoy beautiful mountain and grape sceneries. Have a lunch break then visit the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves on the flanks of the Flaming Mountains and Grape Valley. We’ll have dinner at a local restaurant and stay overnight at the hotel in Turpan.

Day 4
Turpan to Urumqi
Activities: Visit Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city, Karez underground Irrigations system and Emin Minaret. After lunch drive to Urumqi
Following the breakfast at the Hotel start your wonderful day in Turpan. Our special itinerary today includes sightseeing in Turpan and drive to Urumqi after Lunch.
First we visit Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city which is one of the best preserved ancient cities in China , the ruins of the buildings are divided into temples, civilian dwellings and government offices, workshops, residential houses and the streets are still visible and time there is a time spent in a long lost world.
After an hour of touring around the ancient city, we’ll drive to see the world famous Karez irrigation system, unique to this part of the world. The system is considered as one of the three great projects in China with the other two being the Great Wall and the Grand Canal.
Next visit Emin Sulayman minaret which is a magnificent combination of ancient Uighur and Islamic architecture. It is the tallest ancient tower in Xinjiang and the only Islamic ancient minaret in the country. Locals call it “pure tower”.
After lunch drive to Urumqi which is 180Kms and takes about 2.5-3 hours.
Day 5
Urumqi to Sayram Lake
Activities: whole day drive along the Northern Silk Road to Sayram lake
Our guide and driver will pick you up from your Hotel at 7:00am local time and drive along the Northern Silk Road to Sayram Lake which is about 650kms from Urumqi city. The road to Sayram lake is all new highway which takes about eight hours including lunch stop at Jing county.
We arrive at Sayram Lake by dinner and stay overnight by the lake.
As the largest alpine lake in Xinjiang Sayram Lake holds a special name as the pearl of the Silk Road. Like a picture postcard of tranquility, the water of the lake is pure and crystal clear; Sayram lake is home to Kazakh and Mongol nomads. surrounding area of the lake is the best grazing place for their horses, cattles, sheep and camels in summer.
Day 6
Sayram Lake to (Ghulja )Yinning
Activities: Hiking around Sayram lake in the morning and drive to Yining after lunch, visit Guozigou (Fruit Valley on the way)
Sayram Lake and its surrounding area is a great place for hiking or horse riding. Your stay at the Sayram Lake is your the time to explore the hills on horseback, take photos or simply trek around the lake for the whole morning.
When finished, we leave for Yining after lunch and drive through some small Kazak Nomad villages to enjoy the fantastic scenery of Guozhaigou (Fruit Valley) with its many pastures and pine trees along the way.
Day 7
Yining to Bayinbulak Grasslands
Activities: Drive through Narat Grassland , visit Kanzak and Mongol Nomadic people, have tea at their yurt , visit Swan lake and nine streams with Eighteen Angles at Sunset.
Leave from Yining after breakfast, drive through some villages, grasslands and farming lands, arrive in Narat Grassland at about noon and have lunch. locals from Xinjiang boasts the beauty of Xinjiang with Narat Grasland as it is one of the most beautiful parts of our region.
After lunch keep driving along the Narat River lined up with pine trees to Bayinbulak Grassland which is the second largest in China. Once arrive in Bayinbulak, visit swan lake which is made of a group of small lakes and ponds as opposed to one massive body of water.
We highly suggest you to stay till sunset and snap photos on a hill that overlooks the river. The numerous bends in the river, especially against the backdrop of a sunset makes incredible scenery.
Optional activities: You can visit Narat tourist park and take shuttle bus up to the mountain top on your own expenses
Day 8
Bayinbulak to Kucha
Activities: Drive through Tushuk Tagh (the mountain with Tunnel) and visit big dragon lake, small dragon lake and Tianshan mystery Grand Canyon
Set out for Kucha after breakfast and drive through Tushuk Tagh which is another adventure driving day. First we drive up to the top of the mountain a long zigzagged road which provides better opportunities for taking photos of the mountain sceneries from different locations.
We arrive the big dragon lake to have lunch and hike around. This is a village with some nomad people and the area is really beautiful with grassland, the dragon lake, pine trees, sheep, cows, horses, goats with snowcapped mountains.
Then keep drive till small dragon lake which is not far away from big dragon lake, it is sparkling like a gem.
Before arriving Kucha , you’ll enjoy a glorious Grand Canyon and a good opportunity to stretch your legs, enjoy walking into this dramatic, mysterious formation of the Canyon. which is very attractive not only by its colors but also for the strange shapes.
Kucha Grand Canyon was voted by the Chinese National Geography magazine (2005) as one of the ten most beautiful Canyons in China.
Arrive Kucha in the evening and check into the hotel before dinner
Day 9
Kucha For Whole Day
Activities: Visit Kizil Thousand Buddha caves, Kucha grand mosque, old city, Bazaars, Subash Ancient Ruins and Kizil Kagha Beacon.
Whole day sightseeing in Kucha, followed by dinner and a visit to the famous Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves (5th and 6th century AD), which lie 75km (46miles) from Kucha and formed one of the earliest treasure troves of Buddhist art in China as well as one of the four largest cave systems in China. The caves were once hewn high on the cliffs of the Northern Bank of the Muzat River during the early 3rd to 8th Centuries of the first Millennium AD. Today there are 236 coded caves, divided into west and inner valley and rear mountain areas extending over 3 kilometers (1.86 miles). It takes about 2 hours to see the caves and learn about local Buddhist culture.
After lunch at a restuarant near Caves, we drive to ancient city of Subash (2nd-3rd century A.D.) as well as the Ancient Kizil Kagha Beacon tower which is an ancient military outpost.
Before dinner we’ll also return to Kucha to spend some time in the old town area , local bazaars and visit Kucha grand mosque which was built in 17th century and roof of the mosque was constructed with 300,000 eggs, cement and bricks. We’ll end our day with a dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 10
Kucha to Hotan
Activities: Drive through Taklimakan desert Highway.
An early start today as we set out for Hotan after breakfast and driving into the Desert Highway. This desert highway was built from 2005 to 2007 and opened in 2008. Today we drive about 200km through local villages and 420kms on the desert highway.
You’ll love the drive with outstanding sceneries of Sand dunes and we can stop whenever you like for photos, walk around or to have some fun.
The word ‘Taklimakan’ means Sea of Death: “once you come in you can never go back”, This will certainly be an unforgettable part of your trip.
We arrive Hotan in the evening and check into the Hotel.
Day 11
Hotan For Whole Day
Activities: Grand Market, Silk Fabric, Jade River, Carpet making fortory and Musuem.
After breakfast, visit Hotan grand Bazaar for a few hours; Then drive to Traditional Silk Fabric where you can see how to get the silk and weave into cloth by the traditional way.
Then visit Carpet making workshop, Jade carving workshop and Hotan Museum.
Day 12
Hotan to Kashgar
Activities: Drive to Kashgar along the Jade Road and stop in Kaghilik and Yarkant and towns for local sight-seeing
Leave for Kashgar early in the morning. Stop at Kaghilik for lunch and see the Grand Mosque built in the 17th Century. Then another stop at Yarkand for a few hours to enjoy the local culture and do some sightseeing. visit Golden Mosque (built in 1533) and its graveyard including several hundred years old tombs.
Yarkand became the capital of many Uighur Kingdoms in ancient times and was an important station on the old Silk Road. It has more than 2000 years of history.
Arrive Kashgar in the evening and check into the Hotel
Day 13
Kashgar to Tashkorgan
Activities: Drive along the KKH, Stop at Opal Village, Oytagh Kunlunshan Colorful mountain range, Gaz Valley and check point, Bulungkol Valley (white sand mountain), Karakul lake and local Kyrgyz family visit
We set out along the Sino – Pakistan Karakorum Highway, on the Pamir plateau (the roof of the world)visit Karakul Lake (3600m above sea level). The lake sits at the foot of the notorious, Muztagh Ata (7546m) and Gongur (7719m) mountains. ‘Muztagh Ata’ means Father of the Ice Mountain and is one of the most beautiful and mysterious mountains in the world.
Lunch will be at local Kyrgyz family or at the lake side restaurant as your like.
You can stop along the way at good spots for photos as much as you like or hiking around Karakul lake for a few hours. Our driver and guide never mind for your many stops or spending time for hiking
Arrive Tashkorgan in the late afternoon and stay overnight
Day 14
Tashkorgan to Kashgar
Activities: Visit Stone Fort, Tajik village, Hike on the Grassland and drive back to Kashgar after lunch
Tashkurgan Tajik autonomous county was once an important hub on the old Silk Road. The area borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan via the Kunjerab Pass and Wahan Corridor.
After breakfast, you’ll have an opportunity to see the town’s ancient Stone Fort – still standing after 2200 years! ‘Tashkurgan’ is a translation of ‘Stone Fort.’ Later Hike on the grassland next to the Stone Fort.
After lunch, drive back to Kashgar and you can make stops along the way if you like.
Day 15
Explore Kashgar City
Activities: Visit Grand mosque, Apak Hoja tomb (which is also called Fragrant Concubine Tomb), Old city walking tours, livestock market, Sunday market and dinner at a local Uighur family
Explore the rich, endless culture of the Uighurs in Kashgar. First visit livestock market which happens on every Sunday and people bring their horses, sheep, goats, camels,cows,bulls,yaks and donkeys to the market for sale. It provides a great opportunity to take photos of the faces of local people, study traditional local market culture, test-drive a donkey or horse or even make its shoes. Like opening a window, today is a real glimpse into a time lost in the annals of the Silk Road’s past and an opportunity not to be missed.
Later move on to Sunday market main Bazaar which is considered one of the largest market in Central Asia. From fluffy sheepskin hats to rugged camel-hide boots, not to mention beads, buttons and buckets of locals. Everything – including plenty of kitchen sinks – is for sale at this fairytale bazaar. It is the best chance to practice your bargaining skills.
After lunch spend some time by the Id Kah mosque, the largest mosque in China and marvel at the intricate architecture of Kashgar’s historic Apak Hoja Tomb which is also known as Fragrant concubine tomb).
We’ll also spend time in the Kashgar Old Town and have some walking tours through some ancient historical parts; Stop at a century-old tea house for a short break and taste local medicinal teas such as those containing rose, saffron, honey and many other ingredients.
Finally conclude our city tour with a dinner at a local family which offers a great opportunity to deeply understand real local life, culture and traditions of local Uighurs.
Day 16
Kashgar To Your Next Destination
Activities: See you off at Kashgar airport
Today is the last day of your tour with us, so we hope this shouldn’t be the last. We strive to make every day of your time with us the one that you’ll always remember and if you’d like to book some other tours please Contact us for more information

Tour price

  • Following is our price lists, it is always better to keep all the services as standard as possible for the tours. However, if the tour is beyond your budget, we’ll try our best to accommodate your needs while still maintaining our high standard of services.

Tour Price from 1st June till 31st Oct

Pax 3* 4* 5*
1 Pax 36790 38688 41366
2 Pax 20547 21496 22835
3 Pax 17149 18098 19437
4-6 Pax 14411 15360 16699
2217 3020 4153
Based on Chinese RMB

Tour Price from 1st Nov till 31st May

Pax 3* 4* 5*
1 Pax 32383 33722 36179
2 Pax 18343 19013 20241
3 Pax 15184 15854 17082
4-6 Pax 12825 13494 14723
1837 2404 3443
Based on Chinese RMB

Featured Hotels

  • Following is the hotel lists we will book for the tour at different standards based on your requests; these hotels have been rated by our clients in the past years. If you have any more requests for different hotels. you can always let us know and we will try our best to meet your demands.
    If 4-5 star hotels are not available in some areas, we will book the local best hotels.

3-star Hotel list

Destination Hotel Name
Urumqi Jingu Hotel
Turpan jinxiujinhua Hotel
Sayram lake Kazak Yurt
Yining Yaxiya Hotel
Bayinbulak Longxing Hotel
Kucha Kucha grand Hotel (3*building) 
Hotan Yudu Hotel
Kashgar Qinibagh Hotel 3* building
Tashkorgan jincaotan Hotel

4-star Hotel list

Destination Hotel Name
Urumqi Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
Turpan Huozhou Hotel
Sayram lake Kazak Yurt
Yining Ruiyang Crown Hotel
Bayinbulak Longxing Hotel (3*)
Kucha Kucha Grand Hotel (5* building)
Hotan Western Lake hotel
Kashgar Qinibagh Hotel (4*building)
Tashkorgan Crown inn (Local best) 

5-star Hotel list

Destination Hotel Name
Urumqi Grand Mercure Hualing Hotel
Turpan Silk Road Lodges
Sayram lake Kazak Yurt
Yining Ruiyang Crown Hotel (4*)
Bayinbulak Longxing Hotel (3*)
Kucha Kucha Grand Hotel (5* building)
Hotan Western Lake hotel
Kashgar Radisson Blue Hotel
Tashkorgan Crown inn (Local best) 
Hotels can be changed according to your requests

Service Includes

  • Air-conditioned private Vehicle for whole land transportation
  • Private excellent English speaking local Tour guides
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary (one room shared by two people)
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary.
  • Entrance fee for the sights as listed in the program (including shuttle bus)
  • Expenses of the guides, drivers and vehicles (Accommodation and meals for guide and driver; Highway fee, oil and parking fees for the car)
  • Visa support

Service excludes

  • Tips for the guides and drivers
  • Beverages
  • Arrival and Departure flights
  • Chinese visa
  • Personal excursions like horse or camel riding at the spots or boating Etc.

Trip Notes

  • Here is some notes for above tour. If you want to make any changes according to your personal request , please let us know , one of our tour specialist will tailor make your tour just for your needs

1. Accommodation

  • —Different types of Hotels are available, including famous 5-star hotel chains, 4-star hotels in the best locations, good value 3-star hotels, or boutique hotels that reflect the style of the region.
    —Hotel fees are based on two people sharing one room with twin beds at the hotels listed above
    All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities
    –If you have any special requests for your hotels, please let us know, our travel experts will try to meet your requests and find out the perfect one for you.

2. Meals

  • Breakfast is usually at the hotels. Lunch and dinners will be provided at good conditioned, clean local restaurants or tourist restaurants.
    You can also taste authentic local dishes of different minorities along the Silk Road.
    sometime also arrange local family meals wherever it is possible to let you deeply understand local life and culture. You could also join the cooking if you like.

3. Transportation

  • Air-conditioned good conditioned vehicles for whole land transportation including Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing. China is a big country, distance from one city to another is a long way to drive, so We usually arrange flights or trains to connect your destinations.

4. Drivers and Car Types

  • All of our tour guides are very experienced and helpful, who create unique and unforgettable experiences to share with you.
    Our tours include excellent English-speaking local tour guides in each destination, so they don’t travel with you on the trains or flights. But our driver/guide always pick up you from railway stations or airports with “your name” on a welcome board.

    All of our drivers are experienced licensed tourism drivers who are very helpful, friendly and easy going.
    We provide the following cars for the tour:
    1. 1-2 PAX: Sedan, SUV or MPV
    2. 3-5 PAX: MPV
    3. 6-8 PAX: 13-15-Seater minibus
    4. 9-10 PAX: 17-22 Seater Minibus
    5. 11 or more PAX: 33 seater or bigger coaches.

Welcome to Silk Road Tours

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