Walking around world best preserved ancient city Yarghul (Jiaohe) , experience local life Uighur people in Tuyoq village, hiking in Misterious Tianshan Grand Canyon, drive through second largest shifting sand desert on the planet and camp overnight in the middle of the desert, haggling in the bazaars of Hotan and kashgar. Drive along the world famous Karakoram Highway.
Urumqi to Turpan
Drive from Urumqi to Turpan which is 180 kms and takes around 2.5-3 hours onto reach there. Upon arrival in Turpan, first check in the Hotel and start our tour after lunch, visiting the world famous Karez underground 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, then push to Yargul (Jiaohe) ancient city which is one of the best preserved ancient cities in China. hen visit the Emin Suliman minaret which is a magnificent combination of ancient Uighur and Islamic architecture. It is the tallest ancient pagoda in Xinjiang and the only Islamic ancient pagoda in the country. Locals call it “pure tower.”
Turpan to Korla
Our special itinerary today includes sightseeing in Turpan and a scenic, then drive to Korla after Lunch.
First we visit Idikut (Gaochang) ancient city which was first built in the first Century BC and later became capital of the Idikut (Gaochang) Uighur Kingdom in the 8th Century, then drive to Toyuq ancient Village which is an old, beautiful and timeless village with a friendly Uighur community, then drive to Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves which used to be an important center for Buddhist worship under the Xizhou Huigu government of the Idikut (Gaochang) Kingdom.
Finally, on the way back we will stop at the Flaming Mountains which people claim are so hot and dry that “flying birds even a thousand miles away dare not to come” and leave for Korla after lunch.
Stay in Korla
Korla to Kucha
Leave for Kucha after breakfast and arrive by lunch time. in the afternoon , we’ll visit the ancient city of Subash dating from the 2nd -3rd Centuries as well as the ancient Kizil Kagha Beacon tower which was once an ancient military outpost. After that we’ll spend time at old city area and visit Kucha’s Grand mosque.This roof of the mosque was constructed using 300,000 eggs & cement and bricks.
Stay in Kuqa
After breakfast, visit the Kizil Thousand Buddha caves which sit high on the cliffs over the Northern bank of the Muzat River, 75km (46miles) from Kucha city. The caves were hewn between the 3rd and 8th century and form one of the earliest Buddhist art treasure troves in China.
Lunch will be at a restaurant near the caves and then drive to Tianshan grand canyon which is one of the five most beautiful Canyons in China.
Stay in Kuqa
Kucha to Middle of the desert
After breakfast start to drive to Taklimakan desert along the desert highway. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of desert poplar tree, Toghrak, along the way. Then stop a very good place with high sand dunes and prepare for coming overnight.
We will make a big fire at night and make desert kebab for you.
This is absolutely certain to be an unforgettable life time part of your trip.
Camping in the desert
Desert to Hotan
Keep driving the desert highway and Drive through many ancient villages and towns along the Southern Silk Road. Today we really begin to experience the unique culture and history of the Southern Silk Road. Our first stop is in Niya (Minfeng) town and then Keriya (Yutian) to enjoy the unique culture and traditional lifestyle of the local residents. Keriyan men wear a special kind of high cap while ladies here wear a hat, registered as the smallest in the world.
Arrive in Hotan in the evening and stay overnight
Hotan for whole day
visit An old mosque and Shrine out of the Taklamakan desert, Hotan museum, bazaars and silk Fabric.
stay in Hotan
Hotan to Kashgar
Leave for Kashgar early in the morning. Stop in Kaghilik for lunch and see the Grand Mosque built in 17th Century.
Then stopping in Yarkand for a few hours to enjoy the local culture and do some sightseeing. For example; Golden Mosque (built in 1533) and its graveyard including several hundred year 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.
Please don’t miss out on a visit to a knife factory in the “knife town” of Yengisar. Pull into Kashgar and check into Hotel
Explore Kashgar City
Explore the rich, endless culture of the Uighurs in Kashgar. Visit the largest bazaar in Central Asia at the Kashgar Sunday market and Livestock market. spend time by the Id Kah mosque, the largest mosque in China and marvel at the intricate architecture of Kashgar’s historic Apak hoja tomb. We’ll also spend time today in the Kashgar old town and have dinner with a local Uighur family
stay in Kashgar
Kashgar to Karakul Lake
We set out along the Sino – Pakistan Karakorum Highway, on the Pamir plateau (the roof of the world) for your visit to Karakul Lake (3600m above sea level). The lake sits at the feet of the notorious, Muztagh Ata ( 7546m ) and Gongur ( 7719m ) mountains. ‘Muztagh Ata’ means Father of the Ice Mountain and is one the most beautiful and mysterious mountains in the world.
People travel to experience the lives of another culture, which is why we spend the night in the yurt of a local Kyrgyz family and really experience another way of life.
Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan
Tashkurgan Tajik autonomous county was once an important hub on the old Silk Road. The area borders Pakistan and Afghanistan and is connected to them via the Kunjerab Pass.
After arriving at Tashkurgan, you’ll have an opportunity to see the town’s ancient stone fort – still standing after 1800 years! ‘Tashkurgan’ is a translation of ‘Stone Fort.’ Walking around Tajik neighborhoods, and pay a visit to Local Tajik families live around this historic town.
Stay in hotel
Tashkorgan to Glaciers park and Kashgar
Oytagh Mountain is a part of the famous Kunlun Mountain Range. Oytagh is also a fantastic place to trek around the Forest or Ice Mountains
Fly to Urumqi
see you off at Kashgar airport.