7-Day Southern Silk Road Tours

  • Tour Code: KST14

  • Destinations:Kashgar, Yarkand, Hotan, Keriya, Taklamakan Desert Crossing, Kucha, Korla, Turpan

  • Tour Type: Private Tour


Tour Highlights

  • Discover hand made silk textiles, carpets, papers and unique Jades of Hotan.
  • Experience a journey through middle of the longest desert highway in the World.
  • Visit Karez underground irrigation channels one of the three Great Projects in China.
  • Experience the live ancient Tuyuk Village with a lunch at a local house.
  • Visit Golden Mosque and Royal family Tombs of Yarkend.
  • Experience the life of ancient Caravans by staying overnight in Teklimakan Desert.
  • Enjoy ancient cities perspectives by walking in the streets of Jaohe and Gaochang.

Day 1
Kashgar to Hotan
Activities: Drive along the Southern Silk Road, stop at Yarkant, Kaghilik for sightseeing

We set out from Kashgar after breakfast, stop in Yarkand for a few hours to enjoy local culture and do some sightseeing. visit the Golden Mosque (built in 1533) and its royal graveyard which includes several hundred-years-old tombs. Yarkand was once the capital of many Uighur Kingdoms in ancient times and an important station on the old Silk Road. It has more than 2000 years of history.
After Yarkand we’ll stop at Kargilik another former hub on the Silk Road. The Tibet highway starts from Kargilik and we’ll stop off at the grand mosque (1533) here, before move on to Hotan
Day 2
Hotan for whole day
Activities: Grand Market, Silk Fabric, Jade River, the old mosque and Shrine.

After breakfast, walking around 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 traditional way. visit the Carpet making workshop, Jade carving products workshop and Hotan Museum.
Day 3
Hotan to Tazhong (the middle of the Taklimakan Desert)
Activities: Keep driving along the Southern Silk road, visit Keriya and Niya town on the way. camp in the middle of the desert.

Our first stop is at Keriya town to enjoy the unique culture and traditional lifestyle of the people.
Keriyan men wears a special kind of high wool cap while ladies wear a hat, which is registered as the smallest hat in the world. Then stop at Niya (Minfeng) for lunch and visit Niya museum.
Then drive along the Taklimakan desert highway which is the longest desert highway in the world (522km, 324miles). The word, Taklimakan means “Sea of Death, once you come in you can never go back”. Feel free to enjoy the beautiful dunes as long as you wish.
We stop in Tazhong which means the middle of the Taklimakan desert and camp overnight. This will absolutely be an unforgettable trip of your life time.
Day 4
Desert to Kucha
Activities: Keep driving the desert highway and arrive Kucha in the afternoon,then visit Grand mosque, Subash Ruins and Beacon tower

Get up early in the morning and enjoy the morning sunrise over the sand dunes.
After breakfast Keep driving along the Taklimakan desert highway and reach Kucha by lunch time.
first check into the hotel to have a shower to get rid of the sands and dusts of the desert camp.
In the afternoon we will visit the ancient city of Subash dating from the 2nd -3rd Centuries and the ancient Kizil Kagha Beacon tower which was an ancient military outpost once.
After that we’ll spend some time in the old city area and visit Kucha’s Grand mosque. The mosque was built in the 17th Century and roof of the mosque was constructed with 300,000 eggs, cement and bricks.
Day 5
Kuqa (Kucha) to Korla
Activities: Visit Kizil Thousand Buddha caves and leave for Korla

Following the breakfast at the hotel first drive to Kizil Thousand Buddha caves which sits 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 formed one of the earliest Buddhist art treasure troves in China. In fact the caves were in use one century before the famous Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang.
We’ll have lunch in a restuarant next to the caves and head to Korla. which is 280kms and takes about 4 hours of driving.
Day 6
Korla to Turpan
Activities: leave for Turpan after breakfast and arrive at about noon; After lunch visit Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city, Karez underground Irrigations system and Emin Minaret

Leave for Turpan after breakfast and arrive around Lunch time. In Turpan we’ll begin our tour by vsiting the Yargul 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 streets are still visible and time there is a time spent in a long lost world.
After an hour of walking around the ancient city, we’ll head on 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.
Then visit Emin Suliman 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”.
Day 7
Turpan to Urumqi
Activities: visit Idikut (Gaochang) ancient city, Toyuq village, Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves and Flaming Mountains, then drive to Urumqi.

We start our another day tour in Turpan with a visit to the ancient city of Idikut (Gaochang). The city was first built in the first Century BC and later became capital of the Idikut (Gaochang) Uighur Kingdom in the 8th Century.
We’ll spend in about 40 minutes in this ancient city and then drive to Toyuq village which is an old, beautiful and timeless village with a friendly Uighur community. Here we visit several local families and have lunch with one of their home. This could be the highlight of your tour of the day.
After lunch visit Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves which used to be an important center for Buddhist worshipers under the Xizhou Huigu government of the Idikut (Gaochang) Kingdom.
On the way back to Urumqi we will stop at the Flaming Mountain which people claimed to be the hottest and driest along the silk road that “flying birds even a thousand miles away dare not to come”.
Arrive Urumqi by dinner time and check into your hotel.

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