14-Day from Xian to Kashgar

  • Destinations:Xian, Dunhuang, Turpan, Korla, Kucha, Aksu, Taklamakan Desert, Hotan, Yarkand, Kashgar, Karakul Lake

  • Highlights:Exploring the Most Ancient historical cities along the Silk Road, stay with locals for better understanding their lifestyle.

Day 1
Arrive in Xian

Ativities: Pick you up from airport and transfer to the Hotel
Our professional, friendly local guide will meet you with experienced driver at the airport and transfer to your hotel. It takes about one hour to your hotel from airport. Rest of the day is your time to explore this ancient city by yourself. Meals are not included today. Our guide and driver will recommend you good restaurants as your wish

Day 2
Xian for whole Day

Ativities: visit famous Terra-cotta warriors, Bell Tower, Wild Goose Pagoda, Grand Hui mosque and their community area.
After breakfast we start our wonderful one day tour with visiting Terra-Cotta Warriors which is the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century. This site is about an hour driving distance from Xian city, we spend whole morning around there and push to Bell Tower after lunch. Bell Tower is located in downtown area and is a Chinese traditional building and geographical center of the ancient capital, the best preserved and largest wooden tower in China. After stopping here for about an hour we continue our tour to Wild Goose Pagoda which is well preserved ancient and holy building for Buddhism.
Finally we visit the Hui Grand Mosque which is located Hui minority area, construction of the mosque has rich Chinese feature as well as combined with Arabic style. It is one of the oldest and largest mosques in China. Then walk around Cultural Streets of Hui people before going to Dinner.

Day 3
Xian to Dunhuang

Ativities: visit Xian City Wall and Provincial Museum ,fly Dunhuang after lunch
Our guide and driver Waite for you in the hotel lobby at fixed time and take you to Xian City Wall which is the symbol of Xian and most ancient city wall in China excising until today. We stop here for a few hours for walking around or riding bicycle as your desire. Then Push to Provincial Museum which is a famous first-class museum in China with its outstanding architectural buildings, internal apparatus, and exhibits.
After lunch drive to Xian airport for your flight to Dunhuang. The airport is about 40km from the city and it takes about an hour by car. Our local guide and driver see you at Dunhaung airport and transfer to your Hotel.

Day 4
Dunhuang tours, then to Turpan

Ativities: Visit the World heritage Mogao Grottoes, the echoing-sand dunes of the Ming Shan Mountains, Crescent Lake and Dunhuang Museum. Take overnight train to Turpan
We spend the whole morning at World heritage famous Mogao Grottoes which were constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to 14th centuries. The caves are also known as the Thousand Buddha Caves have the double distinction of being one of the most notable grottoes in China as well as the best preserved treasure house of Buddhist art, sutras, murals and sculptures in the world.
After lunch we push to Dunhuang Museum which exhibits relics excavated from the local area, including paper and coins. The museum is also home to an excellent reconstruction of the Great Wall during the Han Dynasty.
In the end, Riding Camels, Sliding High Sand Dunes or simply walking around and stop over at the mysterious Crescent Lake which no-one can explain the formation of such a geological oddity would be the great experience. Finally you take the overnight first class soft sleeper train to Turpa.

Day 5
Turpan for whole day

Ativities: visit Idikut (Gaochang) ancient city, Astana tombs, Toyup village, Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves and Flaming Mountains
Arrive at Daheyan train station in the morning and journey to Turpan city. Our tour in Turpan with a visit 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. You can take a donkey cart to visit the site if you like. We’ll stop in the city for about 40 minutes and then drive to Karakhoja Astana Tombs, a Tang-dynasty burial ground which also known as the “Underground Museum”. Astana means “capital” in the Uighur language and Karakhoja is the name of a legendary hero of the ancient Uighur Kingdom who conquered by killing a vicious dragon.
Moving on, we journey to Toyup Village, an old, beautiful and timeless village with a friendly Uighur community. Here we visit several local families and eat lunch with one of them in their home. This could quite likely be the highlight of your tour.
After lunch we visit 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 to the hotel 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”. Later, if you like we’ll eat dinner in the family run restaurant and the round the day off with an atmospheric song and dance festival under the grape .(The performance is on your own expenses)

Day 6
Turpan to Kolra

Ativities: visit Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city, Karez underground Irrigations system and Emin Minaret. drive to Korla
Following a hearty breakfast at the Hotel we start our another wonderful day in Turpan. Our special itinerary today includes sightseeing in Turpan and drive to Korla 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 and residential houses in the streets are still visible and time there is time spent in a world long disappeared.
After an hour of walking around the city area, we’ll push 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 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.”
After lunch we’ll leave Turpan to korla. it is about 400km and it takes about 6 hours by car. arrive in Korla in the evening and stay overnight.

Day 7
Korla to Kucha

Ativities: Drive to Kucha (Kuqa) and visit Kucha old city , Grand Mosque, Bazzar , Subash ancient city and Kizil Kagha Beacon tower
Leave for Kucha after breakfast and arrive by lunch time. After lunch we’ll spend time at Kucha Old City area which is a lovely community of friendly Uighur people. The Kucha’s Grand Mosque is located in old city area and the mosque itself was built in the 17th Century and roof of the mosque was constructed using 300,000 eggs, cement and bricks. Then 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.

Day 8
kucha to Aksu

Ativities: Drive to Aksu and visit Kizil Thousand Buddha caves on the way
After breakfast, we set out for Aksu via Bay county and stop at Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves (5th and 6th century AD), which lie 75km (46miles) from Kucha and form 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 on the high cliffs of the Northern Bank of the Muzat River during the early 3rd to 8th Centuries of the first Millennium AD. There are presently 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 keep driving to Aksu and arrive in late afternoon

Day 9
Aksu to Hotan

Ativities: Drive through second largest shifting sand desert
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 a first class desert highway. You’ll love the drive with the outstanding scenery of Sand dunes and we can stop whenever you like for photos, walking around or fun . The word ‘Taklamakan’ 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 in Hotan in the afternoon and check in to the Hotel. stay in Hotan

Day 10
Hotan for whole day

Ativities: visit Malikiawat Ancient City,Traditional paper making family, Jade, Silk Fabric, Carpet work shops, Jade River, Hotan Museum, an old mosque and Shrine
Today we start our tour at 7:00am local time with a trip to Malikiawat Ancient City, located on the west bank of the Yorungkash River 27kms from Hotan city. The city once belonged to the Han and Tang Dynasties.
Few surviving crafts from the time of the Silk Road have made it into the 21st Century and those that have are rapidly disappearing. Traditional Paper Making is a famous handicraft of the Uighur nationality, yet at present only one family in Hotan district still produces such paper. The family lives in Hotan city and the art has a history of more than 2,000 years.
For lunch we recommend you to taste some Hotan local foods which provides various local style foods special from Hotan.
After lunch we head to the Yorung Kash (White Jade River) to see how local people look for jade – and perhaps even find your own!. If you are interested we can also visit local Carpet, Silk and Jade factories. These three handicraft exports are known only to Hotan and have been in demand for thousands of years.
Our next port of call is Hotan Museum where you can learn more about the ancient cities of the Silk Road and the culture, lifestyle and economic conditions of the most important trade route in history.
The day then winds up with a stop at a 16th Century Mosque in the Taklimakan Desert around 30km away from Hotan city. There are several Holy Tombs around the Mosque and everyday people from across the length and breadth of Xinjiang come here to visit and pray. It is said the tomb belongs to a Muslim missionary who was once a military officer in the 11th century AD. The tomb’s influence is very strong among local Muslims and every May more than 10,000 people visit to worship. You can ride camels across the sand dunes here and return back hotel after enjoying the beautiful sunset (if you like the camel ride, it should be arranged in advance).

Day 11
Hotan to Kashgar

Ativities: drive to Kashgar along the Jade Road and stop in Kaghilik, Yarkant and Yingsar towns for local sight-seeing
Leave for Kashgar early in the morning, Stop in Kaghilik for lunch and seethe 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 the Hotel.

Day 12
Kashgar for whole day

Ativities: visit Idkah Mosque, Apak Hoja Mausoleum, Livestock market, Main Sunday bazaar, old city and local family dinner
Explore the rich, endless culture of the Uighurs in Kashgar.First visit Livestock Market which is the most interesting and traditional part of the Sunday Market, then push to the Largest Bazaar in Central Asia at the Kashgar Sunday Main Bazaar, then 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 which is also known as Fragrant Concubine Tomb .
We’ll also spend time today in the Kashgar Old Town (Old City) and have dinner with a local Uighur Family.

Day 13
Day trip to Karakul lake

Ativities: 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) 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.
the time at Karakul lake is your time to ride camels, hiking around the lake, visit local families and have tea in their local yurt , drive back kashgar whenever you are ready.

Day 14
Kashgar to your destination

Ativities: See you off at Kashgar airport
Our guide and driver will take you to Kashgar airport