South Xinjiang in Focus

UQ04: 13 Days Private Tour of Urumqi - Turpan - Korla - Kuqa - Aral - Hotan - Kashgar
Tour Type: Private Tour, any part of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned vehicle
Meals: 12 western buffet breakfasts, 11 lunches

  • Travel in depth to the Silk Road of 2,000 years ago & learn about the culture and history
  • Revel in the rugged beauty of the unique desert landscape
  • Get a better understanding about the making process of the Hotan silk
  • Explore the famous Kashgar Sunday Market and experience the local life with locals
From USD2369 per person Free Inquiry
Day 1 Arrival in Urumqi
Once you arrive in Urumqi airport, you will find your local guide and driver waiting for you in the Arrival Hall, holding a welcome board with your name on it. They will pick you up and transfer you to a comfortable hotel for check-in.

Accommodation: Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
Day 2 Urumqi
Heavenly Lake
Heavenly Lake
This morning is scheduled to explore the Heavenly Lake. The crescent-shaped alpine lake boasts enchanting lake view surrounded by verdant valleys with lush spruce, pine forests as well as the ever snow-capped peaks of the Tianshan Mountains. You will be accompanied to hike along the plank trail to enjoy the plateau scenery and lake view.

In the afternoon, your guide will escort you to the Xinjiang Regional Museum to get a general understanding on the splendid history and culture of Xinjiang through rare exhibits, including mummies, brocades and murals. Afterwards, you will visit the International Grand Bazaar, where you can see the locals bargaining and selecting their wanted items. What a lively scene! Besides, it is also a food paradise for you to taste ethnical delicacies. Finally, you will be escorted back to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
Day 3 Urumqi - Turpan
Jiaohe Ancient City
Ancient City of Jiaohe
Today, you will start the Xinjiang tour to Turpan, with a car journey of around 3 hours. Upon arrival, you will visit the Jiaohe Ancient City, also known as the Jiaohe Ruins, which is the largest and best-preserved earthen complex of China. Through 2,300 years of rise and fall, some walls, temples, pagodas and streets still remain in the ruined city, where you can recollect its past prosperous scenes. Then move on to the brilliant Karez Underground Water Irrigation System to marvel at the ancient Xinjiang farmers' intelligence through witnessing the unique and enormous irrigation system developed to provide underground water in the desert area.

Afterwards, we will drop by the Emin Minaret with distinctive Islamic characteristics and wonder at its delicate patterns on the surface of the brick tower. At last, check into the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Turpan Downtown
Day 4 Turpan
Flaming Mountain
After breakfast, your guide and driver will take you to the Gaochang Ancient City to visit the time-honored ruins constructed in 450 AD. The flourishing past of the Gaochang Kingdom could be perceived from the large-scale ruins in the vast desolate desert. Then, on the way to the Bezklik Thousand Buddha Caves, you can have a glance of the spectacular Flaming Mountain.

Upon arrival, follow your guide to explore the Bezklik Thousand Buddha Caves to appreciate its stunning grotto art including exquisite Buddhist statues, murals and inscriptions completed in 700 years. Finally, visit an old Uyghur village, Tuyugou, where you could learn about the well-preserved original farming lifestyle.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Turpan Downtown
Day 5 Turpan - Korla
In the morning, you will be driven to Korla in our air-conditioned vehicle. It is a journey of around 6 hours, which might be a bit long, but you will experience a rare chance to travel through the vast Gobi desert and sparsely populated area of China and to gain an appreciation of the hardship that the ancient merchants and travelers faced on their journey along this segment of the historic Silk Road.

Upon arrival, you will pay a visit to the Iron Gate Pass, which used to be a dangerous military fortress linking the northern and southern regions of Xinjiang. At the end of the day, you will be escorted to a local hotel for a good rest.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Bosteng Hotel
Day 6 Korla - Kuqa
Kuqa Grand Mosque
Today we will continue the long-distance drive to Kuqa County across the boundless Gobi desert, and it may take about 4-5 hours. On the way you will revel in the rugged beauty of this unique desert landscape. Upon arrival, a hearty lunch will be served for you to savor the authentic local food.

After a short break, start your adventure trip from the Kuqa Grand Mosque, which is the second largest one in Xinjiang, only after the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar. You can not only get an insight into the profound religious culture of Xinjiang, but also catch the scene of the Islam believers praying in the mosque. Afterwards, move on to the next attraction, the Subash Ancient City to trace its former splendor by taking a leisurely stroll around the ruins. Stay overnight at a hotel in Kuqa.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Ku Che Grand Hotel
Day 7 Kuqa
The Kizil Thousand-Buddha Cave is the first stop of today's Uighur trip, which shows you century-old grotto sights characterized by exquisite murals. Then follow your guide to admire the Tianshan Mysterious Grand Canyon formed by erosion of flood and rainfall for thousands of years. Over here, you can take great photos of a great number of peculiar mountains, springs and stone pillars. After the visit, you will be escorted back to the hotel in Kuqa.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Ku Che Grand Hotel
Day 8 Kuqa - Aral
Traditional Uygur dancing show
We will set out today's Xinjiang tour itinerary to the Kuqa Royal Palace, which was built in 1759 to reward the Uygur ruler's political accomplishment by the order of the Emperor Qianlong. Then, we continue to traverse across the desert to reach Aral City after a 4 hours' ride. Upon arrival, you will check into a local hotel.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Aral Tahe Garden Hotel
Day 9 Aral - Hotan
Today you will be driven all the way to Hotan in the south by crossing the Taklamakan Desert. During the journey you can have a glance at the Tarim River. Drive on the rugged desert highway with the wind blowing all your troubles away, and touch the heart of the mysterious Gobi land. The spectacular sunset view in the desert will definitely astonish you. After about 6 hours' drive, you will reach Hotan and get lodged in a hotel to stretch yourself. At last, make a visit to the ruins of the Rawak Stupa in the desert to admire the remaining murals and reliefs.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: West Lake International Hotel
Day 10 Hotan
Carpet making in Hotan
Pay a visit to the Malikewat Ruins with a history of 1,500 years. Then, you will seize the chance to visit a silk workshop, where you could get a better understanding about the making process of the Hotan silk. Since the open-up of the ancient Silk Road, Hotan has abounded in high-end silk products. Continue the visit to a local Handicraft Carpet Factory, where you could find various exquisite carpets. Today's tour will end after visiting the Walnut-King Tree Park.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: West Lake International Hotel
Day 11 Hotan - Kashgar
After breakfast, we will leave for Kashgar by a road trip of 7 hours, so we should set out as early as possible. The long-distance bus journey might be a bit harsh, but meantime it is a precious opportunity to go deeper into the vast and untouched Gobi desert. After arrival, check in at the hotel in Kashgar.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Radisson Blu Hotel Kashgar
Day 12 Kashgar
Kashgar Bazaar
Kashgar, standing out for its colorful Uygur residences of Islamic style, is an essential stop of your Xinjiang tour package. The best way to feel the ancient city is to wander around the crisscrossing lanes and alleys of the Kashgar Old Town to experience its exotic lifestyle.

Then continue to visit the Id Kah Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in China, to witness the locals' daily prayer ritual. At noon, we will pay a visit to a local Uygur family to get real insight into their life and savor authentic home-made Xinjiang food.

After that, proceed to the Abakh Khoja Tomb served for the Khoja Family, the powerful ruler of Kashgar in the 17th century. It is also the resting place for the Emperor Qianlong's favored concubine - the Fragrant Concubine. At last, you will explore the bustling Kashgar bazaar (Sunday Market) to have a bargaining shopping experience and try some yummy local snacks.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Radisson Blu Hotel Kashgar
Day 13 Departure from Kashgar
Your wonderful trip to Xinjiang concludes today, and your guide and driver will transfer you to the airport and see you off.

Meal: Western buffet breakfast
This trip can be customized to meet your individual needs!
Tour Prices
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
  • Prices are per person on twin sharing basis.
  • Any part of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
Price Includes
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • Private English-speaking guide
  • Private driver & air-conditioned vehicle
  • Lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
Price Excludes
  • Air or train fares of arrival and departure
  • Entry visa fees
  • Tips or gratuities for guide and driver
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