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Xinjiang - Turpan Hiking Tours

Turpan01: Kumutage Desert
This itinerary covers the east section of the cycle tour of Turpan. The two day tour will give you a pleasant overview of the Kumutage Desert and the desert theme park-Sand Hill Park. To travellers only staying a short while, this journey allows you to experience the desert and Gobi in a short stay.

As there is no direct tourist coach or local bus that follows this itinerary, tourists may charter a cross county vehicle in groups of 2-3 people to spread the price. Vehicles can be chartered easily near Turpan Passenger Station. Shanshan, a county located eastward of Turpan, was once referred to as the "Lost Loulan Kingdom" and renamed as "Shanshan" in B.C. 77.
Kumutage Desert hiking tours
On the first day, drive eastward along No. 312 National High Way and turn southeast at the fork on the road before reaching Shengjin County. This direction leads to  Dikaner Village which is at the edge of the Kumutage Desert and to the southwest of Shanhshan County. It is interesting to spend few hours visiting the Kumutage Desert Scenic and Historic Interest Area (?30.00 net per person), especially for the travellers who have never visited a desert before. The Kumutage Desert, the world's only desert linked to a city, is a blend of various characteristics of the desert landscape of the major deserts in the world allowing you to experience both the desert scenery and beauty of the south  River area in a single day. Besides natural beauty, there are some optional sand-themed attractions in the scenic area like scientific research, exploration, hiking, and sand surfing etc.

On the way to the Desert, you can stop at Subeixi Village to visit the Tuyu Valley Thousand Buddha Cave. It is hidden deep within the Tuyu Valley with 45 caves on show today. A lot of rare early frescoes were peserved in this extraordinary environment. In Summer, grape rope and grapevine cover the whole valley and it becomes a heaven for travellers from all over the world. Sitting under the shade and tasting all kinds of sweet grape is the typical local passtime. After the visit, drive to  Shanshan County to stay overnight. For your reference: Zili Hotel (Address: No. 160, East Tuanjie Road, Shanshan County, Xinjiang). Dinner can be taken in the restaurant outside the hotel.
The traditional singing and dancing performances by ethnic minorities
On the second day, you should visit Sand Hill Park (?50.00 net per person). The park is located in the southern part of the Shanshan County and its construction takes advantage of its special geographical location. It connected the north edge of the Kumutage Desert and the south edge of the Shanshan oasis. Thus, the park is divided into two parts: The north part, includes a culture and entertainment area, a childrens entertainment area, water world, horticulture area, grape garden and plant garden, covering an area of 500 acres. The south part is the desert, including an activity area, sand treatment area and the plant area. After the visit, either stay overnight at the hotel or return to Turpan.

We hope you will have a fantastic time on this two-day tour.
Turpan02: 4 Days Urumqi - Daheyan - Five-star Ranch - Upper Shiyaozi - Qiong Daban - Liudao Bridge - Spring Street - Jimu Saer - Urumqi
Ever since the opening of the Silk Road in the Han Dynasty, Turpan has acted as an important hub between the western region and greater  China. Hidden deeply in the Heavenly Mountain, Cheshi ancient road is one of the most time-honored ancient roads not only in Turpan but also the whole of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It connected the north and south of the Heavenly Mountain and its origins can be traced back to the early Han Dynasty. Over the past 2000 years, the road played a key role in the barter transactions of businessmen and the military service of warriors. It was a short cut to the detour of crossing the Mountain from the east section. Today, a hiking itinerary of this road may give you an impression of the ancient life. The best time to hike the road is from May to October. Food and water for four days' needs should be sufficient.

On the first day, you will need to get to the starting point of the road. If you are in Turpan, just charter a cross country vehicle (about CNY1300 per car which can hold 3 passengers to share  the cost if you are lucky enough) or motor lorry to drive to the Five-star Ranch. There is no built road so you need to drive along the riverbed. The journey takes about 2.5 hours (60KM) if there is no flood at that time. You will pass through various landforms such as mountain, meadow and river. This will give you more time for hiking. If you start from Urumqi, take a soft seat train to Turpan (around 2 hours, CNY36 ). Actually, the railway station is not located near downtown Turpan, but at a place called Daheyan. Upon arrival, you may set up camp.

The second day hike will end in Upper Shiyaozi. Hike about 3 kilometers to Sanchakou (three-way intersection). The path on the right leads to Xia Ranch in the depth of Tianshan Mountain. The left path leads to Shiyaozi. Walk along the left path and get to Upper Shiyaozi after crossing Yellow Sheep Valley. Stay overnight in your tent.

On the third day, you will need to hike from Upper Shiyaozi to Liudao Bridge via Qiong Daban. It will be a hard day. You need to start early and continue to walk northward for about 7 hours and pass through 3408m-high Qiong Daban. Daban is the connection part for jokuls. Qiong Daban is the watershed of the north and south side of the Heavenly Mountain as well as the highest point of the surrounding valleys. The heavy snow before June every year will lower the hiking speed and increase the level of difficulty. When you arrive at Liudao Bridge, walk down about 2km you will find a meadow which is an ideal camp site.

On the fourth day, you will start your hike along the Liudao Bridge. The altitude will rapidly decrease as you pass down to Wudao Bridge. Near Wudao Bridge, you will see the Meadow Stoneman standing facing southward. The Stone Human Statues mark the Turkic Cemetery in the Sui-Tang period (year 581-907). Continue hiking along the Wudao Bridge, the air is so fresh due to the pine forest on the way. About 1 hour later, you will reach Sidao Bridge, where you will find a local herdsman household. If you like, you may feel free to pay them a visit and have something to drink or eat there. The families are hospitality and honest. Keep walking to Sandao Bridge, then, Erdao Bridge and the final one is Yidao Bridge. Rest near Yidao Bridge, you will find something to visit here, for example the ancient carved stone.

Find your way to the nearby village. Drive to Spring Street and take a coach to Jimu Saer County. Return to Urumqi.
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