Xinjiang Scenery with Ethnic Flavor Appreciation

S-609: 10 Days Urumqi - Turpan - Urumqi - Kanas Lake - Altay - Yining - Huocheng - Bayanbulak - Yining - Urumqi
Tour Type: Private Tour, any parts of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned vehicle
Meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches
Tour Highlights:
  • Travel in depth to the Silk Road of 2,000 years ago & learn about the culture and history
  • Visit murals in the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves and the ruins of ancient cities
  • Enjoy the beautiful and mysterious Kanas Lake, a heavenly oasis in Xinjiang desert
  • Explore Bayanbulak, the most fecund pasture in south Tianshan Mountains
Day 1 Arrival in Urumqi
Our guide will meet you outside the arrival hall at Urumqi Airport and transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is on your own to explore the city.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Accommodation: Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
Day 2 Urumqi - Turpan
Carpet making in Hetian, Xinjiang
Photo by our client Ms. Lynn Hurst
Today, you will make a journey to Turpan. After checking in the hotel in Turpan, you will begin the private tour with a visit to the Ancient City of Jiaohe, the world's largest, oldest and best-preserved earth-constructed city as well as China's most completed city ruins. In this 1,600-meter long and 300-meter wide city ruins, you could see the remains of monasteries, folk houses and government offices. Your next stop is the Karez Well, a unique irrigation system in desert. Built underground to take water from mountain areas, it can prevent the water from evaporation, thus provide enough water for gravity irrigation. Afterwards, proceed to Sugong Pagoda, the existing largest pagoda in Xinjiang.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Huozhou Hotel
Day 3 Turpan - Urumqi
Karez Well irrigation system, Turpan
You will visit the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves and the Ancient City of Gaochang today. The Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves boasts the most caves and the richest murals among all the existing caves of Xinjiang. In the 83 caves, 57 have been preserved and 40 of them are still decorated by murals. Once as the capital of Gaochang Kingdom, Gaochang City was the political, economical and cultural center of Xinjiang in ancient times. After the sightseeing, you will leave the site for Urumqi. En route, pass by the Flaming Hill, which looks like burning flame under the sunshine, hence the name.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
Day 4 Urumqi - Kanas Lake
In the morning, you will head for Kanas by air. Upon your arrival, our local guide will greet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. Afterwards, pay a brief visit to the Kanas Lake, an alpine lake encircled by dense forest. Shaped like a crescent, the lake has the features of both northern vigor and southern grace.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hongfu Lake Kanas Resort
Day 5 Kanas Nature Reserve
Kanas Lake
The whole day will be devoted to the charming Kanas Nature Reserve. You will explore its Crouching Dragon Bay, Moon Bay, Duck Swamp Lake and the Watching Fish Pavilion one by one. The Crouching Dragon Bay is surrounded by luxuriant forest, colorful flowers and green grassland. Standing on the wooden bridge over its drainage opening, you could appreciate the calm and mirror-like Crouching Dragon Bay in the south and the rolling and rushing Kanas River in the north. Traveling north along the Kanas River from the Crouching Dragon Bay, you will reach the Moon Bay. In a shape of crescent and change color with the Kanas Lake, it has been the symbol site of Kanas. The Duck Swamp Lake is surrounded by swampy meadow and vast grassland. Here, you will be astonished by the tranquil and elegant picture consisting of green land and pure water. Located about 60 meters above the lake, the Watching Fish Pavilion is the best place to overview the whole Kanas Lake. Ascending it, you could also appreciate the marvelous mountain splendor around.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hongfu Lake Kanas Resort
Day 6 Kanas - Altay
We will take you to Altay today. On the way, visit Hemu, a small village close to Mongolia and Russia. The villagers here are living by nomadic hunting. The rivers, wooden houses, wisps of smoke and birch forest make this place a fairy world in real life, just like a colorful oil painting.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Altai Di Qu Hotel
Day 7 Altay - Yining - Huocheng - Yining
Bayanbulak Grassland
In the morning, you will take a flight to Yining, where our local guide will expect you at the airport. Afterwards, proceed to the Sayram Lake, the highest and largest coldwater lake in Xinjiang. Following, you will pay a visit to the Fruits Valley, which is said to be the 'No. 1 Attraction Site of Ili' and once served as a controlling strategic section of the North Silk Road in ancient times. You could find wild fruits, apricot trees, rare trees and exotic flowers everywhere in the valley. Your next stop is the Khorgos Port between China and Kazakhstan. Standing at the door of the port, you could see afar to Kazakhstan. On the way to the port, you will also visit Huocheng County, where 29 minority groups live. When the tour ends today, you will return to downtown Yining and stay overnight there.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Yili Hotel
Day 8 Yining - Bayanbulak
You will be driven to the Bayanbulak Grassland today. Along the way there, you will explore the Narat Grassland, a famous pasture since ancient time. This is also a famous tourism and holiday resort in Xinjiang which boasts beautiful grassland scenery and Kazak ethnic flavor.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: White Swan Guest House
Day 9 Bayanbulak - Yining - Urumqi
Jiaohe Ruins, Turpan
Today's private visit will cover the Bayanbulak Grassland and the Swan Lake Natural Reserve. The Bayanbulak Grassland is the second largest grassland in China boasting luxuriant verdant grass, numerous flocks of sheep and varied plants. Being a far-flung and level prairie, it also abounds in varieties of grass, and is studded with numerous lakes and encircled by snow mountains. The Swan Lake is located in this grassland. Actually, it is made of a group of small lakes. You could go up to the Bird Watch Platform built there to appreciate the splendid spectacle of swans, lakes, mountains, clouds and blue sky. After that, you will go back to Yining and then take a flight to Urumqi. Upon your arrival, our guide will meet you at the Airport and transfer you to the hotel for a one-night stay.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
Day 10 Departure from Urumqi
Our guide and driver will transfer you to the airport for your homeward flight. Wish you a pleasant journey!

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Why Travel With Us
Questions & Answers
Asked by Laurence from SINGAPORE | Oct. 29, 2012 21:32Reply
How far from Urumqi to Kansas Lake and how long by bus
Answers (1)
Answered by Sharon | Oct. 29, 2012 09:42

There is no direct bus from Urumqi to Kanas Lake, you will need to take a bus at Nianzigou long-distance bus station to Buerjin first and then transfer a bus to Kanas. The bus journey will be difficult and takes a very long time(more than a day). Taking flight will be much more convenient and the journey only takes about one hour.
Asked by Ms.Ruby | Apr. 20, 2011 20:46Reply
kashgar's climate..i need to know more about that! :[
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Blair | Apr. 21, 2011 02:03

The weather varies greatly in this region due to its complicated landform. Generally, Kashgar has four distinct seasons and the daytime of summer is longer. The hottest time is every Aug and Sep, but its the harvest time of juice and sweet fruit.
Asked by Mr.safdar | Mar. 07, 2011 19:33Reply
dear sir how would i fly urmaqi to islamabad pakistan
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Alan | Mar. 08, 2011 00:07

There is a direct flight from Urumqi Diwopu (Diwobao) International Airport to Islamabad Pakistan every two days.
Asked by Mr.Prime Lemur from AUSTRALIA | Dec. 09, 2010 04:13Reply
We are preparing to visit your country. We are seeking a tourist visa (single entry). Our itinerary includes Harbin, Beijing, Xi'an, Kashgar and Shanghai. I completed the visa application form and fronted up to the Chinese Consulate in Brisbane, Qld. On presenting the form to the clerk, he looked it over twice. He was starting to fill out the payment slip (which is taken to a different counter to pay for the visa application) when he noticed our application included Xinjiang (Kashgar city). He said, "Why do you go to Xinjiang?". I said "For tourism". He said "No". He went on to say that, if we wanted to journey to Xinjiang, we needed "an authority" from Beijing.

Can anyone give me any information about this? Is it a fact that some letter or document is necessary to visit Xinjiang? I can't find any reference to such a thing on any website. If push comes to shove, we can drop Xinjiang from our itinerary, but we *would* like to go there. Any help would be gratefully received.

Secondly, when we returned to our agents (speaking to a different consultant), they told us we must have hotel bookings, and proof of payment for these hotel bookings with our visa application. There are posts here that confirm and deny this requirement. In the consulate, I (very carefully) watched several people in front of me in the line just hand over visa application and flight itinerary, and their apps were accepted for processing.

So could anyone please help me out? I suspect that hotel bookings are technically necessary, but are they actually mandatory to present with a visa application? Like I say, I watched people lodge apps without them, but I'm hoping someone can actually confirm they are not necessary.

I would be very appreciative for any help at all. I'm getting the run-around with the consulates and agents. No-one seems to know for sure.
Answers (1)
Answered by Ms.Megan | Dec. 10, 2010 02:56

Hi Mr.Prime Lemur, first, neither letter nor document is needed to visit Xinjiang area when you apply for the Chinese visa. I never heard of it. As for the hotel booking confirmation, some of the embassies require it but some of them not, so you'd better confirm this with your local embassy.
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