Day 1 Arrival, Urumqi
Upon your arrival at Urumchi Diwopu International Airport, your personal guide will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in downtown. On the way to the hotel, the guide will give you a brief introduction of Xinjiang and then confirm the departure time for the next day with you.
After checking into the hotel, you will be free to relax at the hotel or do some exploration nearby the hotel on your own.
Day 2 Urumqi
After breakfast, drive about 1.5 hours to visit the picturesque Southern Pasture, where you can not only refresh yourself in the green pasture surrounded by snow-capped mountains, but also have a chance to see some herdsmen's yurts and visit a local Kazak family to observe how they live.
Day 3 Urumqi - Korla
Your exploration of the southern Xinjiang starts from today. After 6 hours' drive, you will arrive in Korla. Once an important stop on the ancient Silk Road, Korla is now the transportation hub connecting the north and south of Xinjiang. Check into the hotel and have a good rest.
Day 4 Korla - Kuqa
After breakfast, drive about half an hour to Iron Gate Pass. From there, after passing through the steep gorge and driving for another four hours, you will reach Kuqa. Once an ancient Buddhist kingdom, this land will dazzle you with its lively bazaar, historical relics, and magnificent natural landscapes.
Before getting into the city of Kuqa, you will have a detour to Keziliya Grand Canyon for its reddish-brown mountains towering into the sky. In the valley, you will meet a Buddha Grotto with a 1,300 year's history. Afterward, check into the hotel and do some exploration on your own.
- Iron Gate Pass
- Keziliya Grand Canyon
Day 5 Kuqa - Aksu
Today you will continue the discovery of Kuqa with Kilzil Thousand Buddha Caves, Subashi Temple, and Kuqa Museum. After exploring these amazing attractions, you'll understand why Kuqa was regarded as a major center of the culture and Buddhism of the West Region.
After the tour, drive about 3.5 hours (about 289 km) to Aksu for an overnight stay.
- Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves
- Subashi Temple
Day 6 Aksu - Kashgar
Today you will reach Kashgar after 6 hours' drive (around 468 km). En route, you will have chances to stop for a break and take photos. After arriving in the late afternoon, check into the hotel and then enjoy the leisure time by yourself.
Day 7 Kashgar
It is a relaxing day to explore the old town of Kashgar.
Follow your tour guide to walk through the alleys of the Old Town, visit the Apak Khoja Mausoleum to learn about the interesting story of the Fragrant Concubine who was a beloved consort of Qianlong Emperor in the 18th century, and the 15th - century Id Kah Mosque, one of the largest mosque in China. End today's tour at the bustling Sunday Bazaar and Ancient Art Street to experience the local life.
Note: If you enjoy cycling, you might like to rent a bike to explore this ancient town, which will offer you a distinctive feel. Please let your personal travel consultant know if you are interested in it.
- Id Kah Mosque
- Sunday Bazaar
Day 8 Kashgar - Urumqi - Turpan
Explore the city on your own this morning. In the afternoon, be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Urumqi.
Upon arrival, your tour guide in Urumqi will pick you up and transfer you to Turpan (about 2.5 hours on road). This desert oasis, also known as the Fire Island, will show you its historical heritage and unique natural landscape.
Day 9 Turpan
Today you'll have a historical tour of Turpan. Discover the Gaochang Ruins, once a vibrant city along the Silk Road, Astana Graves where Caochang inhabitants had been buried since the 3rd century, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves and Karez Irrigation Site to find out how this remarkable irrigation system turned the extremely hot desert into lush green oases. While taking in the nutrition of these historical and cultural heritages, you will also enjoy the stunning deserting landscape.
- Gaochang Ruins
- Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves
Day 10 Turpan - Urumqi, Departure
It's time to say goodbye. After breakfast, you will be transferred to Urumqi airport (about 3 hours on road) for your return flight. From Urumqi, you can easily fly to other cities in China or Central Asia.