The panorama South Xinjiang Tour in 2019

Itinerary Details: You will see not only the history, relics, ancient civilization,but also the numerous amazing natural scenery.You will touch the Uygur , Tajik people closely, and blending in the real Uygur life and roaming in the old town.You will take a tour for Qiuci, Kucha, Kashgar, Hotan, we are exploring the 36 ancient kingdoms in the Western Region.Driving through the longest desert highway, we through the largest Taklamakan desert in China.

  • Day 1 /Urumqi                                     On: Urumqi

Take the flight to Urumqi, free and easy in the afternoon.

  • Day 2 Urumqi/Turpan                         On: Turpan

We drive to Trupqn in the morning, visit the Flaming Mountains in the afternoon, the Flaming Mountain is famously described in the classic Chinese mythological novel “Journey to the West”. This is the hottest place in China, the highest air temperature in summer is 47.8 degrees Centigrade, and the ground is over 70 degrees Centigrade in summer. During mid-afternoon the heat becomes intense as the sun’s rays are reflected off the red rocks, as though the hillsides are engulfed by tongues of fire, hence the name.

The Bezeklik Caves “Bezeklik”means “a place with beautiful decoration”. There are 83 numbered caves; among them 40 preserved murals totaling 1200 square meters. These caves are first excavated in Qu`s Gaochang period. The exising caves were reconstructed or newly extended by Uighurian people. In some caves one can find that Buddhist murals are painted on Manichean murals. Themes of the murals are mainly the stories about causes.

Urumqi to Turpan is 200 km and 3 hrs driving.

the Flaming Mountains in turpan

  • Day 3 Turpan                             On: Turpan

After breakfast, we are driving to Turpan and visit the Jiaohe Ancient City, The city’s name means ‘River City’. It was founded during the first century BC and abandoned during the 15th century. It runs 1760 meters long and 300 meters across at the widest part. The ruins include city gates, streets and lanes, government office, temples, domestic houses, cave houses, wells, and an underground temple. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Silk Road Sites. We visit Karez Well, the ancient Karez Irrigation System, which is still used today, is a unique irrigation system in Turpan. It takes advantage of the slopes, draws the underground water to flow by itself to irrigate farmland. It consists of four parts: vertical wells, underground channels, ground canals, and small reservoirs. Then we visit the Emin Tower, the Emin Tower is the biggest existing ancient tower in Xinjiang. It is an embodiment of the ancient architectural arts of the Uygur nationality. It was built by Sulaiman, the prefect of Turfan in the Qing Dynasty, to commemorate his father Emin Khoja who achieved brilliant military successes in safeguarding the unification of the country. The tower is 37 meters high and 10 meters in diameter at the base.

We visit the Local Uygur Family under the grape and enjoy their dancing.

Jiaohe Ancient City in turpan

  • Day 4 Turpan/Korla                             On: Korla

We drive to Korla in the morning, and visit the Tiemeng Gate after lunch.

Turpan to Korla is 390 km and 6 hrs driving.

  • Day 5 Korla/Luobu people village/Luntai         On: Luntai

We are going to visit the Luobu people village all day, Being isolated in the desert oasis for so many years, the Luobu people have developed their own culture and traditions which are held in high regard within minority art and custom history. Their lives are simple and primordial; they do not cultivate or graze animals, only fish; they are creative and make everything of wood; their architecture and rock paintings are unique and valued. We drive to Luntai and check in the hotel.

Korla to village is 85 km and 1.5 hrs driving.

Luobu people village in Korla

  • Day 6 Luntai/Kucha                          On: Kucha

We visit the Diversiform-leaved Poplar Forest in Luntai. Diversiform-leaved poplar is the oldest kind of poplar in the world and this forest has a history of 2500 years. Diversiform-leaved poplar can grow in the most terrible and drought-ridden areas, therefore is called the desert warrior. It has effectively protected the precious oasis and prevented the desert from extending.

We drive to Kucha and we will visit the Subashi Buddhism Temple relics, it is a lost city located near Kucha in the Taklamakan Desert, on the ancient Silk Road, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. A Buddhist relic box of the 6th-7th century, discovered in Subashi shows Central Asian men in long tunics, reminiscent of other friezes which have been called Tocharian.  Visit the Kucha Palace, The former owner of the Kucha Palace was a local Uygur leader who made great achievements for the Qing Dynasty (1636-1911) during the reign of Emperor Qianlong and Emperor Daoguang. As a reward for his outstanding contributions, he was made a duke and a palace was built for his family in 1828. In 2004, the local government spent 15 million yuan to rebuild the Kucha Palace on the original site based on the recollections of the 12th generation of the duke’s family.

the Diversiform-leaved Poplar Forest in Luntai

  • Day 7 Kucha                               On: Kucha

we visit Great Tianshan Canyon and Kizil Grottoes today. visit the Muslim Street in the afternoon.
Great Tianshan Canyon Known as the most stunning Canyon in China, five thousand meters in total length, and two hundred meters in average depth, the Grand Canyon was once the ancient river course for Kucha River. We will take a half an hour walk in the Grand Canyon to experience the gorgeous scenery,

we visit the Kizil Grottoes in the afternoon, the caves were excavated on the cliff of Qul-tagh Mountain by the Muzart River, as the earlist caves in Xinjiang, they care also the earliest ones in China. The contents of these paintings are very rich. Including Jataka stories, Buddhas life story and the stories about karma. Free and easy in the Muslim street in the afternoon.

Great Tianshan Canyon in kucha

  • Day 8 Kucha/Aksu                                    On: Aksu

We drive to Aksu in the morning, we will visit the Wensu Grand Canyon on the way, it is reputed of the most beautiful Danxia, the largest Karst landform and the unique Yadan Landform scenery. We get to the hotel in the afternoon.

  • Day 9 Aksu/Kashgar                                 On: Kashgar

We drive to Karshgar in the morning, We visit Old Town after lunch, Kashgar is an ancient city, and in walking the streets of its Old Town, will provide a sense of what this legendary Central Asian hub was like in the days when the Silk Road was at its zenith. 500-year old remnants of the city wall, narrow lanes and colorful mulch-ethnic crowds combine to make Kashgar’s historic district a highlight of any visit to the city.

Aksu to Kashgar is 460 km and 6 hrs driving.

the Old Town in kashgar

  • Day 10 Kashgar/Kalakuli Lake               On:Taxkorgan

After breakfast drive on the China and Pakistan highway to visit the Karakul Lake and enjoy the Pamirs landscape.

Karakul Lake At an altitude of 3,600 m. it is the highest lake of the Pamirs plateau, near the junction of the Pamirs, Tianshan and Kunlun Mountain ranges. Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake are the Muztag Ata (7546m), Kongur Tagh (7,649m) and Kongur Tiube (7,530 m). later we visit the Taxkorgan Ancient City, it was one of the Kingdom of 36 kingdoms in Han Dynasty.

the Kalakuli Lake in kashgar

  • Day 11 Taxkorgan/Kashgar                   On: Kashgar

After breakfast we back to Kashgar in the morning. Visit Id Kah Mosque, Handicraft Street in the afternoon.

Id Kah Mosque It is the large Mosque in China and most famous one in Xinjiang. The Mosque started to build in the mid of fifteenth century, and has gradually developed to the present size. The Pray Hall of the mosque can hold 4000 prayers is supported by 140 carved wooden pillars.The buildings of Id Kah Mosque look magnificent and solemn , and display the artistic styles of Islamic mosque architectures.

Handicraft street,Streets near this big market are choked on Sundays with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, Ute, motorbike or on foot, with their animals. It’s loud, lively and cheerful as they arrive, eat breakfast, set up their animals and check out the action. Cattle, sheep (they definitely look different), goats, donkeys, horses have their own sections; sellers show their animals are “good eaters”(most go as livestock not meat) and the entire experience is fascinating and fun.

the Sunday Bazaar in kashgar

  • Day13 Kashgar/Hotan                           On: Hotan

We set our to Hotan in the morning, on the way we will visit the Yingsar which is famous for making traditional Uygur knives known as Yingsar knives. We will visit workshops to observe how these knives are made and maybe pick up one or two as souvenirs. Yarkant is a country of Kashgar and was once he capital of a kingdom. It was also an important station on the ancient Silk Road 2000 years ago. And we will visit the Yarkand Old Town which is non-tourist old town attached to the market,take a walk in the Old Town to the east of the Altun Mosque, where craftsmen still work their wares with ball-peen hammers and grindstones, several workshops churn out traditional Uyghur instruments and horses and carts rule the streets. . After that we continue our journey to Hotan, we will be Hotan in the later afternoon.

Kashgar to Hotan is 520 km and 8 hrs driving.

the Old Town in Hotan

  • Day 14 Hotan                                 On: Hotan

We visit the Melikawat Ruins. Melikawat is the ruins of an ancient and enormous Buddhist monastery located about 28 km south of central Hotan. Because the monastery was built along the Yorungkash River, most of the site has been buried in several meters of silt over more than a thousand years. Only a few eroding remnants of the tallest buildings emerge above the plain. We visit the King of Walnut Tree, it is more than 500 years old, and still alive well. Free and easy in the local Bazaar t in the afternoon.

the Melikawat Ruins in Hotan

  • Day 15 Hotan/Mingfen                                   On: Mingfen

We visit the local carpet factory and silk making factory, after lunch we drive to Mingfen, free and easy in the afternoon.

  • Day 16 Mingfen/Luntai/Korla                     On: Korla

We are driving through the longest desert road to Korla, and pass through the largest desert in China—Taklamakan Desert. What we see on the road only sand today,

Mingfen to Korla is 770 km and 12 hrs driving.

  • Day 17 Korla/Urumqi                                     On: Urumqi

We drive to Urumqi in the morning, we take a walk in the largest market in Asia—Erdaoqiao Bazaar in the afternoon. it is the largest bazaar in the world and the largest retail and wholesale market for ethnic minority goods, dry fruits, jade articles and snacks in Xinjiang. As long as you can think of, you will find what you want here.

Korla to Urumqi is 480 km and 8 hrs driving.

  • Day 18 Urumqi

Free and easy in the morning, we are driving to airport and catch up the flight back home in the afternoon, tour end.

About the trip: 

Xinjiang:

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is located in the central part of the Eurasian Continent, on the northwest border of China. It covers about one-sixth of the country’s territory, 1,664,900 square kilometers (about 642,821 square miles), making it the largest administrative division with also the longest land frontier and most neighboring countries in the country. However, only about 4.3% of its territory is habitable. The rest is mostly desert such as Gobi, snow-capped mountains and glaciers, and the largest desert–Taklamakan Desert in China. 

People & Life
Xinjiang is hometown to 47 ethnic minorities, which together account for 60% of its total population. Of the 47 ethnic minorities, 13 are native, including the Uygur, the major ethnic group living here. The Uygur have their own language and religious belief, Islam. Their traditional clothes are long gowns called ‘Qiapan’. As well, they wear small, beautifully embroidered hats called ‘Duopa’. The main foods of the Uygur are Nang (a kind of crusty pancake) and hand-drawn noodles. Hand pilaf and roast meat are usually offered during festivals or to guests. Their roast mutton chop is famous all over the country and can be found in almost every city in the country. The Uygur residence is flat-topped with a skylight. Inside the residence, there are usually a fireplace and recess, the one used for cooking and keeping warm, while the other used for storing daily articles. Both the inside and outside of the residence are decorated with colorful ornamentation. The most famous traditional festivals of the Uygur are Rozah and Corban Festival. Rozah is the fast-breaking festival of the Islam, while the Corban Festival is the New Year’s Day of the Islamic calendar. Last, but not least, the Uygur are very good at dancing and singing. Sainaimu is one of the most popular dances and their ’12 Mukamu’ is renowned as the ‘treasure of eastern music’. 

Weather

Situated far from the sea and encircled by high mountains, Xinjiang has a typical continental climate with a low annual rainfall, long sunshine duration and a large diurnal temperature variation. These weather conditions are favorable for sugar accumulation in fruit, so the area is richly cultivated with fruit including melons. It is famous as a ‘hometown of fruit and melons’. The most well-known fruit are grapes and honeydew melon. In general, winters are very cold, springs are often windy, and summers are extremely hot here. The best time to visit is early autumn, when the days are long, the sky is clear, and the temperature is more bearable. Another excellent reason to visit at that time is the abundance of delicious melons and fruits, which are available then.
Our tour is between Spring and Summer in June, generally the weather also is good in June, but some places we visit the altitude is over 3000 meters, so still need thick coat and sweater, the temperature usually between 8- 20 degree, but some place maybe is 0 degree, such as in the mountains. Mostly the average altitude is about 1500—2000 meters, in the daylight the temperature usually about 20 or 30 but it is about 18 degree at night, so the temperature is very different between day and night, the long sleeves T-shirts is necessary, but some place maybe 25-30 degree in the daylight, still don’t forget you short T-shirts. Sunrise is about 06:30 and sunset about 21:30. The flower is blooming and very colorful in June.

Is it Safe or not in Xinjiang?

many people worry about the social unrest in Xinjiang recently, there are many military policemen and armies patrolled everywhere in Xinjiang, and there are security guards and security check in the public places such hotels, restaurants and markets. So terrorist events are seldom happened in Xinjiang now under the strict security control by government, so I believe it is safety in Xinjiang, but I and you cannot predict everything in the future,  anyway everybody must decide it by themselves. 

Flight:

No flight fly directly to Urumqi from KL, so you have to transfer to Urumqi via one of city in China such as Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Xi’an and so on, so you have to pay attention to which one is best connecting for your flight and cost of air ticket.

According to my experience, the fare of domestic flight of China, don’t like international flight, it isn’t the sooner you book the air ticket the better, the best time to buy China domestic flight is one or two month before you departure.

Transport:

As regards travelling in Xinjiang, it has been equipped with advanced transport network consisting of highway, railway and air service, very convenient for tourists travel in Xinjiang. But mostly we take the bus for long distance vehicle between the cities in Xinjiang. Usually we have to driving more 300 kilometers from one city to another one everyday because of Xinjiang is covers the largest area of China, we will stop after every 1 or 2 hours driving at the highway service area for rest and toilet. Please ready the Motion sickness drugs and water glass so that you can drink enough water on the way. 

Vehicle in the scenery:

the bus transfer in the scenery spot means the vehicle in the scenery spot, such as battery car, van and bus and so on, some scenery spot in China now is covers very large  area even hundreds of square kilometers, even some scenery spot were enlarge by man-made such as expand the distance between entrance and sight-seeing place, and forbidden our private bus go inside so that you have to no choice to pay and have to use the transfer vehicle inside, such as in Kanas, from the entrance to the destination is about 30 km away, so we have to use the transfer bus, such as Nalat view bus, if we don’t use the bus but walk, it is need about 5 or 7 hours walking,  and our van or bus cannot go inside, so sometimes the tourists no choice to do. 

Accommodation:

Mostly we stay in state-standard 3 star hotels on the trip; which means we have the twin share room with private facilities. But sometime we don’t refuse to use the express Inn, which similar even better to the 3 star hotels. All the hotel including Chinese style breakfast. Usually, I book the hotel located in the downtown or close to the business center in the city so that we are easy to shopping, eating and walking around. We will stay in tent two nights, maybe twin share tent, maybe many people stay in one tent. 

Meals:

Our tour covers North Xinjiang, the local people like noodles almost every day, hope you try to eat the noodles as like them because local noodles really very good and I believe you can’t eat so good noodles outside of Xinjiang. Don’t worry about your meals even you don’t like noodles; rice is very popular everywhere in North Xinjiang, the pork also is popular in Chinese restaurant everywhere in North Xinjiang. The food in Sichuan restaurant is very oily and salty.

Clothes:

The weather is very different day and night, mostly is 20 degree different in a day, in the early morning and at night is cold but it is warm or hot in the afternoon. In the mountainous and high land place, it is cold at night. The T-shirt, long sleeves T-shirts, skirts, woolen sweater, and thick clothes are all necessary. Wind and water-proof clothes, wind cheater, umbrella, kerchief and so on.