Get swept up by history by this six-day whirlwind tour from Urumqi to Turpan. This Silk Road journey will fill you with awe over and over again. Bask in the stunning natural beauty of the mountain-hemmed Tianshan ‘Heavenly Lake’ as you float atop her crystal-clear, cool waters. Let your imagination take you way back as you learn of the region’s rich history, visiting museums and historic sites like the ancient Jiaohe ruins. Break bread and interact with Kazakh villagers in their yurt village amongst rolling green pastures.
Touch down in Urumqi - a driver will be waiting to sweep you away for a midday meal before starting your tour. Begin your adventure by diving into the region’s history. A curator will take you on a privately-guided tour of the Xinjiang Regional Museum that houses such artifacts as 3000-year-old mummies and hundreds of comprehensive exhibits. Round off your first day with dinner at Miraj Restaurant, which boasts the best menu in Urumqi.
After breakfast, take a scenic drive to Tianchi’s ‘Heavenly Lake.’ Quite deserving of its name, the glacial lake’s crescent-shaped shoreline is hemmed by a snow-covered mountain ridge. Cross the clear blue waters by boat, and take in the majesty and mystery of this legend-laced lake. Following the boat ride, take a scenic stroll to a nearby Taoist Pagoda, and enjoy lunch with a Kazakh family at their yurt. Return to Urumqi to take in a few more sights before dinner.
Two hours south of Urumqi lay vast, yurt-dotted grasslands inhabited by Kazakh people. Today you will visit the region referred to as the “Southern Pastures,” and interact with the villagers, learning of their customs and breaking bread in a traditional yurt home. Take a tour – by foot or horseback – led by a local Kazakh guide. You may choose to overnight in a Kazakh yurt, or return to the hotel in Urumqi.
Bid farewell to Urumqi and enjoy the sights along the 3-hour drive to Turpan. Stop at the ancient ruins of Jiaohe and tour the archaeological site. Check into your Turpan hotel and freshen up for dinner at the Herembag Restaurant
Enjoy an early breakfast before setting off for the Flaming Mountains, enroute to the village of Tuyoq. Here, explore an ancient village whose quaint streets are covered by arched grapevines. Next on today’s tour are the ancient ruins of Gaochang City and Astana, the ruined city’s graveyard. The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves is the last stop before lunch. Prepare to be amazed by the ingenuity behind the Karez wells and the stunning architectural feat that is the Emin Minaret. Round off your busy day with a hilltop sunset overlooking Turpan.
There is time for one more stop before the tour is out. After breakfast, visit the Turpan Museum. The newly-remodeled facility hosts an impressive selection of over 5,000 artifacts. Return to Urumqi for onward flights.
Welcome to the Vines, a must-stop lodge on the Silk Road. Located in a traditional Uighur village between the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts, just over a mile from Turpan, this boutique hotel combines lush surroundings and world-class service to deliver a luxury experience on this historic trek. From the front door of the lodge, guests steps into daily village life, and can explore the local vineyard and orchards amid the cows, chickens, market stalls, and donkey carts that surround the property. Guests may choose between five different rooms ranging from twin beds to a king bed, each with air conditioning and personalized service. Breakfast is served in the hotel’s picturesque courtyard, and the friendly hotel staff may recommend local restaurants for lunch and dinner, where it is truly farm-to-table.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
Choose somewhere you’d like to visit, something you’re interested in, and when you’re planning to travel and we’ll suggest sample itineraries to inspire your bespoke journey.
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