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.
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.
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.