Day 1: Kashgar Arrival
Upon arrival, our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day free to do a little exploration at your leisure. Tomorrow starts the Silk Road trip.
Day 2: Kashgar
Today we will visit Sunday Bazaar (Livestock Market), Idigar Mosque, Apak Hoja Tomb, Old Town and Handicraft Street.
Sunday Bazaar: This is called “Sunday” bazaar but it is open daily, even though it is busiest on Sundays. Streets near this big market are jammed with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, ute, motobike, or on foot, with their animals.
Id Kah Mosque: This is the largest mosque in China, and the most famous mosque in Xinjiang. Every Friday, it houses nearly 10,000 worshippers and may accommodate up to 20,000. The buildings of Id Kah Mosque look magnificent and solemn, and display the artistic styles of Islamic mosque architecture.
Apakh Hoja Tomb: The site is also known as the Xiang Fei (Fragrant Concubine) Tomb in memory of Abakh Khoja's granddaughter, Iparhan, who was the Fragrant Concubine of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty. It is the most complete Islamic tomb dating from the beginning of the Qing Dynasty.
Handicraft Street: It’s a fascinating place showing the distinctive custom and culture of Kashgar, with many full-time handicraftsmen working on the street and hundreds of workshops and booths alongside.
Day 3: Kashgar-Karakul Lake-Tashikorgan
After breakfast, we will head to Tashkorgan county along the Karakom highway. Enjoying the amazing landscape of Pamir Plateau, we will also visit the Karakul Lake en route.
Karakul Lake: Karakul lies within a circular depression interpreted as an impact crater with a rim diameter of 52 km. The lake is popular among travelers for its beautiful scenery and the clarity of its reflection in the water, whose color ranges from a dark green to azure and light blue.
Day 4: Taxkoragan-Kashgar
In the morning, we will visit Stone Fortress, and walk around the pastureland to see Local Tajiks customs. In the afternoon we will head back to Kashgar.
Stone Fortress: Located on a tableland northeast of the county seat of Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, it covers an area of 100,000 square meters and consists of ruins of city and temple of the Tang Dynasty era and a Qing Dynasty government office.
Day 5: Kashgar-Urumuqi
After breakfast, we will fly to Urumqi and met our guide then drive about 120kms (1.5hrs) to visit the Heavenly Lake and back to Urumqi to visit Erdaoqiao Market & International Bazaar in the afternoon.
Heavenly Lake: The Heavenly Lake is an alpine drift lake shaped in the Quaternary Glacier period, and was listed by the State as one of the key scenic spots in 1982. The Nature Reserve covers 380-odd square kilometers, including 18 modern glaciers,3 rivers,18 lakes of which the Heavenly Lake is the most famed one.
Erdaoqiao & International Bazaar: Here you will find a bustling market filled with fruits, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets, and almost anything that you can imagine. This is the largest bazaar in Urumqi, and is a place most welcomed by tourists.
Day 6: Urumuqi-Turpan
In the morning, head to Turpan which is famous for the grapes, hot weather and historical sites. On the way, we will stop by the largest Wind power station in Asia. Visit the Tuyoq Valley, Karez Well Irrigation system, Sugong Minaret and Jiaohe Ruins. The dinner in the local Uyghur Family recommended.
Tuyoq Valley: It is a Muslim religious pilgrimage site. The southern mouth of the valley has big Uighur mosques older than the Sugong Minaret and a cave thought by many to be described in the Koran. About a kilometer from the cave shrine is a group of grottoes that have some Buddhist and Nestorian artwork. It’s an ancient oasis village in the Taklamakan desert.
Karez Irrigation System: Karez systems are the crystallization of ancient people's diligence and intelligence. At its peak, this irrigation system exceeded 5,000 km (3,106 miles) and was also referred to as 'the underground Great Wall'. By the way, it’s still in use today.
Sugong Minaret: Located in Mura Village 2km to the east of the city of Turpan, the minaret tower was built in the 41st year of the long reign of Qianlong Emperor. It is the embodiment of the ancient architectural arts of the Uighur people and is still the largest extant ancient Islamic tower in Xinjiang.
Jiaohe Ancient City Ruins: Also known as Yarhotto, it is viewed as one of the world's largest, oldest historic sites and the best preserved raw soil buildings with more than 2,000 years. It is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Silk Road Sites.
Day 7: Turpan-Dunhuang
After breakfast we will go to the train station by taxi (around 8 CNY, on your own) and take the express train to Dunhuang (Liuyuan Station). Our guide will be picking you up from the train station and drive about 2 hrs to Dunhuang to visit the Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake. After dinner, we will enjoy the relaxing walking in the Shazhou Night Market.
Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake: Located 5 km south of Dunhuang City, the Echoing-Sand Mountain is celebrated for the sound of the moving sand. In 1994 it was acclaimed as the national key scenic spot and it’s advertised as the 40 must go places by CNN.
Day 8: Dunhuang
After breakfast we will head to the Mogao Caves, where you will visit the digital theater that help you have the clear mind of the Mogao in ancient times. After lunch visit the Yumen Pass and the Great Wall of Han Dynasty.
Mogao Grottoes: Also known as Thousand Buddha Grottoes, it’s located 25 km southeast of the center of Dunhuang. It’s an oasis strategically located at the religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road.
Day 9: Dunhuang Departure
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport and take the flight back to your destination.