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Itinerary Name: 8 Days Silk Road Tour – Jiayuguan Pass, Dunhuang Mogao Grottos, Turpan, Urumuqi, Kashgar
Day 1
Arrive at Jiayuguan City
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Jiayuguan City
Your private driver and guide will be ready for you at the airport or railway station when you arrive in Jiayuguan City. Sit back in a comfortable, non-smoking car, leave the hassles to your guide, and enjoy a trouble-free transfer to your hotel in central Jiayuguan City.
Day 2
Tour in Jiayuguan City, Jiayuguan - Dunhuang by Car
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Dunhuang

After breakfast, your guide and driver will take you to visit the West Terminal of the Great Wall, Jiayuguan Pass. Then drive west for for around 380km/4 hours to Dunhuang.

 

More about the Jiayuguan Pass at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiayuguan_Pass

  

Day 3
Tour in Dunhuang. Dunhuang-Liuyuan by Car, Liuyuan-Turpan by Overnight Sleeper Train
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Overnight Sleeper Train

Today in Dunhuang, you will visit: Mogao Grottos (UNESCO World Heritage), Crescent Lake and Echo Sand Hill. Afterwards, transfer service for around 130km/2h to the Liuyuan Railway Station to take the overnight train to Turpan.

 

Mogao Grottos: Constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to the 14th centuries, the caves hold the worlds richest treasure houses of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures. There are about 30 caves open to the public, but usually the tour consists of 5 -8 caves which provide a representation of the total. The selection is at the discretion of the guide.

 

More about Mogao Caves at UNESCO World Heritage: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/440. 

More about Mogao Caves at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogao_Caves

  

The Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Lake: Crescent Lake is in the Singing Sand Mountains, 6 km south of Dunhuang. It is an oasis in the desert. The lakes name derives from the crescent-shaped lake formed by the spring water between two huge sand dunes. Although the area is very dry, the pool doesnt dry up as one might expect.

 

More about Crescent Lake at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crescent_Lake

  

Day 4
Tour in Turpan, Turpan-Urumuqi by Car
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Urumuqi

Arrive in Turpan in the morning. Tour in Turpan to visit: Flaming Mountain, Suleiman Minaret (also known as Sugong Tower or Emin Minaret), Karez Well, Grape Valley, Jiaohe Ancient City Ruin and Uighur Village. Afterwards drive for around 200 km / 2.5hto Urumuqi. On the way, you will pass the biggest Wind Power Base in Asia, Dabanchen Wind Power Plant and the Dead Sea in China, Salt Lake.   

 

Grape Valley,

Located at the west end of Flaming Mountain, the Grape Valley is 8 km long from south to north and 2 km wide from east to west. The Buiruk River (the Putaogou River, as shown on the local map, is called the Peoples Canal) runs through it (the river is actually very small, just like a stream). The valley is lush, and plants nearly 100 kinds of grapes, such as seedless white, mares milk, white currant, red rose, soxo and so on, forming a natural grape museum.

 

Tourist will take the shuttle van to visit the attraction points in the valley. From north to south, they are Grape Valley Amusement Park (the most important one and also the landmark of the valley) - 1.2 km  the Museum of Mr. Wang Luobin’s Music and Art- 1.2 km -Dawazi Folk Customs Park - 2.1 km - Avati Manor (Avati Custom Park) - 1.5 km - Oasis Vineyard (Grape Valley Folk Custom Village). Here shows the Uygur architectural characteristics, folk customs. Tourists will meet Uygur people and ethnic villages where farmers live, enjoy all kinds of grapes.

  

Suleiman Minaret: Also known as Sugong Tower or Emin Minaret, it is the biggest ancient tower existing in Xinjiang and the only ancient Islamic minaret in the country. It is located 2 km southeast of Turpans center. 

More about Suleiman Minaret at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emin_Minaret

    

The Karez Wells:  This irrigation system of wells connected by underground channels is considered to be one of the three great ancient projects in China. The place tourists will visit for appreciating Karez Well is DengGong Jing (means Mr. Dengs Well). On August 20, 1981, Deng Xiaoping, the leader of China, visited Karez Well here. The total length of Karez Well here is around 2,500 meters long, with 85 wells, a flow rate of 15 litres per second. The original ecological Karez Well is still preserved here. Here you can see the original underground canal and open canal of Karez, not being developed for tourism. The scenery here is very beautiful.

More about Karez Well at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qanat 

  

   

 

The Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaohe: As the worlds biggest, oldest and best preserved adobe building city, and the most complete ancient urban site, Jiaohe was built by the ancient Cheshi people in the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) and the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). The highest military and political institution in the Western Regions of Tang Dynasty is also in this city. Located in the Yarnaz Valley, 10 km west of Turpan, it was dug out of and constructed from the yellow-gray parched ground of a narrow 30-meter-high, 1.5-km-long vertical sided island in a river. It is a good vantage point for seeing the surrounding landscape of vineyards and orchards followed by desert and mountains.

More about Jiaohe Ruins at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiaohe_Ruins

   

 

 

Day 5
Tour around Urumuqi, Urumuqi-Kashgar by Air
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Kashgar

In the morning, drive for around 2.5 hours to the Heavenly Lake, a lake on top of the Mt. Tianshan (Heavenly Mountain and the UNESCO World Heritage). Taking boat to cruise in the lake (paid additionally). The blue lake water is finely contrasted with steep forested hills, high meadows and snowy Heavenly Mountain peaks behind. You will also take cable car to the peak behind the Heavenly Lake (included in the quotation) to enjoy the birds eye view of the lake.

  

Afterwards drive back to Urumuqi. If time permits, you will also visit the Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar in Urumuqi. 

   

Transfer service to Urumuqi Airport and say goodbye to your guide in Urumuqi. Fly from Urumuqi to Kashgar by the early night flight. 

 

Your local guide and driver will meet you at Kashgar Airport and transfer service to your hotel in Kashgar.

More about Heavenly Pool at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_Lake_of_Tian_Shan

More about Mt.Tianshan (Heavenly Mountain) at UNESCO website: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1414/

Day 6
Tour in Kashgar
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Kashgar

Today in Kashgar, you will visit the oldest, biggest, most important Mosque in China - The Etigal Mosque (Id Kah Mosque), the biggest Bazaar in the middle Asia, Afaq Khoja Tomb. Afterwards get to the Old Town of Kashgar, UNESCO site, to stroll and enjoy this famed charming old town.

 

The Old Town of Kashgar (Ancient Kashgar City) 

Centered on the The Etigal Mosque (Id Kah Mosque), the Old Town of Kashgar (ancient urban area of Kashgar City) is located in the center of Kashgar, covering an area of 4.25 square kilometers, with about 126,800 inhabitants. Apart from the rebuilt citywall along the Tuman Road in the east of the old city, the other three sides of the border are all modern houses along the road (but with many old houses in side). 

Old houses and streets in old cities in this area are crisscrossed, flexible and changeable in layout, winding and secluded. Many traditional houses have a history of over a hundred years. This ancient city is the only maze-style urban blocks with Islamic culture in China, one of the largest existing civil and brick structures city in the world.

    

As the only preserved traditional historic city block with typical characteristics of ancient Western Regions in China, the houses in this old town are mostly made of civil and brick, which is the important material evidence for studying the living customs and architectural characteristics of ethnic minorities.

    

In 2009, Kashgar City carried out a centralized transformation of the old urban area, investing 839 million CNY to reinforce and renovate 9722 Uygur traditional dwellings in the old urban scenic area of Kashgar. In 2014, Kashgar City invested 150 million CNY to improve the landscape quality and market radiation of the old urban scenic area of Kashgar, which greatly improved the tourism service here.

 

The old dilapidated city is no longer an old and disrepair. Now it can withstand the 8.5 magnitude earthquake, and with good fire rescue channels. The life embarrassment in the old time," Cleaning sewage by evaporation, Cleaning garbage by the wind, water pipes hanging on walls, Peeing by climbing up to the top of rooms" is gone.

 

And the old city still the unique charm as its prosperous time before: the same architectural style, the same historical block, the same folk customs, the same traditional shops. It has become the only national 5A historical and cultural scenic spot in Xinjiang. UNESCO believes that its experience is "worth promoting". 

 

About 100 m from the south of the Etigal Mosque (Id Kah Mosque), at the junction of Boyi Road and Kumudalwaza Road, there is a green two-storey Uygur-style building. It is the only one Teahouse with over one century history in the old town of Kashgar. The famous American film "The Kite Runner" begins here. It was here that Amirs father and mentor watched the kite race. And most of scenes of the film were shot in this old town of Kashgar, although this films story happened in Afghanistan.

 

  

 

Founded in 1442, the Etigal Mosque (Id Kah Mosque) is 140 meters long from north to south, 120 meters wide from east to west, and covers an area of 168,000 square meters. It is divided into seven parts: the main hall, the outer hall, the teaching hall, the courtyard, Gongbaizi, the minaret and the gate. It is not only the largest mosque in Xinjiang, but also one of the largest in China. It is one of the three most influential mosques in Asia. For those who have been unable to visit Mecca Holy Land in their lifetime, the purpose of their life is to worship this great mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang.    

 

At midday on Fridays around 10,000 people will gather to pray and study the Koran, and prayer 5 times/day on other days. Youll be asked to remove your shoes before entering the Main Hall, which has traditional Islamic pillars, carvings and rugs strewn over the floors. Women are advised to cover upper arms and legs, a scarf is not compulsory, but is seen as a mark of respect. This is a must visit place for tourist in Kashgar.

  

 

Afaq Khoja Tomb: The tomb served as the family tomb of Abaq Khoja, the powerful ruler of Kashgar in the 17th century who was revered as a prophet and second only to Mohammed

   

 

 

Sunday Bazaar (now opened everyday): The famous Sunday bazaar has been operating since ancient times, and the scale has become larger and larger, attracting merchants from all over Xinjiang and neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Kirghizstan. Farmers from the suburbs of Kashi come to the bazaar early in the morning, using various means of transportation, such as bicycles, motorcycles, tractors, trucks and donkey-drawn carts. The highways leading to Kashi are crowded with these vehicles and pedestrians on Sunday mornings, as well as with flocks of sheep.

 

More about Kashgar at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashgar 

More about Etigal Mosque (Id Kah Mosque) at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id_Kah_Mosque

Day 7
Tour around Kashgar
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:In Kashgar

Today you will drive along Sino- Pakistan Highway for around 190km/4 hours to the famous plateau lake near Pakistan, Karakul Lake. On the way, you can will pass the beautiful Bulunkou Lake (White Sand Lake). Near and at Karakul Lake, you can enjoy the 7719m high Gongeer Peaks and 7546m high Mount Muztagata which is with the name of "the Father of Glacier".

 

Overnight in Kashgar today.     

  

   

 

Bulunkou Lake (Whitel Sand Lake) is at the altitude of 3300 m and covers an area of 20,000 ha. It is a very beautiful reservoir.

 

 

Lake Karakul is by the side of highway from Kashgar to Pakistan, about 3600 m above sea level. Mount Muztagata (said to be one of the five most beautiful mountains in the world) provides a beautiful backdrop at 7546 meters with the nearby Gongeer Peaks rising to 7719 meters above sea level. The view there is extremely charming and the scenery throughout the journey are too enchanting to put into words. Every photo there can be used as the computer screen picture.

 

More about Karakul Lake at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karakul_(China)

   

Day 8
Leave Kashgar
Meal:
Hotel:
Transfer service to the airport in Kashgar. Your guide will look after you until your safety at the correct airport check-in desk to complete your amazing tour. Say goodbye to your guide and the Silk Road.