Ruins of Jiaohe Ancient City

Urumqi, Turpan, Hami and Dunhuang Adventure

Destinations: 7-Day Heavenly Lake, Tuyugou Canyon, the Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaohe, and Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Tour
Suggested Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Urumqi

Your private guide will give you a warm welcome as you walking out the luggage claim hall upon your arrival. You will be transferred direct from the airport to your hotel, and your guide will help you check-in. The rest of the day is for your rest or explore Urumqi. Enjoy!

Day 2: The Erdaoqiao Bazaar and the Heavenly Lake Tour
heavenly lake

Stroll in Erdaoqiao Bazaar, the largest market in Urumqi, where you can experience the local customs, relish authentic Xinjiang-styled food, and bargain for some handicrafts. It is the most welcomed place among tourist especially ladies, because they can come across many plenty of traditional Uyghur ornaments. 

Your next destination is the Heavenly Lake, which is about a 2-hour drive from central Urumqi. It is an alpine lake with an altitude of over 1,900 meters. There you can enjoy the picturesque landscapes consisting of crystal clear lakes, unique plants, and rolling mountains (some of which are capped by snow all year round). You will also take a boat cruise on the lake.  

Day 3: The Tuyoq Village and Yuyugou Canyon, and the Visit to a Local Hami Family Tour
tuyugou canyon

Today you will set off for Turpan, an important town on the Silk Road in ancient China. 

The Tuyugou Canyon used to be a Holy Land of Buddhism and Islam, and a chance to enjoy the elegant canyon scenery. An easy and pretty walk takes you to a group of very ancient caves carved into the mountainside. You can stop and enjoy the surroundings, or climb the steep stairways to view some of the caves. Parts of their frescoes are still visible. 

Tuyoq is an ancient village in the canyon. There you will feel the authentic Uyghur people’s traditional daily life. The traditional Uyghur-styled buildings built with rammed earth are quite unique.

Today you will take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience the life, customs and food of a local Hami people family in their ancestral city. Have tea and snacks with the family as they welcome you to Hami. 

What is worth mentioning that you will be driven pass through the Flaming Mountains, a place becoming famous for Journey to the West.

Day 4: The Ruins of Jiaohe Ancient City, the Karze Wells, the Suleiman Minaret, and Hami Islamic King Tombs Tour
Ruins of Jiaohe Ancient City

Today’s excursion in Kumul will allow you to learn more about the history of Xinjiang by discovering three historical sites.

Walk in the world’s most ancient and best-preserved city built with rammed earth — the Ruins of Jiaohe Ancient City, a city ruins with a history of more than 2,000 years. You will discover the architectural styles before the Song Dynasty (960—1279) in central China.   

The Karze Well, the grand irrigation system in dry Turpan, started in the Emperor Wu reign-period (B.C. 156—B.C. 87) in the Han Dynasty (B.C. 220—A.D. 220). By visiting the Karze Wells, you will get to know how the oasis of Turpan can exit in the vast desert. 

Learn about the main religion in Xinjiang — Islam in the Suleiman Minaret, an unique minaret with an history of over 230 years. Explore the tombs of Islamic Kings and their queens in the Hami Islamic King Tombs, which consists of three parts: the Islamic King’s Tombs, the Small Arch, and Big Aitika Mosque. The buildings there are elaborately decorated with Islamic art.

Day 5: The Balikun Grassland and the White Stone Scenic Area Tour

You will be driven from Kumul to Dunhuang today. You will stop off to visit the Balikun Grassland and the White Stone Scenic Area.

Have a deep breath of the fresh air in the second largest grassland of Xinjiang — the Balikun Grassland. Different from the grassland in Mongolia, this grassland does not merge the sky but the grand snow-capped mountains at the horizon. Walk in the White Stone Scenic Area near the Balikun Grassland to have a general glance of the pastoral life in Xinjiang and to explore the historical sites.

Day 6: The Desert Discovery at Yadan Landform Park, Yumenguan Pass, and the Great Wall of the Han Dynasty Tour
yadan landform park

It is a day to discover Dunhuang, a prosperous town on the Silk Road in ancient China. 

The visit to Yadan Landform Park will let you feel the vast of desert and the magic power of nature. Walking among the brown peculiar-shaped stones carved by wind erosion during past millions of years, you may find some of them look like pyramids, towers, mushrooms, and some other world’s famous buildings if you use your imagination.

And then you will move to explore the Great Wall of the Han Dynasty with a visit to the ruins of Yumen Pass, which play an important role for the trade between ancient China and the West in the Han Dynasty (B.C. 220—A.D. 220).

Day 7: The Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Spring and Mogao Grottoes Tour
mogao grottoes

Today you will explore two magnificent endangered attractions in China: the Crescent Spring and Mogao Grottoes, which will let you imagine the prosperity of Dunhuang in ancient China.

You will learn about the movement of the sand dunes and how the sands make sounds in the Singing Sand Mountains. Walk around the crescent-shaped lake whose water level is continuous reducing and explore the historical sites in this little oasis in desert.

Feel the profound Buddhist culture in Mogao Grottoes where there are about 30 caves opening to the public (there are totally 735 caves). The breathtaking colored frescos and vivid clay sculptures together with thousands of historical relics will show you the artistic attainments in ancient China.

You guide would have been called to confirm your return trip. He will accompany you to the airport in time and see you off at the security gate. Have a nice journey.