Jiaohe Ancient City Ruins Xinjiang

Middle East To Middle Kingdom Tour

Suggested Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Kashgar, Flight not included

Airport Transfer (Kashgar), A Free CH cell phone package (one cell phone for one group)
A Free CH cell phone package (one cell phone for one group) includes free rental for the cell phone and SIM card (Includes prepaid value of CNY 50), delivery and collection in China. Return the phone to your guide when you depart. For more about the cell phone rental service, please click cell phone rental information.
China Highlights also provides a Wi-Fi package so that you can connect to the internet in China anytime and anywhere. Our 3G service provides speeds of up to 21Mbps on your smart phone, pad or laptop, so you can stay in contact. For more detail please visit Wi-Fi rental information.

 
Day 2: Kashgar
lake karakuli xinjiang

- Lake Karakuli (2 hours): Karakuli Lake is a sparking glacial lake located at the foot of "the Father of Glaciers" .

– Muztagata Mountains. A railway connnecting China with Pakistan goes by the lake. The lake is famous for its beautiful scenery and clarity. Colors of its water range from light to dark under reflection.

 
Day 3: Kashgar, Id Kah Mosque, Zhiren Street, Bazaar, Kashgar Old Town
id kah mosque in xinjiang

- Id Kah Mosque (40 minutes): This 15th century mosque is one of the largest and busiest in China. At midday on Fridays around 10,000 people will gather to pray and study the Koran, and prayer 5 times/day on other days. You'll 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 adviced 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 .

- Zhiren Street (1 hour): It is close to Id Kah Mosque, an old street with an amazing range of goods being crafted for sale by hand , from strictly utilitarian cookware to exotic musical instruments. There's not much light industry in Kashgar, so everything is hand-made or imported from a very distant place. Copper, metal, porcelain, woodwork, jewellery and other goods are seen to be made and you will marvel at incredible devices like the wooden objects that prevent babies from wetting the bed.

- Bazaar (2 hours): Famous throughout Asia, this ancient market attracts locals and merchants from all over Xinjiang and nearby countries such as Pakistan and Kirghizstan. There are numerous commodities, like dried fruit and delicacies, clothes, shoes, leather, textiles, rugs and carpets as well as scarves, souvenirs and other goods in an eclectic mix that appeals to traveler and native alike. Open all week, Sunday's the big day when the farmers come to town, and those who still prefer to shop at the market rather than city shops. Bazaar especially Sunday Bazaar is a very interesting place so many foreigners'main purpose in Kashgar is to visit the Bazaar.

- Kashgar Old Town (1 hour): Explore the maze of narrow streets in this oldest residential area of Kashgar. Houses were originally built along a natural slope, and extended over the years with many streets either fully or half-covered. Traditional Uighur life continues here in time-honoured fashion. Visit local families, see potteries, bakeries, embroidery, and local skills. There's a local Folk Museum, and yes, souvenirs are for sale but these are not rich people, a purchase is better than a gift.

 
Day 4: Kashgar to Urumqi, Flight No. TBA
xinjiang heavenly lake

- Heavenly Lake (1 hour): Heavenly Lake (Tian Hu) is a beautiful blue mountain lake. The blue lake water is finely contrasted with steep forested hills, high meadows and snowy Heavenly Mountain peaks behind. There you can walk, take electric carts, cable cars and a boat cruise on the lake.
- Boat for Cruise on the Heavenly Lake (40 minutes): It is a different way to visit Heavenly Lake by boat.

 
Day 5: Urumqi, Mt Nan Pastures and Terai Camp, The Terai Camp
nanshan pasture xinjiang

- Mt Nan Pastures and Terai Camp: It is a typical area,where many Kazakhs continue their traditional way of life here, herding cattle and sheep. You can also visit a local house or yurt to sample Kazakh food and drink, including butter tea. Xinjiang's pastureland is different from inner mongolia's, we are mountain pastureland so you can't see a large scale flat grassland here.

- The Terai Camp (30 minutes): A special experience of Kazak nomad life here, have a cup of milk tea and taste some really local food.

 
Day 6: Urumqi to Turpan
suleiman minaret xinjiang

Our guide and driver will escort you from Urumqi to Turpan, Astana Tombs, Tuyoq Village and Tuyugou Canyon, Suleiman Minaret, Grape Valley

- Astana Tombs (40 minutes): It is located in the Gobi Desert in the north of Gaochang, 40 kilometers away from Turpan city. At the Ancient Tombs of Astana, thousands of treasure historical relics had been unearthed, including mummy, writing, inscription, painting, earthen figurine, stone wares, pottery wares, wood wares, bronze wares, iron wares, gold wares, silver wares, cotton, silk, wool, ancient coins and so on. Therefore, the Ancient Tombs of Astana is called the "Gaochang's live history record and underground museum in the Turpan area." Although there are almost 500 tombs in this area only three tombs are open to tourists. One has two mummys and the other two have murals.

- Tuyoq Village and Tuyugou Canyon (1.5 hours): The Tuyugou Great Canyon is 46 kilometers away from Shanshan county in the east, 47 kilometers from Turpan city in the west and 13 kilometers from the Gaochang Ancient City in the southwest. Tuyoq is a traditional village of vineyards, orchards, narrow streets and irrigation channels tumbling between ancient mudbrick houses and shady trees against the backdrop of the bare, red Flaming Mountains. 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 still visible, with both Buddhist and Nestorian connections.

- Suleiman Minaret (40 minutes): Also known as Sugong Tower, it is the biggest ancient tower existing in Xinjiang and the only ancient Islamic minaret in the country. It is located 2 kilometers southeast of Turpan's center.

- Grape Valley (1 hour): This is one of most famous scenic spots in Turpan. Located 4 km northeast of Turpan's center, it provides a welcome place of relaxation amidst the hundreds of square kilometers miles of grey desert.Every year over 300 tons of raisins are dried in drying rooms on nearby slopes.

 
Day 7: Turpan to Overnight train, Train No. T190 Dep 22:31 - Arr 06:40
jiaohe ruins in xinjiang

- The Karez Wells (40 minutes): This irrigation system of wells connected by underground channels is considered to be one of the three great ancient projects in China. The Karez Wells Folk Garden and Museum is located adjacent to Turpan, 3 kilometers west of the city center. The famous fruit and vineyards of these hot, dry desert communities owe their existence to the Karez wells, ancient underground irrigation channels fed by wells that tap into the snowmelt from surrounding mountains. These systems are still maintained and functioning today. A small museum provides an insight into their intriguing history and construction, and takes you below ground for a first-hand view.

- The Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaohe (2 hours): Jiaohe was built by the ancient Cheshi people in the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC) and the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). Located in the Yarnaz Valley, 8 km (5 mi) 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.

 
Day 8: Overnight train to Dunhuang
mogao caves dunhuang

Train station Transfer (Dunhuang), Mogao caves, The Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Spring

- Mogao caves (3.5 hours): Tours of Mogao caves are conducted by a guide (English, German, French and Japanese speaking guides are available) who you will share with other tourists. There are about 30 caves open to the public, but usually the tour consists of 10 which provide a representation of the total. The selection is at the discretion of the guide.

- The Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Spring (2 hours): Crescent Spring (Yueya Quan) is in the Singing Sand Mountains (Mingsha Shan), 6 km (4 mi) south of Dunhuang. It is an oasis in the desert. The spring's 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 doesn't dry up as one might expect.

 
Day 9: Dunhuang to Xian, Flight No. TBA
ancient city wall of xian

Hotel to airport Transfer (Dunhuang), Airport Transfer (Xian), Shaanxi History Museum, Ancient City Wall

- Shaanxi History Museum (1.5 hours): The history of Shaanxi is said to be the history of China, and this museum is quite simply one of the nation's best. Four major galleries in large, Tang-style buildings house a vast and impressive collection, beautifully displayed. Most of the item labels are in English, although some other information on the exhibitions is not, but your guide can help here. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

- Ancient City Wall (30 minutes): The walls, ramparts, gates and watchtowers form one of the oldest and most complete city defenses still around. Built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City, it s surrounding the city centre. You can walk or pay extra cost to rent a bike (CNY40 per person), rickshaw (CNY45 per person for 45 minutes) or an electric cart (CNY40 per person) around the full 14km circuit, with great views of the city on either side. If the weather is not good for biking on the city wall, we will substitute a visit to the Bell Tower. Your guide will be very glad to take you the Bell Tower after you have been to look at the city wall.

 
Day 10: Big Wild Goose Pagoda, The Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Muslim Quarters, Shadow Play in the Gao Courtyard
Xian Terracotta Warriors

- Big Wild Goose Pagoda (1 hour): A major Buddhist site, the simple, elegant brick Pagoda stands in the grounds of the attractive Da Ci'en Temple. The Pagoda was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic journey to India. The Temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals.

- The Terracotta Warriors and Horses (2 hours): Discovered accidentally in 1974, this incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin's tomb since 210BC. Each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits which are protected inside huge hangars. 1.5 hours from Xian, there is also an excellent museum and film about the history of the vaults. Photos (no flash) are allowed. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

- Muslim Quarters (1 hour): The Muslim quarters lies 100 meters west of the Bell tower in downtown Xi'an. The 500 meters long avenue paved by bluestones are dotted with many unique stall, souvenir shop, café and bars which are mostly run by Muslim people. Tourists, especially from overseas come and shop here.

- Shadow Play in the Gao Courtyard (1 hour): Gao Courtyard is the former residence of Gao Yuesong who was a high ranking official in the Ming Dynasty. The buildings in the courtyard are built from timber and brick and it is about 2310sqm in size. A small Shadow Play production which lasts for 10-15mins is performed by local people during this visit.

 
Day 11: Depart Xian, Flight not included

Hotel to airport Transfer (Xian)

 
Interested? Each tour can be tailored.