heavenly lake

Essence of Xinjiang Tour

Destinations: 6-Day Heavenly Lake, Astana Tombs, and the Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaohe Tour
Suggested Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Urumqi, Flight not included

Airport Transfer (Urumqi)

Day 2: The Heavenly Lake Tour
heavenly lake

- Heavenly Lake: The Heavenly Lake is a very beautiful mountain lake formed more than million years ago in the 4th glacial epoch, so the water in it is pure and icy. The altitude of the lake is up to 2150 meters above the sea level and got its fame as the "jewel in the crown". To the east of the lake stands the Bogda Peak-the highest peak in the east part of Tian Shan Mountain, which is capped by glacier and snow glistening in the sun, finely contrasted with blue lake water, forming fabulous scenery.

Day 3: The Mount Nan Pasture Tour

- Mount Nan Pasture: Mount Nan pasture is very big with West Baiyanggou, Juhuatai, East Baiyanggou, Mount Zhaobi, Miaoergou and Daxigou from west to east. Tourists here can visit locals' houses to have some milk tea and mutton. Later, they can rent horses to ride around the grassland. If you are fortunately, you can watch the activities of horse race, sheep catching and girls' whip. - The Terai Camp: A special experience of Kazak nomad life here, have a cup of milk tea and taste some really local food.

Day 4: The Astana Tombs, Grape Valley, and Tuyoq Village and Tuyugou Canyon Tour
tuyugou canyon

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

Day 5: The Karez Wells and the Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaoge Tour
Ruins of Jiaohe Ancient City

- 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 6: Depart Urumqi, Flight not included

 Hotel to airport Transfer (Urumqi)

Interested? Each tour can be tailored.