North Xinjiang Fairylands
8-Day North Xinjiang Tour with Kanas
"Protected" by two great mountain ranges — the Tianshan Mountains and Altai Mountains — while neighboring Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia, north Xinjiang has very different landscapes and cultures to south Xinjiang.
During this 8-day north Xinjiang tour, you will travel from the Tianshan Mountains to the Altai Mountains, explore diverse landscapes, and discover the charms of mysterious Kanas Lake fairylands and the peoples living nearby.
Tour 'Wow' Points
Discover the Emerald Set in Yellow Forests
Admire beautiful and mysterious Kanas Lake where the legendary water sprites live.
Lost in a Fairy-Story Village
Visit Hemu Village, which looks like a fairytale forest scene. Enjoy the peaceful village, blue stream, colorful forest, and snowy mountains in the distance. Meet the local ethnic people and their cattle.
Visit a House of Genghis Khan's Descendants
Walk into a house of the Tuvas people, who are regarded as the descendants of a mysterious old tribe from Mongolia. Discover their lifestyle and culture.
Listen to the Sound of the Wind in the "Ghost City"
Explore the biggest Yardang landform area in China. Feel the desolation and the power of the forces of nature amongst the wild-sculpted rocks.
Witness One of China's "Top-Secret" Mines
Descend into a mine, where a staggering 86 kinds of mineral are mined (there are only about 140 kinds of mine in the world). Recognize the raw materials of many essential products.
Discover real reviews of Highlights Travel Family's best-rated service across trusted platforms.
First Trip to China
Ethan has been my tour guide for my four day trip to Beijing. He has been knowledgeable, polite, and most helpful. I was uncomfortable coming to China for the first time without speaking any Chinese at all. Ethan gave the tours, arranged for shows and literally took me to my seats. He also accompanied me to the train station to help figure my was around and help me find the correct train and car. I would definitely use China Highlights again in the future.more
Jan 2024, Megan Sandbothe
Beijing trip with Birthday surprise
Had a great time in Beijing with Bruce. On arrival he surprised me with a cake for my 30th Birthday which was a special touch. We toured the Great wall, Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven as well as a few other items. Bruce was really knowledgeable (especially about the symbolism in the Temple of Heaven). He also coordinated gaining entry quickly and moving between locations efficiently. Highly recommend.more
Jan 2024, Sherpa325441
Making Family Memories in China
Our Beijing guide Mark was fantastic! He is so knowledgeable about the history of each place we visited and he was very helpful in getting us to hotels, train stations, restaurants, excursions, etc. He took away all of the travel-related stress that can come with a big trip and we are so thankful to him and China Highlights! My parents are hard to please and they also have been very happy with the hotels and unique activities.more
Jan 2024, rosequarose
Beijing dicembre 2023
Siamo stati 3 giorni a Beijing e grazie a Franco siamo riusciti a vedere e apprezzare questa magnifica città. Lui è sempre stato disponibilissimo, pronto ad aiutarci per ogni nostra necessità. Essendo difficile trovare persone che parlano Inglese ci ha spiegato anche come farci intendere senza problemi. Sempre molto premuroso, attento e preparato. Ci ha spiegato perfettamente tutte le peculiarità della città e ci ha fatto assaggiare ogni giorno piatti nuovi per apprezzare la cucina cinese.more
Jan 2024, Michele Azzoni
Terry the best!
I had an awesome time in Beijing, Terry is the best not only guided us, it felt like I was being invited for a trip for an old family member, he was so caring for our needs as a big family group, learned our habits, likes and dislikes on the first day and accommodated us. I strongly recommend taking the tour with him, you will not regret itmore
Jan 2024, HugoA@732hugoa
Greatest Asian Experience
China Highlights organized the trip of a life time for my family with teens, from Japan, through Thailand to China. They were flexible and accommodating of our preferences, fast to react when there was a glitch, passionate and knowledgeable of everything we were seeing.All local guides, from Lena in Tokyo, Denis in Kyoto, Tom in Bangkok, Kai in Phuket, Martin in Hong Kong, William in Guilin, Linda in Zhangjiajie, to Jessie in Beijing, did their best to make sure everything went smoothly and to adjust to my teens' additional requests.more
Jan 2024, Gadjanov Dian
Viagem dos sonhos com nosso guia Terry
Servi?o impecável! Me baseei nas avalia??es e n?o me arrependi. Transporte pontual e responsável. Todo o processo de compra muito bem conduzido. Muito bem planejado. Perfeito do início ao fim. Por fim, o mais importante: o nosso guia Terry. Absolutamente perfeito. O tempo todo preocupado com o nosso bem estar. Cuidou de tudo, se preocupou com tudo. Talvez o guia mais atencioso q já vimos em nossas viagens, principalmente cuidando da crian?a pequena que nos acompanhava. ele nos proporcionou uma experiência inesquecível. Quem for comprar, n?o hesite, pois foi um sonho de viagem, gra?as a eles.more
Jan 2024, Mr s@k89Rsmrs
Best of the Best
We visited Beijing with guide Mark, Xi’an with Jenny, Guilin with Frank, and Shanghai with guide Kris. Each guide was so unique but they all had in common a passion for their city and a true kindness. They were early for all of the airport and train station pickups and helped us so much checking into hotels and flights. We tried so many different foods special to each region and appreciated the great recommendations from the guides. The activities we did were a combination of “must-see” sites like the Great Wall, Forbidden Palace, Teracotta soldiers, and participating in local arts like shadow puppetry, fan making, and seeing cultural shows.more
Jan 2024, Rose A
Ski trip to Thaiwoo Ski resort & Beijing Tour
Our Beijing Tour guide Terry, who is very experience and able to explain the history of China. We went to forbidden city, Tiananmen and hutong walking area and took us to a very delicious dumpling restaurant. His English is perfect and very kind to kids also.The trip went smoothly and everything was very well organized, good communications. kids had a lot of fun. Highly recommended for China Highlight when travel to China , Terry - Beijing Tour & Ryo at Thaiwoo ski resortmore
Jan 2024, Explorer00356257314
Bejing for 3 days
We spent 3 days in Beijing and our guide, Ethan, was immediately courteous, punctual and full of advice on Chinese customs and habits. When it came to telling us the history of places and monuments, he always gave complete and exhaustive explanations.more
Jan 2024, Matteo Giudici Turati
3 GG a Pechino
Abbiamo visitato con lui e il driver (ottimo anche lui), la città proibita,il tempio del paradiso, piazza tiennamen e la grande muraglia......stra consiglio Ethan come guida.more
Jan 2024, Matgiu
Great experience in cold Beijing
Bruce was excellent in taking us around Beijing. He was very knowledgeable with the history and the details of each attraction. He knew all the ins and outs and didn’t have to queue where everyone had to. He was also patient with us being a bit older and less than fit especially going up the Great Wall. I would highly recommend Bruce to anyone who wants to do a private tour.more
Dec 2023, sgwelly
Ethan was amazing! He showed us all the detailed attraction and gave us all the useful information and also suggest us places to go. He was really supportive and make our trip unforgettable!more
Dec 2023, Alessandra
First private tour with China Highlights.
The tour guides were all knowledgeable and efficient in taking guiding us through many remarkable historical or natural sites.more
Dec 2023, Catherine W
Terry is the best Tour Guide
Our tour guide Terry was absolutely fantastic. His attitude was amazing, he was very patient with us and the best thing he gave us was his wealth of knowledge when it came Chinese History. This knowledge is exactly why we wanted to visit China and through his words we found it very easy to immerse ourselves in the beautiful architecture and scenery we found ourselves in.more
Dec 2023, sajjads@680sajjads
Best tour experience!
We booked a tour with Terry for the forbidden city, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. Terry went above and beyond in providing us with an amazing experience. He spoke fluent English and educated us on the history of the places we visited and answered every question we could think of. He was extremely helpful and friendly and made an amazing trip even more enjoyable.more
Dec 2023, 598ishamams
4 days in Beijing
Jack was welcoming and warm when we arrived at Beijing airport tired late at night. He was diligent and hardworking taking us around the many historical landmarks in Beijing. Whilst it is cold in winter (and we caught the first snow!), it was very enjoyable visiting Mutianyu because there were no crowds.more
Dec 2023, Catherine Wong
Great places, great food
We visited the Great Wall, The Southern Gong Lane, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. Amazing places. Our guide, Jeffrey was excellent. The driver was also helpful. The selected halal restaurants are so good with lots of delicious meals to choose.more
Dec 2023, Farid S
Had an awesome trip with Helen as our tour guide in Beijing and Tianjin. She is such a warm personality and highly motivated guide (recommendable!). Also appreciate the little Christmas gift that she gave to us.more
Dec 2023, Ang
5-star experience in Beijing
Kitty spoke good English and was very knowledgeable. She provided great insights on the places we visited and went the extra mile to help us with our requests on shopping, massages and even to arrange a last minute acrobat show.Both Kitty and Mr Ho were very accommodating to the changes we made in our itinerary during the trip, and Kitty was very caring - she gave me a scarf as I had forgotten to bring mine, and even bought me medication when I was feeling under the weather.more
Dec 2023, sharon
Itinerary Quick Look
Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.
When you land in Urumqi in north Xinjiang, your personal tour guide will be waiting for you in the arrivals area and will be ready to transfer you to your hotel.
Visit Heavenly Lake in the Tianshan Mountains ('Heavenly Mountains'). The mountain lake lies at 1,980 meters (6,500 feet) above sea level and features picturesque scenery that includes snowcapped peaks. It is very pleasurable to have a boat ride on Heavenly Lake. See the magical colors reflected on the surface of the lake.
After the mountain tour, drive north to Fuyun County Town.
Explore Keketuohai National Geopark. You will tour a beautiful canyon with granitic mountains, colorful forests, and green Hu'erci River
Visit strong>the biggest mining pit in China. It used to be a top secret of China and the "Jerusalem" of geologists. Discover the raw materials from which essential minerals are extracted. Get to know the mine's contribution to China during the 1960s.
Drive to Burqin town, gateway to Kanas, in the afternoon.
Head for Kanas Lake in the morning. View the beautiful lake from Fish Pavilion. And then skip the touristy shuttle bus, taking an 8-km (5-mile) hike to enjoy the three beautiful bays of Kanas River.
Visit a wooden house of a Tuva family in Kanas Village. Chat with them to learn about their daily life.
Drive from Kanas to Hemu village. Visit a small Tuvas museum in a wooden house. The pictures, the traditional clothes, and the articles of daily use will show you the history and the traditional lifestyle of the Tuvas people. You will also have a chance to enjoy a performance given by a local Tuvas band.
Enjoy a 3-km (2-mile) hike along the Hemu River. Cows might be wandering around. Children may be playing with the sheep in the courtyard in front of their wooden houses.
Enjoy fairytale-like Hemu Village in the early morning when the mist is floating in the valley.
Then drive from Hemu to Burqin. Stop at Wucaitan ('Five-Color Shore'). Enjoy the different landscapes on the banks of the Hu'erci River. One side has rich vegetation and the other is desert with Yardang landforms.
In the evening, enjoy your free time in Burqin town, which is full of Russian flavor.
Drive from Burqin to Karamay. Visit the "Ghost City" on the way, which is the No. 1 Yardang landform area in China. Feel the wind from Siberia. The "baby's cry, women's screams, vendor's hawking, and ghost's yelling in anger" when wind hits the rocks and sands are what give Ghost City its name.
The oil field pumpjacks along the way to Karamay will tell you that mother nature has given this land riches below the desolation and loneliness.
Your personal guide and driver will escort you from Karamay to Urumqi Airport directly to catch your flight home or to your next destination.
—the Icing on the Cake
Boutique hotels are recommended to enrich your travel experience.
- Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
- English speaking local guide
- Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
- 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling
Tour code: xj-4