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Your Position: HomeCity ToursUrumqi Tours8 Days Highlights of Xinjiang Tour
  • Heavenly Lake
  • South Pasture
  • Erdaoqiao Market
  • Karez Well System, Turpan
  • Flaming Mountain, Turpan
  • Astana-Karakhoja Ancient Tombs
  • Ancient City of Gaochang

You can click to see the attractions included in this tour itinerary.

8 Days Highlights of Xinjiang Tour

From $1123 per person

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8 Days Highlights of Xinjiang Tour

Tour Code: CTUQ05
Tour Duration: 8 Days
Attractions: Heavenly Lake, South Pasture, Erdaoqiao Market, Karez Well System, Turpan, Flaming Mountain, Turpan, Astana-Karakhoja Ancient Tombs, Ancient City of Gaochang

  • Tour Summary
  • Day by Day Itinerary
  • Reviews

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Tour Dates Destinations Services Provided Meals Included
Day 1 Urumqi Arrive in Urumqi, be met and transferred to hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Hoi tak Hotel Urumqi Xiangjiang Lihua Hotel Jingu Hotel - Urumqi
/
Day 2 Urumqi Full day tour to Heavenly Lake enjoy the nice scenery, then visit Erdaoqiao Market Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Hoi tak Hotel Urumqi Xiangjiang Lihua Hotel Jingu Hotel - Urumqi
B,L
Day 3 Urumqi/Turpan Visit South Pasture and The Terai Camp, then drive to Turpan. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Tuha Petroleum Hotel Huo Zhou Hotel Silk Road Oasis Hotel
B,L
Day 4 Turpan Full day tour to Astana-Karakhoja Ancient Tombs Ancient City of Gaochang The Tuyugou Great Canyon, Pass through Flaming Mountain, Turpan Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Tuha Petroleum Hotel Huo Zhou Hotel Silk Road Oasis Hotel
B,L
Day 5 Turpan/Urumqi/ Kashgar In the morning, visit Karez Well System, Turpan , Suleiman's Minaret, then drive back to Urumqi for flight to Kashgar. Arrive in Kashgar, be met and transferred to hotel.
Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Kashgar Hotel Kashgar Hotel Kashgar Hotel
B,L
Day 6 Kashgar Full day tour to Lake Karakuli, Pass to Lake Kalakuli. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Kashgar Hotel Kashgar Hotel Kashgar Hotel
B,L
Day 7 Kashgar /Urumqi Visit Abakh Khoja Tomb, The Etigar Mosque, Sunday bazaar, then be transferred to airport for Urumqi.
Arrive in Urumqi, be met and transferred to hotel.
Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Hoi tak Hotel Urumqi Xiangjiang Lihua Hotel Jingu Hotel - Urumqi
B,L
Day 8 Urumqi Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for your flight departure. Details... B
Season Tour Class Group Size Single Room
Supplement
1pax 2-5pax 6-9pax
Peak Season 3*(Tourist Class) $2226 $1374 $1123 $245
4*(Deluxe Class) $2330 $1426 $1175 $297
5*(First Class) $2438 $1480 $1229 $351
1. Normally hotels allow a maximum of 3 adults per room with an extra bed, at extra charge. Some hotels will allow three adults and a small child.
2. Tour price is indicative only, please enquire for a detailed quotation.
3. More people more discounts. Please enquire for more details.

Price Inclusions and Exclusions

Price Include

A. Entrance fees:To scenic spots as listed above in the itinerary.
B. Meals: All meals as specified in the itinerary.
C. Private Transfers: Among airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in the above cities by the private air conditioned vehicle.
D. Guide and Driver: As outlined in the itinerary, a well selected English-speaking guide and driver will accompany you throughout the entire tour in that city. They do not fly with you from one city to another.
E. Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with twin beds. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified.
F. Luggage Transfers: Between airports and hotels.
G. Service Charge & Government Taxes.
H. Travel insurance in mainland China during the above travel period.
I. Arrangements: The tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Price Exclude

A. Entry or Exit China International Airfare or train tickets.
B. Visa Fees.
C. Excess Baggage Charges.
D. Personal Expenses: Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the itinerary.
E. Meals: Any meals which are not specified with "B", "L" or "D".
F. Single Room Supplement.
G. Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness or damages incurred during your trip.
H. Gratuities, Tips to Guides and Drivers.

Day 1 Arrival Urumqi

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Upon you arrival in Urumqi you will meet you local guide and then be transferred to your hotel.

Day 2 Urumqi (B, L)

Urumqi (B, L)

Sightseeing: Heavenly Lake, Erdaoqiao market

Today you will have a full day visit in the Heavenly Lake. The Heavenly Lake is a moraine by nature. Since remote times, quite a few of myths and legends circulated concerning the beautiful scenery. The water is very clear and the banks are covered with tall trees. Surrounded by mountains, the jade-green lake is an ideal place for excursions and rest for most of the year. It provides an excellent skating ground in winter.

Finally we will spend some time at Erdaoqiao Market, the largest retail and wholesale market for ethnic minority goods in Xinjiang. Night scene at the market is especially interesting. The whole area is lit up with colorful lights creating a very impressive scene. Erdaoqiao turns into a place bustling with trade in foods, handicrafts together with dancing and all sorts of activities.

Day 3 Urumqi / Turpan (B, L)

Transfer via: Private Car on our arrangement
Sightseeing:
South Pasture, The Terai Camp

In the morning we will depart to South Pasture. South Pasture is located 60 kilometers away from Urumqi city and is a vast natural area with fascinating scenery. Its landscape stretches into the distance and is painted with flocks of sheep and horses and yaks grazing among the wild flowers. Deep in the lush valley, a waterfall gently drops down and integrates with the peaceful surroundings.

Before you will be driven to Turpan, we will also stop at the Terai Camp.

Day 4 Turpan (B, L)

Turpan (B, L)

Sightseeing: Astana-Karakhoja Ancient Tombs, Ancient City of Gaochang, Tuyugou Valley, Flaming Mountain

The Astana-Karakhoja Ancient Tombs, which we will see first today, are part of the Underground Museum of Turpan and the Living Archives of Gaochang. They are located 42 km (26miles) southeast of Turpan city and were the public cemetery of the ancient Gaochang residents, both aristocrats and commoners. Among the excavated 456 tombs, the Gaochang king's has not been found.

Next we will visit the Ancient City of Gaochang in the boundless desolate Gobi desert. Shining like a resplendent precious stone inlaid in the barren desert and shining on the Silk Road, Gaochang is located at the foot of the Flaming Mountain. Withstanding the test of time and weather, the ancient cities of Gaochang and Jiaohe are the best-preserved ruins of the ancient cities in China.

Then we drive to Tuyugou Valley. The canyon stretches from the Subeixi ancient village in the north to the entrance of the Maza village for around 8 kilometers long. It averages 1 kilometer in width. Inside the canyon stands the highest peak of the Flaming Mountain. The canyon splits the grand Flaming Mountain into two parts. Since 1900s, groups of explorers from the world have thronged to this place and still nobody has found any evidence on when the canyon was formed.

Finally we will pass Flaming Mountain. Flaming Mountain is at the north fringe of the Turpan Basin. It was called Red Rock Mountain for the dark red sandstone dominating the area. Many years of volcanic activity have formed the unique crisscrossing gullies and ravines. During mid-afternoon the heat becomes intense as the sun's rays are reflected off the red rocks, as though the hillsides are engulfed by tongues of fire, hence the name.

Day 5 Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar (B, L)

Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar (B, L)

Transport via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Karez Well System, Suleiman’s Minaret

Today we will go on a full day tour. First we will drive to Karez Well System, the pride of Turpan. Along with the Great Wall and Grand Beijing-Hangzhou Canal it is regarded as the three most important achievements of ancient time.

Finally we will visit Emin Minaret, the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang. It is the only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China. Standing 2 km (1.24 miles) east of Turpan, Emin Minaret was built in 1777 in honor of the heroic Turpan general, Emin Khoja.

In the evening we will drive back to Urumqi, from where you will take your flight to Kashgar. Upon your arrival there, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 6 Kashgar (B, L)

Kashgar (B, L)

Sightseeing: Karakuri Lake

In the morning we will start off to Karakuri Lake, which is situated at the foot of Mount Muztagata, is lying 191 kilometers (about 120 miles) from Kashgar. It is 3,600 meters (about 11,811 feet) above sea level, 30 meters (about 98 feet) deep and with a surface of ten square kilometers (about four square miles).

Day 7 Kashgar / Urumqi (B, L)

Kashgar / Urumqi (B, L)

Transport via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing:
Xiangfei Tomb, Idgar Mosque, Bazaar

Afterwards we will visit Xiangfei Tomb; an ancient Islamic building nestles among poplar trees. With glazed tiles shining in the sun, its tower points to the azure sky. A masterpiece of Uigur architecture, this is Abakh Khoja Tomb, 17th Century family cemetery of the Kashgar area Islamic leader.

Today we will make a full day tour to Idgar Mosque. Idgar Mosque is one of the largest mosques in China. It is extremely popular among the Muslims in Xinjiang. The Mosque was first built in 1442 with a history of over 500 years. The building complex is in a grand Islamic style with strong religous features, which consists of a gate tower, a courtyard, a doctrine-teaching hall and a big Hall of Prayer.

In the morning we will visit the bazaar of Kashgar. In the old districts of Kashgar, many streets have "bazaar" as part of their names. Although most of the bazaars have ceased to exist except in name, there are still some that are still in use. From the names of these streets people can imagine the past glory of this ancient trading city on the Old Silk Road. Today's Kashgar has preserved the old traditions. On the streets one can find markets selling various commodities, such as vegetables, fruits, food, garments, tools and handicrafts.

In the evening you will take the flight to Urumqi, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 8 Departure Urumqi (B)

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Today you can enjoy some leisure time until you will be transferred to the airport grom where you will take the flight to your next destination.

Comment on our service from Brandon Michael Driggs,USA

The tour was great. Both guide and driver are very friendly and helpful. For the meals on the trip, so much food and delicious dishes. We loved the trip. Thanks for all your help.

Hi Molly,

The tour was great. Both guide and driver are very friendly and helpful. For the meals on the trip, so much food and delicious dishes.

We loved the trip. Thanks for all your help.

Best wishes,

Brandon


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Comment on our service from Serene Zhou,Philippines

I must extend our thanks to you and the Tour Guide for this trip Peter. The trip was fun and informative.

Hi Stella,

I must extend our thanks to you and the Tour Guide for this trip Peter (Hope i didn't get his name wrong) .

The trip was fun and informative. Peter is extremely caring and helpful to all the guests who participated in this group trip to Mutianyu great wall & Ming Tombs tour. He made sure nobody was left out of left behind. He is very polite and attentive to our needs.

Peter also made sure we are safe, he was concerned about the distance if the guests could find their hotel or find their way back to their hotel. I must thank Peter for insisting to drop us near our hotel where we CAN see our hotel building at least.

I hope you can let Peter know that he's an awesome guide and the Americans and the rest of us had so much fun.

Best Regards,

Serene Zhou & Ernest


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Comment on our service from Qiao Wenshu, Australia

This is a tour agency in China that provides private English tours. If I needed another private tour, would I use them again? Definitely!! I would recommend them for the service too.



This is a tour agency in China that provides private English tours. I booked a 1 person private tour with these people for 4 days trip in Harbin for the Winter festival and I think it was really worth it.

I booked a 4 day tour in Harbin with them at the last minute and the person I contacted was Molly, who did all the arrangements for me. They pulled it off at the last minute, and around Chinese new year too! I contacted them just before Chinese New year and they responded really quick (yes, China time is 3 hours behind Sydney, so my responses came after 12pm local time each day). She even told me they will be on public holiday from Chinese New Year until Monday the 11th of Feb and then on Monday the 11th of Feb, I got a message from her back with a quote from the local partners first thing, so I was able to make other arrangements quickly, like getting my plane tickets, and visa.

Molly provided me with an itinerary and a quote and I was happy with it, costed $1560 AUD including single non-shared accommodation (I chose 3 star accommodation because I am not fussy about the hotel), breakfast, private transport, pick up and drop off from airport, driver, and an English speaking guide all for myself, so I had 2 people helping me out during my time there, plus entry tickets to all the attractions, for 4 days. I saw a local Australian tour company that had a 5 day Harbin group tour for $1525 AUD with a maximum of 12 people, but it’s really a 3 day tour because that tour lets people arrive in Beijing, then everyone catches the train overnight to Harbin, and days 2-4 are spent sightseeing before catching the train back to Beijing on the 5th day, plus there was another tour company that offered private tours that quoted over $2000 AUD for a similar itinerary, so I believe it was money well spent. My itinerary included the Ice and Snow world, Snow Sculptures and skiing.

Molly gave me the name and contact details of my guide (Allison) as soon as one was allocated to me, and I contacted her on Wechat (a Chinese messenger phone app). Allison is pleasant and speaks English well. The driver helped put my luggage in the car. Allison was knowledgeable and I was impressed that she was flexible and had the sense to check with the local contacts immediately upon picking me up from the airport and getting into the car, to see if the attractions I wanted to see were still open.

Allison took photos for me, and was pretty good at it, and told me lots of relevant history and behind the scenes stories, for example, how the ice blocks are harvested from the river with people standing on the frozen river, drilling holes along the perimeter of the block as deep as it is thick, and connecting them with a saw and lifting them out with a crane; how the Dao in Laodaowai refers to the railway the Russians built when they came to Harbin, and forced the locals out of the railway/developed area, hence the name Lao “Old” Dao “Railway” Wai “outside” refers to outside the railway area.

As a local, she also helped me haggle a better price for the candied fruit sticks (Bing Tang Hu Lu) and I learnt that the Modern (Ma Die Er) Ice cream block is so named because it used to be sold from the Modern Hotel/shop and they were never individually packaged, rather, sold in tubs, so technically it’s only authentic if you buy it from the Modern shop on Central Street. (There is a shop with an oval red neon sign with 1906 on it.), and the original flavours are Original and Coffee (maybe something else, I forgot), the fruit flavours are new, so I recommend the original one. I saw reviews saying it's not that good - last time I was there in the summer I had one and didn't think it lived up to it's reputation because I ate a different branded one, so go for the authentic one at ¥10 each for the original flavour. (same price as the shop in the domestic airport in Harbin). They come on a stick, I haven't see the scoop ones.

Allison also took great care of me as a friend, and helped me walk around on slippery snow/ice and gave me some bandaids and heat packs when I got some grazes from the snow shoe walking around, and warned me not to go onto the frozen lake.

The car I used was a private car, in China, cars are allowed on road according to the numbers on the license plate, to limit the maximum number of cars on the road each day. Thankfully my itinerary was relaxed so there was some space to move around to get everything done, while still being within the permitted days for the car (if it’s outside, you can still have the car on the roads I was told, but just further from the attraction than if it was on a permitted day, which means a little more walking. I got door to door service every day!). It was clean and comfortable inside. Larger groups get coaches.

If I needed another private tour, would I use them again? Definitely!! I would recommend them for the service too. The driver was very professional and like another reviewer said, did not talk all the time, and didn't ask random personal info like local taxi drivers might. Wasn't too much 'awkward silence' either cause I talked with the guide in the back seat.

I got dropped off at the airport and Allison took me directly to the check in counter and they knew exactly which counter and flight I was taking (gave them the info before arriving, was surprised they kept it) so the driver drove me right up to the correct entry. Best service!

Best wishes,

Qiao Wenshu  


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Comment on our service from Annette Esselborn, Germany

We had a wonderful day. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you. The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.

Hello Sandy,

 

Thank you for your request. We had a wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you.

 

The Ming Tombs were interesting, but of course the Great Wall of China was the highlight for us. And despite the snow, it was an experience. Somewhat hectic was the climb from lunch (by the way very, very delicious!) But I know that this was only due to the weather that day.

 

The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.

If I come back in 2 years with a group, we would like to book again the same tour (maybe without snow ....) with the same tour guide.

 

Our heartfelt thanks!

Viele Grüße

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Comment on our service from Nancy Tuksaudom,USA

Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us.  We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us. We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! We had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us.  Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us!

 

Hi Sandie!

Thanks for your email! We are both doing fine and have happy memories of the time we spent touring China, thanks to you! 

We are home now (since early February) and planning our next trip in Mexico for April.

  

We totally enjoyed our time in China, despite the fact that it was cooler than we had planned for/expected. Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us.  We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us, as we did the flights, as well. The only semi-negative comment was that the Guilin hotel heat situation was sub-par. 

We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! They often showed us much more than we expected and worked very hard to make all connections efficiently, etc. 

  

I did complete feedback forms for each guide in each city. I hope that they forwarded them to you. They were likely to be more thorough than what I just wrote to you. 

The bottom line, though, was that we had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us.  Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us! 

If you ever visit Seattle, Washington, please let me know and I/we will show you around our beautiful city and environs. 

Thanks again!  

Nancy and Pricha (Tuksaudom)

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Comment on our service from Gracie Chan, USA

We had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU! Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.

 

Hello Sandy,

Hope you had a nice weekend. Thanks for being patient. Here's what we thought of the trip.

Overall, we had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU!

Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. It was great to have their help dealing with hotel checking-ins and transportation details. It was very convenient and helpful. Having to move in and out of hotels daily and trying to catch all those train on time are very stressful ~ A big "Thanks" for all their help.  

I want you to know that we consider Jackie Zhang (our guide for Zhangye & Dunhuang) to be the BEST of all the guides we encountered on this trip. She is enthusiastic, meticulous and extremely knowledgeable. You can tell that she enjoys her job tremendously!

         

My observation ~ Most "Foreign Visitors" don't always have a base knowledge of the history of the places they are visiting. A SHORT & CONCISE explanation is better than a long and winding narrative. It should not be assumed that one formula works for everyone. Some visitors are more knowledgeable than others and vice versa.

We enjoyed all the sights we visited on this trip tremendously. That said, there are some room for improvements.

The one disappointment for me was the visit to Qinghai Lake. It was too commercialized. It would have been so much better if we were able to stop by the lake area BEFORE the visitor center where it was much more pristine and unspoiled. After all, we are there to take it the natural beauty of the area after all.

Our guide and driver was most accommodating when we asked them to stop by the side of the road in order for us to photograph herds of YAK and sheep. It was the highlight of the trip for me! I am sure other visitors will feel the same way.

My suggestion ~ Maybe some sort of arrangements can be made with local farmers that owned land along the Qinghai lake for a short stop over in your future tours? This way, your visitors can have wonderful opportunities to photograph and experience the scenery and lifestyle of the local people.

My observation ~ In Turpan, the Turpan Museum would have been a BETTER choice than the visit to the Karez well system (Kan'erjing Museum). There is really nothing much to see here.  

The International Grand Bazaar was also a bit of a disappointment, it was too touristy. I think we would find it much more interesting if we have the opportunity to visit a local street market instead.

We rode a donkey cart at the Flaming Mountains. It was great fun! I think this should be included in the future and its a great way to help the local make some extra money too. You agree?

Hotels ~ We still prefer staying at International Brand hotels. We really liked the Sofitel Hotels (in Xian & Xining) and the Sheraton in Urumqi.  

We find the service and breakfast food selection available at the local brand hotels are still somewhat lacking compared to the International Brand hotels.

Food ~ We had some amazing and some mediocre food on this trip. The quality of the meal is inconsistent. I guess it depended a lot on your local tour coordinators?    

I hope our observations and honest suggestions are helpful to you. Please do not consider this is as criticism of our trip but as suggestions for improvements. We had lots of fun and we hope you'll be able to attract more visitors to your tour. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.

I have attached the "corrected" photo and an extra one taken at the Flaming Mountains. You have our permission to include all three of the photos along with the following review to your website. I will write a review for TripAdvisor.com later.

Regards,

Gracie.


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