This 10-day tour focuses on the eastern part of Xinjiang. You will explore the famous historical sites like Bezklik Thousand Buddha Grottoes, Jiaohe City Ruins, Karez Well, and Sugong Pagoda together with fantastic English speaking guide. If you’re daring enough, don’t miss the mummies. You will also stop to enjoy amazing natural scenery on the way like Five-color Park, Populus euphratica forest, Balikun Grassland, and Hami Ghost City. East Xinjiang is waiting for your exploration.
Day 1 Urumqi Arrival: Xinjiang Museum, Xinjiang International Bazaar
Day 2 Urumqi – Five-color Park: Five-color Park
Day 3 Five-color Park – Qitai: Jiangbulak Grassland
Day 4 Qitai – Mulei County: Populus euphratica forest
Day 5 Mulei – Balikun Grassland: Balikun Grassland
Day 6 Balikun – Hami: Hami Ghost City
Day 7 Hami –Turpan
Day 8 Turpan: Tuyuq Village, Bezklik Thousand Buddha Grottoes
Day 9 Turpan – Urumqi: Jiaohe City Ruins, Karez Well, Sugong Pagoda
Day 10 Urumqi Departure
Upon your arrival, our guide and driver will greet you at airport/ train station. Then transfer to your hotel. After a short rest your Urumqi tour will start!
The first stop would be Xinjiang Museum. In the museum you will see the relics that show the autonomous region’s history and the local conditions and customs. The highlight for normal visitors may be the well preserved mummies. After that pay a visit to Xinjiang International Bazaar. The bazaar is honored as the “Window of Xinjiang” and “Window of Central Asia”. In that typical Uyghur style grand bazaar, you will have an in-depth look of the folk culture of Xinjiang.
In the morning board the car and drive about 3 hours northward to Five-color Park, a seldom-seen colorful world in the desolate desert. The park is famous for the mysterious and strange Yardan landscape and the hot spring. Moreover, many dinosaur fossils were discovered here.
Accommodation: Five-color Park
After hotel breakfast we will drive toward Jiangbulak Grassland in Qitai County. Jiangbulak Grassland is known for its attracting natural scenery, the strange waterfall, and the pretty rurality taste. After the sightseeing here we will continue driving to Qitai County and check in local hotel.
In the morning we will drive for about 3 hours to Mulei Kazakh Autonomous County where you will see the vast Populus euphratica forest. According to research, the Populus euphratica forest here has a history of 65 million years. A populus euphratica lives in the impoverished desert for hundreds of years; after its death it stands upright for hundreds of years; and when it falls down, it would not decay in hundreds of years. When it is sunny, the Populus euphratica forest would be an excellent for photo taking.
Accommodation: Mulei County
Balikun used to be an well known stop along the ancient Silk Road. Today we will continue the tour to Balikun Kazakh Autonomous County to visit the Balikun Lake and Balikun Grassland. Balikun Grassland is the 2nd largest grassland in Xinjiang. The luxuriant fodder grass graze lots of plump cattle and sheep. And the fresh air would drive off precipitance you got in the bustling city life. Each summer, the grassland would become a popular summer resort among local people. Balikun Lake lies 18 km from Balikun County is a alpine lake with an altitude of 1585 meters. Local people call it “sapphire falls on grassland”.
In the morning get in the car and drive toward Hami. Arriving in Hami we will have lunch and then pay a visit to Hami Ghost City, a strange Yardan landscape. Here you will see the stereobates in shapes of castle, palace, pagoda, stele, people figure, animals, etc. Here is also the ruins of an ancient city. If you observe it carefully, you will find the room ruins with vestige of doors and windows.
Today we will drive for about 4.5 hours toTurpan. Please relax yourself and enjoy the desert and osis scenery in the car. After arrival inTurpan, check in local hotel and enjoy your free afternoon time.
In the morning we will pay a visit to Tuyuq Village, the oldest village in Turpan area. About 200 Uyghur families live in the village. The grand Mosque and the folk house mess stand in Tuyuq Valley for 17 centuries. All old houses in the village were built with the rammed earth. In the afternoon we will explore the Bezklik Thousand Buddha Grottoes. The excavation of the grottoes lasted 7 centuries from the 7th century to the 12th century. There are 57 grottoes relatively well preserved and 40 of them have murals. Both the Tuyuq Village and the Bezklik Thousand Buddha Grottoes locate in valleys of Flaming Mountain.
In the morning we will pay a visit to the Jiaohe City Ruins. Jiaohe city existed from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. It belonged to Cheshi Kingdom, one of the 36 powerful kingdoms in West Regions in ancient time. At present it is the largest and best preserved earth building in the world. And then we will pay a visit to Karez Well, the unique irrigation system in desert. In Turpan there are 1000+ Karez wells which have a total length of 5000+ meters. Together with Jinghang Grand Canal, Great Wall, they are called the Three Great Projects of Ancient China. Concludes Turpan tour with Sugong Pagoda, the largest existed ancient Islamic pagoda in Xinjiang which is also known as the Turpan Pagoda among local residents. After the tour, transfer back to Urumqi.
At confirmed time, our guide and driver will meet you in hotel. Then escort you to train station / airport for departure.