12 Days Southern Xinjiang Discovery Tour

In the south and middle line of the ancient silk road, hundreds of ancient cities, tombs and Buddhist caves left show the long and vicissitudes of history. During this tour, we will visit a number of historical sites such as ancient city ruins and tombs, as well as some other highlights of Kashgar, Taxkorgan county, Kuqa, Turpan and Urumqi.


  • Visit a number of historical sites such as ancient cities, tombs and Buddhist caves.
  • Know more about the Silk Road and the colorful customers.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Kashgar Arrival
  • Day 2: Kashgar – Karakul Lake
  • Day 3: Karakul Lake – Taxkorgan county
  • Day 4: Taxkorgan county – Kashgar
  • Day 5: Kashgar
  • Day 6: Kashgar – Kuqa
  • Day 7: Kuqa
  • Day 8: Kuqa – Turpan
  • Day 9: Turpan
  • Day 10: Turpan – Urumqi
  • Day 11: Urumqi – Heavenly Lake
  • Day 12: Urumqi Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Kashgar Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities: Kashgar Old Town
Accommodation: Kashgar

Airport or train station pickup and then transfer to your hotel in Kashgar city. If time allows, visit Kashgar Old Town. It is a major stop along the Silk Road, which is full of Uygur style folk residences.

Day 2 Kashgar – Karakul Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Karakul Lake
Accommodation: Yurk
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at hotel, drive on Karakorum high way to view the fantastic scenery of Karakul Lake. On the road, enjoy the scenery of the Mt. Muztag. Karakul Lake is the highest lake of the Pamir Plateau. Enjoy the crystal water, the peaks and blue sky, and also the creatures here.

Today we will stay in the local Yurt for overnight.

Day 3 Karakul Lake – Taxkorgan county

Sightseeing and Activities: Stone fortress, Tajik Ethnic museum
Accommodation: Taxkorgan county
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive on Karakorum high way to Taxkorgan county. On the road, enjoy the scenery of the Mt. Muztag. Then we will visit the ruins of Stone fortress and Tajik Ethnic museum, as well as learning the cultures of local people.

Day 4 Taxkorgan county – Kashgar

Sightseeing and Activities: Id Kah Mosque, Handicraft Street
Accommodation: Kashgar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning, drive back to Kashgar. Visit Id Kah Mosque and Handicraft Street. Id Kah Mosque is one of the biggest mosque in China, which was built by Saqsiz Mirza in 1442.

Handcraft street is full of unique and exotic goods, which is one of the most featured street in various local handicrafts in and around Kashgar Xinjiang China.

Day 5 Kashgar

Sightseeing and Activities: Sunday Bazaar, Apak Hoja Tomb
Accommodation: Kashgar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning, drive to visit Sunday bazzar first. It is the busiest part of the city, which covers a total area of 0.17 square kilometers with more than 5,000 stable stalls. Then head to visit Apak Hoja Tomb. It is the largest Islamic mausoleum of Xinjiang, most known as the Tomb of Xiang Fei, who is one of the imperial concubines of Emperor Qianlong.

Day 6 Kashgar – Kuqa

Sightseeing and Activities:
Accommodation: Kuqa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today take the Train K9788 to Kuqa. Upong your arrival, be transferred to your hotel for rest.

Day 7 Kuqa

Sightseeing and Activities: Tianshan Great Canyon, Kizil Grottoes
Accommodation: Kuqa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, visit the Tianshan Great Canyon and Kizil Grottoes. Standing 1,600 metres high with its highest peak of 2,048 metres, Tianshan Great Canyon is made up of ranges of rufous massifs. The Kizil Caves are a set of Buddhist rock-cut caves which are said to be the earliest major Buddhist cave complex in China occurring between the 3rd and 8th centuries.

Day 8 Kuqa – Turpan

Sightseeing and Activities: Subashi ruins, Kuqa Mosque, Kuqa Old Town
Accommodation: overnight train
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning after breakfast, head to Subashi ruins. It is a large-scale temple with main temple hall, pagoda, monk’s dormitory and the residual wall. Then move on to Kuqa Mosque, the second largest mosque in Xinjiang right after the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar.

In the afternoon, visit Kuqa Old Town. It is one of those historically significant places to visit in China’s far western region of Xinjiang with its maze of narrow streets, mud brick houses, Arabic mosques and bazaar.

After the tour, take the overnight train K9788 to Turpan.

Day 9 Turpan

Sightseeing and Activities: Jiaohe Ruined city, Karez Irrigation system, Sugong Minerat
Accommodation: Turpan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Get off the train and escorted to have breakfast. Then start today’s tour with Jiaohe Ruined city. It is a natural fortress located atop a steep cliff on a leaf-shaped plateau between two deep river valleys. Then move on to Karez Well System. Located in the Turpan Depression, it is a vertical tunnel system adapted by the Turpan people.

After that, continue the tour to Sugong Minaret. At 44 meters high, it is the tallest minaret in China.

Day 10 Turpan – Urumqi

Sightseeing and Activities: Tuyoq village, Bezklik thousand budda caves, Astana Tombs
Accommodation: Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today visit Bezklik Grottoes first, a complex of Buddhist cave grottos. Then move on to Astana Graves, an underground cemetery of ancient Gaochang residents, which is considered to be one of the humblest burial sites in China.

After that, head to visit Tuyoq Valley, splitting the grand Flaming Mountain into two parts, which is a gorgeous valley with a long history, splendid culture and charming natural scenery.

After the tour, drive to Urumqi.

Day 11 Urumqi – Heavenly Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Xinjiang Museum, Heavenly Lake, International Bazaar
Accommodation: Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast at hotel and then head to Xinjiang Museum. A visit to Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi would be incomplete without a visit to the Xinjiang Museum. It is a comprehensive historical museum in China built in 1953, and famous for holding artifacts and mummies of Caucasians who lived in the region 1500 and 4000 years ago.

Then move on to Heavenly Lake, 98km northeast of Urumqi downtown. It is a crescent alpine lake in the north of Bogda Peak, which enjoys crystal water due to melted snow as its source.

Then back to the city and visit International Bazaar. It is one of the most famous landmarks in Urumqi city, which is the largest bazaar in the world by scale, combining Islamic culture, architecture, ethnic commerce, tourism and entertainment.

Day 12

Sightseeing and Activities: Urumqi Departure
Meals: Breakfast

Transferred to the airport or train stataion for your next destination.

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • Domestic train tickets of soft sleeper.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.