13 Days Northern Xinjiang Panorama Photography Tour

Want to discover the authentic beauty that the Xinjiang has to offer? Starting and ending in Urumqi, this Northern Xinjiang tour covers almost all of the attrations in the northern Xinjiang, including Fuyun, Burqin, Kanas, Karamay, Sarym Lake, Naraty pastureland, Bayinbuluk, Korler, Turpan, and Heavenly Lake.


  • Visit Xinjiang Museum and Grand Bazaar in Xinjiang.
  • Explore Hemu Village and Kanas Lake in Berqin.
  • View the Urho Ghost City in Karamay.
  • Enjoy the grassland in Naraty and Bayinbuluk.
  • Experience the “heat” of “fire land” – Turpan.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Urumqi Arrival
  • Day 2: Urumqi – Fuyun
  • Day 3: Fuyun – Burqin
  • Day 4: Burqin – Kanas
  • Day 5: Kanas – Karamay
  • Day 6: Karamay – Sayram lake
  • Day 7: Sayram Lake – Naraty
  • Day 8: Naraty – Bayinbuluk
  • Day 9: Bayinbuluk – Korla
  • Day 10: Korla – Turpan
  • Day 11: Turpan – Urumqi
  • Day 12: Urumqi – Heavenly Lake
  • Day 13: Urumqi Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Urumqi Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities:
Accommodation: Urumqi

Met by our tour guide and escorted to your hotel. Explore this city at leisure.

Day 2 Urumqi – Fuyun

Sightseeing and Activities: Wucaicheng, Huoshao Mountain, National Wildlife Park
Accommodation: Fuyun
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we will drive to Fuyun and visit Wucaicheng(colorful city), a typical Yardan landform, which is famous for its imposing views and and natural treasures. Along the way, we will pass by Huoshao Mountain and National Wildlife Park.

Day 3 Fuyun – Burqin

Sightseeing and Activities: Keketuohai National Geological Park
Accommodation: Burqin
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today head to Keketuohai National Geological Park for a visit. Honoured as the “Chinese Yosemite”, it features beautiful natural scenery and was listed as a UNESCO World Geopark in 2017. There are four main scenic areas: Cocoa Surrey Lake, Irene Wood Lake, Irtysh Grand Canyon, Earthquake Museum.

Then drive to Burqin for dinner and overnight.

Day 4 Burqin – Kanas

Sightseeing and Activities: Kanas Lake
Accommodation: Kanas
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at hotel, head to Kanas Lake. First arrive in the entrance of Kanas lake – Jiadengyu. Then take 1-hour shuttle bus around the lake area. After the shuttle bus tour, hiking along the kanas River and take a boat if you like(optional). Or visit watch tower to see the whole view of the Kanas Lake area, which takes around 3-4 hours.

Day 5 Kanas – Karamay

Sightseeing and Activities: Urho Ghost City
Accommodation: Karamay
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy the sunrise from the lake and then drive to Karamay to visit Urho Ghost City. The strange shapes of the various strange landscapes were created by strong wind and erosion.

Day 6 Karamay – Sayram lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Sayram lake, Guozigou Valley
Accommodation: Sayram lake
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we will drive to enjoy the Sayram lake. It is the biggest and highest alpine lake in Xinjiang, a sparkling pearl along Silk Road. Located in a basin area between the northern stretch of the mighty Tianshan and picturesque Yili, this lake is a fusion of spellbinding natural beauty and rich cultural legacy.

Day 7 Sayram Lake – Naraty

Sightseeing and Activities: Culture Street, Naraty Grassland
Accommodation: Naraty
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning after breakfast, drive to Yining – the capital of Ili Prefecture. Upon arrival, visit Uyghur Culture Street and then head to Naraty Grassland. Known as the Grassland in the Sky, the grassland has quiet streams, fresh air and abundant vegetation. Its landscape is covered with wild flowers, where flocks of goats, sheep and cows roam.

Day 8 Naraty – Bayinbuluk

Sightseeing and Activities: Bayinbuluk Grassland, Bayinbuluk Swan Lake Natural Reserve
Accommodation: Bayinbuluk
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning drive to visit Bayinbuluk Grassland and Bayinbuluk Swan Lake Natural Reserve in the grassland. It is the second largest grassland in China, located in the Bayanbulak Basin of the Tian Shan mountains in northwest China, which is an important breeding and staging ground for birds and waterfowl, and is the highest-altitude breeding ground for swans in the world.

Day 9 Bayinbuluk – Korla

Sightseeing and Activities: Iron Gate Pass
Accommodation: Korla
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning drive to Korla, the capital city of the Bayingholin Prefecture, which is famous for Korla pear. Upon arrival, visit Iron Gate Pass, about 8 kilometers from the city center. Also called Tianmen Pass, the Iron Gate Pass connects the Yanqi Basin and Tarim Basin in central Xinjiang, which got the name ‘Iron Gate’ for its solid and firm just like an iron gate.

After the dinner, walking along the Peacock River to enjoy the local life.

Day 10 Korla – Turpan

Sightseeing and Activities: Jiaohe Ruined city, Karez Well System, Sugong Minaret
Accommodation: Turpan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at hotel, drive to Turpan city. Today we will visit Sugong Minaret. At 44 meters high, it is the tallest minaret in China. And Jiaohe Ruined city, 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.

Day 11 Turpan – Urumqi

Sightseeing and Activities: Bezklik Grottoes, Tuyoq village, 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 12 Urumqi – Heavenly Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Xinjiang Museum, Heavenly Lake, International Bazaar
Accommodation: Heavenly Lake
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 13 Urumqi Departure

Sightseeing and Activities:
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.