16 Days Altun Shan National Nature Reserve Adventure Tour

Starting from Urumqi and ending at Dunhuang via Turpan, Korler, and Ruoqiang, this tour will provide you the chance to exlpore the paradise of wild animals – Altun Shan National Nature Reserve.


  • Exlpore the paradise of wild animals – Altun Shan National Nature Reserve.
  • Visit the highlights of Urumqi, Turpan, Korler, Ruoqiang and Dunhaung.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Urumqi Arrival
  • Day 2: Urumqi – Turpan
  • Day 3: Turpan – Korler
  • Day 4: Korler – Ruoqiang
  • Day 5: Ruoqiang – Yitunbulak town
  • Day 6: Yitunbulak – Kechik Lake
  • Day 7: Kechik lake – Kardun
  • Day 8: Kardun – Yicikpaty protection station
  • Day 9: Yicikpaty – Ayakeku Lake – Golden Junction
  • Day 10: Golden Junction – Aqikeku Lake
  • Day 11: Aqikeku Lake – Whale Lake
  • Day 12: Whale Lake – Aqikeku Lake
  • Day 13: Aqikeku Lake – Yitunbulak Town
  • Day 14: Yitunbulak Town – Dunhuang
  • Day 15: Dunhuang
  • Day 16: Dunhuang Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Urumqi Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities: Grand Bazaar
Accommodation: Urumqi

Airport or train station pickup and then transfer to your hotel in Urumqi city. After a short rest, visit Grand Bazaar, 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 2 Urumqi – Turpan

Sightseeing and Activities: Gaochang Ancient Ruins, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Astana Graves, Flaming Mountain
Accommodation: Turpan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we will head to Gaochang Ancient Ruins, 46 kilometers southeast of Turpan. Built on the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert and to the south of the Flaming Mountains, its old palace and city ruins can be seen today as they’ve been well-preserved.

Then continue the trip to Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, a complex of Buddhist cave grottos. 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.

On the way back to Turpan, pass the Flaming Mountain and enjoy the flame-like landscape.

Day 3 Turpan – Korler

Sightseeing and Activities: Iron Gate Pass, Bosten Lake
Accommodation: Korler
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today drive a long way to Korla. Korla pear is famous all over the country. 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.

Then head to appreciate Bosten Lake, the largest lake in Xinjiang and one of the largest inland freshwater lakes in China.

Day 4 Korler – Ruoqiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Lop Nur Village
Accommodation: Ruoqiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning after breakfast, drive about 6 hours to Ruoqiang and visit Lop Nur Village. Known for its natural scenery and ethnic culture, Lop Nur Village attracts numerous tourists from home and abroad. Enjoy the splendid Taklamgan Desert along the way.

Day 5 Ruoqiang – Yitunbulak town

Sightseeing and Activities: Loulan Museum, the Photo Exhibition of Lop Nur, Ancient Loulan Ruins
Accommodation: Yitunbulak town
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Mornign after breakfast, visit the Loulan Museum, the Photo Exhibition of Lop Nur and . And then head to Yitunbulak Town.

The road condition is bad, so be ready for a bumpy ride.

Day 6 Yitunbulak – Kechik Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Altun Shan National Nature Reserve
Accommodation: Qimantag county
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we will drive about 8 hours on a hard road to Altun Shan National Nature Reserve. It is a large, arid area in the southeast of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. The reserve provides space for some of the largest herds of hoofed in Asia and is an important habitat for the endangered Kozlov’s Pika, Ladak pika and dholes.

Stay at Qimantag county for overnight.

Day 7 Kechik lake – Kardun

Sightseeing and Activities: Kardun pastureland, Ayakumu Lake
Accommodation: Kardun
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today after breakfast, drive to Kardun pastureland, where many rare animals such as the wild Yark, Tibetan Gazelle and Tibetan Ass are roaming here. Enjoy the picturesque scenery.

Then drive along the north shore of the Ayakumu Lake, the lowest point of the Reserve.

Day 8 Kardun – Yicikpaty Protection Station

Sightseeing and Activities:
Accommodation: Yicikpaty Protection Station
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we will drive to Yicikpaty Protection Station. Enjoy the platue view and the wild animals here.

Day 9 Yicikpaty – Ayakeku Lake – Golden Junction

Sightseeing and Activities: Ayakeku Lake
Accommodation: Golden Junction
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today drive to Golden Junction. On the way, enjoy the stunning scenery of the Ayakeku Lake.

Day 10 Golden Junction – Aqikeku Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Aqikeku Lake, Kunlun mountain
Accommodation: Aqikeku Lake
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today drive across the Daban. Visit the Aqikeku Lake and the Kunlun mountain standing by you.

Day 11 Aqikeku Lake – Whale Lake

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

Today drive to visit Whale Lake, which is named for its distinctive shape.

Day 12 Whale Lake – Aqikeku Lake

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

Drive back to Aqikeku Lake.

Day 13 Aqikeku Lake – Yitunbulak Town

Sightseeing and Activities:
Accommodation: Yitunbulak Town
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive back to Yitunbulak Town.

Day 14 Yitunbulak Town – Dunhuang

Sightseeing and Activities: Shazhou Night Market
Accommodation: Dunhuang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, drive to Dunhaung. Upon arrival, check in hotel and have a good rest. In the evening, try some local food at Shazhou Night Market or buy some interesting souvenirs.

Day 15 Dunhuang

Sightseeing and Activities: Mogao Grottoes, Crescent Moon Spring, Minsha Mountain
Accommodation: Dunhuang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, our local guide will pick you up from your hotel. Then we will head to visit Mogao Grottoes that is known as “The Thousand Buddha Cave”, and noted as one of the most important cultural and historical sites in China.

In the afternoon, drive to Crescent Moon Spring, which is an oasis in the Gobi Desert. Enjoy the rare view where an oasis meets the desert and have some fun sand adventure. After that, ride camels across the sand dunes to Minsha Mountain which can make sounds when the wind passes.

After the visit, enjoy the view of sunset and drive back to hotel.

Day 16 Dunhuang Departure

Sightseeing and Activities:
Meals: Breakfast

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

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.