23 Days Xinjiang Panorama Tour

Xinjiang must be a lifetime journey to you. It is mostly covered with uninhabitable deserts and dry grasslands, with dotted oases at the foot of Mountains. This Xinjiang tour will take you explore the stunning forested mountains, the vast grasslands and picturesque lakes, as well as the historic desert oasis.


  • Explore China’s stunning forested mountains and grasslands.
  • Enjoy the picturesque Kanas Lake.
  • Visit the desert oasis of the Taklimakan.
  • Visit the highlights of the cities: Kashgar, Khotan, Turpan, Urumqi, etc.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Urumqi Arrival
  • Day 2: Urumqi – Burqin
  • Day 3: Burqin – Kanas Lake
  • Day 4: Kanas Lake – Hemu Village
  • Day 5: Hemu Village – Karamay
  • Day 6: Karamay – Sarym Lake
  • Day 7: Sarym Lake – Ili
  • Day 8: Ili – Naraty Grassland
  • Day 9: Naraty Grassland – Bayinbuluk
  • Day 10: Bayinbuluk – Kuqa
  • Day 11: Kuqa
  • Day 12: Kuqa – Aksu
  • Day 13: Aksu – Kashgar
  • Day 14: Kashgar – Taxkorgan county
  • Day 15: Taxkorgan county – Kashgar
  • Day 16: Kashgar – Yarkant
  • Day 17: Yarkant – Khotan
  • Day 18: Khotan – Mingfeng
  • Day 19: Mingfeng – Korler
  • Day 20: Korler – Turpan
  • Day 21: Turpan
  • Day 22: Turpan – Urumqi
  • Day 23: Urumqi Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Urumqi Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities:
Accommodation: Urumqi

Upon your arrival, tour guide will pick you up from airport or train station and then transfer to your hotel in Urumqi city.

Day 2 Urumqi – Burqin

Sightseeing and Activities: Multi-colored Bay
Accommodation: Burqin
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, drive about 700km to Burqin. It will take 8-10 hours. En route, visit Multi-colored Bay, a typical Yardan landform, which is famous for its imposing views and and natural treasures.

Day 3 Burqin – Kanas Lake

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

After breakfast at hotel, head to Kanas Lake. 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 4 Kanas Lake – Hemu Village

Sightseeing and Activities: Hemu village
Accommodation: Hemu Village
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive to Hemu village after breakfast. Located at the south bank of the Kanas Lake, Hemu village is the gathering of local Tuwa people. Hemu is a rather primitive village, with all wooden houses here. The most famous is the amazing scenery in autumn.

Day 5 Hemu Village – Karamay

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

Morning, drive along the Gurbantunggut Desert to the Urho Ghost City. The strange shapes of the various strange landscapes were created by strong wind and erosion. Then drive to Karamay city.

Day 6 Karamay – Sarym Lake

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

After breakfast, drive to enjoy Sarym Lake and overnight in local Mongolian Yurt. 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 Sarym Lake – Ili

Sightseeing and Activities: Hurgos border, Fruit valley
Accommodation: Ili
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive to Ili and visit Hurgos border and Fruit valley. Known as the “1st scene of Ili”, the Valley is a natural storehouse of plant species with a wide range of fruits and herbs growing wild.

Day 8 Yili – Naraty Grassland

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

Drive along the way to visit 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 9 Naraty Grassland – Bayinbuluk

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

Morning after berakfast, drive about 3 hours to Bayinbuluk. 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 10 Bayinbuluk – Kuqa

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

Today drive along the road to Kuqa. Enjoy the stunnign scenery of Tianshan Mountain.

Day 11 Kuqa

Sightseeing and Activities: Subashi ruins, Kuqa Mosque, Kuqa Old Town
Accommodation: Kuqa
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.

Day 12 Kuqa – Aksu

Sightseeing and Activities: Tianshan Great Canyon, Kizil Grottoes
Accommodation: Aksu
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.

After the visit, drive to Aksu.

Day 13 Aksu – Kashgar

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

Today we will drive about 7 hours to Kashgar and visit Id Kah Mosque and Handicraft street. Id Kah Mosque is one of the biggest mosque in China, built by Saqsiz Mirza in 1442 and Handcraft street is one of the most featured street in various local handicrafts in and around Kashgar Xinjiang China, full of unique and exotic goods.

Day 14 Kashgar – Taxkorgan county

Sightseeing and Activities: Karakul Lake
Accommodation: Taxkorgan county
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.

Day 15 Taxkorgan county – Kashgar

Sightseeing and Activities: the ruins of The Princess Fortress, Honjirap Border, Kashgar old town
Accommodation: Kashgar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we will visit the ruins of The Stone City and Honjirap Border.

Then head to visit Kashgar old town, a major stop along the Silk Road, where is full of Uygur style folk residences.

Day 16 Kashgar – Yarkant

Sightseeing and Activities: Abakh Hoja Tomb, Sunday Bazaar, Yarkent Old Town, Yarkent King Tombs
Accommodation: Yarkant
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Grand Sunday Bazaar in Kashgar

Today start the tour with Sunday Bazaar, the busiest part of the city, which covers a total area of 0.17 square kilometers with more than 5,000 stable stalls. Continue the tour to Abakh Hoja Tomb, the largest Islamic mausoleum of Xinjiang. It is most known as the Tomb of Xiang Fei, who is one of theimperial concubines of Emperor Qianlong.

Then head to Yarkant and visit Yarkant Old Town and Yarkant King Tombs. Yarkant King Tombs is the most attractive sight of Yarkant County. First built in 1533, its structural layout and wall decorations still remain intact in classic Uygur style which attracts multitudes of sightseers.

Day 17 Yarkant – Khotan

Sightseeing and Activities: Karsu Desert, Atlas Silk Workshop
Accommodation: Khotan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Visit the Karsu Desert in the morning. Then head to Khotan and visit the Atlas Silk Workshop. Atlas is the Uyghur word for silk. See this silk made in the traditional handmade process from cocoon to weaving.

Day 18 Khotan – Mingfeng

Sightseeing and Activities: Khotan Museum, Malikawat Ruins
Accommodation: Mingfeng
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at hotel, head to visit Malikawat Ruins and Khotan Museum. Lying 25 km southwest of Hotan, majority of the Malikawat ruins are buried underground in the deep sands. Hotan Museum houses over 400 pieces of cultural relics excavated from the ancient cities of Niya, Mallikurwatur, and Yotkan.

After the tour, head to Mingfeng county.

Day 19 Mingfeng – Korler

Sightseeing and Activities: Taklamakan Desert, Diversifolious poplars Park
Accommodation: Korler
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today drive about 8-9 hours to Korler. Enjoy the scenery along the way, especially the 2nd largest shifting desert in the world – Taklamakan Desert. Visit Diversifolious poplars Park on the way.

Day 20 Korler – Turpan

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

Today drive a long way to Turpan. 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 21 Turpan

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

Today we will visit Gaochang Ancient City, 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 22 Turpan – Urumqi

Sightseeing and Activities: Ruins of Jiaohe, Sugong Minaret, Karez Well
Accommodation: Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at hotel, head to visit Jiaohe Ruins. 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.

After the tour, drive back to Urumqi.

Day 23 Urumqi Departure

Sightseeing and Activities:
Accommodation: Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast

Be transferred to the airport for your flight to 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.