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Timeless Silk Road

HOME / DESTINATIONS / CHINA / 8 DAYS OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH NORTHERN XINJIANG

8 DAYS OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH
NORTHERN XINJIANG

Uncover a world where the emperor was always far away, closer to Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia than Beijing. A world of snow-capped peaks and beautiful lakes, of nomadic minority groups and the ghost cities they ride through. Discover a rare side of Xinjiang travel that stuns with both nature and culture.

ITINERARY DAY-TO-DAY

1

DAY

URUMQI

Urumqi is home to a diverse population including a majority of Han Chinese as well as Uighurs, Hui, Kazhaks, and a dozen other ethnic minorities. This Silk Road trading post is now a distinctly modern metropolis. Discover a trove of Silk Road artifacts including pottery, silk and 'Xinjiang mummies' at the Xinjiang Provincial Museum.

2

DAY

URUMQI / KARAMAY

Ramble through the maze and cultural melting pot that is Urumqi's International Grand Bazaar. It is a vast marketplace that is home to hundreds of booths and stalls selling Xinjiang specialties. Drive 4 hours to Karamay, the wealthiest city in China. Visit the outlandish Big Oil Bubble, a monument dedicated to the city's oil industry.

3

DAY

KARAMAY / BURQIN

Located an hour north of Karamay, Ghost City is a collection of natural rock formations scattered across the desert. Continue your drive for 3 hours to Burqin. In contrast to the monotones of the barren sandy terrain, Wucai Tan is an explosion of colours with its rainbow-like landscape made up of glossy rocks, emerald rivers, and luxuriant greenery. 

4

DAY

BURQIN / KANAS

Drive to Kanas Lake and stroll along its shore of sapphire waters, one of Xinjiang's four most famous lakes. Explore this off-the-beaten-path location and learn of legends and stories inspired by this unspoiled slice of heaven.

5

DAY

KANAS

Hike the 1,086 steps up to the Guanyu 'Fish Watching' Pavilion and try to spot the legendary monster of Kanas Lake from the top of the hill. From atop, be treated to an unforgettable panoramic view of the Altai Mountains. 

6

DAY

KANAS

Spend a day hiking to the secluded waters of Black Lake - known locally as Karakul Lake. At an altitude of 3,600 meters it is one of the highest lakes on the Pamir plateau and is renowned for its clarity. Meet a local nomadic Tuvan family and learn all about their traditional way of life in a landscape that invites everyone to experience nature at its wildest. 

7

DAY

KANAS / URUMQI

Drive 3 hours to Turpan and discover the surprising vibrancy in China's 'Death Valley'. Visit the Flaming Mountains inspired by the famous classic Chinese novel Journey to the West and learn of the Karez Water Systems, one of the oldest irrigation system crucial in Turpan's climate. Explore the Ruins of Jiaohe, once a flourishing multi-ethnic Silk Road city that the Central Asian Xiongnu nomadic people and the Chinese Han dynasty fought to control.

8

DAY

TURPAN

Visit the Sugong Mosque and Emin Minaret built in the conical Central Asian style, by Prince Suleiman to honour his father Prince Emin. Climb to the top for a bird’s eye view of neighboring vineyards. Discover Buddhist and Islamic ruins as well as Uighur villages and farms in Tuyugou Valley. With scorching temperatures of up to 55C, listen to stories of the Flaming Mountains immortalized in the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West.

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OUR PARTNERS

Aurelius Travel Pte Ltd

License No. : 03041

8 Eu Tong Sen Street, 

The Central, 

#21-91, Office 1,

Singapore 059818

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