11 Days Tour of Desert Highway in Xinjiang

Urumqi, Turpan, Korla, Minfeng, Hotan, Kashgar

Traveler Reviews


Tour Code: TCT-Xinjiang-03

Tour Type: Private Tour

Tour Highlights:

A great tour to visit Xinjiang Province, the biggest province in the Northwest of China.

Explore the mysterious and fantastic landscapes in Xinjiang.

Be stunned by the unique folk customs and inspiring sightseeing.
 

Best Travel Time: Suitable for the whole year, best from May to October.

Price from $ 1753

Free Inquiry

Day 1Arrival Urumqi

Meals: No meal
Accommodation: In Urumqi

Arrival at Urumqi in Xinjiang, an area of the unparalleled scenery and cultural diversity, you will be greeted by your tour guide and transferred to hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Urumqi City View
Urumqi City View

Day 2Urumqi
Heavenly Lake, Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:In Urumqi

Take a driving for 120km northeast to visit the holy Heavenly Lake (Tianchi). The beautiful lake is flanked by rugged pines and cypresses, with clear melting waters reflecting the surrounding of snow capped mount Bogeda. After the tour, be transferred back to downtown, you can then take a short visit to Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar, which is believed to be the largest outdoor market in town.

Heavenly Lake
Heavenly Lake (Tianchi)

Day 3Urumqi - Turpan
Drive to Turpan(200km, 3 hours), Jiaohe Ancient City, Emin Minaret, Karez Well

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:In Turpan

Today, you will take about 3hours driving to Turpan, on the way, you will pass Urumqi Wind Power Mill, which was built for producing electrical power in the area. After cross the valley of Tianshan we will arrive in the lowest depression of China-Turpan City. Upon arrival, visit the mysterious death city, the Ruins of Jiaohe Ancient City, which reveals traces of a prosperous ancient trading center and military stronghold 1,600 years ago. And then visit Emin Minaret (Sugong Pagoda) - the biggest ancient pagoda existing in Xinjiang and the only Islamic ancient pagoda in the country and ancient Karez Well, the underground water supply and irrigation system.

Jiaohe Ancient City
Jiaohe Ancient City

Day 4Turpan
Gaohang Ancient City, Grape Valley, Flaming Mountain, Bezeklik Caves

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:In Turpan

Have another day excursion in Turpan that including the visit to Gaochang Ancient City, which was an important garrison town on the Silk Road, Grape Valley - famous for the cultivation of the sweetest, tastiest grapes in China, Flaming Mountain - so named because in the evenings the red clay mountains reflect the heat and glow of the desert and seem to burn and Bezeklik Caves, where more than 100 caves were hewn out of this cliff face between the 6th and 9th centuries by Buddhist monks who farmed the valley below.

Grape Valley
Grape Valley

Day 5Turpan - Korla
Drive to Korla (400km, 6 hours), Iron Gate Pass, Bosten Lake

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:In Korla

In the morning, take a long drive (8hours) to Korla, an oasis town on Peacock River, at the northern edge on the Taklamakan Desert. During the way, you will have chance to visit the Iron Gate Pass which is of strategically historical significance because it formed a vulnerable bottle-neck on the Silk Road. Upon arrival take a boat trip on Bosten Lake which is the largest fresh water lake in China (CNY600 per boat per time on your own expense).

Taklamakan Desert Highway
Taklamakan Desert Highway

Day 6Korla - Minfeng
Drive to Minfeng(780km, 7 hours)

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: In Minfeng

Today, get up early and continue your long driving journey to Minfeng (780km, about 7hours). On the way, you will cross the 2nd largest shifting desert in the world - Taklamakan Desert, which means "once inside never out". Enjoy the magnificent vista of countless sand dunes at the height of mountains on the way.
Bayibuluke Grassland
Bayibuluke Grassland

Day 7Minfeng - Hotan
Drive to Hotan (320km, 6 hours)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Hotan

Take another driving to Hotan (320km), home to some very well known archaeological sites in China. In the late 18th century many explorers from England, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, came to Hotan where some of them almost lost their lives in the desert. On the way we will pass Keriya, an oasis town on the old Southern Silk Road.

Taklamakan Desert
Taklamakan Desert

Day 8Hotan
Ruins of Mallikurwatur, family workshop of paper making in Hotan

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Hotan

In the morning, you will take a visit to the Ruins of Mallikurwatur which is believed to be the ancient city of Yutian Kingdom. After the tour, be transferred back to the city and visit local family workshop of paper making.

Day 9Hotan - Kashgar
Drive to Kashgar (520km, 9 hours)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:In Kashgar

In the moring take a driving to Kashgar (520km), you will pass some oasis towns like Yarkent, which was the capital of the ancient Uyghur Karahanid Kingdom of 15 th century. Visit a notable knife factory in Yengisar which is famous for knives making. Late in afternoon we will arrive at Kashgar, a main hub of the ancient Silk Road of China.

Kashgar
Kashgar

Day 10Kashgar
Zhiren Street, Id Kah Mosque, Apak Hoja Tomb, Local Bazaar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:In Kashgar

Today, take a visit to Zhiren Street, an old street with an amazing hand-made stuff from strictly utilitarian cookware to exotic musical instruments. Then continue your trip to Id Kah Mosque, which is one of the largest and busiest in China. Then, you can take a short visit to Apak Hoja Tomb. If it is Sunday, the local Bazaar will be a good place for you to have a visit. This ancient market attracts locals and merchants from all over Xinjiang and nearby countries such as Pakistan and Kirghizstan.

Apak Hoja Tomb
Apak Hoja Tomb

Day 11Kashgar - Urumqi, Departure
Fly to Urumqi for departure

Meals: Breakfast

Free at leisure then you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Urumqi. Then help yourselves change the connecting flight to next destination.

Service Ends

Tour Price (US$ per person)

Hotel Class Group Size Dec. ~ Feb. Mar. ~ Nov.
Economy Hotel
★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2644 $2751
6 ~ 9 pax $1753 $1861
Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2884 $3023
6 ~ 9 pax $1922 $2060
Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2989 $3167
6 ~ 9 pax $1999 $2176
Price includes:

♦ Domestic flight or high-speed train as specified
♦ Private transfer between the airport or railway station, attractions, and hotels
♦ Private licensed English-speaking guide and driver service
♦ Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast on sharing basis
♦ All attraction entrance fees as specified
♦ Meals mentioned in the itinerary, Chinese local food
China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance

Price excludes:

* International Air tickets or Train Tickets to enter or leave China
* Tips to your tour guide and driver on your own discretion
* China Entry Visa Fees
* Personal expenses
* Optional tours, meals, activities and services


Remarks:

※ Prices are valid from Mar 1, 2021 to Feb 28, 2022, except Chinese public holidays, local fairs or events.
※ TCT reserves the right to adjust the price caused by exchange rate
※ No guide on the flight and Yangtze River cruise. 
※ Recommended hotels are subject to change in actual booking
※ Special requirements should be advised to TCT in advance.
※ TCT reserves the right of final explanation for any change due to the reasons beyond our control.

Traveler Reviews Feedbacks & Photos >>

5.0

tornadoetienne

5.0

We travelled to China for our honeymoon and selected Top China Travel as our travel partner when visiting Zhangjiajie and Guilin. From the moment we spoke to Vicky Lu (the travel advisor), we knew that TopChinaTravel was a reliable company to join. Victor, our guide in Zhangjiajie was excellent. He took us to the best spots and gave us some valuable tips in order to avoid queues and the masses. We spent 4 days in Zhangjiajie. It was raining heavily on the first day and we didn't get to see much, but Victor went out of his way and changed around the itinerary in order for us to see the attractions on other days. We really appreciated this! In Guilin we were met by another excellent guide Ms. Liu. She was very helpful and noted carefully our wants and needs. We were never met with a negative answer whenever and whatever we asked. On the whole, this was an adventour of a lifetime for both myself and my wife! We definitely recommend Top China Travel as a tour operator in China!
anonymousA9743DZ

5.0

I am so glad that I did the day tour. The scenery was stunning. I stay on the top deck most of the time during the cruise. I meal wasn't that great. I was very excited to get to see the picture on the 20 yuan in real life.
Helen L

5.0

We have just returned from a very satisfying trip to China. One of the highlights was the lovely city of Guilin. We had no idea that this would be such a pleasant spot in which to stroll around and enjoy the bridges and walkways. The temperature was comfortable and we felt at home walking around the park, footbridges, and along the lakes. Helen and Jim from Canada
tooshies

5.0

TCT, and our dedicated agent Maggie, performed A+ service in the planning & execution of our 21 day, door to door excursion of China, Tibet and Hong Kong. All drivers and guides excelled in there individual skills, knowledge and were personable. Absolutely no complaints from us and we consider ourselves to be very well traveled to the more exotic spots of the globe. The Gordons, Richmond Hill, ON CANADA.
doronbron

5.0

We just came back from an eight days trip with Janet at TCT during March 2017. The trip was tailored to our needs as we were in Shanghai for 5 days before starting our trip. We visited Shanghai Xian and Beijing. The help and service received from Janet and TCT were outstanding. Our guides in Shanghai (Sarah) Xian (Cherry) and Beijing (Cathy) were excellent, they all knew the history and were very flexible. The guides were always on time and we had excellent drivers. We would highly recommend TCT and Janet on your next trip to China.
Amar P

5.0

We used Top China Travel for a 6 day Beijing City Tour and Badaling Great Wall Tour and we must say we were very impressed! Our tour guide Tina was very fluent in English and did a very good job of explaining the significance behind the various historical sites and attractions. As a vegetarian family, they were able to arrange a vegetarian lunch on both days for us. The only issue we had was that they only provided us two hours on the Great Wall which we realized was not adequate enough, given the huge crowd that visits the Badaling section of the wall. Apart from that, we would definitely recommend Top China Travel to anyone visiting China!
andyanne2017

5.0

We recently returned from a 16 day tour of China. Our holiday was organised by Rebecca Wei who was a pleasure to deal with. We arrived in Beijing and departed from Shanghai. There was lots to organise as we had two internal flights and three train journeys as well as three nights on a boat cruising the Yangtze river. All the arrangments fell into place like clockwork, our guides were excellent, spoke very good english and had a good knowledge of the places we visited. We saw some fantastic sights but some of the highlights for us were The Great Wall, The Yungang Grottoes, The Hanging Temple Datong, The terrracotta warriors and the muslim quarter in Xiang and the cruise on the Yangtze. We travelled in September so the temperatures were around 28C [ fine for us as we live in Durban] it is also a good time as the lines to get enterance to some places were very short. There was a lot of walking involved so comfortable walking shoes are a must as well as a sun hat. We stayed in a couple of "traditional" hotels which we loved and then some very upmarket hotels. The exception was the hotel in Xiang which scored 100% on location but had some very unfriendly staff a poor restaurant as well as putting us in an unrenovated room for the first night. We moved to the renovated floors for the other night which was much better. I should add here that this was a mistake by the hotel not TCT] My one regret is that we should have stayed a night in Wuzhen Water Town but that really was not practical as we had to leave our hotel in Shanghai at 4 in the morning to catch the flight home. We have some wondefull memories so thank you Rebecca and TCT for organizing a really interesting holiday Andrew and Anne B, DurbanSouth Africa
phuhu6

5.0

At first, we were a little skeptical about this company because we found it online and we had to pay the full amount before the trip. We took a chance and it turned out to be a really good, credible company. We would not hesitate to book another trip with this company in the future. This company provided adequate English-speaking tour guides. Overall, this is an excellent tour company. We would highly recommend this to anyone who would like to travel to China for a sight-seeing trip. And if you happen to go to Beijing, don't forget to ask for a tour guide named Mr. Kong. If you decide to use TCT to tour China, we would highly recommend to contact Yocky for exceptional customer service.
rambleglobal

5.0

We used Top China Travel to book our entire 16-day trip through Beijing, Xian, Jiuzhaigou, Chengdu, Leshan, Guilin, Yangshuo, and Shanghai. We had a private guide and driver in each metro area who was always there to pick us up at the airport/train station and drop us off at the airport (and help us check-in for the next flights even). Our guides spoke English well, were very accommodating to our needs, and were fun be around throughout each segment. We were a little hesitant to book with a company based in China, but we combed the internet for reviews and found many that appeared authentic and all were good reviews. While in China, we met multiple people traveling with larger groups than us but paid more money than we did for our custom trip. If you're going to China, you have to at least consider Top China Travel - they were excellent.
Michaelgotz

5.0

Thank you Janet Chan of Top China Travel (Guilin) for making our 21-day China trip the best travel experience ever! Janet built us a private tour itinerary that was suited to our physical abilities and cultural preference, and she can and does do that for everyone. TCT specializes in individual private tours for singles, couples, and family/friends. Not group tours where there are people you don't know. We went to exotic places not often on the usual tour company itineraries: Yellow Mountain, where you climb and climb and climb, carrying your own luggage, to get to a hotel accessible only on foot. We took only what we needed, left the rest down below. Incredible vistas beyond imagination. We visited the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, the Longshen terraced rice patties (a climb so tough there were porters to haul up our luggage), the pandas in Chengdu, and the difficult-to-breathe Lhasa,Tibet. Of course we also saw the other more usual spots: Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Guilin. We highly recommend Top China Travel: ask for Janet!
Michael P

5.0

Remember the name REBECCA. She was the tour operator who organized our trip. She is amazingly extraordinary. All my expectations were satisfied plus more, with her assistance on every aspect of our tour. The tour guides and the drivers who were marvelous with their jobs. They speak and understand English good enough to explain what the sites are. They have great knowledge of the sites. With Beijing, Our tour guide is SUNNY who was very receptive to our needs and safety. She is a very smart young lady who possess a great personality. She was very caring and treated us like a part of her family not just a client. We will really missed her smile. Thank you , Sunny !!! Our driver Mr Wang was also very pleasant and very safety conscious which is very hard to believe with drivers in China. FYI, the driving in China is CRAZY!!! THANKS again Rebecca for your great service and Sunny for your smile and Tenzin in Lhasa, Linda in Zangjiaje, Vicki in Shanghai, Sue in Xian,My appreciation for your exemplary service. We enjoyed our vacation in China because of all of you.
mALTACettina

5.0

TCT made up a fantastic week tour for us starting with Guilin. We were met at the airport by Warren who could speak good English and we were transferred to Guilin Bravo Hotel which is a nice hotel.In the evening Warren asked if we would like to goon a river trip which proved fantastic,not only for the nice bridges and illuminated fine buildings but also for the cormorant fishing and music playing among others.Warren timed the boat tour so that after 8pm we would be near the Waterfall hotel to enjoy the water cascade from the 16th floor. Next morning we were taken on a day cruise that included lunch among the beautiful scenery upto Yangshue. Warren suggested that we go and see the beautiful spectacular show given every day with some 300 participants.We enjoyed this immensely though it was a bit rainy, but if it wasn't for Warren, we would have stayed all night looking for a taxi to take us to the hotel....Next day we first explored the village to see the old Banyan tree and other interesting sights and then we were taken by car back to Guilin airport. This trip was awful as the road is all broken but the driver was good at avoiding pot-holes! From Guilin we flew to Hangzhou where we found Vicky waiting for us. She took spoke good English and spent some time explaining to us the fantasy stories of lovers, serpents and dragons to be able to appreciate Chinese culture while we visited West Lake, Lingyin Temple. |After lunch at local restaurant we were taken to Meijiawu GreenTea plantation. The next day we we took the train to Shanghai. The waiting room was so crowded but Vicky got the tickets for us and stayed with us until we went on the train. At Shanghai train station we were met by Ryan. He could speak good English and had some jokes for us too! The same evening, we asked to go on a river cruise by night which proved breath-taking.The next day we were taken around Shanghai visiting Yuyuan garden TheBund among others. The highlight was the Oriental Pearl TV tower with its glass floors! The next day the driver picked us up from the hotel early in the morning so as to take the flight to Beijing. I can really say that TCT made a good job providing with a good varied programme and good tour guides, especially Warren at Guilin.
karenilena

5.0

wonderful visit and wonderful guide Li. Li showed us all the charms of this great city together with our Li river tour. We fell in love with this place and Yangshou. Great place to visit and it was a favourite city in all the cities we visited. great guide
Gin L

5.0

Recently, we joint a group tour organized by TCT. We had a excellent experience for the whole tour including the booking process. Here are some highlights. Tour booking I found TCT from the web with very positive reviews. I decided to book my China tour with them. Now, I am glad that I made right choice. TCT assigned a very experienced tour consultant, Raylene He, to work with me. Due to various reasons, we changed our tour plan a few times including changing starting date, hotels, the tour routes etc. Raylene was very patient to work with me to make sure every planned details were met our needs. She was also very responsive in answer my queries. Our family would like to give her a big THANKS. Hotels Best Location: Beijing, Guilin Very convenient. This allowed us to do more sightseeing by walking in the evening. Hotel room: the best hotel rooms were in Xi’an. They were a very spacious full suites. It was a welcome surprise. Breakfast: most of us like Beijing better. I personally like both Beijing and Xi’an. This is because of the preference of the types of food. Tour guide Tour guide in Beijing stayed with us one day longer so we got to know her better. We felt that she provided very good service. Tour guide in Shanghai was more knowledgeable. He provided different perspectives to various topics. His explanation/opinion made the tour more interesting. In general, all tour guides were very professional and made their best effort to make the tour run smoothly. Because traffic jams are common in China, they constantly discussed routes with drivers to pick the best route and drop off locations. Drivers: Drivers were very cooperative. We had an emergency in Guilin. One of us needed to go to washroom right away. Since it was rush hour and the traffic was very heavy, the bus could not stop anywhere, the Guide and the Driver found a hospital with washroom on the way and dropped us off. We wee appreciate it very much. We also noticed that the drivers were very conscious in helping TCT to save money. For example selecting a parking location in a free of charge location instead of a paid parking lot. Flexible route arrangement We joined a group tour. This group tour went to Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guilin and Hong Kong as advertised. Our tour group started with four families. After the tour in Xi’an, One family left the group for Guilin and Yangtze River cruise. In Shanghai, the rest of us merged into another group. After Shanghai, a few families in the merged group left the group tour.. We left the group after Guilin. In general, the cost of group tour is lower. TCT allowed customer to pick and choice as you wish to fit customer’s needs. They also recommended group tour where possible to help customer to lower the cost, although this made their tour management a lot more complicated. I would like to say that TCT is an excellent tour operator compare with others. All the little efforts that employees made contributed to TCT’s success. It seems to us that TCT is a well run company. We wish TCT continued success in the future.
Common2016

5.0

We used China Travel to visit Guilin from Hong Kong by train at very short notice - we've never done this before so a little nervous - we did this May 2017. We found all the staff and travel arrangements excellent. Everything flowed very easily. Staff were punctual and as helpful as can be. Unfortunately we don't speak any local languages so the very high standard of English spoken by all was very much appreciated. The itinerary suggested by China Travel was great - really fascinating. There is a small issue with amenities at the large 5* state run hotels in which we stayed - most notably the food minor stuff such as no good coffee! restricted range of foods and service in the cafes not really good, just a bit frowzy so not really what an international traveler may expect - but these hotels were very successful and popular with internal travelers - so I may be out of step here, also gym facilities restricted access and poor. But these are minor quibbles given how great the trip was. The bedrooms at these hotels were excellent. What I'd like to stress is how welcome we were made and how pleasant and relaxed and accommodating everyone we met with was. Well worth a visit and a trusted agent in our view.
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