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 $ 1747

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 $2635 $2743
6 ~ 9 pax $1747 $1855
Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2875 $3013
6 ~ 9 pax $1916 $2054
Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
2 ~ 5 pax $2979 $3156
6 ~ 9 pax $1992 $2169
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, 2020 to Feb 28, 2021, 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

kcoble44

5.0

I am from the USA and currently live in Beijing. My wife and I wanted to visit Xian mainly for the Terracotta Warriors. I looked online for tour companies and began to see just how many were in operation. I did as much research as I could to ensure I did not land in Xian without someone there to followthrough on our arrangement. I finally settled on TCT after emailing them for more details. Mimi was extrememly responsive and was able to help build a private tour for us. I paid via PayPal which I like to do as often as possible while overseas. Our guide and driver picked us up from the airport, took us to the sights, and then to our hotel. The next morning they were right there again and dropped us off at the airport. There's something about logistics that I love and TCT has got it down. Sometimes you don't know what you are going to get with foreign companies. Needless to say, this tour company isn't one you need to worry about. It was impressive. All the best.
SheenaLeask

5.0

Huge thank you to Janet and Eric for an excellent trip to Beijing. Booking our trip with Janet was informative of all the available itineraries and destinations to visit and she made it easy to book our chosen one. Janet kept in touch even on our birthdays, most appreciated. We were met at the airport by Eric who was very friendly and knowledgable about Beijing and very happy to answer questions we had.The days were well planned and included several attractions all in one day. For example in one day we visited Tian'an,en square, the Forbidden city and the temple of heaven. Transport from place to place was seamless and very comfortable. Overall our experience in Beijing was extremely interesting and stress free. We will definitely highly recommend Top China Travel to friends who want a great experience in Beijing.
steve30392016

5.0

Top China Travel put together a fantastic tour for my wife, myself and another couple. We started in Shanghai, then went to Guilin, on to Chengdu, Xian and ending in Beijing. All the stops, travel, tours and meals were handled by TCT and their guides without so much as a hick-up. Great job done by all!!! Everyone was so helpful and willing to address any questions we may of had to make sure our trip was the best which it was. Guilin in the south with the rice fields (best meal we had was with the local family) to the Li River cruise was the best. Also found a great little massage shop by hotel that we took advantage of 2 nights. Chengdu was all about the Pandas, too cute for words. :) Xian and the Terra Cotta warriors was simple spectacular and ending in Beijing with a rickshaw ride and the Great Wall. It couldn't of been better unless we had more time to spend with them. We can't say enough about Maggie from TCT who helped pull it all together for us and put up with all my questions and changes. To the tour guides and big thank you for taking care of us when we were with you and finally to our drivers, I don't know how you guys do it but hats off to the bunch of you...great job! Look forward to a return trip.
Sharon H

5.0

This area is very nice, they still rice farm these teraces in season.
This is about the 2.5 hour drive up into the mountains 1 way.
There a small Village there that you can have lunch and hike up into the village.
We had a nice soup and hot tea for lunch here in the Village area. Everyone working here lives here, your dollars will help them enjoy their life here in this special area. Locals had a village home open for viewing. If you are interested in the history, local culture and people this wooden architecture is nice. There's a path, small road to wander into the actual village on that's not a hard walk. There are also about 500 stairs on the other side, I did both the stairs are not good for anyone with challenges. No handrails. The homes in the village span up the hillside about 500 meters.If you have time I think this is a nice day in the area. Go during daylight, that man road us very winding. Suggest a local driver and or guide. I love Top China Travel, Rebecca is fantastic she will arrange everything you need in Hong Kong, China for you with no hassles and at great value. Here's an idea, best photos are on my other camera. Getting close to the history and residents is a huge part of real traveling.Show less
tkelly542

5.0

We just returned from a very busy 10 tour of China. Maggie was great to work with in planning our trip. Mary was at the airport to meet us in Shanghai and got our trip off to a wonderful start. She was an absolute joy to be around. Annie met us in Guilin. She was a fun bundle of energy and took us on the Li River Cruise. Lena picked us up in Xian. Lena was so sweet and thoughtful and really made sure we had a great time. Daniel met us in Beijing for the last leg of our trip. Daniel was super knowledgeable and fun to be with. He took us up the Great Wall and made lots of memories for us all. All four drivers were courteous and attentive. They made sure we had water and we never waited for a car. Fantastic service by all. The guides all spoke excellent English and really took the anxiety of the language barrier out of the trip. We had great experiences and would highly recommend Top China Travel!
Robin C

5.0

We wanted to do a short tour while stopping in Chengdu before flying to Kunming. We had used TCT very successfully before for a tour of Yunnan so they were our natural choice. As before the service we received was excellent. Daniel Mo, who was our email contact at the company was prompt and very efficient in his dealings. David our guide was knowledgeable and spoke very good English. The Old Chengdu Club hotel was excellent and our driver very steady! Trip arrangements were immaculate and the day trip to the Bifeng Panda reserve a sheer delight. I can happily recommend TCT
EBTraveler

5.0

With forty years of travel to the far corners of our world we have encountered many guides. Like most travelers some have not been very good, some decent and the rare few that are outstanding. During our three weeks in China last month we encountered just such a rare individual. Our guide in Guilin was a young women named Ping (I'll provide her email later). Ping demonstrated knowledge and command of the history, stories and culture all along the way. Beyond that, Ping exuded infectious enthusiasm not only for our touring, but for us personally as well. We had a serious medical issue occur suddenly, in fact one of us went into diabetic shock. It was four in the morning but no matter, after calling Ping she took command and arranged for the hotel to send us, with a car, driver, and assistant to a hospital. Upon our arrival there was Ping who obviously thru on some clothes, got on her motorbike and rushed to meet us. There she not only served as translator but as though a family member, she became invested in our proper care and recovery. Truly remarkable to have such a person supporting you. In small ways she flavored her guiding with a sense of our interests and preferences, like the day we mentioned our love of pomegranates and the next morning there she is smiling and with samples for us as a treat. When we left a jacket behind, once again was on it as Ping arranged for its shipment to out next stop and tracked it until it was in our hands. Beyond that, Ping was in frequent contact to make certain of our full medical recovery and to offer her help where or whenever it might be needed while in China. Amazing! Ping can be contacted at bellakanas@163.com Sheila Hertz, Howard Entin
Raghavan A

5.0

We signed up with TCT after reading reviews of Tibet tour agencies. Our trip included 4 days in Lhasa, two in Shigatse and one at the base camp. TCT made all the arrangements including the Tibet permit, hotels, tour guide, car and the driver for the entire trip. The arrangements were superb. The guide and the driver were very accommodating to our needs and made the entire trip very convenient. At the base camp, the guide even arranged for extra oxygen in case we need it. She was also very helpful in advising us as how to get acclimated to the altitude. The entire trip was smooth and enjoyable and we would highly recommend TCT for travel to Tibet.
Karan J

5.0

From the 1st point of contact till the end Joyce was great and helped plan a perfect trip which I was for a short time in Beijing. I was traveling alone and was recommended to join a small group of fellow travelers which was perfect. Great tour guide with a clean bus. Pick up on time and overall a great experience.
0808joe00

5.0

My extended family of 11, ages from 14 to 82, visited Shanghai, Xi'an and Beijing. Lilly was instrumental in helping us planning the family trip. She was always prompt, helpful, and pleasant responding to our endless inquiries. We had Vicky in Shanghai as our guide. She was caring and sincere. Even though dinner was not included in our itinerary, Vicky accompanied us to restaurants so that we wouldn't get lost. When we left Shanghai, all of us missed having Vicky as our guide. Sally in Xi'an was professional. Cathy in Beijing was energetic, funny and caring, and we bonded with her instantly. At the end of our tour, she even took us for shopping after her service was officially over. At the airport, as we hugged each other to bid farewells, I felt as if I was parting with a longtime friend. All 3 guides were extremely accomodating my 82-year-old mother-in-law and assited in hiring a wheelchair for her at each sightseeing site. Because of each member of TCT with their mpeccable service, our family trip was a memorable one. I highly recommend TCT to anyone who is planning a trip to China. Thank you Lilly, Vicky and Chathy. You guys are awesome!!!
tctchina2019

5.0

We were a bit nervous about using a company that none of our friends had used and therefore had no personal recommendation, but they were amazing. The hotels were great, what we saw was amazing and our private tour guide took us to the places we really wanted to visit. We had 2 days in Beijing and wished we had longer. There is so much history there and our guide, Jennifer, was so knowledgeable. She is a history graduate so knew her history. The Great Wall was as great as you can image it. Our guide took us to the Mutianyu area of the wall where there weren't too many tourists and if you walked a couple of miles or so you can get away from them so easily, especially early in the tourist season. I do wish we had a longer time on the wall but it was so much fun coming down from the wall on a toboggan slide! At Xi'an, where we had 2 days, our guide took us to meet one of the farmers who discovered the terra-cotta army and that made that visit even more special. Old Xi'an is also fascinating and worth walking around the wall or taking a bike ride on it. We didn't have as much time in Shanghai, so only really saw the Bund area. We went up the Shanghai World Financial Center but when we got to the top, It was in the clouds so couldn't see much, though when we went down a level the clouds had lifted and the view was amazing. We did do a night river cruise on the Huangpu river which was our favorite thing to do. Top China Travel really do know how to pack as much into your trip as possible. Our train or plane transfers were in the evening so we had the day to visit and our guides really did help us with everything we needed. Our drivers provided bottled water in their cars, and the driver in Chengdu even provided Wifi in his car. In Shanghai we ended up with 3 guides and our driver was a smoker and even though he didn't smoke while we were in his car, it really smelled of smoke, but that wasn't the case at the other places. Vicky was our tour consultant and we were able to meet her in Guilin which was so nice. She really did answer any questions we had and was able to upgrade us to a better room in Guilin as our first room was way too warm. Not only did she make sure that we had a great experience in her country but also helped us with getting our visas. We had an amazing experience and have recommended Top China Travel to our family and friends.
Gary U

5.0

Lily from Top China Travel and her staff provided us an amazing 15 day visit to China last month, which featured Guilin and Yangshuo besides other major China destinations. Our hotels, guides, drivers and itineraries all more than met our expectations. We had lots of opportunities to add to or modify our itineraries, which we did. Whatever any changes were made, our guides and drivers helped us with transport and purchasing of entries. The hotels were superb, as were the meals. I highly recommend using Top China Travel to anyone wishing an excellent visit to China.
jdivens2017

5.0

I recently visited China with my son and his friend. Janet Chan’s patience with us as we kept changing our minds on where to go and what to do was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to China. Starting in Chengdu we were met at the airport by Summer and the driver. They were on time and Summer was excellent with explanations and answered all our questions. She did not rush us and we had the time to see and take all the pictures we wanted. On To Xi’an . We were met at the airport by Lili and the driver. She was knowledgeable and very interesting. While visiting the Terracotta Soldiers she made sure that we had the best views and even helped us with finding the best prices for our souvenirs. She suggested we visit the wall and while there we saw the night time show. We also visited the People’s park ( a suggestion from Lili) and were amazed at all the activities there. We had decided to visit Pingyao on our own and really enjoyed walking around the city and even visited the underground castle. As we did not book any tours for this town our kind host at the hostel drove us to the castle and back. While there I lost my train ticket. We contacted Janet, and her agent, the driver and the train station were extremely helpful in helping me. When we arrived in Beijing the driver went out of his way to help me get the refund for my ticket and I will be forever grateful. We had only one issue through no fault of Top China Travel, with the guide the day we went to the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and The Temple of Heaven. We were picked up on time, we were rushed through the Forbidden City with little explanation. There was no time to visit or take pictures. We did have more time in the afternoon for the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace but I would have like more information about all three. Our last day was memorable . The Great Wall that Janet suggested was spectacular and I managed to walk to the tenth post. We had more than enough time to enjoy this experience. A short tour of Water Town after an excellent lunch was also included. Even though it took longer to reach our destination the spectacular views were so worth the bus ride and on the way we got to see the country side. We found the people of China most helpful, friendly and kind and it is a trip I will remember forever. I thank you, Janet for your help in making this amazing trip of a lifetime possible and being there when we needed help. Needless to say I would not hesitate to recommend Top China Travel to anyone. They are very professional and you get the feeling that they personally care that you have a great China experience. Janine
Jennifer B

5.0

I enjoyed my trip to China thanks to my tour guides; Angela in Beijing and Waiting in Shanghai. Both of them were incredibly knowledgeable about their particular cities and were able to answer any questions I had. I wouldn't have taken so many great pictures if it weren't for my tour guides and them advising me on great picture moments. With both Angela and Waiting, it felt like I was touring China with good friends; which was great since I went on this trip solo. I will definitely book with TCT next time I visit China. Thank you for making my first vacation abroad memorable.
Dan C

5.0

Top china travel put together a great tour starting with boat crude down down li river beautiful scenery the whole trip very informative guidelines then trip to caves which again was good very well planned
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