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9 Days Silk Road Tour

Client Name:Carol
Country:USA
Pax:2
Itinerary:Jiayuguan-Dunhuang-Turpan-Urumqi-Kashgar
Group Code:
Good Morning Lesley:
Hope all is well with you.  I have been traveling to the US so I am sorry I have not been able to email you.
Our trip was amazing!!!  We loved it, so interesting, beautiful scenery and good company.  Our guides were all great, 
especially Ali.  He was very attentive and full of information for us.  I had a lot of questions and he was always willing to answer them. 
We did not fill out his review, we left it in his car but have asked him to send it to us via email.  I have not gotten it yet.
We feel like we took three vacations all in one.  Each area was different.  Larry was full of information and showed us everything and more.  
The train ride I think I would pass on next time.  I did not like the train or the overnight experience.  I would fly or take the speed train.
Again Ali was great.  I just wish we had one more day so that we could visit his family and home during the festival.
Kazim in Kashgar was a good guide.  Even though we had problems getting out of the city on the day we were supposed to go to Tash Korgan, 
he worked out the change and we were able to do everything on the itinerary just a day later.  Since our itinerary was a little off, he helped 
us out the last day and personally took us to the market and the airport.  We really appreciate that.  
I would definitely  recommend your services and hopefully Greg and I can plan another trip.  We just loved the area, so much different than 
the other areas of China.Thank you again for all your help.  Let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Carol
The following is their itinerary for your reference
Day 1, 17th June (Saturday) : Jiayuguan
Meet our guide at 11:00am and then visit the Weijin Tomb. After lunch you will visit the Jiayuguan fort.Then drive about 4.5hrs to Dunhuang (you will arrive in Dunhuang around 8:30) and visit the Shazhou Night Market which carries a wide selection of local crafts and souvenirs.                 

Day 2, 18th June (Sunday) : Dunhuang-Turpan       (K169,21:14-06:31)
After breakfast visit the Mogao Grottoes , Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake. Yumen Pass. then be transferred to the railway station to catch the train to Turpan.
Mogao Grottoes:The traveler finds the Mogao Caves, a shrine of Buddhist art treasures, 25 km (15.5miles) from downtown Dunhuang on the eastern slope of Mingsha Shan (Mount Echoing Sand). A network of plank reinforced roads plying north to south 1600 meters (5, 249 feet) long lead to the cave openings, which are stacked five stories high some reaching up to 50 meters (164 feet). By the way, Mogao means high up in the desert.According to Tang Dynasty records, a monk had witnessed onside a vision of thousand Buddhas under showers of golden rays. Thus inspired, he started the caves construction work that spanned ten dynasties.
Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake:Located 5 km (about three miles) south of Dunhuang City, the Echoing-Sand Mountain, for many Chinese well known as Mingsha Mountain, is celebrated for the sound of the moving sand. In 1994 it was acclaimed as the national key scenic spot. Together with the Crescent Springand the Mogao Caves, the Echoing-Sand Mountain is most popular sitein Dunhuang travel.You may wonder why the sand makes these different sounds. There is a legend that says how, in ancient times, a general with many soldiers came here to fight in a war with their enemies.

Day 3, 19th June (Monday) : Turpan
Meet guide at train station, drive to Turpan (40mins).check in the hotel.,Visit Astana Tombs, the Flaming Mountain, Bezklik Grottoes and Local Uyger Family in the Vineyard
Bezklik Grottoes It is located 50 kilometers to the east of Turfan City . “Bezeklik”means “a place with beautiful decoration”. There are 83 numbered caves; among them 40 preserved murals totaling 1200 square meters. These caves are first excavated in Qu`s Gaochang period. The exising caves were reconstructed or newly extended by Uighurian people.
Astana Tombs are the graveyard of the residents lived in the Gaochang City in the Jin-Tang times.. Between 1959 and 1975, a great number of cultural relics have been unearthed, including Chinese documents, textiles, epitaphs, coins, clay sculptures, pottery, wooden wares, silk-paintings, crops and foods ,etc Known as “the Underground Museum.
The Flaming Mountain:The Flaming Mountain is a legendary mountain, running from Shanshan County on west, 98 kilometers in length and 9 kilometers across, with a relative height of 500 meters and the highest peak 831.7 meters. The mountain is a branch range of the Bogda Mountain , formed in the orogenic movements of the Himalayas . Its highest air temperature in summer is 47.8 degrees centigrade, and the ground is over 70 degrees centigrade in summer. For this reason and its natural geographical features, people vividly call it “ Flaming Mountain

Day 4 20th June (Tuesday) : Turpan-Urumqi

After breakfast visit Karez Well, Sugong Minaret,Jiaohe Ruined,then back to Urumqi.Visit the Erdaoqiao Market & Inetrnatinal Bazaar upon arrival.
Karez Irrigation System,The Karez System is a unique irrigation system in Turpan, which, taking advantage of the slopes, draws the underground water to flow by itself to irrigate farmland. It consists of four parts: vertical wells, underground channels, ground canals and small reservoirs.
Sugong Minaret was built in the 41st year of the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty,It is an embodiment of the ancient architectural arts of the Uygur nationality. The tower is 37 meters high and 10 meters in diameter at the base. The body of the tower is cylindroid in shape, built with bricks arranged in various symmetrical patterns.
Jiaohe Ruins is located on a mesa in willow leaf shape between the Yarnaz River valleys 10 kilometers to the west of Turpan City. running from northwest to southeast, 1760 meters long and 300 meters across at the widest part. The city includes city gates, streets and lanes, government office, temples, domestic houses, cave houses, wells, and an underground temple.
Erdaoqiao & International Bazaar :the Erdaoqiao Market is the largest in Urumqi. You'll find a bustling market filled with fruit, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets and almost anything that you can imagine. On Sunday, there are more stalls and more goods to buy than any other day. The old streets around the bazaar are really worth seeing.Here is the most welcomed place by tourist especially by ladies where they can buy some traditional Uygur make up cosmetic.

Day 5, 21th June (Wednesday) : Urumqi-Kashgar  (CZ6801,19:55-21:50  suggested) 
After breakfast visit Xinjiang Museum, Heavenly Lake.Afternoon take the flight to Kashgar.
Xinjiang Museum,the museum is the main institution to collect and investigate the unearthed cultural relics and specimens in Xinjiang. There are more than 50 thousand pieces of various kinds of cultural relics stored in the museum, among them, the ancient mummies represented by ‘the Loulan Beauty', manuscripts in Chinese, Uigurian and other characters prevailed in ancient Western Regions, the silk ,wool, cotton and hemp fabrics and folk rainment, etc., are unusual tidbits in the world.
Heavenly Lake,110 kilometers from Urumqi, the Heavenly Lake is a long and narrow gourd-shaped moraine lake, 3400 meters long, about 1500 meters wide, 105 meters at the deepest point, with an average depth of 40 meters, covering an area of about 5.9 square kilometers. There are eight beautiful scenic spots in the lake scenic area, they are “A Ray of Stone Gate”, “Dragon's Pool and Green Moon”, “Magic Needle for Guarding the See”, “Three Stones Bearing the Sky”, “the Snowcapped Southern Mountain”, “Pine Billows in Western Mountain”, “the Hanging Waterfall”, and the “Sea Peak's Sunrise”.

Day 6, 22th June (Thursday): Kashgar-Karakul Lake –Taxkorgan County 
After breakfast take the drive on the China and Pakistan highway to visit the Karakul Lake and enjoy the Pamir landscape. Overnight in Taxkorgan County
Karakul Lake,At an altitude of 3,600 m. it is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau, near the junction of the Pamir, Tianshan and Kunlun Mountain ranges. Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake are the Muztag Ata (7546m), Kongur Tagh (7,649m) and Kongur Tiube (7,530 m). The lake is popular among travelers for its beautiful scenery and the clarity of its reflection in the water, whose color ranges from a dark green to azure and light blue.

Day 7, 23th June (Friday) Taxkorgan County-Kashgar (320kms, 6hrs driving)
After breakfast visit Stone Fortress,and walk around the pastureland to see Local Tajiks customs.Afternoon back to Kashgar.
Stone fortress Located on a tableland northeast of the county seat of Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, the covers an area of 100 thousands square meters and consists of ruins of city and temple of the Tang times and government office of the Qing Dynasty. A temple occupied the eastern part of the city. In the western and southeastern parts are found ruined houses. On the ruins of the temple the Pulitin Office of the Qing Dynasty was built. The city is oval in shape. The city walls were built with sun-dried bricks on stone foundation. It is 1285 meters in circumference outside.


Day 8, 24th June (Saturday): Kashgar 
After breakfast take the city tour.Visit Id Kah Mosque, Old Town, Apak Hoja Tomb, Handicraft Street.
Id Kah Mosque It is the large Mosque in China and most famous one in Xinjiang. The Mosque started to build in the mid of fifteenth century, and has gradually developed to the present size..The buildings of Id Kah Mosque look magnificent and solemn , and display the artistic styles of Islamic mosque architectures.
Apak Hoja Tomb This Mazar is the holiest place in Xinjiang and an architectural treasure.Built in 1640,it is reminiscent of the Central Asian artistic style of Samarkand or Isfahan.It most complete Islamic tomb of the Qing Dynasty up-to-now in China.
Old town Kashgar is an ancient city, and in walking the streets of its Old Town, will provide a sense of what this legendary Central Asian hub was like in the days when the Silk Road was at its zenith. 500-year old remnants of the city wall, narrow lanes and colorful multi-ethnic crowds combine to make Kashgar's historic district a highlight of any visit to the city.
Handicraft street Streets near this big market are choked on Sundays with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, Ute, motorbike or on foot, with their animals. It's loud, lively and cheerful as they arrive, eat breakfast, set up their animals and check out the action. Cattle, sheep (they definitely look different), goats, donkeys, horses have their own sections; sellers show their animals are "good eaters"(most go as livestock not meat) and the entire experience is fascinating and fun.

Day 9, 25th June (Sunday) : Kashgar city tour on your own
Sunday Bazaar (livestock Market)Streets near this big market are choked on Sundays with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, ute, motorbike or on foot, with their animals. It's loud, lively and cheerful as they arrive, eat breakfast, set up their animals and check out the action. Cattle, sheep (theydefinitely look different), goats, donkeys, horses have their own sections; sellers show their animals are "good eaters"(most go as livestock not meat) and the entire experience is fascinating and fun
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