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10 Days Silk Road Travel from Urumqi to Bishkek via Kashgar

Destinations:Urumqi,Turpan,Kashgar,Torugart Border,Naryn,Bishkek

from: US$1278
Tour Code: CITA-SD-20
Summary: Nowadays, there are many International flights to Urumqi from central Asian countries. This tour starts from Urumqi, going to Turpan, an important ancient 2000-year old Silk Road city, visiting the Tianshan Mountain Heavenly Lake along the way, and then flying to Kashgar, another important ancient Silk Road city, to visit the Sunday Bazaar and the beautiful Karakul Lake. Continuing on the ancient Silk Road, the tour will enter Kyrgrzstan via the Torugart border, visit the Naryn and the picturesque Kochkor village. There will also be a visit to Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgrzstan. This tour will let you enjoy the history and culture of the various ethnic peoples, as well as the amazing landscape along the ancient Silk Road.

Day 1

Urumqi

You will arrange for you international flight to Urumqi. Our guide will meet you at the airport, transfer you to your hotel and check you in. You will have the rest of the day free to do a little exploration at your leisure..

Day 2

UrumqiHeavenly Lake (120km,about 1.5hours)
Our Denmark Travelers in Heavenly Lake

After breakfast we will visit Xinjiang Museum, then head to the Heavenly Lake. In the afternoon you will return to Urumqi to visit the Erdaoqiao Market & International Bazaar.
Xinjiang Museum: The Xinjiang Regional Museum is a large integrated museum and a centre for the collection and study of cultural relics in Xinjiang.  The museum was built in 1953, featuring Uighur ethnic internal decor style and has an exhibition hall covering an area of about 7,800 square meters. There are more than 50,000 pieces of various kinds of cultural relics stored in the museum, among them are the ancient mummies represented by the “Loulan Beauty”, manuscripts in Chinese, Karosthi, Qiuci, Yanji, Tibetan, Uighurian and other characters prevailing in ancient western regions of China, as well as silk, wool, cotton and hemp fabrics and folk raiment, etc., all items of great intrigue. The 'Loulan beauty' mummy in particular is a well preserved mummy from 4000 years ago. It still has a reddish brown skin, thick eyelashes, charming large eyes, and long hair.
Heavenly Lake: High up in the Heavenly Mountain, or Tianshan, 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 area. These 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”.
Erdaoqiao & International Bazaar: Here you will find a bustling market filled with fruits, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets, and almost anything that you can imagine. This is the largest bazaar in Urumqi, and is a place most welcomed by tourists, especially the ladies who will find they can buy some traditional Yugur cosmetics. On Sunday, there are more stalls and more goods to buy than any other day. The old streets around the bazaar are particularly worth seeing. 

Day 3

Urumqi Turpan (2040kms,about 3hours)
Our American Travelers in Jiaohe Ruins

After breakfast we will head to Turpan by bus. Upon arrival in Turpan, we will visit the Tuyoq Valley, Bezklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Astana Tombs and Jiaohe Ruins.
Tuyoq Valley: This is a 12 km long primitive Uighur agricultural valley about 70 km from Turpan, with vineyards and fields in the northern and southern valleys and a narrow ravine that connects them. It is a Muslim religious pilgrimage site. The southern mouth of the valley has big Uighur mosques older than the Sugong Minaret and a cave thought by many to be described in the Koran. About a kilometer from the cave shrine is a group of grottoes that have some Buddhist and Nestorian artwork. These grottoes are said to date from the West Jin Dynasty (265AD-316AD), and are considered to be the earliest in Turpan. Most of the murals are damaged. Fortunately, 10 of the grottoes still have some of the preserved murals. These precious murals are very unique in style.
Astana Tombs: This is the graveyard of the residents who lived in the Gaochang City in the Jin-Tang period. Between 1959 and 1975, a great number of cultural relics had been unearthed, including Chinese documents, textiles, epitaphs, coins, clay sculptures, pottery, wooden wares, silk-paintings, crops and foods, etc. The site is known as the Underground Museum.
Bezeklik Grottoes: The Bezeklik Grottoes, or Thousand Buddha Caves, is a complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to 14th century between the cities of Turpan and Shanshan at the north-east of the Taklamakan Desert near the ancient ruins of Gaochang in the Mutou Valley. They are high on the cliffs of the west Mutou Valley under the Flaming Mountains, and most of the surviving caves date from the West Uyghur kingdom around the 10th to 13th centuries. There are 77 rock-cut caves at the site. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch ceilings often divided into four sections, each with a mural of the Buddha. The effect is of entire ceiling covers with hundreds of Buddha murals. Some murals show a large Buddha surrounded by other figures, including Turks, Indians and Europeans. Some of the murals are masterpieces of religious art.
Jiaohe Ancient City Ruins: The city's name means 'River City'. It was founded during the first century BC and abandoned during the 15th century. It is located atop a steep cliff on a leaf-shaped plateau between two deep river valleys in the Yarnaz valley 10 km to the west of Turpan City. It runs northwest to southeast, 1760 meters long and 300 meters across at the widest part. The ruins include city gates, streets and lanes, government office, temples, domestic houses, cave houses, wells, and an underground temple. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Silk Road Sites.

Day 4

TurpanUrumqi(200km,about 3hours)Kashgar 
Our French Travelers in Sugong Minerat

After breakfast we will visit the Karez Irrigation system and Sugong minaret. After lunch, you will return to Urumqi by bus to take the flight to Kashgar.
Karez Irrigation System: The ancient Karez Irrigation System, which is still used today, is a unique irrigation system in Turpan. It takes 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: Located in Mura Village 2km to the east of the city of Turpan, the minaret tower was built in the 41st year of the long reign of Qianlong Emperor during the Qing Dynasty. It is the embodiment of the ancient architectural arts of the Uighur people. The body of the tower is cylindroid in shape, built with bricks arranged in various symmetrical patterns on the outer wall. The tower has 14 windows and a spiral staircase inside going to the top.

Day 5

Kashgar City Tour
Apak Hoja Tomb

We will be taking a city sightseeing tour, thus visiting the Sunday Bazaar, Apak Hoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque, Old town, and Handicraft Street.
Sunday Bazaar: This is called “Sunday” bazaar but it is open daily, even though it is busiest on Sundays. Streets near this big market are jammed with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, ute, motobike, or on foot, with their animals. It is 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 off their animals as “good eaters” (most go as livestock, not meat). The entire experience is fascinating and fun.
Id Kah Mosque: This is the largest mosque in China, and the most famous mosque in Xinjiang. The construction of the mosque started in the middle of the 15th century, and the mosque has gradually developed to its present size. The buildings of Id Kah Mosque look magnificent and solemn, and display the artistic styles of Islamic mosque architecture. The Mosque has an area of about 16,800 square meters, consisting of the Pray Hall, the Koran teaching Hall, the Corridor, the Arches and other buildings attaching to it. The Pray Hall of the mosque, which can hold 4,000 prayers, is supported by 140 carved wooden pillars.
Apakh Hoja Tomb: This Mazar is the holiest place in Xinjiang for the Muslims, and an architectural treasure. Built in 1640, it is reminiscent of the Central Asian artistic style of Samarkand or Isfahan. The site is also known as the Xiang Fei (Fragrant Concubine) Tomb in memory of Abakh Khoja's granddaughter, Iparhan, who was the Fragrant Concubine of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty. A handsome blue-and-white tiled gate leads into the compound, which includes a small religious school and the Abakh Khoja family tomb. The latter is domed and faced with muti-color tiles. It is the most complete Islamic tomb dating from the beginning of the Qing Dynasty.
Old Town: Kashgar is an ancient city, and in walking the streets of its Old Town, one gets the 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. Visit the small alleys to look at the characteristic Uygur residences. You will experience and enjoy the culture and history that has been retained in the small alleys and deep courtyards. In the alleys on platforms beside the residence you could marvel at the even more ancient primitive workshops for hand-made earthenware. Some 17 or 18 antique workshops have been restored.
Handicraft Street: Handicraft Street, or Zhiren Street, is a fascinating place showing the distinctive custom and culture of Kashgar, with many full-time handicraftsmen working on the street and hundreds of workshops and booths alongside. This street is an exhibition for traditional Kashgar and mid-Asian handicrafts. Copper, metal, porcelain, woodwork, jewellery and other goods are seen to be made here and you will marvel at the incredible devices like the wooden objects that prevent babies from wetting the bed.

Day 6

KashgarKarakul Lake (250kms,about 4hours)
Our Singapore Travelers in Karakul Lake

After breakfast we will go on the Chinese Karakorum highway, known as Karakorum Highway, and proceed to Karakul Lake. On the road, enjoy the scenery of Mt. Muztag, and see the brave Tajiks people who have lived their nomadic life on the Pamir for more than 2000 year.

Karakorum Highway: The Karakorum Highway, or China-Pakistan Friendship Highway, is more than 1200 km long. It was opened to the public in 1979. Due to its high elevation (more than 4700m at its highest point) and the difficult conditions in which it was constructed, it is often called the 8th Wonder of the World. The Karakorum Highway traces one of the ancient Silk Roads. The Silk Road merchants then had to climb through the Wakhan Corridor, north of the high mountains of Karakorum and Hindu Kush, to get to India, Pakistan and onward to Iran. While you are on the Karakorum Highway, you can enjoy the scenery of Mt. Muztagh, and Taxkorgan, which in Persian language means stone castle. The brave Tajiks people had lived their nomadic life in Taxkorgan on the Pamir Plateau for more than 2000 years.
Karakul Lake: At an altitude of 3600m, this is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau, near the junction of the Pamir, Tianshan (Heavenly Mountain), 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), Konur Tagh (7649m) and Kongur Tiube (7530m). 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. There are two Kirgiz settlements along the shore of Karakul Lake, a number of yurts about 1 km east of the bus drop-off point and a village with stone houses located on the western shores.

Day 7

KashgarTorugat Border-Naryn (370kms,about 6-7hours)
Chatyr Kul Lake

After breakfast we will head to the Torugat Border. The distance from Kashgar to the Torugart Pass is about 180 kilometers. Your Kyrgyz car with driver and guide will meet you on the pass, at the demarcation line between Kyrgyzstan and China, then drive to Naryn town, located in Naryn region. On the way there we can enjoy the view of the third largest lake in Kyrgyzstan – Chatyr Kul Lake. It is an endorheic alpine lake in the Tian Shan mountains in At-Bashi District of Naryn Province, Kyrgyzstan; it lies in the lower part of Chatyr-Kul Depression near the Torugart Pass border crossing into China. The name of the lake means “Celestial Lake” in Kyrgyz. The lake and 2 km buffer zone around it is part of the Karatal-Japyryk State Nature Reserve. The water of Chatyr Kul Lake is yellowish-green with water transparency of up to 4 metres (13 feet). The mineralization of the lake that gives the water its distinct color ranges from 0.5 to 1.0 milligrams per liter (chloride, hydrocarbonate, sodium and magnesium type of mineralization).

Day 8

 NarynBishkek (400kms,about 6-7hours)
Our Spainish Group in Burana Tower

Early in the morning we will drive from Naryn to Bishkek city. The drive itself from Naryn to Bishkek is just amazing! You will drive along mountain roads, and on the way you will be going over a few high passes. The highest one is called Dolon pass. It is 3030 meters high above the sea level! Today it will be possible to meet real nomads who still live in yurts. Yurts are collapsible nomadic dwellings that are made of felt and wood without using a single nail. You will be amazed by the beauty of our mountains that have stayed unspoiled and untouched.  Then we will arrive at Kochkor village. There you will have lunch with a local family to find out more about the Kyrgyz people. They will show you the way our national felt carpets are produced. You can even create your own carpet together with them! Also, we will visit a small local Handicraft museum. At this place you will get acquainted with nomadic traditions. On our way to Bishkek, we will visit the Burana Tower (minaret from the 11th century) and an open-air museum of Balbals (stone warriors).

In the capital you will have dinner in a national restaurant. You will stay the night in a hotel.

Day 9

Bishkek
Asian Bazaar

After breakfast we will take a city tour, visiting the central Ala-Too Square, Duboviy Park (Oak Park), the Asian Bazaar, and other places of interest such as  the Pobeda Square (Victory Square), the History Museum, National philharmonic, , and so on. All through the day we will show you our main squares and the buildings that were built during Soviet time.

Ala-Too Square: This is the central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The square wаs built іn 1984 tо celebrate the 60th anniversary оf the Kyrgyz SSR, аt whіch tіme а massive statue оf Lenin wаs placed іn the square's center. The statue оf Lenin wаs moved іn 2003 tо а smaller square іn the city, аnd а new statue called Erkindik (Freedom) wаs installed іn іts place.
Dubovy Park: The Dubovy Park is full of strollers on warm Sundays, has a few open-air cafés and some neglected modern sculpture and funnily enough, century-old oaks. Where Erkindik Prospektisi (Freedom Ave) enters the park, there is an open-air art gallery.
Asian Bazaar: This bazaar is very colorful and noisy. People sell all kinds of goods there. You will walk in the bazaar for about an hour to see local people, goods, fruits, vegetables, meat store, and other things! You will see very interesting people that come from villages to sell their goods.

Day 10

Bishkek to your destination 

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport to take the flight to your destination.


Price: per person
Travel in party of Superior Class
★★★★★
Deluxe Class
★★★★
Tourist Class
★★★
2-3 persons N $ 2760 $ 2580
4-6 persons N $ 1990 $ 1788
7-9persons   $1610 $1428
10 persons & above N $ 1472 $ 1269
Single room Supplement N $ 320 $ 240

Service included:

√ Private transportation with good AC 
√ Hotel with breakfast
√ All the entrance fee listed in the itinerary
√ Full board meals 
√ Excellent English guide service
√ Flights: Urumqi to Kashgar 
√ Visa support letter in China section
√ Travel insurance

Service excluded:

* Visa support letter for Kyrgyzstan  30usd/pax
* Personal expenses and tips to the guide and driver.
* Some activities such as camel riding and horse riding etc.
* Travel insurance
   please note: we can make group Kyrgyzstan visa, 70usd/pax (minimum 2pax)
 
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