Travel Along the Southern Silk Road of Xinjiang

Code: SILRD
Duration : 12 Days

Overview

This 12-day journey along the Southern Silk Road of Xinjiang is an adventure that will take you through a land rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. From the bustling city of Urumqi to the stunning Karakul Lake, you will explore the ancient trade route that linked China to the West. Along the way, you will visit markets, museums, and monuments that offer a glimpse into the diverse ethnic groups that have called this region home for centuries. Join us on this unforgettable trip and discover the wonders of the Southern Silk Road.

Tour Highlights

  • Discover one of Chin’s three great ancient projects, the Karez underground irrigation system in Turpan
  • Explore the magnificent Gobi Desert and the well-preserved ruins of Gaochang city
  • Learn about the origins of the Tarim Basin and the lost kingdom of Loulan at Lop Nur village
  • Visit the Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves, home to some of Central Asia’s most impressive Buddhist art
  • Admire some of Central Asia’s most impressive Buddhist art in the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Kucha
  • Explore the ancient ruins of Rawak Stupa in the Taklamakan Desert while experiencing Gandharan architecture
  • Witness ancient paintings and well-preserved murals at the smallest Buddhist temple in the world in Qira County
  • Explore the vibrant city of Kashgar, known for its bazaars, mosques, and traditional Uyghur culture
  • Take a scenic drive along the Karakoram Highway, one of the world’s highest and most spectacular roads, with views of snow-capped mountains and glacial lakes
  • Explore Tashkurgan, an ancient city that served as a key trading post along the Silk Road and is home to the impressive Stone Fort
  • Experience local culture and cuisine with visits to traditional restaurants and markets

What’s Included

  • 11 nights in 3, 4 & 5-star accommodation
  • 31 Meals: 11 breakfasts and 10 lunches, and 10 dinners
  • English-speaking guide
  • Transfers, sightseeing tours, and cultural performances as specified in the itinerary
  • Hotel taxes and service charges

What’s Excluded

  • International flights
  • Gratuities, travel insurance, and visa fees
  • Meals, beverages, and optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses like laundry, telephone/fax calls, drinks, camera/video camera fees at monuments, medical expenses

Itinerary

Day 1 I ARRIVE IN URUMQI

Upon arrival in Urumqi, your guide will welcome you at Urumqi Airport and accompany you to your hotel. Take your time to explore this fascinating destination on your own.

 

Accommodation: Urumqi Grand Mercure Hotel or similar

Day 2 I URUMQI/TURPAN

Venture towards the unique and fascinating destination of ancient Turpan. After breakfast, we will embark on a scenic drive to this charming oasis town 505 feet below sea level. Due to its location in a depression bounded by faults in the earth's surface, Turpan is considered one of the hottest and driest areas on the planet during the summer months. Upon arrival, we will explore the amazing Karez underground irrigation system, one of China's three great ancient projects, before checking in to your hotel and enjoying a scrumptious lunch at the hotel restaurant. In the afternoon, we will visit the captivating Jiaohe Ruins, a unique attraction of an ancient city excavated from Turpan's yellow desert siltstone. To experience the region's authentic culture, we will indulge in a delectable dinner at a local Uighur family's home, which will also include an enthralling cultural show.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Turpan or similar

Day 3 I TURPAN

Our journey begins at Aydingkol Lake, located 31 miles away from Turpan. This stunning location is situated at the bottom of the deepest depression in China's land mass, known as Turpan Pendi, which is 508 feet below sea level. One of the local attractions, Flaming Mountain, is named after its scorching temperatures, reaching over 158°F on a summer day. Our next stop will be the magnificent Gobi Desert and the well-preserved ruins of Gaochang city. This destination shines like a jewel on the Silk Road, with some of the best-preserved ruins in China. We will then explore Tuyoq Village, a charming oasis that boasts vineyards, orchards, narrow streets, and irrigation channels tumbling between ancient mud-brick buildings. We will end our day at the Emin Minaret, a remarkable structure made of mud brick that has stood the test of time for 232 years, thanks to the drought conditions

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Turpan or similar

Day 4 I TURPAN/KORLA

Embark on a scenic drive to Korla, passing through the picturesque Tianshan Mountain and Bosten Lake, one of the largest freshwater lakes in China. After arrival, our first stop will be at Lop Nur village to learn about the lost kingdom of Loulan and the origins of the Tarim Basin. In Mongolian, Lop Nur means 'vast lake.' Lop Nur was China's second-largest inland lake during the Silk Road. Desertification and excessive economic activities destroyed the kingdom. We will then transfer to Korla, where we will spend the night. Our lunch and dinner will be served at local restaurants, allowing us to experience the local cuisine and culture.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kangcheng International Hotel or similar

Day 5 I DISCOVERING THE ANCIENT BUDDHIST KINGDOM OF KUCHA

Today we explore the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Kucha. This center of Hinnayana Buddhism was formerly an important trade route. Kucha was a major destination on the Silk Road and had a diverse population, creating murals inspired by Afghan, Persian, and Indian travelers. The Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves contain some of Central Asia's most impressive Buddhist art, and these artifacts date back to the third century. This is also one of the earliest Buddhist cave complexes in China. Two hundred thirty-six coded caves extend over a distance of 1.8 miles, though only a few are open to exploration. The drive to the caves reveals bleak and empty landscapes, followed by a mulberry and poplar trees scene, making for a pleasant afternoon on the northern bank of the Muzat River. We then transfer to Kuqa, where we overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kuqa Grand Hotel or similar

Day 6 I EXPLORING THE TAKLAMAKAN DESERT

Today we continue our adventure with a 404-mile journey through the Taklamakan Desert, one of the most challenging deserts on earth. Along the way, we'll traverse dunes and follow the course of the Tarim River, the longest inland river in China. We'll visit the ruins of Rawak Stupa, the only temple in China with Gandhara-style architecture and the earliest pagoda in China. The stupa and other structures create a beautiful three-dimensional mandala. As we journey further into the desert, we'll experience the harsh and unforgiving conditions that have earned the Taklamakan the nickname "sea of death" among locals. But we'll also witness the stark beauty of this otherworldly landscape, with its shifting dunes and vast, empty vistas. We'll arrive in Khotan in the afternoon and check into our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Khotan West Lake International Hotel  or similar

Day 7 I KHOTAN ANTIQUITIES AND SILK VILLAGE

Today, we embark on an exciting adventure to explore some of the remarkable antiquities in the region. Our morning journey takes us on an 81-mile drive to Qira County, on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, where we will discover globally renowned archaeological sites. Many explorers in the late 19th century came to this area to witness these antiquities, which include a 5th-century Buddhist temple with well-preserved murals, the reputed smallest Buddhist temple in the world, and some ancient paintings. After exploring these fascinating sites, we return to the local Uygur silk village of Jiya. We will visit family workshops that produce beautiful tie-dyed silk, exquisite jade carvings, and locally-made carpets. For lunch, we will dine at a local village restaurant. We will return to our hotel in the evening, have dinner, and spend the night.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Khotan West Lake International Hotel  or similar

Day 8 I TRACING THE STEPS OF CARAVANS

Get ready to step back in time and imagine the caravans of the Silk Road traversing through breathtaking landscapes. Today's 10-hour journey takes us to Kashgar, with a break en route to visit the Tomb of the King of Shache, a site dating back to 1533. The tomb is renowned for its exquisite decoration and is the final resting place of the princess, poet, and musician Amannisahan, who composed the Twelve Mukam. Though the site has suffered damage over the centuries, the wall decorations and structure are still in good shape. In the past, the music from this region was considered unique in human history. Our drive takes us through Yarkand, a fertile oasis fed by the Yarkand River. If you're still feeling energetic after the long journey, take a walk around the city center upon arrival in Kashgar.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kashgar Xingyue Jinjiang Hotel or similar

Day 9 I KASHGAR

Today, we immerse ourselves in the vibrant Muslim culture of Kashgar, starting with a visit to the Id Kah Mosque. Originally built in the 10th century, the mosque was reconstructed in 1442 by Saqsiz Mirza. It has since become one of the largest mosques in China, accommodating up to 20,000 worshippers. The Kara-Khanid Khanate of Kashgar played a major role in the history of this region from the 10th to the 13th centuries. We'll explore the mosque's impressive architecture and learn about its role as a spiritual and cultural center for the local Muslim community. Next, we'll venture to the bustling market where thousands of donkeys, camels, sheep, and a huge range of merchandise are for sale. The market offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily life and commerce of Kashgar's people, and we'll have the opportunity to mingle with local vendors and browse the wares. In the late afternoon, we'll stroll through the old quarter of Kashgar, a maze-like network of narrow alleys and traditional courtyard homes. Here, we'll witness daily life unfold as residents do business and children play in the streets. Along the way, we'll have the chance to sample delicious local snacks and learn about the city's unique cuisine.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kashgar Xingyue Jinjiang Hotel or similar

Day 10 I KASHGAR/TASHKHORGHAN

We embark on an unforgettable road trip that spans 124 miles along the famous Karakoram Highway. This renowned route stretches 808 miles from Pakistan's Punjab province to China's Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan, and it's considered the highest paved road in the world. As we drive through three huge mountain ranges, we'll be retracing the steps of the ancient Silk Road. Our destination is Karakul Lake, between the snow-capped Muztagh Ata and Kongur mountains, which exceed 22,966 feet in elevation. Admire the stunning views of the glaciers, the lake, and the magnificent mountain backdrop. After our excursion, we'll head to Tashkurgan, the last significant town, before reaching the Pakistani border.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Tashkhorgan Crown Inn or similar

Day 11 I TASHKURGAN/KASHGAR

Today we will explore the ancient Stone Fort and the surrounding grasslands of Tashkurgan. This historic site, which dates back 2,000 years, served as a major caravan stop for Silk Road merchants and was the capital of several kingdoms. After hiking through the picturesque grasslands at the foot of the fort, we will embark on a scenic drive to Kashgar. En route, we will stop at Karakul Lake, located in the remote Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan. This stunning destination, situated at an elevation of 12,795 feet, is the highest lake in the country and the highest saltwater lake in Central Asia. We will take a short trek to appreciate this natural wonder's beauty fully. After checking in to our Kashgar hotel, the remainder of the evening is yours to explore at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kashgar Xingyue Jinjiang Hotel or similar

Day 12 I KASHGAR DEPARTURE

After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, we will proceed to Kashgar Airport for our flight home, marking the end of this diverse and enlightening 12-day tour that has uncovered the rich history, cultural heritage, and contemporary connections of the Southern Silk Road.

Meals: Breakfast

Dates & Prices

Departure Dates Tour Cost More Info  
22 Jul 24 - 02 Aug 24 USD $6799 Travel Along the Southern Silk Road of Xinjiang BOOK NOW
12 Aug 24 - 23 Aug 24 USD $6799 Travel Along the Southern Silk Road of Xinjiang BOOK NOW
16 Sep 24 - 27 Sep 24 USD $6799 Travel Along the Southern Silk Road of Xinjiang BOOK NOW
07 Oct 24 - 18 Oct 24 USD $6799 Travel Along the Southern Silk Road of Xinjiang BOOK NOW
21 Oct 24 - 01 Nov 24 USD $6799 Travel Along the Southern Silk Road of Xinjiang BOOK NOW
04 Nov 24 - 15 Nov 24 USD $6799 Travel Along the Southern Silk Road of Xinjiang BOOK NOW

FAQs

Can I add airfare to the land package?
Yes, you can add airfare to a package. Let us know at the time of your reservation. Please note pricing and availability is always subject to change Prior to ticket issuance.
Can I change my reservation if I've made a mistake?
There is a $75 change fee (per person, per change) for any changes made to a reservation after it has been confirmed.  Any passenger name change made to a booking reservation after it has been confirmed will result in a $100 per person per name change fee and is subject to availability, additional airline change, and/or cancellation fees. Additional fees may apply.  For more details, please contact us.
Can I extend or modify my trip?
We will do our best to accommodate your request. Any modification must be arranged before the deposit is made and subject to availability.
Can I opt-out of certain activities on the trip?
While any unused portion of the trip is non-refundable, you can opt-out of certain included activities if you do not wish to participate in them. Please be sure to notify us prior to your departure date and notify your tour guide upon arrival. You will be responsible for any expenses incurred should you deviate from the tour during the scheduled tour itinerary. If you choose to deviate from the tour group on a day we are transiting from one city to another. You will also be responsible for your own transportation and expenses incurred. 
Can I request adjoining rooms?
We can request adjoining rooms, however, requests cannot be guaranteed as it is based on hotel availability.
Can I select my seats on my flight during the booking process?
Seat assignments on your flight can be done directly via the airline. You can either select your seats at the airline check-in counter on the day of your flight, or after we issue your tickets, you may call the airline directly and pay the fee for pre-assign seats.
Can we book a triple room?
Triple rooms are available upon request for select tours. Please note hotels will provide a rollaway bed for the third traveler in a double room. 
Do you offer and/or suggest travel insurance?
We recommend you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected.  
Do you work with Travel Agents?
To be one of our partner agents, please email agency@globotours.net We welcome the opportunity to serve you.
How do I make a reservation?
Click the “Book Now” button on our website, or you may send us an email to info@globotours.net
How much time will I get to myself?
Each program is different. Whenever possible, we offer to modify the program to fit your requirements.
I am a solo traveler, can you match me with other solo travelers on my tour?
For privacy reasons, we do not pair solo travelers with one another.  A single supplement fee will apply for solo travelers.
I have special dietary requirements, can you accommodate them?
Meals provided during your tour are based on local cuisine and menus. We can generally assist guests in communicating special meal requests to airlines, hotels, and restaurants but please be aware that they are not guaranteed. Please let us know at the time of booking your trip. We will notify our tour guides of any food allergies, but please note meal alternatives are subject to confirmation as they are based on the availability of the providing restaurant. For those with strict dietary needs, we recommend bringing pre-packaged food alternatives for your trip.
My outbound flight has been cancelled by the airline; what do I do now?
If your flight has been canceled, please liaise with the airline directly to book the next available flight. If, for any reason, you are unhappy with the alternate flight offered by the airline and decide to book a new outbound flight on your own, please note that the original return flight(s) will automatically be canceled if you are a no-show on your original outbound flight.
My package includes the arrival transfer, how do I know when/where to meet up with my driver?
Information on how /where to meet up with your driver is included in your travel documents. On arrival at the airport, please collect your luggage, make your way through customs, and enter the arrivals hall, where the driver will be waiting for you. Should luggage be very slow coming through, or should you have any issues with damaged or lost luggage, please make sure that you complete the necessary documentation within the luggage area. ONE MEMBER of the party should go through customs and into the arrivals hall to advise the driver of the delay. Please note that this person will not be allowed access back into the luggage area. You could also contact our local representative. Extra costs may apply if meeting your driver is delayed more than one hour following your scheduled flight arrival time.  
What are the visa requirements?
Visa requirements for each destination are indicated in our Essential Travel Information on our website. Information is also available at the US Department of State website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html. It is the responsibility of travelers to obtain proper visas in a timely manner prior to the trip departure date.  
What does Land Only means?
Land-only is a package tour without International and local airfare.
What does per person, double occupancy mean?
Per person, double occupancy means the price each guest pays when sharing a room.
What if I miss my flight or my flight is delayed, and I miss the beginning of my trip?
If your flight is delayed or you miss your flight, please notify us or our local representative (contact information is included in your travel documents) as soon as possible so we may inform our local representative of your updated arrival. Additional costs for airport transfer service may apply if you arrive later than the scheduled arrival date/time.  If you arrive later in the itinerary and the group has moved to a different destination, it will be your responsibility to catch up and meet the group at that destination.  We will provide you with the most up-to-date meeting information.  Please note that Globotours cannot reimburse you for any unused portion of the trip.
What is included in your pricing?
Included features are specified in each tour.
What is not included in your pricing?
Anything that is not mentioned in the included features.
What is single supplement surcharge?
Single supplement is the additional cost to occupy the room alone.
What is your payment schedule?
Most packages require a non-refundable deposit, as indicated in the program to confirm the reservation, which will be applied towards the cost of your package. Your account balance is due 60-75 days prior to the trip departure date. Certain tours may require an additional non-refundable airline deposit at the time of booking. This is indicated during the booking process. More information can be found in our Terms and Conditions.  
What level of physical fitness is required for the tour?
Depending on the program, expect a decent amount of walking and an occasional flight of stairs or some steps. We recommend you carefully consider your ability to meet the tour's physical demands. If you have any questions or concerns about your ability to meet the trip's requirements, we urge you to consult your medical practitioner.
What types of payments do you accept?
We accept Mastercard and Visa, bank transfers, and personal checks. When paying your balance by personal check, all checks must be received in full prior to the due date. Please make the check payable to Globotours and mail the check to the below address before your balance due date. Globotours 2705 S. Diamond Bar Blvd., Suite 228, Diamond Bar, CA 91765
What’s the cancellation and refund policy?

Fees will be assessed per person when you cancel your reservation. More information can be found in our Terms and Conditions.

When do I receive my travel documents and what it will include?
Travel documents will be mailed or e-mailed to you approximately 21 days prior to the trip departure date. It usually takes about 7 – 10 business days. You may access your booking confirmation page anytime by logging into your Globotours account on our website.

Travel Along the Southern Silk Road of Xinjiang

×

    Contact Details
    Booking Details
    * Required field