Home > Things To Do > Things To Do in Urumqi > [5-Day Tour] Turpan & Urumqi (Private, 4-star)

[5-Day Tour] Turpan & Urumqi (Private, 4-star)

English

With Accommodation | Private Tour

Daily

Urumqi

Asanta Graves | Gaochang ancient city | Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves | Jiaohe Ruins | Sugong Tower | Karez Water System | South Mountain Grassland | Xinjiang Museum | Erdaoqiao Bazaar
Overnight at: Urumqi Orient Dynasty hotel | Turpan Sun Holiday hotel

Begin your 5-day tour of Xinjiang with a stop in the Uyghur oasis town of Turpan where you'll discover the fascinating, built around 100 BC to supply water to the surrounding areas. Next stop is the underground Asanta Graves and the crumbling Gaochang Ruins. You'll also head to the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves before stepping 2,000 years back in time to the ruins of the once-prosperous Silk Road city of Jiaohe. Discover the traditional Kazakh yurts of the Nanshan Grasslands before heading to Urumqi's Xinjiang Museum and the Erdaoqiao Bazaar.

Details

Day 1 Urumqi airport pickup

Stay overnight at the Orient Dynasty Hotel or similar.


Day 2 Urumqi-Turpan (includes breakfast & lunch)

Turpan, the second lowest point on earth after the Dead Sea. It's also a significant Uyghur agricultural town, thanks to the karez (well) water system, the origins of which date back to around 100 BC.

Asanta Graves (Asītǎnǎ Gǔmù, 阿斯塔那古墓) (about 40 minutes)

The Astana Graves, nicknamed "The Underground Museum", and located 6 km (4 mi) from the ancient city of Gaochang, is the final resting place for over 1,000 inhabitants of Gaochang, both commoners and locals. The tombs cover over ten sq km (six sq mi), having been used for over 600 years between 200 CE and 800 CE.

Gaochang Ancient City (Gāochāng Gǔchéng, 高昌古城) (about 30 minutes)

The ancient city of Gaochang is a sublimely impressive sight, likely to spur thoughts of the grand sweep of history and the insignificance of one little tourist standing in the middle of the vast desert, snapping digital photos of crumbling ruins that date back to the 1st century BC. Unless, of course, you visit at the same time as a huge Chinese tour group, in which case sublimity is likely a lost cause. Even then, Gaochang is worth a whirl, whether you walk or drop RMB 20 on a donkey cart from the entrance gate.

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves (Bózīkèlǐ Qiānfódòng, 柏孜克里千佛洞) (about 30 minutes)

The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves are on the northwestern side of the Flaming Mountains facing a river valley about 15 km (9 mi) north of the ruins of the ancient city of Gaochang and 45 km (28 mi) east of modern Turpan. These caves are one of the largest Buddhist grotto complexes in Xinjiang, with 77 shiku (caves carved to house Buddhist images) containing frescoes and statuary ranging from the naïve to the masterly.

Stay overnight at the Hongxin Hotel or similar.


Day 3 Turpan-Urumqi (includes breakfast & lunch)

Jiaohe Ruins (Jiāohé Gùchéng, 交河故城) (about 50 minutes)

The ancient ruined city of Jiaohe lies 10 km (6 mi) to the west of Turpan, situated on an island in the middle of river waters flowing through the Yarnaz Valley—the name itself means "at the confluence of two rivers." Abandoned in the thirteenth century after Genghis Khan's Mongol hordes laid it to waste, the ruins of this once-prosperous Silk Road city make for a fascinating day trip out of Turpan. The island rises some 30 m (98 ft) above the surrounding desert and, along with the river waters, provided a natural defensive barrier against attacks; hence the city, unlike so many of its time, was built without a protective wall.

Sugong Tower (Sūgōng Tǎ, 苏公塔) (about 35 minutes)

The Sugong Tower, also known as "Turphan Tower" or "Emin Minaret", this is the largest Islamic minaret in China. You'll also visit the amazing ancient karez system which brought water and life to Turpan and beyond from the 1st century BC, as well as a steady stream of traders, adventurers, soldiers and merchants.

Karez Water System (Kǎnrjǐng, 坎儿井) (about 40 minutes)

The system was both the reason for Turpan's prosperity and its key to development as an essential stopover on the ancient Silk Road, skirting the Taklamakan Desert. An irrigation system similar to that which originated during the Han Dynasty, this system is a series of vertically-dug wells, linked by underwater canals to collect water from the runoff from both the Tian Shan Mountains and the Flaming Mountains.

In the afternoon you'll drive to Urumqi to take in the mix of Central Asian and Chinese cultures.

Stay overnight at the Orient Dynasty Hotel or similar.


Day 4 Urumqi (includes breakfast & lunch)

South Mountain Grassland (Nánshān Fēngjǐng Qū, 南山风景区)

Stretching out from the foot of Mount Karawuquntag (Kālāwūchéng Shān, 喀拉乌成山) in the Tian Shan range, not far from Urumqi, the rolling hills, natural springs, meadows of flowers and spruce forests of this verdant grassland provides a cool respite from the summer heat. Between May and October, the Nanshan Grassland, or South Mountain Grassland, is dotted with the yurts of Kazakhs grazing their herds and enjoying the cooler temperatures.

Xinjiang Museum (Xīnjiāng Bówùguǎn, 新疆维吾尔自治区博物馆) (about 2 hours)

A number of permanent exhibitions reside in the museum, detailing the history and culture of Xinjiang. Artifacts from some of Xinjiang's ancient "lost cities" are as close as visitors can get to locations such as Loulan, now a nuclear test site. Buddhist frescoes from nearby caves are also on display, as are relics detailing the history of the early people who inhabited the region. The museum also features exhibits on the 12 officially recognized minorities of the region, focused on emphasizing a unified national identity.

You'll then head to the 130-year-old Erdaoqiao Bazaar, a great place to buy souvenirs and see local Uyghur and Kazakh buyers and sellers doing their thing, just like they've been doing for centuries.

Stay overnight at the Orient Dynasty Hotel or similar.

Day 5 Urumqi departure (includes breakfast)

After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the airport/station for departure.

Price Includes and Excludes

What is included?

1) Train Ticket: Turpan-Dunhuang soft sleeper

2) Accommodation

3) English-speaking tour guide

4) Admission fees, meals and transportation as listed in the details

What is excluded?

1) Personal expenses, optional items and anything else not specifically mentioned

Important Notes

1.Please call or email Ctrip if you need to cancel your booking. Free cancellation for bookings cancelled at least 3 days in advance. If you cancel 2 days or less before your visit, a 100% cancellation fee will be charged per booking. Besides the cancellation fee, penalties from airlines or train companies apply if air or train tickets are issued.

2.You will be contacted before 11:00 p.m. the day before your scheduled activity to confirm pickup information regarding your driver and/or tour guide. Please call Mike @(+86)13579800900 for any urgent matters.

3.Currently payment is only accepted by credit card. Once payment clears, Ctrip will send you a confirmation email with your booking details. If payment fails, your booking will automatically be canceled. To ensure a smooth payment process, we recommend you contact your credit card provider in advance.

4.Time arrangements described in itineraries are subject to change. Guides reserve the right to change arrangements according to weather, transportation and other variable conditions.

5.If you opt to join only part of this activity, you forfeit the right to join subsequent parts, as well as the right to receive a refund for any part of the activity that you miss.

6.All listed meals are Chinese food unless otherwise noted. Please notify us ahead of time for any dietary restrictions (allergies, vegetarian, kosher, etc.).

7.By default 2 people will share a room. For groups of odd numbers, 3 people will be required to share a room unless single supplement is paid. To request a single room, please make a note in the "additional request" section while booking online or inform us by email at thingstodo@ctrip.com.

8.Please ensure personal and travel information is entered correctly. Ctrip will not refund any losses that result from incorrect and missing information.

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- Children: 2-12 years old and shorter than 1.2m (3 ft 11 in)

- Each child must be accompanied by at least 1 adult.

- Minimum 2 travellers for the tour to run

- Prices for group products are fixed. For private products, the bigger the group the lower the price per person.