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, 2019 to Feb 29, 2020, 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

travelover007

5.0

We found TCT through a random internet search when looking for a local Chinese travel agency to help us plan our 2-week trip to China. We had a basic idea of what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go and Janet (our efficient and friendly TCT agent) put together a great itinerary for us that started in Beijing and ended in Hong Kong. We corresponded with her exclusively over e-mail and her responses were always punctual and on-point. The itinerary was very reasonably priced and TCT was able to organize everything from local hotel stays, restaurant meals, airport transfers, internal train and plane tickets and excursions in each city (e.g. great wall, etc.) As well, we were a group of 4 (myself, my husband and our in-laws) and our tours and transfers were almost always exclusively private. The guides in each city were knowledgeable and spoke decent English. Overall, we were very satisfied with TCT's services. I would recommend TCT if you are looking for a reliable one-stop shop to organize your China travels from start to end.
Gaby P

5.0

My husband wasn't even interested in China, after researching all of the great things to discover, checking reviews, services and prices we decides to trust TripAdvisor reviews and we booked with Top China Travel, PRIVATE TOUR. OMG, it was amazing!, we booked with Rebecca, very professional, she answered all of my questions and we had manny, we went the to get our Visa at the China consulate in San Francisco it was ready in 3 days, we book our own flights. When we got to Beijing beautiful and safe city, there was our first PRIVATE tour Guide, Daniell, even our plain was delayed, when to a very nice car with our driver, very nice hotel Howard Johnson Beijing, all of the hotels very nice, like 4 to 5 stars. After that we went on high speed train to Xi'an, we wanted to experience 305 Km per hour speed, the same thing great city, private tour is the way to go! It was only getting better, then Chongqing, Yangtze river cruise so beautiful and peaceful, Shanghai, waw, Guilin a must see natural beauty, then Hong Kong, every thing was so well coordinated, the bilingual guides super nice, the breakfast and lunch included more than enough to skip dinner. My husband says now, "Money well Spent", we recommend TOP CHINA TRAVEL" to anybody, thank you Rebecca
jpreichert

5.0

We hired TCT as a private guide as we traveled from Shanghai to Beijing with lots of stops in between. We had the most incredible time. Our tour guides and drivers were professional and amazing. Each tour guide treated us as if we were part of their family. They were always prompt and courteous. Most importantly, their knowledge kept us wanting to know more. We loved the traditions and cultures. We highly recommend the Impression shows, especially the one on West Lake. Our favorite over night arrangements was when we stayed at Courtyard 7 in the Hutong, in Beijing. It was nice being part of the culture. Thanks TCT for a most memorable trip.
Natasha J

5.0

I can't recommend this company enough!!I started talking to Yocky via the chat system on their website, as we wanted to do a 2.5 week trip around China. Our itinerary was:Shenzhen-Beijing-Xian-Kunming-Dongchuan-Chengdu-Guilin-SanyaHere's how things went:1) She was instant in her replies and responded to subsequent emails within the hour (and trust me, I sent A LOT of emails). She was always so thorough and efficient.2) She made us a tailor made trip that covered everything we wanted, including some slightly more off the beaten track attractions.3) She helped us keep to our budget and suggested reasonable things we could cut out when things were too expensive (not something many companies would do as they are trying to make a quick buck).4) She listened to all of our requests for things such as early morning flights, vegetarian food, and readjusting itineraries.5) All our drivers and guides were EXCELLENT; they were prompt, kind, spoke excellent English and had a wealth of knowledge about all the sites we saw. All the cars on our private tours were nice and comfortable and had water.6) Despite asking for 3* hotels, all 7 hotels we stayed in seemed like 4* to us and all included breakfast.7) With such a large and complicated trip there were bound to be a few hiccups (e.g. there was a marathon in Xian one day which meant a lot of roads were closed, so we couldn't access sites). Yocky was in touch with us the entire time and helped us rearrange our plans quickly and ordered complimentary tickets to a show to make up for the inconvenience.We were so nervous about our first trip to China as we speak no mandarin and are strict vegetarian but honestly this was one of the best trips of our life; this company made it so easy for us and I really can't imagine having been able to do it myself any better!
Shaun O

5.0

My wife and I have just finished spending 9 nights with top China travel and I must say they exceeded every expectation we had. The tour guides were well spoken and very knowledgeable of their area. The drivers were very safe and cautious amongst what I would believe to be the worst drivers I have ever seen. Janet, who organised our tour was very good, and everything happened on time and as promised. I was a bit of a special needs customer due to being on crutches and Janet went out of her way to ensure that I was not taken anywhere that I wasn't able to access without too much difficulty, whilst still getting me to all attractions. Best of all, we were left waiting anywhere, they were always on time as promised. We found this very comforting, WELL DONE TO THE TCT TEAM. Shaun and Janene O'Brien, Melbourne Australia
Maciej_UW

5.0

The Top China Travel organised for 40 persons a tour in Guilin, Beijing, Xi'an area and especially in Gansu province. All things e.g. transport (flight, train tickets, bus) accommodation and guide service was professional, also in the remote area of Badain Jaran Desert or Qilian Mountain in Gansu province where organisation of the trip for a big group is not always easy. Months of contact with TCT office (responsible Janet Chan) was professional, reliable and always fast so all details were clear before the group departure. During the trip the the guide/office work was also excellent which is important for big groups (but also for small groups or family). The trip was without major problems. The smaller one, which always can happen, was resolved fast by the TCT (Janet Chan). That proves the high quality of the Tour Operator. I can recommend Top China Travel as an reliable Tour Operator for groups or individual travellers to organise a tour in most known China tourist spot but also to more remote areas. Maciej
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.
angelalee79

5.0

My husband and I just returned from a vacation to China. We visited Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangtze and Shanghai through Top China Travel (TCT). Yocky from TCT was our travel agent. She was excellent and prompt in answering our questions and help us tremendously in getting our visas. We were pleasantly surprised when she was there along with Lizzie our tour guide to greet us at Guilin airport. We really enjoyed her and Lizzie's company and their in depth knowledge of the city. All the hotels in each of the city we stayed were elegant and meals were delicious with a taste of local flavor. We can't say enough about Yocky and all the tour guides, Jennifer in Beijing, John in Xian, Lizzie in Guilin, & Chris in Shanghai. They were all top notch with their friendly attitudes, professionalism, attention to detail and their passion in the country's culture. We had a great time in China thanks to Top China Travel and their expert tour guides. I would highly recommend anyone interested in planning a vacation in China to use TCT as their agency of choice. Thanks to TCT for a most enjoyable and memorable vacation. AL
Maja505

5.0

We chose TCT for an 13day/12 night private guided tour trip through Beijing, Hefei, and Shanghai. Lily helped us plan and finalize the itinerary for our trip via email andwas very accommodating and helpful during the entire process. She also kept in contact with us throughout the trip to make sure that everything went smoothly and to our satisfaction. For the city guides, we had Ms Grace in Beijing, Alvin in Hefei, and Rooney in Shanghai. Each of our guides were helpful and informative and made sure that our needs were met along the way, and all of them were flexible with any last-minute requests or issues that came up. Special mention also for our drivers in Beijing and Shanghai who always made sure that we had water and that we got to our destinations on time regardless of the traffic situation. Our trip overall was very action-packed and we were able to see almost everything planned on our schedule including some last-minute inserted locations which was a plus. We had a great time visiting on our first trip to China, and would recommend TCT for anyone looking to looking to plan their own trip there.
stpesquire

5.0

Had a wonderful time in those places. The guides were all friendly and accommodating. They can all speak good English and made suggestions on what to eat, what and where to buy for local products. They even helped us order food in the restaurants because most people in the Gansu and Xinjiang provinces do not speak and cannot understand English. Special thanks to our guide (Jerry) and our driver in Beijing who acceded to our request to drop by a small cherry farm to pick and buy cherries on the way back to Beijing from Mutianyo Great Wall. Special thanks too to Kevin Ma, our guide in Xinjiang for a detour to a grape vineyard for a photo op as well as to his treat of the most delicious melon in Turpan. The places we have visited - Zhangye Danxia Lanform, Mingsha Shan Sand Dunes and Crescent Moon Lake in Dunhuang, Tainchi/Heavenly Lake in Urumqi, and all the other places in our itinerary are beyond amazing. It's quite a surprise that China has all these magnificent places. Shoutout to Yocky, the beautiful tour operator who patiently arranged all the tours for us and made this trip as pleasant as possible...thank you! Hats off to Top China Travel!!! Will definitely avail of their services in our future China trip.
silvertop65

5.0

My wife and I booked a private tour with Top China Travel for 6 days , From the outset the help we got from TCT was first class and Joyce our representative in China answered all our questions and tailored the tour accordingly . On arrival at Beijing airport the guide Venus and driver Mr Howe were there to meet us and take us to our very comfortable hotel which TCT had arranged. The second day we visited the Great Wall which was fantastic. Neil the guide for this trip was knowledgeable and very informative and later in the day we wandered around the beautiful Summer Palace at leisure. The Forbidden City with Venus our lovely guide was incredible as was meeting local people in the Hutong and market. A trip to Xi An to see the Terracotta Warriers taking the bullet train from Beijing was incredible travelling at 306 kilometres an hour. Comfortable and spotless taking just 4hr 20min to cover 1,200 Kms . Again when we arrived in Xi An station our guide Vincy and the driver Mr Toa were there to meet us and take us to our hotel. The next morning our car driver and guide took us to the Buddhist Pagoda in Xi An the first to be built in China, Very Interesting and so peaceful. The terracotta warriors were incredible, a massive site with five pits. We cannot thank Top China Tours enough for helping us to have an experience of a life time and we recommend them unreservedly. Clive and Lynne..
Patricia S

5.0

We only had a few days to get a taste of China and we couldn't be happier. We visited Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. In each city our guide had exceptional local knowledge. Our tour was not set in stone with the guides flexible to suit the needs of the group. We not only saw the sites but gained in depth knowledge about them. The drivers were amazing, negotiating the hectic traffic conditions we felt very safe in their care. The guides take a personal interest in their group and look after their every need. I booked the trip over the net and had fantastic communication from start to finish. TCT is great!
Angus D

5.0

Thank you Top China Travel for a fabulous visit to your wonderful country.
I was apprehensive about visiting China, but thoroughly enjoyed our travels if this beautiful country.
What made the trip was having a guide in 4 of the 5 cities we visited.
Our guides meet us at the airport, took us to our accommodation, picked us up for our daily activities, returned us back to our accommodation and made invaluable recommendations for our evenings. Then made sure we not only got back to the airports, but ensured we had the right terminals, flights and saw is right through to customs.
Having a guide made sure we went to the best sights, at the best times to avoid the queues, getting tickets in advance, making sure we got the best photo opportunities in the best places. And all with informative information about sights and history. 
If we had tried to see what we saw on our own, we would have missed so much and spent a long time trying to find it all.
Thank you to Jeremy in Guilin. It was great to get out into the country side and see the hard working farmers tendering their crops, and witness up close the celebration of families remembering their departed families.
To Linda in Beijing. Your warm manner as you taught us about the history of your country, and accepting the challenges of walking the steepest section of the wall with us. Thank you.
Olivia in Xian, the Terra Cotta soldiers was awesome and your making sure we went to government stores so we we're not ripped off, when we brought a soldier and tea.
And Summer in Zhangjiajie, the glass bridge, the glass pathway on the side of the stairway to heaven and your lovely singing. Thank-you for a wonderful tour.
Our guides made our visit to China, a wonderful holiday, thank you all. We wish you well for your futures.
Kind regards from Leah, Angus, Cameron, Maree and Todd
lucian1939

5.0

Wonderful time in Beijing Cian and Shanghai for a ten day period. Covered the Great Wall in Beijing, Terracotta Warriors in Cian and the Bund in Shanghai. Also visited the Silk Factory, Muslim Street, French area and a Cultural Show (which was great and should not be missed) and also a Private Garden. The Tour Guides and Drivers went to great lengths to make us visit as memorable as possible and attending to us round the clock.
Marfutta

5.0

We took the private 21 day Panorama tour for two, and it was above an beyond any expectations. We've got absolutely impeccable service - the guides / drivers were never late, even for a second - they were expecting us at the airports, train stations, hotel lobbies, always ready to take care of us. All the hotels were great, with very ample buffet breakfast included. Cars were nice and comfortable, equipped with A/C, and bottled water was always there for us. Great itineraries too, with Tibet included - a lot of incredible sightseeing - never were disappointed. Couple tips: 1.Tibet was a bit tough due to high altitude - if we knew, we'd ask for the room with oxygen - they are about $40-50 more per night, but totally worth it. 2.There is optional ERA show in Shanghai, but if you want to see it, you need to book it at least 2 months in advance. We didn't know, so we had to miss it. 3.I'd recommend you take some toilet paper with you, when you head for excursions.
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