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Silk Road Tour via Taklamakan Desert

Posted: Admin

Date: 2010-02-21

Silk Road Tour via Taklamakan Desert

Day 1: Torugart/Kashgar 170 km

Transfer to China via Torugart. Drive to Kashgar.
Dinner in Kashgar's Restaurant
Overnight in Hotel

Torugart Pass 3752m

Turagart Pass

Torugart Pass 3752m, one of two border crossing between Kyrgyzstan and China. The pass lies 400km south of Bishkek and 160km north of Kashgar. Border formalities might take some time but it will be overtaken by all the positive impressions that you will experience on the way. The way to the pass is surrounded with very relaxing scenary: yurts, yaks, horses and shepherds that make you forget about all the western rutine.

Day 2: Kashgar

Full day sightseeing in Kashgar
Visit the largest mosque in China Idkah mosque (1442), Apak Khojas Tomb the holiest place in Xinjiang for Sufis (1640), handicraft street, old parts of the town.
Lunch at Local Restaurant
Continue City Tour
Dinner at Local Restaurant
Overnight in Hotel

Kashgar

Day 3: Kashgar Tashkorgan 300 km

Morning visit colorful unique chaotic Great Sunday bazaar where you will see numerous sections: silk and cotton, knives, hats, pots and pans, fresh vegetables and fruits, carpets and jewellery, there is a separate livestock and horse section located 6 km from the main market.
Afternoon transfer to Tashkorgan via the famous Karakorum highway en route Stopp at Karakuly Lake located at the foothills of the beautiful Muztagata Mountain at 3600 meters above the sea level.
Overnight in Hotel

Muztagh Ata Peak, 7546m



Muztagh Ata (Often Spelled: Muztagata, or Mustagh Ata, or Muztaghata, or Muztagh Ata or Muztag Ata) is the second high summit in Kun-Lun range, standing not so far from te first one which is Mt. Kongur(7719 m.) . Both mountains are situated in Xingjang region iof China. Some people sugest it to be China Pamir, but more usual is to hear Kun-Lun Mountains. In local languages Muztagh Ata means "Father of Ice Mountain`s". The huge snow mountain-mass raised above the Karakul Lake attracts the mountaineers of the whole world.

Day 4: Tashkorgan Kashgar 300 km

Morning visit local Museum with history, archeology and culture sections.
Visit local Tajik family
Excursion to the ancient Stone Fortress around 7th century
Afternoon transfer back to Kashgar again enjoy mountain scenary of Karakrum Highway. En route visit Uygur traditional village Opal to see Mausoleum of the well known 11 c. Uygur philologist Mahmud Kashgeri
Overnight in Hotel

Day 5: Kashgar- Yarkent - 180 km

Morning transfer to the ancient Yarkent en route visit Yingsa village to see traditional local knife making workshop.
On arrival to Yarkend visits in the ancient city Yarkent: see Golden Mosque (1533 AD) Altun Mosque was built by Abdureshidhan son of Sultan Saidhan, Amani Sahan Mausoleum (1526-1560) a great mukam master and queen who was born in Yarkend, the cemetery of kings (1514-1682) where Sultan Saidhan the founder of Yarkand Saidiya Dynesty was berried.
Dinner at Local Restaurant
Overnight in Hotel

Later see local bazaar little bit crowded very traditional and interesting.
Overnight at Local Hotel

Day 6: Yarkent Hotan - 280 km

Morning transfer to Hotan.
On arrival visit factory of hand made silk, woolen and silk hand made carpet workshop, jade factory (Hotan is world famous for its jade mines), unique Uygur family producing hand made paper from mulberry tree.
Overnight in Hotel

Day 7: Hotan Niya 300 km

Morning visit local history museum, to see interesting subjects of excavations from near by ancient cities in Takla Makan desert, including mummies.
Later transfer to Niya
Overnight in Hotel

Day 8: Niya Bugur 700 km

Early morning transfer to via Takla Makan desert Highway to Bugur
The desert highway is the longest one in the world (522km) . The word "Taklimakan" means Sea of Death or place of no return. This will absolutely be highlights of your trip.
Lunch en route at small settlement Tazhong
On arrival to Hotel
Overnight in Hotel

Taklamakan desert



Taklamakan desert is the biggist moving desert in the world and most of the people believe that it has buried most of good civilizations among the central Asia. It has occupied land more than 345,000 square km, Taklamakan in local Uyghur language means Tha desert which buried some places under, and after some western explorers explore this desert on the early of the 20th century, they have given another meaning which is One go, but never come back.

Day 9: Bugur Korla Turpan 470 km

Morning drive to Turpan via modern city Korla, later en route see Agi Bulak Mouintain system (part of Tyan Shan) stop at the highest point 1800 meters above the sea level to see the basin of Turpan basin.
On arrival check in the hotel.
Overnight in the Hotel

Day 10: Turpan

Full day sightseeing around Turpan
Visit picturesque Tuyoq ancient village (70 km) to see the oldest in Turpan area Buddhist caves dated back to the 4th c. Visit local Uygur families enjoy beautiful mountain and grapes sceneries.
Later visit the impressive ruins at Gaochang ancient city (47 km), built in the 2nd c. BC, it became the capital of the Kingdom of Gaochang under the Han dynasty, destroyed around 14th century, take a donkey cart taxi to venture deep into this famous ancient site. Get inside of Astana Tombs to see well preserved mummies and unique wall paintings dated back to 2AD.
Later visit the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves (56 km) on the flanks of the Flaming Mountains, there are 67 caves dating from 317 to 1368, Bezeklik was an important center for Buddhist worship.
At the end of the day visit famous Grape valley (12 km) is a pleasant park with vineyards and fruit trees, there are special places for relaxing and eating the grapes and melons. Grapes were introduced to Turpan over 2000 years ago.
Overnight in Hotel

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves



Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves is at the Mutou Valley of the Flaming Mountain. There were originally hundreds of such caves. Unfortunately this area is highly exposed to natural erosion, which have severely damaged quite a few of them. Now there are 83 caves in good condition 50 percent of which are decorated with murals. The total murals find here reach up to 1,200 square meters.
The chiseling work began during the Gaochang Kingdom Period from 499 AD to 640 AD while large constructions were conducted from the 6th century to the 14th century for around 800 years.
The caves were palace temples of the Huihu Kingdom ( Huihu was the ancestor of today's Uygur) The features of the murals of that period were greatly influenced by that of the Tang Dynasty. They have precise designs, distinctive lines and bright colors. The figures are simple, with round heads, elongated ears and puppet-like segmented bodies which are boldly outlined.

Day 11: Turpan Urumqi 200 km

Morning visit famous ruined Jiaohe city - capital of the State of South Cheshi. It was on of the 36 kingdoms of the Western region during the Han Dinasty. First settlements appeared there in 2 BC. City is comparatively well preserved.
Later visit the notable Emin Minaret (44 meters high, completed in 1778) and Mosque.
Afternoon transfer to Urumqi
On arrival to Urumqi visit Xinjiang regional museum to see archaeological treasures from the Silk Road and Xinjiangs minority cultures. A display of well-preserved 3000 year old mummies, excavated from Loulan at Takla Makan desert, completes the exhibition.
Overnight in Hotel

Day 12: Urumqi Bishkek GI 622 Urumqi-Bishkek 16:30--16:30

Morning free at leisure
Afternoon transfer to the airport to take flight to Bishkek

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