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+86 592 5161466 info@chinamemorytrip.com

9-Day Xinjiang Private Tour of Kanas and Turpan from Urumqi

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Overview:

The fairyland land Kanas where the pine-covered mountains reflect off the turquoise lake, primitive wooden houses of ethnic villages squeeze together along the beautiful river banks is the place that everyone should go to at least once in a lifetime. Currently, Urumqi is the best gateway to Kanas which provides both flight and car access into Kanas. For those without shortage of time, the land driving adventure to Kanas, like our 9 Days Kanas Tour from Urumqi, is most enjoyable as you can not only explore Kanas Natural Reserve fully, but also get rewarded by many other natural wonders, such as jaw-dropping canyons, colorful Yardang landform, wild animal reserve, etc. Drive in and out on two different routes so that all your time and effort won’t be wasted. With a leisure pace and without very high altitudes, this tour is strongly recommended for photographers, landscape lovers, adventurers, families, etc. It is available all year around, but the best months are May, June, July, August, September and early October.

Tour Code

XJ9D8N-KTU-428

Duration

9 Days/8 Nights
Photos
Itinerary

Day 1Urumqi Arrival

Attractions: No
Meal: Not Included
Hotel: Overnight in Urumqi

Upon arrival at Urumqi Railway Station or Airport, our local driver will transfer you to the hotel for check-in. The rest time is free for you to explore Urumqi.

Day 2Urumqi - Wu'erhe

Attractions: Dushanzi Grand Canyon, Wu’erhe Ghost City (Yardang Landform)
Meal: Not included
Hotel: Overnight in Wu’erhe Town

Today after breakfast, drive about 410 km (about 5.5 hours) to Wu’erhe which is located at the middle point between Urumqi and Kanas. Don’t have to worry getting bored by the long driving, because the landscape alone the road is beautiful and changeable, and you will stop by the incredible geographic wonder land – Dushanzi Grand Canyon and Wu’erhe Ghost City (Yadan Landform).

You will arrive at Dushanzi Grand Canyon first. The river of melted snow water flowed down from Tianshan Mountains into the Dushanzi plain, curved the plain like a sword and created a 200-meter-deep canyon. It is truly a visual feast. (To enrich travelers’ experience, there are some outdoor activities are held in the scenic area, such as glass bridge, rope bridge, archery, etc. These activities need extra costs if you want to try.)

Leaving Dushanzi Grand Canyon, and keep driving about 3.5 hours to Wu’erhe Ghost City which is actually a jaw-dropping Geopark of wind-eroded Yardang Landform. It got its name from the sound of the howling wind when it passes through the rock formations. This area was a huge freshwater lake during the Cretaceous period about 100 million years ago.

Exiting Wu’erhe Ghost City, you will then drive a short while to Wu’erhe Town for accommodation.

Day 3Wu'erhe - Kanas

Attractions: Kanas Scenic Area
Meal: Not included
Hotel: Overnight in Kanas

Today’s destination is the best highlight of this trip – Kanas which is about 375 km (about 6~7 hours’ drive) from Wu’erhe. There will be some stops along the road for resting, meal and taking photos. You will reach Kanas Scenic Area in the afternoon and check in to your hotel which may be in Jiadengyu Tourist Center or a local Tuvas Village, depending on actual availability. The rest time of today is free for you to relax and explore the surrounding. Whether you stay at Jiadengyu or Tuvas village, you can find many places to walk around and enjoy beautiful landscape as Kanas is actually a very large natural reserve with easy accesses to the wild nature.

Day 4Kanas Lake Scenic Area - Hemu Village

Attractions: Kanas Lake, Kanas Three Bays, Taiga Trail Hiking, Fish-watching Tower
Meal: Not included
Hotel: Overnight in Hemu

Today is a full-day exploration of Kanas Lake Scenic Area including the Three Bays, Kanas Lake and Fish-watching Tower.

Get up early to escape the crowds, then take a park bus to the Three Bays area – the essence of Kanas Scenic Area. Kanas River wriggles in valleys, and creates three zigzag bays with beautiful names – Recumbent Dragon Bay, Moon Bay and Celestial Bay. The water here is crystalline, gentle and lovely. Along the two sides of the three bays are forests with alternate colors of green, yellow and golden, changing with the seasons.

Then take a park bus from the Celestial Bay to the lakeside of Kanas Lake. There is a 5-kilometer-long plank road, known as Taiga Trail Hiking, following the eastern lake shore of Kanas to the deep wild forest. 

After the lakeside hiking, keep traveling to Fish-watching Tower – the highest location of Kanas Scenic Area. One needs to walk about 1000 steps up to reach the tower, but the rewarding is handsome – a panoramic view of Kanas Lake, and stretching eyesight to the snow mountains of the Friendship Peak (4374m).

Lastly, hop on a park bus (about 2 hours’ drive along the beautiful mountain road) to Hemu Village for accommodation.

Day 5Hemu - Burqin

Attractions: Hemu Village Sunrise, Rainbow Beach
Meal: Not included
Hotel: Overnight in Burqin

Get up early to catch the incredible sunrise which is also the MUST photo to be shot. When the sun rises and shines onto the mist curling up the villages, it is the moment to take one of the best pictures in your lifetime. To shoot the sunrise, you need to walk along the plank road to the high places on the mountains near to the village. After the sunrise, go back to your hotel to have breakfast. Later, you will visit a local Tuvas family to find out what’s their living like, and get treated with local snacks, fruits and drinks prepared by the hosts. Sometimes, you can even a race chance to see Tuvas playing music and dancing. The rest is free for you to relax and exploring surrounding.

After lunch, say goodbye to Kanas and drive about 4 hours to Burqin County for accommodation. En route, take a stop at the spectacular Rainbow Beach (Riverside) where stones were weathered into many vivid shapes like soaring hills, deep valley, criss-cross streets, tower, etc. After thousands years of geological changing, the “beach” has been painted into different colors – red, yellow, green, white…, presenting you a gorgeous scene especially when the golden lights of sunset shine on the riverside.

Stay over the night in Burqin County.

Day 6Burqin - Urumqi

Attractions: Kalamaili Mountain Ungulate Wildlife Nature Reserve
Meal: Not included
Hotel: Overnight in Urumqi

Have breakfast in your hotel, then drive back to Urumqi. During the 685 km’s driving journey, you will take an excursion visit to Kalamaili Mountain Ungulate Wildlife Nature Reserve which is an important reserve to protect the precious wild ungulates, such as Przewalski’s horses, saiga antelopes, Mongolian wild donkeys and goose-throated antelopes.

Overnight in Urumqi

Day 7Urumqi - Turpan - Kumtag Desert

Attractions: Kumtag Desert, Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon, Tuyuk Valley
Meal: Not included
Hotel: Overnight in Shanshan County

This morning, you will drive about 3 hours (167 km) from Urumqi to the “fire land” – Turpan. It is China’s hottest city that its highest temperature reaches about 50°C in summer. Besides, it is also an outpost on the Silk Road and a lot of cultural heritage sites can be explored.

As you reach Turpan, keep driving about 1 hour to Tuyuk Valley along Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon, which condenses the essence of the landscape of Flaming Mountain – red sandstones looking like flaming fire, distinctive rocks showing the uncanny workmanship of nature and deep gorge with crisscross valleys. Mazar Village, the oldest existing Uighur village with a history of over 2,600 years, is a big highlight of Tuyuk Valley. It holds a significant status in Buddhism and Islam. The villagers still live peacefully in the village, and you can clearly see how they run their daily lives in the old mud adobe houses. Some villagers kindly ask the travelers to visit their vineyards and taste their fresh grapes or preserved fruits.

After the great time in Mazar Village, you will drive 55 km (about 1 hour) to Kumtag Desert. Start desert exploration by taking a sightseeing car and firstly stop at the Sand Lake which is a picturesque lake with greenery. Then, continue with your trip to Happy Sand Valley – the core scenic area of Kumtag Desert. With the change of the sunlight, the desert takes on more fascinating colors, light yellow, yellow, orange, red, gray, etc. There are many interesting programs(optional activities with extra costs) in Happy Sand Valley to please you, including sand sliding, camels ridding, desert kart racing, desert motorbike riding, etc. When the sunset time is approaching, climb up to a high sand dune to enjoy the striking view of desert sunset – endless sand dunes waving under the golden sunlight.

After a wonderful desert exploration, transfer to Shanshan County near Kumtag Desert for accommodation.

Day 8Shanshan - Turpan - Urumqi

Attractions: Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Jiaohe Ancient City
Meal: Not included
Hotel: Not included

After breakfast, drive about 280 km (about 3.5 hours) back to Urumqi, and visit Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves and Jiaohe Ancient City en route.

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves is a group of grottoes with rich murals.  Originally drilled in the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420 ~ 589), the caves have gone through about 15 centuries. Appreciating the glorious murals in an artistic style and listening to the old Buddhist legends, you may imagine how Buddhism spread to mainland China via Xinjiang.

Jiaohe Ancient City is an ancient city which was strategically located along the ancient Silk Road. Perching on a plateau, it acted as a natural barrier from the attacking enemies in the old times. Now, it is renowned as the best-preserved earthen architecture in the world.

Stay the night in Urumqi city.

Day 9 Urumqi Departure

Attractions: No
Meal: Not included
Hotel: Overnight in Urumqi

Today is free for you to relax until you are escorted to catch your flight/train to the next destination. Tour ends.

Price Includes

  • Local transportation with private vehicle and skilled driver
  • Experienced tour guide
  • Entrance fees as listed in the program
  • 8 nights accommodation(3 or 4 or 5-star depends on yourself)
  • Pick-up and send-off services at the beginning/end of the tour
  • 2 bottles of mineral water per person per day

Price Excludes

  • Flight/train tickets
  • Meals
  • Gratuities(optional)
  • Any optional programs/activities
  • Any services not mentioned