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.
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 you will 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 is located half way up Bogda Peak in Fukang County, 110km east of Urumqi City. As a natural alpine lake, it has an elevation of 1,980 meters. In the shape of a half moon, the lake is 3,400 meters long, about 1,500 meters wide, and 105 meters at the deepest point. With limpid water, the lake shines like a sapphire under the sun and is surrounded by green mountains. At the southeast end of the lake is the magnificent Bogda Peak, meaning ‘Sacred Mountain’ in the Mongolian language.
Erdaoqiao is situated at the Erdaoqiao Block of South Jiefang Road in Urumqi, where you’ll find a bustling market filled with fruit, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets and many antique items. The market has special space for grand ethnic songs and dances performances, and the folk street is furnished with a miniature landscape of Xinjiang’s attractions. On Sunday, there are more stalls and more goods than any other days.
Today, you will take hours 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 meaning in Chinese where two rivers meet was once the most forward outpost in the West for ages. Historical records and excavation reveal evidence of a prosperous ancient trading center and military stronghold from 1,600 years ago. Owing to the arid climate and remote location, Jiaohe remains relatively intact, leaving us a rare example of an earthen castle, the largest, oldest and best-preserved earthen city in the world.
Emin Minaret is the largest extant ancient Islamic tower in Xinjiang. Standing 2 km (1.24 miles) east of Turpan, Emin Minaret was built in 1777 in honor of a heroic Turpan general named Emin Khoja.
Karez Well is reputed as one of the three major construction projects in ancient China, together with the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. The history of this unique underground irrigation system can be traced back over more than 2,000 years.
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, Flaming Mountain and Bezeklik Caves. After the tour, be transferred back to Urumqi for your flight to Kashgar.
Flaming Mountain Gaochang Ancient City located at the east of Turpan, the city-state that ruled the area from the 9th century to the 13th. The city was actually founded a few hundred years earlier than that, and gradually became known as a trading post on the Silk Road.
The Grape Valley is located in Flaming Mountain. From ancient times, this place has been famous for the cultivation of the sweetest, tastiest grapes. Be enticed by the sight of bunches of green pearl-like grapes hanging from the vines in splendid profusion. It’s a great relief to recline in the shade of the green leaves and delight in the fresh juicy fruit, appreciating the coolness after the heat outside.
The Flaming Mountains are so named because in the evenings the red clay mountains reflect the heat and glow of the desert and seem to burn. Situated on the northern edge of the Turpan Basin, and stretching over 100 km long and 10 km wide, this is an intensely hot part of the desert without a single blade of grass to be seen for miles.
Bezeklik Caves is located in a gorgeous valley of the Flaming Mountains. 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. They were abandoned at about the same time as Gaochang Ancient City and Jiaohe Ancient City after the Muslim take over of the region in the late 14th century.
Be transferred to the airport for your flight to next stop.
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