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Old Road Tours offers a variety of tours to fit your traveling needs - from short 1 day trips to 20 day treks into the heart of Xinjiang.  If you can't find what you're looking for, we can modify most listed tours or you are welcome to "Build Your Own Tour"  You decide the places to go and adventures to experience!

Silk Road Beginnings Tour - 9 Days

From the beginning of the Silk Road in Xi'an to the key trade center of Kashgar in Xinjiang, we will journey together, seeing the best of this ancient trade route. Also experience what it was like to travel with a camel caravan as you join us for an overnight trek in the Taklimakan Desert.
    * Prices vary according to group size and season.

Cities to Visit

Xi'an, Kashgar, Karakul Lake, Hotan, JiYa Village, Taklimakan Desert, Xinjiang, China, tour / travel

Sites and Specialties

Xi'an, Terra Cotta Warriors, Big Goose Pagoda, City Wall, BanPo Village, Bell Tower, Hui Muslim Street, Id Kah Mosque, Apak Hoja, handicraft street, Old Town, Karkoram Highway, Opal, Karakul Lake, Kyrgyz Yurt, Kashgar, Yengisar Knife Factory, Yarkant, Golden Mosque, Amannisahan Tomb, Kargilik (Yecheng in Chinese), Jamma Mosque, Hotan, Imam Asim Tomb, Desert camel trek, silk factory, atlas factory, carpet factory, Taklimakan Desert

Cities to Visit

Xi'an, Kashgar, Karakul Lake, Hotan, JiYa Village, Taklimakan Desert, Xinjiang, China, tour / travel

Day 1

Our tour guide and drive will meet you at Xi’an airport and transfer to your hotel Bell Tower 5* hotel. It is just opposite to the symbols of Old Xi’an (Chang’an) Bell Tower. It is very near the Hui Min Street where you can taste the traditional foods of Chinese Muslims. The rest of the time is your own to relax and explore the downtown area at your leisure.

Day 2

Xi’an Full Day Tour.

Our very knowledgeable tour guide will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the Terracotta Warriors, which are the most significant archeological discoveries of the 20th century. On the way we will stop at Banpo Village which is a Neolithic village that existed some 6,000 years ago and represents the final phase of the Stone Age. In the afternoon we will visit the Xi’an ciy wall. It is the most complete city wall to survive in China as well as one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. It was built in 1364. In the evening we will attend the Fountain Light Show at the Big Goose Pagoda. It is a holy site for Buddhists and a symbol of Tang Dynasty Xi’an.

Day 3

Xi’an by flight to Urumqi and Kashgar,

Today, our local Uyghur tour guide and driver will meet you at the Kashgar airport and transfer to your hotel—Tian Yuan International hotel 4*. It is very near the Old town (an amazing part of Kashgar city), and just 10 meters from the largest statue of Chairman Mao ZeDong in China.

Day 4

Kashgar Full Day Tour

Our experienced local tour guide, with a vast amount of knowledge in Uyghur history & culture will be at your service today. He is excellent and we are sure that you will not be disappointed by his service on this trip. He will provide you with all the information you need and want on the sites to be visited below:

1. Id kah Mosque: Built in 1442 as a small mosque, was expanded gradually to become one of the biggest mosques in China from 1660.

2. Apak Hoja Tomb: Built in 1640 by Yusup Hoja (Father of Apak Huja), the tomb combines Islamic and Uyghur cultural architecture. There are 58 tombs and 5 generations buried here.

3. Handicrafts Street: Here you will have a great opportunity to see how Uyghur’s make musical instruments, knives, cradles, peep pipes, pots and so on.

4. Old Town: Kashgar Old city has a history of over 2000 years and you will find this a fascinating addition to the day's sights.

5. Local Uyghur Hat market and Orda Aldi Market: Witness traditional Uyghur market culture and as you explore you are sure to find something interesting for yourself.

6. Having lunch with a Uyghur family in the Old town: Here you will be served as Uyghur guests and become a part of real Uyghur life and culture.

7. Yusup Hasjip Tomb: A world famous Uyghur scholar in the 11th Century who wrote a famous book called "Knowledge brings Happiness".

8. National kindergarten: You will have a good chance to learn and enjoy the Uyghur dance and Songs from the Uyghur kids there.

9. Kashgar Museum: Here you can learn a lot about the Uyghur history and some fascinating old finds linked to a very long history.

Day 5

Kashgar-Karakul Lake- Kashgar one day tour on KKH.

This is one of the most popular tours around Kashgar and a must visit for almost every traveler who visits Kashgar. Situated along the spectacular Sino-Pakistan Karakorum High Way, Karakul Lake has long cast a spell over those who visit it. Local Tajiks believe it to be sacred whilst Silk Road caravans treated it as a welcome rest place on their tough journey.

Karakul is a hive of different nomadic cultures in the Pamir Mountains and travelers often enjoy tasting the different foods of the nomadic Kyrgyz and Tajik people here. Though the lake is one of the highest lakes in the world at 3600m, it pales in comparison to the 7524m Muztagh Ata peak that towers over one end whilst the 7719m Kongor Shan peak dominates the other. Both peaks are popular with mountain climbers the world over, though Kongor is the more difficult of the two.

Whilst driving along the Sino-Pakistan Karakorum Highway (previously known as the KKH) out of Kashgar, you can see snow capped mountains and high peaks for most of the journey. On the way we stop in Opal village to visit the Mahmud Kashgari Tomb (optional) and buy some small gifts for the kids in the Kyrgyz local family with whom we spent time with at the Karakul Lake.

Pushing on from Opal, we follow the Ghez River on our left until the Sand Mountain—Kumtagh. Here at the Kyrgyz settlement of Bulung kul, you can see mountains of three remarkable different hues adjacent to the main road as well as several inns. This was once an important camping place for caravans along the ancient Silk Road so feel free to stop as often as you wish for photos en route.

This tour will offer you an excellent chance to experience the nomadic culture of the Kyrgyz people in the villages and mountains here. The Kyrgyz shepherds around Karakul Lake are very friendly and frequently offer their horses and camels for riding (though at a price!). For the next 3-4 hours we will trek around the lake and take in the enormity and beauty of the surroundings. High altitudes always work up a hunger and a hearty traditional Kyrgyz meal awaits you in their yurt. After lunch we'll have a further two hours trekking next to the lake and when you've had enough, we'll head off to Kashgar, arriving at 6:30pm local time.

Day 6

Kashgar to Hotan (540km/336 miles)

Our driver and experienced Silk Road guide will meet you at your hotel at 8:00am local time and drive you to Hotan. First stop is at a Yengisar Knife Factory in the famous knife town of the same known whose quality and workmanship are renown throughout Xinjiang.

Pushing on we will have lunch in Yarkant, a former capital of Uyghur Kingdoms in the Past. In Yarkant, we will visit the Golden Mosque, Amannisahan Tomb (a famous musician in 16th Century.), Tomb of Kings during the Seidiye Kingdom and an interesting graveyard for locals in the Town. During the time of the Silk Road, Yarkant was a developed city and a major transportation hub. Throughout history, many musicians from India and Kashmir came here to learn.

After lunch, we will visit the old town and then drive on to Hotan. On the way, we will stop in Kargilik (Yecheng in Chinese) to see the Jamma Mosque and local market. We should arrive in Hotan at about 5:00pm local time and check into the 3 Star Muztagh Hotel.

Day 7

Hotan Sunday market

Today, we will visit the Hotan Sunday market. This is one of the biggest markets in Hotan and Kashgar where you could learn about Uyghur's way of life and market culture. After the market, we will visit historical places such as Malike awat Ancient City, the thousand-year-old Walnut and fig trees and the Jade River where locals still hunt for jade to this day. In the afternoon, we will have free time to walk around the old town and finish the day with a pleasant dinner in a Uyghur home there.

Day 8

Hotan - Jiya village and Taklamakan Desert: (30km/19miles)

After breakfast, we will prepare a good pack lunch for the desert and drive out to the Imam Asim Tomb where we will go into the Taklamakan desert with camels. On the way there, we will stop in Jiya village to witness a traditional Silk and Atlas workshop and carpet factory. We will ride camels about 4 hours in the big sand dunes, camp out with out own tents and dine on real campfire food just as caravans did before us. This is an excellent way to experience real desert life. We cook using local tools and collect firewood locally – you can even help out if you like! Our camel driver always has a yarn or two to tell and a drowsy evening always end a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Day 9

Imam Asim Tomb - Hotan (30km/19miles)

An early rise means a spectacular sunrise out in the desert and a fleeting moment that will remain with you forever. There will be plenty of opportunities to take photographs from sunup to sundown throughout the day. Beginning with a caravan breakfast, we saddle up the camels and return back out of the desert to the Imam Asim Tomb for lunch.

The tomb is particularly famous amongst locals in and around Hotan. In May, many people come from far and wide to pray at the tomb. They regard it as a holy place as there are few tombs and large mosques in Xinjiang for locals to pray in. Some local people also slaughter sheep or goats whose skulls and hides can sometimes be seen on site. Following lunch we drive back to your hotel in Hotan and take a hot shower. And we will drive to Hotan airport to take afternoon flight to Urumqi and Beijing by connected flight in the same day.

Tour Destinations

Cities to Visit

Xi'an, Kashgar, Karakul Lake, Hotan, JiYa Village, Taklimakan Desert, Xinjiang, China, tour / travel

Sites and Specialties

Xi'an, Terra Cotta Warriors, Big Goose Pagoda, City Wall, BanPo Village, Bell Tower, Hui Muslim Street, Id Kah Mosque, Apak Hoja, handicraft street, Old Town, Karkoram Highway, Opal, Karakul Lake, Kyrgyz Yurt, Kashgar, Yengisar Knife Factory, Yarkant, Golden Mosque, Amannisahan Tomb, Kargilik (Yecheng in Chinese), Jamma Mosque, Hotan, Imam Asim Tomb, Desert camel trek, silk factory, atlas factory, carpet factory, Taklimakan Desert

Build Your Own Tour

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Tell us what cities and attractions you would like to visit, and we'll create for you a personalized Xinjiang tour!

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