The Route does not only lead past astonishing mountain ranges but also desert landscapes and offers some verdant Oasis. Our Tour will make the highlights of this region accessible to you and brings you to Xinjiang, Chinas largest province and home of the Uyghurs, as well as to the very western part of the Gansu province. Starting from the most western City of China Kashgar you will head to the splendid Karakul-Lake an the ancient stone village of Shitoucheng in the south.The journey continues with one of the most unusual natural sceneries. The Shipton’s Arch, or Heaven Gate, is with its 450 meters the highest on earth. After a short flight to Urumqi to tour will take you along to the old ruins of Jiaohe and the historical region around Gaocheng and Turpan. After coming back to Urumqi you will spend a full day at the beautiful Tianshan-Lake-&-Mountian, an UNESCO-World-Heritage. The last days will provide an appropriate end of the tour. You will spend them in the area arond Dunhang and will visit the Mogao-Caves. Very close to Dunhang, right in the Gobi-Desert, you will spend the last night in a tent before visiting the verdant Oasis of Crescent Lake (Yueyaquan) on the next morning.



Date: On request
Price: On request
Highlights / Route: Kashgar – Karakul Lake – Shitoucheng – Shipton’s Arch – Jiaohe Ruins – Gaocheng – Tianshan Mountain & Lake – Mogao Caves – Crescent Moon Lake
Length: ~ 3160Km (inkl. Flights)
Duration: 12 Days
Charakter / Style: Activ holiday with a focus on walking tours / landscape / culture
Vehicle: Geländewagen 4×4, SUV, Van, Bus



Travelroute: The northern Silk Road

Day Route: Description
1  Arrival in Kashgar: Pick-up service at the airport in Kashgar in the afternoon and transfer to hotel. Free time in the afternoon after checking-in and a short orientation walk around the city in the evening.  
2  Kashgar: Sundays you could visit the world famous livestock market. An absolut highlight of ever Journey in Xinjiang. Farmers from all over the region are coming there to trade and haggle. In this context you could also visit the Grand Bazaar, which is open all week but only on sundays really comes to life. If you are able to arrange arriving in Kashgar on a saturday, that would be recommandable. As an alternative you will visit the splendid old town of Kashgar and its traditional Ostangboyi tea house. Other sights are the Id Kah Mosque and the Abakh Hoja monument. Additionally there is a market taking place every night around 11, where they sell sheeps; an unusual occasion.  
3  Kashgar – Karakul-Lake: Ride to the Karakul-Lake, situated between the mountains of the Pamir and the Himalayas at the Karakorum Highway. The first stop will take place in Upal, an Oasis about one hour from Kashgar. Here you will visit, if compatible, the monday market and the monument of Mahmud Kashgari, a scholar from the 11th century. Through the gorges of the Ghez-River the road leads all the way of to the Pamir-Plateau. From here you have an astonishing view upon Mount Kongur (7719m). Arrival at the lake. The overnight stay will take place in a Kyrgyzstan yurt close to the lake bank.
[icon color=”#3f3f3f” size=”20px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-stopwatch”] 4,5h
4  Karakul-Lake – Tashkurgan: A whole day to experience the beauty and nature of this lake. The Sunrise above the mountains and the lake is especially pleasant and should not be missed.  A hike along or around the lake to different vantage points in the surrounding mountains or hills will do the magic. Phantastic views upon the Mustagh Ata and the Kongur will present themselves to you. The road to Tashkurgan provides beautiful grass lands, yaks, horses and the views on that route are definitely on of the highlights.
[icon color=”#3f3f3f” size=”20px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-stopwatch”] 2h
5  Tashkurgan – Kashgar: In Tashkurgan we will visit the Folk Cultural Museum and Shitoucheng, a stone village, which once served as fortifications. The 1400 years old complex was used as a scenery in the movie Kite Runner. Afterwards you will drive back to Kashgar.
[icon color=”#3f3f3f” size=”20px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-stopwatch”] 6,5h
6  Kashgar – Shipton´s Arch – Kashgar: Today we have something special for all nature lovers: Shipton’s Arch, the worlds largest natural stone formation of its kind. It is located around 75 km from Kashgar, the last 30 km are accessible over a stone road. Along a small path and past three ladders the walk will take around 45 minutes. The natural vault was described firstly in 1947 and only got rediscovered in 2000. The reason is its remote location. Only few tourists will get there. The afternoon is for relaxing.
[icon color=”#3f3f3f” size=”20px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-stopwatch”] 3,5h
7  Kashgar – Flight to Urumqi – Turpan:
 Transfer to the airport in Kashgar and flight to Urumqi; pick-up service from the airport and direct continuation of the journey to Turpan. After checking-in you will visit the Emin Minaret; build in Afghani fashion in the year 1777. Free time in the afternoon.
[icon color=”#3f3f3f” size=”20px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-stopwatch”] 4h
8  Turpan: Turpan is located 150 meters below sea leavel and by that fact the second lowest place on earth. Here grapes are growing, which are exported to China in the form of wine or raisins. Visit of the ruins of Jiaohe. Jiaohe was an garrison town, the oldest ruins are around 1600 years old and are some of the worlds oldest. Up to 6500 students were stationed here. An other place you visit is Gaochang, build around the 7th century bc. In the evening you will be transfered back to Urumqi.
[icon color=”#3f3f3f” size=”20px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-stopwatch”] 3h
9  Urumqi – Tianshi Heavenlake – Urumqi: Transfer from Urumqi to Tianshi. Hike along the lake. On the western foothills of the near mountain range you will find some steep ascents. It is possible to hike around the lake in a couple of hours. In the late afternoon you will be transfered back to Urumqi.
[icon color=”#3f3f3f” size=”20px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-stopwatch”] 3,5h
10  Urumqi – Flug nach Dunhuang: Transfer to the airport in Urumqi and Flight to Dunhuang. Free time. In the evening a visit of the nightmarket is planned.
[icon color=”#3f3f3f” size=”20px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-stopwatch”] 1,5h
11  Dunhuang – Mogao Höhlen – Singing Sand Mountains: In the morning we visit the famous Mogao Caves. Right now there are about 20 caves accessible to the public. A tour here last about two hours. After that we take a ride back to Dunhuang. From here you will start an exciting journey riding camels towards the Singing Sand Mountains close to Dunhuang. You will stay in a tent in the dunes and experience the richness of the Gansu sky. The camels are leaving in the evening and you stay.
[icon color=”#3f3f3f” size=”20px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-stopwatch”] 1h
12  Singing Sand Mountains – Dunhuang – Urumqi: The sand dunes here are up to 1700 meters high and surround the picturesque Cresent Moon Lake – an oasis which once provided water for the city of Dunhuang. In the dunes you are free to discover dune surfing, paragliding are ride a camel again. Around noon we take off to Dunhuang and the hotel before we bring you to the airport for your departure.  

[icon color=”#3f3f3f” size=”20px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-stopwatch”]=Travel time


Inkludierte Leistungen:
Overnight stays in mid range hotels plusone night in the tent
Vehicle with driver
All transfers to and from the aiport
Flight Kashgar – Urumqi; Urumqi – Dunhuang
Courier, English
Meals (Breakfast and Lunch)
Help for applying a Chinese visa
Flight booking service