China: Legacy of the Uyghur

Journey off the tourist track to the last station in China on the ancient Silk Road.

Country Information

China Including Tibet

China: Legacy of the Uyghur Inspired Expeditions

(Countries Visited)

China Including Tibet


(Interest Type(s))

Adventure Travel

,

Recommended


(Tour Length)

15 Days


Tour Highlights

Starting at: $8,950

“This program was created to show the world the beauty of a culture largely unknown to Western Civilization.  Not only does this itinerary explore the living legacy of the Uyghur people and their contributions to mankind, but it visits the highlights of the Chinese Silk Road including Ürümqi, Kashgar, and Turpan.  This itinerary will appeal to all those interested in authentic culture, rich history, and stunning scenery unique to only this part of the world.”  Justin Huff, Destination Specialist

  • Explore Beijing and its monumental sights such as the enchanting Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China
  • Journey off the tourist track to Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, and Kashgar, the last station of the ancient Silk Road in China
  • Enjoy VIP access to some sites not open to the public, including the ancient Kumutula Thousand Buddha Grottoes and the Mogao Grottoes
  • Take in a private exhibition of the Urumqi Archaeology Institute
  • Visit the sophisticated Karez system of irrigation, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been listed as one of the three greatest water projects of ancient China

 

 

Day 1:  Arrive Beijing, China
Welcome to China!  Upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport you will be met and privately transferred to your hotel.  Fairmont Beijing – Deluxe Room

Day 2:  Beijing
Today you will have a full day tour of Beijing.  You will be dropped off with your guide in Tiananmen Square where you will learn about its amazing history and significance, and you will have the opportunity to take photos.  Then your car will pick you up and transfer you to a spot near the Forbidden City’s Five Phoenix Tower before you begin your tour.  You will then visit the Empress Dowager’s extravagant Summer Palace on serene Kunming Lake, learning about life during her era.  Please note that the boat ride on Kunming Lake is subject to weather.  Lunch will be served at a Cheng Mansion Feast whose chef is the former personal chef for Chairman Mao Tse Tung.  Fairmont Beijing – Deluxe Room (B,L)

Day 3:  Beijing – Great Wall of China
Travel off the beaten track to walk on Mutianyu section the Great Wall.  You will have roundtrip cable car tickets for you and your guide who will show you all the amazing views and explain the history of this amazing wonder to you.  You have the special opportunity to contribute to its restoration by personally adding your own brick.  On the way back to Beijing you will visit the Changling Tomb and Sacred Way.  Fairmont Beijing – Deluxe Room (B,L)

Day 4:  Beijing / Urumqi
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.  The rapidly modernizing city lies on the plains at the end of Tian Shan Mountain and is populated by people from Mao’s “Go West” campaign in the 1950s.  Here you can see Mount Bogda (18,200 feet), the highest peak of Tian Shan Mountain, which is visible on the horizon.  Upon arrival you will be met and privately transferred to your hotel.  Later this afternoon you will visit the Xinjiang Autonomous Region History Museum in the afternoon (closed on Monday).  Sheraton Urumqi Hotel – Superior Room (B,L)

Day 5:  Urumqi / Kashgar
Today you will have a tour to the “Heavenly Lake” called Tianchi in Chinese.  Take a boat tour on this biggest limnetic lake at this high altitude.  Lunch will be served when you return back to Urumqi.  You will then fly across the Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar, the last station of the Silk Road in China.  Kashgar was the great pivot point of the routes coming from China, departing south to India and west to Tashkent and Samarkand.  Upon arrival you will be met and privately transferred to your hotel where the remainder of the evening is at your leisure.  Kashgar Tianyuan International Hotel – Standard Room (B,L)

Day 6:  Kashgar
Today’s focus is Kashgar.  You will spend time in the old city, absorbing the sights and sounds and getting a feel for the place, which was once Britain’s most remote listening post in Central Asia.  You will visit the Abakh Hoja Tomb, the Id Kah Mosque, and the famous Sunday Bazaar, where thousands of people come in from the country every Sunday to trade livestock as they have for centuries.  Vendors sell vegetables, fruits, food, garments, tools and furniture.  You may also see street musicians at work.  Later, you have the opportunity to visit a local Uyghur kindergarten class.  Kashgar Tianyuan International Hotel – Standard Room (B,L)

Day 7:  Kashgar / Kuche (Kuqa)
After breakfast you will visit the Gaochang Old Residence.  Here is the best preserved residence area for Uyghur people as they still kept the old traditions and lifestyle.  After lunch, you will take the train to Kuche, also known as Kuqa.  Your guide will accompany you on the train to Kuche.  Upon arrival at Kuche at night, you will be met and privately transferred to your hotel.  Kuche Lidu Hotel – Standard Room (B,L)

Day 8:  Kuche
Your tour today in Kuche is retrospective of the Tang Dynasty stone carvings in caves about Buddhism.  You will visit the famous Kezil Thousand Buddha Caves in Kucha.  Buddhism was introduced to Kucha before the end of the 1st century, however, it was not until the 3rd century that the kingdom became a major center of Buddhism, primarily the Sravakayana branch but also Mahayana.  The Budda Statues in Kuche are totally different from what you are going to see in Turpan.  The Buddhas appear more Mid-Asian like or European, and you can find the Buddhas in Turpan are Uyghur and Buddhas in Dunhuang are Chinese.  After lunch visit the Kuche Grand Canyon.  Kuche Lidu Hotel – Standard Room (B,L)

Day 9:  Kuche / Kumutula Caves / Kuche / Urumqi
Today you will visit the Kumutula Caves.  This site is not open to the public, and you will have private VIP access where you can see the Buddhas in a totally different appearance.  Return for Kuche for your flight back to Urumqi.  Upon arrival at Urumqi you will be met and transferred to your hotel.  Sheraton Urumqi Hotel – Superior Room (B,L)

Day 10:  Urumqi / Turpan
This morning you will visit the Urumqi Archaeology Institute (cannot be on Saturday or Sunday) to see the private exhibition, which is not open to the public.  Afterwards you will be driven to Turpan (200 kilometers), which is an oasis watered by the melting snows of the Tianshan.  Although located in the Turpan Depression, one of the lowest and hottest places on earth (Marco Polo heard of it as “ the demon-haunted desert of Lop”), Turpan has abundant crops of melons and produces fine grapes for wines as a result of the sophisticated Karez system of irrigation.  This afternoon you will visit the Karez Wells and a local family.  Turpan Tuha Petrol International Hotel - Standard Room (B,L)

Day 11:  Turpan
Your full day tour in Turpan begins with a visit to the remains of the ancient city Gaochang, the old Uyghur village of Tuyuk.  You will visit the red sandstone hills of the Flaming Mountains and the Bezeklik Buddhist Caves.  Later this afternoon you will visit the Turpan City Musuem.  Turpan Tuha Petrol International Hotel - Standard Room (B,L)

Day 12:  Turpan / Urumqi
After a leisurely breakfast you will visit the town-fortress of Jiao He, strategically placed on a mesa between two fertile river valleys and destroyed by the Mongols during a tax revolt by the locals.  You will also visit the local bazaars before transferring back to Urumqi where you will check into your hotel upon arrival.  Sheraton Urumqi Hotel – Superior Room (B,L)

Day 13:  Urumqi / Dunhuang
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Dunhuang.  Upon arrival in Dunhuang, you visit the Mogao Grottoes (including a special VIP visit to two caves that are closed to the general public).  Then you will visit the Singing Sand Dune and Moon Crescent Spring where you will have the opportunity to ride a camel on a sand dune.  Dunhuang Silk Road Hotel – View Room (B,L)

Day 14:  Dunhuang / Beijing
This morning you will transfer to the airport for your departing flight to Beijing.  This afternoon in Beijing you may choose to relax or do some shopping before you return home at the silk market or pearl market.  Fairmont Beijing – Deluxe Room (B)

Day 15:  Beijing / Depart
Today you will transfer to the airport in Beijing where you will board your international flight home.  (B)

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  Starting from $8,950

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