Located in the Northwestern China, Xinjiang Autonomous Region has exotic and amazing sceneries and unique customs and hospitable people. This tour brings you to visit the hottest destinations in Xinjiang, including Urumqi, Turpan and Aletai. You can experience the exotic and colorful mountains and the mysterious Kanas Lake. The Grape Valley in Turpan welcomes you with its abundant sweet fruits. If you are curious about mysterious Xinjiang, if you want to enjoy unique sceneries, please come to join us.
We take a flight to Urumqi from Shanghai. Arrive in Urumqi, our guide (CET representative) will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China, is just like a piece of emerald embedded at the foot of the Tianshan Mountains.
Stay overnight in Urumqi.
After breakfast, we will drive to the [Heavenly Lake] that is 110 km (about 68.4miles) from Urumqi. It has an elevation of 1,980 meters (about 6,496feet) and an area of 4.9 square km (about 1,211acres), located at the half way of the Begeda Peak of Tianshan Mountain. Heavenly Lake offers science lovers exploring opportunities due to the relic of the Quaternary Period Glacier and its surrounding geological relics. The water is very clear and the banks are covered with tall trees. The jade-green lake is an ideal place for excursions and rest for most of the year for the surrounded mountains. It not only provides an excellent skating rink in winter, but also, the beautiful lake is an ideal cool resort in summer. Boaters on the lake see the ever-changing silvery mountains soaring into the blue sky, the slopes highlighted with verdant pasture and flamboyant wild flowers.
Stay overnight in Urumqi.
Meals: (B, L)
Today we will drive about 2 hours to the beautiful [South Mountain Pasture] and visit the [Kazak Yurt]. Standing in the pastures, you can see the Kazaks herd sheep, cattle and horses like their ancestors in a landscape of snow-covered peaks and emerald-green grasslands. In the South Pasture area, you can see great mountain scenery, hike and ride horses, and experience some of the Kazakh way of life. You can visit one of the traditional yurts locating in the spruce forest where you will be welcomed by a generous host with fragrant milk tea, mare's milk, cheese and roasted lamb. If you are lucky enough, you will be able to observe the amazing horse-racing and traditional Kazak dancing.
Then we will take our van/bus to Turpan (2.5 hours). We will visit the [Sugong Minaret] and [a Uygur family] tasting their home made food and the grape. Sometimes they present Uygur dance and song show when we are hosted at those places.
Meals: (B, L)
This morning we will visit the [Karez Well] and the [Jiaohe Ancient City], [Gaochang Ancient City] and the [Tuyugou Valley]. There we will have a close look at the over 5,000 kilometers (about 3107miles) underground water system, you will definitely agree that it has been called "the underground Great Wall", besides it includes functions as the natural air conditioner for the locals because they can sit in one while chatting or doing some chores. Next will be the visit to the twin ancient cities, Gaochang & Jiaohe. They will help you have a better understanding of the history once played here 1000 years ago, all which made the Turpan region the only place where four ancient civilizations once met and melt each other in the world. The last will be the Tuyugou Valley. A small Uighur valley has an array of historic sites spanning 3,000 years.
Stay overnight in Urumqi.
Meals: (B, L)
Today we take our van/bus back to the capital city Urumqi. Later in the afternoon, we will visit the [XinJiang Provincial Museum]. The museum is a Must-see for every visitor to Urumqi. It demonstrates very clearly how important the region has been throughout history. There are houses tons of voluble historical relics unearthed along the Silk Road in this region, especially the Mummies Section. These mummies are not artificial attempts to extend the physical bodies of worthy people beyond death as found in Egypt but natural preservations resulting from the extremely arid conditions. And do some shopping in the International Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar has drawn widespread praise, winning such awards as "New Top Ten Landscapes of Urumqi" and “Ten Top Buildings of Urumqi.” You can bargain hunting for handicraft souvenirs such as rugs, carpets, Uygur-style hats, knitted sweaters, ethnic costumes, hand-made embroideries, jade carvings and everything arousing your interest.
Stay overnight in Aletai.
Meals: (B, L)
This morning we take an early flight to Kanas Lake Airport. And we can enjoy spectacular views along the way, we will pass the golden mountain -- Altai Mountain, and see the silver water -- Erqis River, the only one river running into the Arctic Ocean in China. Then we will arrive at the [Kanas Lake] in the afternoon, which is only 150km (about 93miles) away from Burqin County. Kanas Lake is the most beautiful mountain lake that enjoys a reputation as "the Swiss scene in Asia". Its unparalleled scenery and mysterious legend attract many tourists. Embraced by snow-capped mountains, the Kanas Lake area is covered with dense forests and is the only region where animals and plants of South Siberia species can be found in China. We will enjoy a cruise on the lake. We can walk along the bank to feel its tranquility and indulge yourself in the beautiful scene. We will also pay a visit to a local Tuvan People residence that can only be found in this part of China.
Stay overnight at Kanas Lake Area.
Meals: (B, L)
This morning we will continue to explore more about this mysterious lake area and visit wooden houses there. Then we will drive to the airport for a flight to Urumqi. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel.
Stay overnight in Urumqi.
Meals: (B, L)
This morning we will take a flight to go back to Shanghai. Our service ends at the Shanghai airport.
|1 person||2-5 persons||6-9 persons||≥10 persons||Single Room Supplement|
|First Class Tour||$2571||$2018||$1773||$1300||$570|
How to Pack up
We suggest that each person packs up one rollable suitcase with the weight under 20 kg/44lb. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like iPods and mobile phones.
It's only for reference and you may not need all of them. Choose from below according to the tour you pick up:
Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
USD cash and travelers checks
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
ChinaExpeditionTours vouchers and trip dossier
Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Day pack for daily personal items
Wet wipes / Moist towelettes
Sun hat, Sun block, Sunglasses
Water bottle and Plastic mug for train journeys
Ear plugs for train journeys or light sleepers
Small towel and swim wear
Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
Shorts for summer months (June – September)
Warm clothes for Nov-April. Fleece, Jacket, hat and gloves
Umbrella or waterproof jacket.
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry.
Camera, film and memory chip
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
Generally speaking, the dress standard is more conservative in China than it is in western countries. Things also changes quickly, nowadays the young Chinese share the same hobbies with their western counterparts. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of summers. In predominately Buddhist and Muslim regions we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.
Every traveler is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travelers may drink more than others while other travelers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to internet for the recent exchange rates. There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and MasterCard and other credit cards in most Chinese cities. We also recommend the use of cash and travelers checks in USD currency. Major credit cards are accepted in big shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. For the small shops and the street venders, they take cash (either Chinese Yuan or US dollar) only.
Eating is a big part of your traveling in China. Travelling with ChinaExpeditionTours you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally breakfasts and lunches are included except dinners to give you the flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. Your group leader or local guide will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD200 (or equivalent) as an "emergency" fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control, necessitate a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary to tip service providers in travel industry in Asia, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from $6-$10 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service, for driver, it could be half. If necessary, ask your tour leader or call your ChinaExpeditionTours tour advisor for specific recommendations based on the circumstances. If you have a tour leader for the whole tour, at the end of the trip if you felt he/she did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. However as a guideline $6-10 USD per person, per day can be used.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are all e-tickets. They are issued locally and you will be given the information of them prior to the flight departure..
Generally laundry facilities are offered by our hotels for a charge. You also can go to a laundry service center near your hotel to have your clothing washed at a lower cost. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Safety and Security
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers' checks, cash and other valuable items. Many of the hotels we cooperate with have safety deposit boxes which are the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. When travelling on a trip, please note that your group leader or local guides has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your leader or local guides will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader or local guides will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of China but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is not acceptable for ChinaExpeditionTours travelers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. Use of illegal drugs is completely contrary to this philosophy and local law. Our group leader or local guides has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or used.
If you want to fully enjoy your trip abroad, a good health and confidence in physical strength are important. This trip may contain a fair amount of walking up and down steps in towns or climbing mountains. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders or local guides are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In China pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting a tour please carefully read the itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. For travelers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is highly suggested to bring forth. ChinaExpeditionTours reserves the right to exclude any traveler from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our group leader or local guides they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an "average level of fitness and mobility" is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own bags at a minimum. Travelers over the age of 70, or travelers with a pre-existing medical condition, are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that senior travelers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders or local guides work hard to ensure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. You must have comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalization, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. Please take your insurance policy with you when you travel. You may take other cover, of course, but we require you to be adequately insured before we can allow you to participate in our programs. Your ChinaExpeditionTours leader or local guides will need to see and record your policy details at the pre-tour briefing at the starting city, so please bring a copy along to the meeting. If you arrive without travel insurance your tour leader or local guide will require you to purchase a policy before you continue your journey with us.
If you are covered by a policy arranged through your credit card company you will be asked to provide evidence of this cover, as well as a 24-hour emergency contact number. Many credit card companies do not provide an insurance policy number. In this instance, the tour leader or local guides will need to record your credit card number, as this is required to activate any request for emergency assistance. You should also bring along the travel insurance information booklet provided by your credit card company. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the requirements set out by your credit card company in order to be effectively covered and that the cover offered is of a suitable standard.
Passport & Visas
Well before travelling, please ensure that you have a current passport, with an accurate photo, that is valid for at least six months after your scheduled return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport.
Please note that visas for China and Hong Kong are the responsibility of the individual traveler. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. Americans, British, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders do currently require a visa for China. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your government. For the most up to date information please check your governments' foreign ministry website. It is important that you check for yourself. For most travelers there will probably have an embassy and consulate in the country that you live in. Please note if you are travelling from China, into Hong Kong then back into China, you will need a double entry Chinese visa. Note that on some occasions people transiting through China on way to Hong Kong have been made to go through immigration and had their single entry visa stamped making this invalid. Do not allow your visa to be stamped if you are only going through transit.
Keeping in Touch
If you need to be contacted while travelling we recommend that you set up an email address that can be accessed on the road, rather than relying on postal mail. Email cafes are becoming increasingly commonplace and cheap throughout the country, and have quickly become the preferred way for our leaders and travelers to stay in touch. If someone wishes to contact you in an emergency while you are on one of our trips we recommend that they contact us so we can get into touch with your tour leader or local guide quickly by their cell phone and they can pass their cell phone to you! We recommend that family and friends don't try to contact you through phoning hotels en route, as our hotels are subject to change.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us and we'll record you and give you ChinaExpeditionTours travel points so you can use the points to get discount for your next ChinaExpeditionTours trip or your friends' ChinaExpeditionTours tours.