Taklamakan Desert Camel Treks

 

 Taklamakan Desert Camel Trekking and Karakoram HighwayHiking

 

There are Two Itineraries for This Trip: Itinerary 1 (9 days)and Itinerary 2 (7 days)

 

Tour Overview: This is a private tour, we will assign private guide, car, van and bus in each city and no other participants will be allowed to join in your group. Also the tour is totally flexible. Moreover, if you would like to do some adjustment in this itinerary, PLZ Email: silkroadexpedition@hotmail.com, in what area you are not satisfied, we can adjust the itinerary according to your every request. For groups more than 7 participants, we will arrange chief to cook in the Desert; otherwise tour guide will take care of your meal in the desert.

Tour Description : This adventure trip begins in Southern Silk Road oasis city Khotan(Hotan) and ends in Kashgar, from this trip you can not only explore the Southwestern Silk Road and it's preserved present culture around the area, but also explore the Most famous Silk Road cities like Kashgar,Yarkand and world's highest International Highway Karakoram all the way until the Kunjirap pass which is highest mountain pass in the world between China and Pakistan , and also you can do hiking around the karakul lake ,stay overnight in Kyrgyz yurt

Best time: April, May, End of August, September, October and November

Duration: 9 Days

Departure Date: You Choose (Recommend you to Arrive Khotan on Wednesday)  

Destination: Begins from Khotan and Ends in Kashgar   

Daily Itinerary 1

Day 1         Arrive Khotan(Hotan)

Arrive Khotan(Hotan) by connected flight fromBeijingorShanghaiviaUrumqi, Local Tour guide and driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer to the Hotel ,

Khotan was very important city in the southern silk road, and also was one of the earliest Buddhist states in the world and a cultural bridge across which Buddhist culture and learning were transmitted from India to China, Khotan was establishes as City in 300BC and completely Islamitised in 1006 AD, so you can visit some ancient Buddha ruins, as well as it's thousand years old of historical major products such as its famous nephrite jade and pottery factories.

Day 2 Camel Treks inTaklamakan Desert & Camping

Today after Breakfast in Hotel, we will start Khotan until noon, visit Malik Awat ancient City,KhotanJadeRiver, Imam Asim Mausoleum which is most respected one in Khotan, then do some shopping and start trekking with camel riding in the afternoon, camping in the desert

Day 3        Desert to Yarkand

After picnic breakfast in the desert, continue riding a camel and visit Rawak ancient Buddha pagoda which was ancient Khotan city before 10th century, the Drive to Yarkand after lunch in Khotan, check in Hotel

Day 4      Yarkand Tour then Drive to Kashgar

Explore Yarkand city in the morning which was medieval Uygur Empire Capital, visit the Imperial Royal Mausoleum built in 16th century, Royal Mosque and Mausoleum of Uyghur UNESCO 12 Muqam collector and Famous Uyghur Musician Ammannisa Khan who lived in 16th century, Then drive to Kashgar spend few hours on your own and Dinner in best restaurant in Kashgar named Altun Orda, Transfer to the Hotel.

Day 5       Kashgar City Cultural Tour

Kashgar has been claimed "the best-preserved example of a traditional Islamic city to be found anywhere inCentral Asia", although the city is becoming more developed.

Being the Islamic cultural center of China, Kashgar?now days? is very important western most special economic zone in China as it was also very important hub and earliest Islamic cultural center in central Asia's Silk Road.

So far today we will do full day excursion in this city, and visit Kashgar Sunday livestock Market, south and centralAsiaMarket, Apak Hoja tomb, Idkah Mosque and Kashgar old town, and enjoy the Uyghur local cuisines like kebab, hand pulled noodle in best Uyghur food restaurant in kashgar.

Kashgar Live stock Market:  Open field agricultural market only held every Sunday, Uyghur farmers type, very local atmosphere, business is all about the animals like sheep, yaks, goats, donkey, cows, camels and horses,

South and Central Asia Market(Sunday Market): it is regular commodity market that has all sort of goods, Market attracts more than 100 thousand people every Sunday from nearby towns around the kashgar and from central Asian countries as well.

Idkah Mosque:  Being largest mosque in China and 12th largest in the world, Idkah mosque is unique best preserved Uyghur architecture in now days and can hold more than 20 thousand worshipers on Friday's special prayer, The mosque built in 1442.

Apak Hoja tomb: Mausoleum is finest examples of Uyghur Islamic architecture in China, large dome of 17m is at the center surrounded by four corner minarets with strips and arabesque floral patterns initially built in 1640, powerful religious and political leader Apak hoja’s five generations of relatives buried inside the tomb,

 Kashgar old town: well preserved more than 1000s years old Uyghur residential area, people began to settle down there 11 hundred years ago after Uyghur people converted to Islam during the period of Great Karakhanid Dynasty which had been dominated whole central Asia from 9th century to 13th century, Kashgar was a capital .and it was cultural, political and important transportation hub in Central Asia’s silk road, it is treasure of silk road. Karakhanid dynasty imperial palace was also located in this old town, and still some parts of palace wall visible 

Because of it’s unique natural old fashion medieval style, old town attracted the attention of Hollywood to shot the film “Kite Runner”, most parts of the film was shot in this old town,

And more than 40 thousands of Uyghur families still live here behind hand-carved poplar doors, many in tumbledown rentals, others in two-story homes that vault over the alleys and open on courtyards filled with roses and cloth banners. Current architectural and life style of people directly derived from Medieval Karakhanid Uyghur culture. Possibly we have chance to visit one of the family. 

Day 6   Kashgar to Karakul Lake

Breakfast in Hotel, driving to Karakul lake, after one hour driving from Kashgar, we will arrive one last Uyghur village Opal on the way to Karakul lake, spend about half an hour on the local village market of Opal and do some shopping for gifts to give to the local Kyrgyz family in Karakul lake yurt where you are going to stay over night today,

Day 7   Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan

First Kyrgyz breakfast in yurt and start circuit hiking around the lake for couple of hours , and meet up with driver and transfer to Tashkorgan in the afternoon ,

Tashkorgan is only western most Entry and Exit gate of western China, mountain Tajik people live in surrounding area, and it is important town in the Karakoram, located south west of Kashgar ,borders with Badakhshan province of Tajikistan, Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan and Pakistani Kashmir where Karakoram, Pamir and Hindu kush mountain ranges are connected .therefore it has outstanding scenery of mountains ,

 Spend whole afternoon to visit the Ethnic Tajik Museum, best preserved ruin Stone forte which dates back to 7th century, and visit thePamir Grass land, Transfer to the Hotel

Day 8    Kunjirap pass and Drive back to Kashgar

After early breakfast in Hotel ,Drive further up today to the Karakoram highway to get to the Kunjirap pass at the elevation of 4850m while enjoying the stunning view of Hindu kush and Pamir mountains on the way, Drive back to Kashgar ,transfer to the hotel ,

Day 9    Departure from Kashgar

 

 

Itinerary 2

Tour Description: This tour begins from Kashgar and Ends in Kashgar, visiting Kashgar, camel back riding trek in Taklamakan desert in Yarkand,Karakorumhighway andKarakulLakeare highlights of this trip

Best time: April, May, End of August, September, October and November

Duration: 7 days

Departure Date: you choose (Recommend you to arrive kashgar on any Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,)

Destination: Start and End in Kashgar

Day 1         Arrive Kashgar

Arrive kashgar by flight or by cross border through Torugat pass fromKyrgyzstan, Check in Hotel,

Day 2   Kashgar to Yarkand toTaklamakan Desert

Drive to Yarkand, Explore Yarkand city which was medieval Uygur Empire Capital, visit the Imperial Royal Mausoleum built in 16th century, Royal Mosque and Mausoleum of Uyghur UNESCO 12 Muqam collector and Famous Uyghur Musician Ammannisa Khan who lived in 16th century, Then drive to Karasu village where we will start Taklamakan desert camel trekking in the afternoon, Picnic in the desert

Day 3     Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar

After desert breakfast, pack up camels and trek back to Karasu village and drive back to Kashgar, free time in the afternoon in Kashgar

Day 4        Kashgar City Tour

Being the Islamic cultural center ofChina, Kashgar is very important western most special economic zone inChinanow days as it was also very important hub and earliest Islamic cultural center in central Asia'sSilk Road.

So far today we will do full day excursion in this city, and visit Kashgar Sunday livestock Market, south and centralAsiaMarket, Apak Hoja tomb, Idkah Mosque and Kashgar old town, and enjoy the Uyghur local cuisines like kebab, hand pulled noodle in best Uyghur food restaurant in kashgar.

Day 5     Kashgar to Karakul Lake

After buffet breakfast in the hotel, we’ll take breathtaking highest and adventurous paved highways in the world to go though High Mountain range to Karakul Lake,  visit Opal village ,Mahmud al Kashgari Mausoleum ,Oytagh glaciers Park on the way ,  and stay overnight in nomad Kyrgyz Yurt,

Oytagh glaciersPark: it is veryNaturalGlaciersParkwith beautiful scenery, hiking about an hour there is just your preparation for next higher elevation of Karakoram,

 Mahmud al Kashgari Mausoleum:  Mahmud al Kashgari is very respected Uyghur Scholar and linguist lived in 11th century, He compiled old Turkic dictionary called Diwanu lughatil Turk (Turkic language dictionary ), for his great contribution to the comparative language and cultural study , UNESCO honored him ( Mahmud al kashgari year of 2008 on his 1000th anniversary ),Mausoleum built in 1008 AD when he died , there are mosques , Museum and ruins of Mahmud al Kashgari Madrassah(Islamic school) , it is located in Opal village .

Karakul Lake: it is rare highland lake in the world at the elevation of 3600m, located on the side of Karakoram highway ,200km south west of Kashgar ,it is surrounded by many snow capped high mountains like Mt Muztagh Ata(7546m) and Konggur (7719m). 

 

Kyrgyz Yurt: made of stone, still some are made of local embroidered mats; it is living house of local Kyrgyz people settling around the karakul lake, talk to them, stay with them and get to know their adventurous life in the remote mountains going to be your lifetime experience.

Day 6 Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan and Back to Kashgar

 

Kyrgyz breakfast in Kyrgyz yurt, then drive further on the Karakoram highway to Tajik Town Tashkorgan,

Tashkorgan is only western most Entry and Exit gate of western China, mountain Tajik people live in surrounding area, and it is important town in the Karakoram, located south west of Kashgar, borders with Badakhshan province of Tajikistan, Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan and Pakistani Kashmir where Karakoram, Pamir and Hindu kush mountain ranges are connected .therefore it has outstanding scenery of mountains,

 And visit theEthnic TajikMuseum, best preserved ruin Stone forte which dates back to 7th century, and visit thePamir Grass land, Transfer back to Kashgar

Day 7        Departure from Kashgar

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