Golden Travel Route
It is necessary for tourists be aware of some travel essentials when they are on the road, such as climate, food, drink, accommodation, transportation and customs of minorities.
Before travelers go, please learn about the guide information as much as possible or just contact with a Local Xinjiang travel consultant (The Silk Road China), Xinjiang, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . who operates this tour route and tell travelers what to pack, what to see and more.
By plane: Fly to Urumqi from Beijing. More than 50 cities in China have domestic direct flights to Xinjiang's provincial capital Urumqi, as have 14 cities internationally: Almaty, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Bishkek, Osh, Tashkent, Dushenbi, Istanbul, Baku, Dubai, Islamabad, Kabul, Kiev and Tbilisi. There are direct flights from Urumqi to prefectural centres like Kashgar, Khotan, Aksu, Koerla, Karamay, Altay, Yining (ghulja), Tacheng(chochak) and Hami(kumul).
By train: Xinjiang is connected with the rest of China by Lanxin railway. Direct train runs from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, as well as most other cities. A trip from Beijing to Urumqi is scheduled to take slightly over 33 hours. There are also two international trains weekly to Kazakhstan.
After breakfast, drive to Turpan (3hrs). Upon arrival, visit Emin Minaret (Sugong Pagoda) which was built in 1777 by a local hereditary religious leader. Lunch at a local family in the Grape Valley, and then visit the Ancient City of Jiaohe which is located on a bluff above the confluence of the two major rivers. Jiaohe Ruins is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It takes 5 hour's bus or nearly 10 hours train from Turban to Korla.
It takes 4 hour's bus or nearly 5 hours train from Korla to Kuqa.
It takes 12 hour's bus or nearly 20 hours train from Kuqa to Khotan.
It takes 11 hour's bus or nearly 10 hours train from Khotan to Kaghgar. Arrive Kashgar and be picked up to the hotel. After lunch visit the Mausoleum of Abjak Hoja (a 17th century Muslim leader), and take a walk through the old town quarter. Pay a visit to the Id Kah Mosque with its dome and minarets. The busiest, and some say the biggest, mosque in China, Id Kah Mosque, occupies the central square of Kashgar, where it has stood since 1442. The streets are full of craftsmen including musical instrument craftsmen, jewelers and goldsmiths.
It takes 1.5 hours fly or at least 30 hours train from Kashgar to Urumqi. After breakfast, be picked up to Urumqi train station for overnight train to Kashgar. Lunch and dinner would be on your own on the train.
Theft: Xinjiang is home to a lively bazaar culture where anything and everything is traded. But hordes of people crammed into confined spaces also present a prime opportunity for pickpockets, who often operate in teams and can be very efficient at what they do. Be very careful with your valuables when you are out and about. As a foreign traveller you are a prime target.
Counterfeit notes: Be careful when paying with 100 yuan notes in smaller restaurants or shops. The owner may switch the note with a counterfeit one and claim that you gave him/her a fake note. You should also check your notes when you are returned your hotel deposit.
Fly from Urumqi to Beijing. Xinjiang borders eight countries, making it ideal for exploring the surrounding countries. Korgas and Alashankou lead to Kazakhstan, the Torugart and Irkeshtam passes lead to Kyrgyzstan, the Kulma pass leads to Tajikistan, and the Karakorum Highway leads south to Pakistan . You can get visas for Kazakstan and Kyrgystan in Urumqi.