Rustic North China Package

The Rustic North package takes you through the ancient Silk route of Xinjiang, with its striking desert landscape, rich folk customs and and an unique cuisine influenced by its nomadic past!

The recorded history of Xinjiang dates back to the 2nd century BC. Many empires and dynasties have ruled over this region - notably, the Turk, Han Dynasty, Jin Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, Uyghur, Mongol Empire and Manchu Dynasty. The present day architecture and culture has been influenced by each of these rulers and today offers a window into all their past glory.

Xinjiang is famous for its many mosques, historic ruins, desert and its nomadic heritage that has left an indelible mark on its cuisine.

The trip starts from Urumqi and typically covers Urumqi, Turpan, Korla, Kuqi, Aksu and Hotan. Urumqi has an international airport. It is best to fly into Hong Kong and take a connecting flight to Urumqi.

You can optionally add a visit to the ancient desert city of Niya, about 3:30 hours by road from Hotan. This package requires a lot of travel by road, some as long as 7:00 hours through the beautiful desert highway of Taklamakan. If you do not want to travel long distances by road, please let us know ahead of time and we can make alternate arrangements.

All our packages include pick up and drop from airports, 4 star hotels, local travel by bus or taxi, complimentary breakfast and a traditional Chinese lunch. An English speaking guide will accompany you throughout your travels! The price does not include dinner and tickets to local attractions.

Day 1, 2 Arrive in Urumqi
Visit local attractions. Enjoy the native xinjiang cuisine along with music and belly dancing!
Day 3, 4 Stay in Turpan and visit the Jiaohe Ruins & the flaming mountains
Day 5 Drive to Korla (about 4:30 hrs) and stay the night there
Day 6, 7 Drive to Kuqa, visit the The Tianshan Mystery Canyon and the Thousand caves of Buddha
Day 8 Drive to Aksu, capital of the Kingdom of Mangalai
Day 9, 10, 11 Drive to Hotan through the scenic desert highway crossing the Taklamakan desert (7:30 hrs)
[optional] Visit the ancient desert city of Niya by road and drive back to Hotan
Day 12 Fly back to Urumqi (economy air ticket included in package) and stay the night in Urumqi
Day 13 After breakfast, leave for your destination


Urumqi is an isolated outpost on the ancient silk route. The city, once, was an important transportation hub and now serves as the capital city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The city is located on the northern slope of Mt. Tianshan and at the southern edge of Jungar Basin and is known for its natural beauty and rich folk customs.

Travel to Urumqi, Xinjiang Travel to Urumqi, Xinjiang Travel to Urumqi, Xinjiang


Turpan, an oasis city, is located at the southern foot of Bogda Peak and in the center of Turpan valley. Because of the dramatic 5,000 meter difference in height between the mountain tops and the bottom of the valley, the scenery too, varies greatly at different altitudes - from perpetual snow at the summits to green oasis at the foot of the mountains. After a long journey from the desert, travellers are always fascinated by the extraordinary beauty of the valley with its snow capped mountains, salt lakes, and the "Flaming Mountains".

Tour of Turpan, Xinjiang


Korla is another oasis town in Xinjiang. It is home to the Bosten Lake, a freshwater lake covering an area of about 1,000 square kilometers. It is the largest lake in Xinjiang and one of the largest inland freshwater lakes in China. Some refer to it as the 'Oriental Hawaii of Xinjiang' because of its unique lush scenery surrounded by the harsh Gobi Desert.

Korla, Xinjiang Korla, Xinjiang Korla, Xinjiang


Kuqa was once the center of the ancient Qiuci Kingdom on the historic silk route that ran along the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert. Kuqa city's old district is still home to the traditional white adobe houses and many distinctively arabesque style mosques.

Near Kuqa are the Ruins of Subashi, a monument to the architecture and splendor of an era gone by. Kuqa was at its peak during the 6th to 8th century AD and witnessed the development of Buddhism. It was later supplanted by Islam in the 13th century, when it was introduced to Xinjiang and became the predominant religion here.

Kuqa, Xinjiang Subashi ruins Drive through Taklamakan Desert


Aksu is the capital city of Aksu Prefecture. "Aksu" literally means white water and was known as Gumo in the ancient times. It was an important stop on the Northern Silk Route that runs along the Taklamakan Desert between Kuqa and Kashgar. Time had stood still at Aksu and a visitor is transported to a magical realm of the desert warriors and princes!

Travel through Aksu, Xinjiang


Niya, also called Minfeng, is a small town near Hotan, on the southern ridge of the Taklamakan Desert. Here, one can wander around, take in the ancient bazaars and witness life in a desert kingdom from an age gone by. You can camp in the desert and take in the lively dance and music along with a sumptuous meal of barbecued lamb!

  • Desert town of Niya Desert town of Niya Desert town of Niya
  • Visit to Niya Visit to Niya Visit to Niya


Famous for its silk and jade, the oasis town of Hotan lies in the Tarim Basin, north of the Kunlun Mountains. Strategically located on the southern branch of the historic silk route, it provided a convenient meeting place for people, commerce, philosophy and religion!

  • China Silk route:Hotan China Silk route:Hotan China Silk route:Hotan
  • Travel through the silk route Travel through the silk route Travel through the silk route
  • China Silk Route China Silk Route China Silk Route

Xinjiang has a unique style of cooking drawn from its nomadic heritage and heavily influenced by the Islamic culture. The cuisine is marked by the delicate use of herbs and spices and a variety of barbecued meat! Pork is generally not consumed in this part of China.

Xinjiang cuisine is strongly influenced by its nomadic past

Package Price

Adult $2300
Child < 7 years $1500
Child < 3 years Free

Save $300 per person on a two pack and save more than $1000 on a family pack of two adults & 2 children. Contact us at for more details.