Wild Northern Xinjiang

Yining, Kuitun, Burqin, Hemu, Kanas Lake & Urumqi

From £4700 per person in low season
From £5000 per person in high season

based on 8 nights & daily experiences

Price Guide:

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* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.

Price includes:

  • Accommodation

  • Private transfers

  • Full Board

  • Daily experiences

per person based on two people sharing. 
Please note that the cost of the itinerary will be higher during peak periods of travel, over Chinese National Holidays.

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At a Glance

  • Stroll in the fairytale villages of Hemu and Baihaba

  • Get acquainted with the ethnic minority culture of Kazakh nomad herders and the Tuva people, known to be the descendants of Genghis Khan

  • Appreciate the superlative beauty of Kanas Lake, five-coloured Wucai Tan, the fruit-forested Guozigou Valley, sub-alpine meadow of Nalati Grassland and more

  • A unique, hair-raising experience at Urho Ghost City where geological erosion has carved castles and temples out of the rugged landscape

  • Whether spring in Apricot Valley, lush summer grassland pasture with Huocheng lavender visit, autumn colours in Kanas Lake or the icy beauty of Hemu in winter, we can recommend something for every season

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

China’s ancient Silk Road spans 3 vast provinces, stretching from the city of Xian in Shaanxi province through to the westerly terminus at Kashgar in Xinjiang province, close to the border of Kyrgyzstan. With such a vast range of terrain and topography, there are significant climatic changes as you follow this hallowed trading route across China. Xian’s continental climate makes it pleasant year-round, with more rain during the summer months, mirrored by the cities of Lanzhou, Jiayuguan and Dunhuang in Gansu province. It is only as you cross into the more rugged, arid terrain of Xinjiang that the variations in temperature become more apparent. Summers are scorching and winters are bone-chillingly cold, with snow on the mountains and huge temperature variations from morning to night. May is a spectacular time to traverse the Silk Road, as the snow begins to melt and the meadows spring to life with lush green pasture and wild flowers. Autumn is similarly pleasant, with less extreme temperatures and whilst the summers are very hot, the oasis towns across the desert region are bountiful with flowers and fruits and the humidity is low in the westerly reaches of the Silk Road.

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday.


Get up close to the superlative nature, rural sceneries and ethnic minorities of the Xinjiang province. Visit the sub-alpine meadow of Nalati Grassland, circle the Sayram Lake, feel the eeriness of Urho Ghost City and stroll in the fairytale-like Hemu Village.

  1. Days 1-3: Yining

    Situated in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of the Xinjiang Province, Yining is your gateway to key attractions in the rural Xinjiang.

    Spending two nights here, we will make a day trip to Nalati which is one of the world's largest grasslands. Nomads living around the area will herd their livestocks to graze here.

    We will then include a visit to Sayram Lake, the largest and highest alpine lake in Xinjiang at 2,070 metres. Hear the heart-wrenching love stories of two young Kazakh lovers associated with the myth of the lake. Afterwards, we visit the Guozigou Valley with its distinctive wild fruit trees interspersed with an expressway bridge.

    Seasonal Bonus: We can make a visit to the Apricot Flowers Valley if you are visiting in early April or Huocheng Lavender Base in June.

    Accommodation: TianYuan International Hotel Yining (2 nights)

  2. Days 3-4: Kuytun

    In Kuytun, we will make a visit to the magnificent Kuytun Grand Canyon located at the northern slopes of the Tian Shan mountain range. Carved by rain, snow and river, the canyon extends hundreds of meters deep.

    We continue into the Urho Ghost City in Karamay through the Gurbantunggut Desert. Here, the erosion has carved out castles and temples which creates eerie moan when the wind blows through.

    Accommodation: Xinjiang Runjin International Hotel (1 night)

  3. Days 4-5: Burqin

    Arriving into Burqin, we will enjoy sunset at the Five-Coloured Beach of Wucai Tan if time permits. Otherwise, we will visit Wucai Tan on the next morning.

    Accommodation: Burqin Hotel (1 night)

  4. Days 5-6: Hemu

    As we drive further north, you will reach the remote Hemu Village. It is the oldest and most complete of Tuva minority villages in China. Flanked with landscapes of wooden huts, birch forests and Hemu River, we will spend some time strolling through the fairytale-like village before hiking to a hilltop for a fantastic sunset view overlooking the village. Legend has it that the Tuva people are descendants of the Genghis Khan.

    Accommodation: Kanas Hemu Mountain Villa (1 night)

  5. Days 6-8: Kanas Lake

    Reaching into the valley of Altai mountain, we arrive in the picturesque Kanas Lake. We will visit the Moony Bay, Crouching Dragon Bay, Yaze Lake, Angel Bay, as well as a boat ride in the lake. Finally, we end the day hiking the 1,086 steps into the Guanyu Pavilion where you can enjoy the pristine lake view from an elevated viewpoint.

    The next day, we offer two possible options:

    Option 1: Hike to Black Lake. For active travellers, we will transfer you into the Black Lake for approximately 1 hour on a 4WD before hiking approximately 2 hours into the secluded lake.

    Option 2: Visit Baihaba & Tuwa Ethnic Villages. Get a more in-depth look into the rural village life. Surrounded by birch forests, the scenic Baihaba is co-inhabited by Kazakh and Tuwa people. We continue to Tuwa Ethnic Village to further learn about the ethnic culture of the minorities.

    Accommodation: Kanas Jianyuan Villa Hotel (2 nights)

  6. Fly to Urumqi

  7. Days 8-9: Urumqi

    Bidding farewell to Kanas Lake, you will be transferred into your airport in Kanas or Altai depending on flight seasonality, where you will board your plane into Urumqi.

    Urumqi is the capital of the Xinjiang province. We will visit the Xinjiang Museum where you will learn about the different ethnic groups and witness the Loulan Mummy. Afterwards, we continue into the Red Hill for a panoramic city viewpoint before concluding your final night at the International Grand Bazaar.

    Accommodation: Wanda Vista Hotel Urumqi (1 night)


Yining, Kuitun, Burqin, Hemu, Kanas Lake & Urumqi

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday.

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