Dunhuang Grottos & Sand Dunes
Dunhuang, "City of the Sands", is located in Gobi desert in Gansu, northwest of China. It was a former terminal of the ancient Silk Road, perched on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, one of the world's largest deserts (272,000 sq km). Dunhuang is home to the Mogao Grottos, one of the richest collections of ancient Buddhist murals and statues in China. These grottos were carved into a 1600-meter high cliff and created during over nine dynasties (4th - 14th centuries). They contain 492 caves, each housing murals (45,000), Buddhist paintings and terra-cotta statues (2,000). At the "Mingshashan Sand Dunes" -which Marco Polo referred to as the "rumbling sands"- one can visit "Crescent Moon Lake", a lush green oasis. A stunning view of a green oasis surrounded by endless desert scenery will open to you when climbing to the top of the dunes.
Xinjiang （Urumqi (capital); Kashgar)
Urumqi is the capital of Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Regions. It has served and is still serving as a main entry for those crossing into Central Asia. Today it becomes a lively metropolis with an urban population of 1.08 million (You will see Carrefour Shopping Mall). The main attraction now for Xinjiang is the exhibits of mummies and other artifacts of Uigur ethnic culture and treasures from Silk Road in Xinjiang Regional Museum. The Id Kah Mosque is the largest in mosque in China. It attracts more than 10,000 worshippers for Friday prayers.
Kashgar is in the heart of Chinese Islam, owns the largest Muslim community and best market in China! Kashgar was once the key trading post bridging the East and the West. Today they sell, bargain and trade everything ranging from camels and donkeys to embroidered caps and ornate knives. Situated at the foot of the impressive Pamir mountains, The ancient oasis city still retains the exotic feel of the Silk Road era
The Lake Karakuri; Kazakh Yurts & grassland
The Lake Karakuri is a majestic glacial lake fed by century-old glaciers and sits at the base of Muztagh Ata (7,545 meters). The trip out here from Kashgar takes travelers 200km through treeless sand dunes, past grazing camels and yaks until suddenly this dramatic and spectacular lake appears by the roadside, as if from nowhere. The surface of this huge lake reflects the snow-covered peaks of Mount Muztagata, which towers in the background. Continue from the lake, you will see Kazakh yurts and grassland.