Attractions

Top Choice Natural Feature in Kashgar

Shipton’s Arch

This extraordinary natural rock arch (the rather prosaic Uighur name means simply ‘mountain with a hole in it’) is one of the tallest on earth. The first Westerner to describe it was Eric Shipton, the last British c…
Top Choice Market in Kashgar

Sunday Livestock Market

No visit to Kashgar is complete without a trip to the Livestock Market, which takes place once a week on Sunday. The day begins with Uighur farmers and herders trekking into the city from nearby villages. By lunchti…
Top Choice Museum in Ürümqi

Xīnjiāng Autonomous Region Museum

Xīnjiāng’s massive provincial museum is a must for Silk Road aficionados. The highlight is the locally famous ‘Loulan Beauty’, the first of half a dozen 3800-year-old desert-mummified bodies of Xīnjiāng's erstwhile …
Top Choice Ruins in Turpan

Jiāohé Ruins

Also called Yarkhoto, Jiāohé was established by the Chinese as a garrison town during the Han dynasty. It’s one of the world’s largest (6500 residents once lived here), oldest (1600 years old) and best-preserved anc…
Top Choice Market in Kashgar

Grand Sunday Bazaar

Kashgar’s main bazaar is open every day but really kicks it up a gear on Sunday. Step through the jam-packed entrance and allow your five senses to guide you through the market; spices and teas are an obvious highli…
Top Choice Market in Hotan

Hotan Sunday Market

Hotan’s most popular attraction is its weekly Sunday market. The covered market bustles every day of the week, but on Sundays it swamps the northeast part of town, reaching fever pitch between noon and 2pm Xīnjiāng …
Top Choice Cave in Turpan

Bezeklik Cave Complex

This cave complex, which dates from the 6th to 14th century, has a fine location in a mesmerising desert landscape. Bezeklik means ‘Place of Paintings’ in Uighur and the murals painted in the 11th century represente…
Top Choice Tomb in Hāmì

Hāmì Kings Mausoleum

The chief reason to visit Hāmì is for this wonderfully serene complex of tombs containing the nine generations of Hāmì kings who ruled the region from 1697 to 1930. The blue- and green-tiled main tomb is the resting…
Lake in Karakoram Highway

Bulungkol Lake

This absolute wonder of nature is the first of the big plate-glass lakes you meet as you head up to Tashkurgan on the Karakoram Hwy. Backed by sublime sand mountains and often without a single ripple in its waters, …
Old Town in Kashgar

Kashgar Old Town

The Old Town is the soul of Kashgar, and as such the Chinese government has spent much of the past two decades knocking it down block by block and building a modern, soulless replacement. Yet it's still possible to …