Welcome to Central Xīnjiāng
Bound by deserts and mountain ranges, much of present-day Central Xīnjiāng would have been completely familiar to Silk Road traders on the Northern Route to Kashgar. Today the largest and most important city in the region is Xīnjiāng's capital, Ürümqi, though for travellers the ancient cities around Turpan, the Tianshan mountains, and the Buddha caves of Kuqa are the bigger draws
Top experiences in Central Xīnjiāng
Central Xīnjiāng activities
Central Asia on the Silk Road
Since opening up to travellers, China and its northwestern neighbours don’t seem quite as out-there a destination to some people – but they’re clearly not looking in the right places. This comprehensive 26-day journey from Beijing to Tashkent is one of those experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime. Picking up in the Chinese capital, you’ll visit the Uyghur province of Xinjiang, learning about the food, culture and history of this minority group. Then, we’ll leave China behind and venture into Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to retrace part of the route that helped build empires: The Silk Road. From stunning snow-capped mountains to arid deserts, experience a side of Asia in a way that you’ll barely believe is real.
The Silk Road of China
Geographically and culturally, Northwest China is about as far away from “traditional China” as you can get without crossing the border. The source of the Silk Road – the ancient trade route that helped create the modern world – is unlike anything you’ll find in Beijing or Xi'an, and this 18-day adventure crossing the country via rail takes you deep into the China few ever see. Otherworldly experiences abound, both on train and off: watch the sun rise over the dunes outside Dunhuang, explore the world of the Muslim Uyghurs, spend the night in traditional yurts near Urumqi, and venture into the Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar. There’s more, of course, but we’ve got to keep a few secrets, right?