11 Days Northern Xinjiang Tour to Kanas Lake and Ili Prefecture

Northern Xinjiang must be a lifetime journey to you. During this tour, you will visit the highlights of Urumqi and Burqin, such as Heavenly Lake, Kanas Lake and Hemu Village. What’s more, we will head to Karamay, Naraty, Bayinbuluk and Korla to visit another two famous lakes and two grasslands.


  • Visit Xinjiang Museum and Grand Bazaar in Xinjiang.
  • Explore Hemu Village and Kanas Lake in Berqin.
  • View the Urho Ghost City in Karamay.
  • Enjoy the grassland in Naraty and Bayinbuluk.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Urumqi Arrival
  • Day 2: Urumqi – Heavenly Lake – Burqin
  • Day 3: Burqin – Kanas
  • Day 4: Kanas – Hemu
  • Day 5: Hemu – Karamay
  • Day 6: Karamay – Sayram Lake
  • Day 7: Sayram Lake – Naraty
  • Day 8: Naraty – Bayinbuluk
  • Day 9: Bayinbuluk – Korla
  • Day 10: Korla – Urumqi
  • Day 11: Urumqi Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Urumqi Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities: Xinjiang International Bazaar
Accommodation: Urumqi

Met by our tour guide and escorted to your hotel for a short rest. Then head to visit Grand Bazaar, one of the most famous landmarks in Urumqi city, which is the largest bazaar in the world by scale, combining Islamic culture, architecture, ethnic commerce, tourism and entertainment.

Day 2 Urumqi – Heavenly Lake – Burqin

Sightseeing and Activities: Heavenly lake
Accommodation: Burqin
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at hotel, start today’s tour with Heavenly lake. It is a crescent alpine lake in the north of Bogda Peak, which enjoys crystal water due to melted snow as its source.

Then drive to Burqin. Enjoy the scenery along the way, such as Gurbantunggut Desert Interior, Huoshao Mountain, Multi-colored Bay. Stay overnight at Burqin.

Day 3 Burqin – Kanas

Sightseeing and Activities: Kanas Lake
Accommodation: Kanas
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at hotel, head to Kanas Lake. First arrive in the entrance of Kanas lake – Jiadengyu. Then take 1-hour shuttle bus around the lake area. After the shuttle bus tour, hiking along the kanas River and take a boat if you like(optional). Or visit watch tower to see the whole view of the Kanas Lake area, which takes around 3-4 hours.

Day 4 Kanas – Hemu

Sightseeing and Activities: Hemu village
Accommodation: Hemu
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Get up early and enjoy the sunrise of Kanas. Then head to Hemu village, located at the south bank of the Kanas Lake, where the local Tuwa people live in. Hemu is a rather primitive village, with all wooden houses here. The most famous is the amazing scenery in autumn.

Day 5 Hemu – Karamay

Sightseeing and Activities: Colorful Beach
Accommodation: Karamay
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today drive to Burqin for visiting Colorful Beach. It belongs to Yadan landform and severely eroded by the river and wind. While the rocks in the bank show different colors due to different types of mineral substances they contain. Then continue driving to Karamay for overnight.

Day 6 Karamay – Sayram Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Karamay city, Wurhe Ghost City
Accommodation: Yurt
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning, visit Karamay city. The name of the city comes from the Uyghur language, and means “black oil”, referring to the oil fields near the city. We will head to Wurhe Ghost City, a famous tourist area for its unique Yardan landform and the howling wind.

Then continue to Sayram Lake. We will stay at Yurt for overnight.

Day 7 Sayram Lake – Naraty

Sightseeing and Activities: Sayram Lake, Lavender Farm, Fruit Gully
Accommodation: Naraty
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy the morning of Sayram Lake. It is the biggest and highest alpine lake in Xinjiang, a sparkling pearl along Silk Road. Located in a basin area between the northern stretch of the mighty Tianshan and picturesque Yili, this lake is a fusion of spellbinding natural beauty and rich cultural legacy.

Then we will also visit the Lavender Farm – the biggest lavender plantation in China and the third biggest on earth. Next is Fruit Gully. Known as the “1st scene of Ili”, the Valley is a natural storehouse of plant species with a wide range of fruits and herbs growing wild.

Day 8 Naraty – Bayinbuluk

Sightseeing and Activities: Naraty Grassland
Accommodation: Bayinbuluk
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today visit the beautiful Naraty Grassland, known as the Grassland in the Sky. The grassland has quiet streams, fresh air and abundant vegetation. Its landscape is covered with wild flowers, where flocks of goats, sheep and cows roam.

After the tour, drive to Bayinbuluk for overnight.

Day 9 Bayinbuluk – Korla

Sightseeing and Activities: Bayinbuluk Grassland, Bayinbuluk Swan Lake Natural Reserve, Iron Gate Pass, Peacock River
Accommodation: Korla
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit Bayinbuluk Grassland and Bayinbuluk Swan Lake Natural Reserve in the grassland. It is the second largest grassland in China, located in the Bayanbulak Basin of the Tian Shan mountains in northwest China, which is an important breeding and staging ground for birds and waterfowl, and is the highest-altitude breeding ground for swans in the world.

Then drive to Korla to visit Iron Gate Pass, about 8 kilometers from the city center. Also called Tianmen Pass, the Iron Gate Pass connects the Yanqi Basin and Tarim Basin in central Xinjiang, which got the name ‘Iron Gate’ for its solid and firm just like an iron gate.

After the dinner, walking along the Peacock River to enjoy the local life.

Day 10 Korla – Urumqi

Sightseeing and Activities: Bosten Lake
Accommodation: Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we will drive back to Urumqi. On the way, stop to visit Bosten Lake. It is the largest lake in Xinjiang and one of the largest inland freshwater lakes in China.

Day 11 Urumqi Departure

Sightseeing and Activities: Xinjiang Museum
Meals: Breakfast

Morning head to Xinjiang Museum. A visit to Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi would be incomplete without a visit to the Xinjiang Museum. It is a comprehensive historical museum in China built in 1953, and famous for holding artifacts and mummies of Caucasians who lived in the region 1500 and 4000 years ago.

Then transferred to the airport or train stataion for your next destination.

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • Domestic train tickets of soft sleeper.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.