Tour Duration: 7 days
Destinations: Urumqi – Karamay – Burqin – Hemu – Karakul Lake – Hanas Lake – Jiadengyu
Riding Distance: about 35 km; Riding Time: 5-6 hours a day for 2 days total
Best season for this Journey is from May to October
Located in the northern region of the Xinjiang province, Hanas Lake has often been called the most beautiful place in Xinjiang. You will behold its rugged mountain ridges and dense forests, as well as its most striking feature: an alpine lagoon that changes color with the weather.
The lake’s transformation can be quite dramatic; within a day, it can change from azure to emerald to dark green, or shimmer in a hundred different shades of blue as you
watch in awe from the shore. The sight of the lake surrounded by thick evergreen forests, ancient boulders and mountains, and friendly Kazak nomads passing through the area will make you feel as though you have come to a different part of the world. In addition, a journey across the picturesque grasslands of Altai and a stop in Devil City will offer you an exotic and otherworldly experience.
Itinerary at a glance
DAY 1 Home – Urumqi – Karamay (by air, LD)
Morning flight from Wuhan to Urumqi, we suggest CZ6547, departure time:10:30am, arrival time: 15:00pm.
Upon reaching Urumqi, the capital of Xinjang, you will be met at the airport and have a short briefing on the itinerary of this tour. Urumqi is similar to other large inland cities in China. The region has an exotic feel, and the markets, such as the Kashgar Market and Erdaoqiao Folk Handicrafts Market, exude the atmosphere of the Silk Road.
To reduce driving time for next day, we’ll drive directly toward Burqin after the pickup service. Tonight’s accommodations are in a 4 star hotel in Karamay.
DAY 2 Karamay – Buerjin – Hemu (BLD)
After breakfast, we will continue to drive to Buerjin, with beautiful scenery along the road. On the way, we’ll visit Devil City, which resembles a Herculean castle built in Medieval Europe. Whenever the wind blows, the sky instantly turns pitch black, with huge volumes of sand streaming in, as if from nowhere. Further on our drive, we’ll pass the small town of Buerjin, inhabited mostly by the Kazak people.
Tonight’s accommodations are in a hotel at Hemu.
DAY 3-4 Hemu – Karakul Lake (Black Lake) – Hanas Lake – Jiadengyu (BLD)
This morning we will begin our horseback riding adventure. Your local guide will match the horses and riders for the tour that follows. We’ll begin with a brief rider training. For the next 2 days, we’ll spend 5-6 hours daily on horseback and journey through exceptionally beautiful scenery untouched by tourists. During our rides, we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. The primary forest, the crystal Hanas River, and Hemu River zigzag their way to an ancient wood bridge. We could visit the local nomadic village. We will spend the night at a charming lodge on the way (a yurt near Karakul Lake with toilet facilities).
Upon arrival at Hanas Lake, time permitting, the guide will take you to visit the Fish Watching Pavilion on the peak of a mountain (2,030 m/6,660 ft). The pavilion will offer you an unobstructed view of the entire lake, tiers upon tiers of peaks and glaciers, as well as, the grand river valley where you trekked the previous day. After descending the mountain, you could go speed-boating along the 24 km (15 mi) long lake.
Tonight’s accommodations will be a short drive away in Jiadengyu.
DAY 5 Jiadengyu – Hanas Lake – Buerjin (BLD)
This morning, after breakfast, we will return to Hanas Lake. Then, we’ll travel by shuttle bus to visit Crouching Dragon Bay, the Moon Bay, and Wild Duck Lake. Crouching Dragon Bay, surrounded by a dense birch forest and set against a scenic backdrop of towering peaks, is a calm and serene sight. The lake is not alone here; a short distance away lies the mirror flat Moon Bay, named after its perfect crescent shape. Wild Duck Lake also deserves a look, to see ducks, geese and swans leisurely swimming. Next, a tour of a local Tuvas house will give us a glimpse of their daily life. After lunch, we will say “Good-bye” to Hanas Lake, and drive to Jiadengyu, to visit the Multi Colored Bay (Wucai Bay), Eerqisi Lake, and Hedi night market; before our drive to Buerjin.
DAY 6 Buerjin – Urumqi (BLD)
During our return to Urumqi, we will pass the beautiful scenery and wildlife of the Tuerban Tonggute Desert and Kanameili Nature Resort.
Tonight’s accommodations will be in a 4 star hotel in Urumqi.
DAY 7 Urumqi – Home (B)
Morning transfer to the airport for the flight home.
We recommend: HU7759, departure time: 10:10am, arrival time: 13:55pm.