Silk Road UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Routes Network of Chang'an - Tianshan Corridor.
1 - Qocho (Gaochang) City Ruins, Turpan.
2 - Yar City Site of Bashbaliq City (Jiaohe Ruins), Turpan.
3 - Beshbalik City Ruins, Jimsar County, Changji.
4 - Tian Shan Mount - Fukang County, Changji.
5 - Kizil Gaha Beacon Tower, Kuqa, Aksu.
6 - Kizil Caves, Kuqa, Aksu.
7 - Subash Buddhist Temple Ruins, Kuqa, Aksu.
What did you think of Xinjiang?
Landscape: got that wide open, bigsky grand feeling about it that we don't have so much in Yunnan. I was there many years ago, but I doubt if they've managed to mess that up.
Dunhuang - Turpan - There are NO high speed trains in or out of Dunhuang so one has to be creative on how to get out as quick as possible.
We took a bus (3 hours) from Dunhuang to LiuYuan. In Liu Yuan we took a D train to Turpan (4 hours). 180km/hr - very nice!
TURPAN - OMG! Great people. Asked many questions at the bus station and the attendant answered all without an attitude. Local people speak to me in local lingo because they think I am also local - I am always asked if I am from Xinjiang.
Taxi Fees - 7 RMB/3 km + 1.40/km - taxis give you choice, use set price or use meter.
Every scenic spot has a complete list of all 16 scenic spots with prices.
Karez Well - Bus 101 for 1 RMB or taxi for 20 RMB. Very nice with 40 RMB tickets. Walk at your own leisure, no one bothers you and take your time. Many grape vines for pictures as well as the wells and underground museum. Bus 101 also goes to Jiao He Ancient city ruins but then you must take a taxi or tuk tuk for the remaining 4 km to gate.
Jiao He Ruins - Bus 101 but I suggest a taxi from Karez Well to main gate. Now a UNESCO site so the price is 70 RMB. However, not like Gansu. Walk as long as you want and no one bothers you as long as you remain in the walkway provided. Step out of bounds and some one will let you know or take your ticket like they did some chinese tourists. I took hundreds of pics of the ruins from every angle and took as long as we wanted - Great!!!!
There are 2 paths - wooden for chinese tourists in tour groups who only stay for a short time. Or take the stone path that meanders inside the ruins. I only saw laowais doing the self tours. Great pics and no one there to obstruct pics. Just stay within the paths and no one will bother you. You can stay as long as you like. Perfect for do-it-yourselfers like me.
What a great expereince so far. People are great and prices are reasonable. Walk near the bus station and lots of food carts everywhere with friendly people. Sample a little of each of their foods. A lot to see in Turpan and not far like Dunhuang, Gansu.
Did you try to go to the lowest elevation point in China? The Turpan Depression is 54 meters below sea level. An interesting place, not beautiful as there is a lot of surface mining in the area.
Grape Valley - Bus #5 - Tickets 75 RMB. I did not go as I was told there are additional charges to some other spots inside.
Uygur Village - Located 1 km from Jiao He Ruins. Many tour buses go there but it is not a real village. 35 RMB is not a bad price. We were told 20-30 minutes is enough to see it all. I did not go inside.
Emin Minaret - Su Gong Tower - Take bus #6 for 1 RMB to the last stop. Walk 200 meters and pay 45 RMB. Can visit any time as you can do a complete 360 around the minaret so you can get some nice pictures that are not facing the sun. Very nice!
Some of the buses are very old - wooden seats but nice experience. Women immediately stand up and give their seats to old men. However, they do not stand or give their seats to old women. People are willing to help and give directions and taxi drivers answer questions about places to go. Nice travel experience becuase of the locals and because scenic spots are not far.
Ayding Lake - 154 m below sea level - the 4th lowest point on earth. Tickets 30 RMB but we did not visit this site.