Things to Do in Xinjiang Uygur

Taklamakan Desert, Xinjiang Uygur: Hours, Address, Taklamakan Desert Reviews: 4.5/5

Taklamakan Desert
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Nicknamed the "sea of death," this desert along the Pakistan border is considered to one of the world's most hostile wastelands.
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Tours & experiences
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Top ways to experience Taklamakan Desert and similar attractions

The area
Talimu Basin Centre, 848000 China

18 reviews
Very good

Yekaterinburg, Russia64,030 contributions
Exciting & bouncy camel ride
Apr 2019
We traversed through part of this desert land by camel. The ride was exciting but bumpy. Certainly, this is a a non-typical experience for most. Best to do this with an experienced guide.
Written August 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

nathan l
Zichron Yaakov, Israel883 contributions
fascinating experience
Sep 2018 • Friends
we took the long day ride from kuqa (kucha) to Hotan on the southern route of the silk road, and it was a true mirage of wilderness, the landscape is constantly changing, and revealing that this so believed to be land of death is in fact alive with hidden experiences, and picturesc landscape figurative endless dunes, and even a lot of green plants and bushes, sucking their water from the big basin underneath the surface. a true experience
Written December 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ashdod, Israel662 contributions
Long Drive
Sep 2018 • Friends
A long drive from Kucha to Hotan. About 650 km., 450 of them along the desert highway. Beautiful views of the sand dune. Nice experience.
Written November 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Les H
Pittsburgh, PA38 contributions
Interesting experience to drive through part of the desert!
Jun 2017 • Family
Visited Korla, Bayingol, Xinjiang Province, China with wife and 12 yr old daughter. We were driven to the Taklamakan desert to see the countryside. The trip was roughly 200 mi and 4 hours one way, on the expressway (G314) west along the southern edge of the Tianshan Mountain range, then turned south past Luntai onto S165. The mountains were beautiful to see as we drove, with snow on some peaks even in mid-June, and there was farmland to the south of the expressway. That terrain was very flat and in many places very rugged or desolate looking. Near Luntai we passed through oil and gas country, seeing both farmers and oil/gas field workers (orange coveralls), including women among them, and the typical trucks for that industry. There were drilling rigs similar to the ones you see in the U.S. within sight of the highway as well as completed wells, some of which were pumping, with similar setups as you see in the U.S. One small farming town had a lot of tractors, including the familiar green and yellow of the John Deere brand. As we went further south we left the cities behind and the landscape was pretty flat with some small hills once in a while. There were some areas with a scrub type of tree, then just bushes or other scrub vegetation, and occasional small plots near the towns with whatever was being grown there. We passed 2 areas which had large sand dunes before stopping at the third to relax, walk the dunes, and have a snack before heading back to Korla. It was our first experience with the large sand dunes, and my daughter and I had fun climbing them and taking pictures. You could see miles in all directions from the top. Along the highway there were lines of small trees on each side, and I was told these were to help keep sand from drifting on the pavement. We passed small, relatively new looking block buildings at regular intervals (every couple of km?), and I wondered what they were. When we stopped one time for a "break", while I was off the highway among the small trees, I noticed there were lines of black plastic tubing running along each treeline (counted 6 on one side of the highway). I had seen the same tubing on a farm near Korla, used for irrigation. Later I noticed each block building had a "Well" sign on it, so apparently these were the pump stations for irrigating the trees that had been planted. In Xinjiang, there was a significant police presence in the city (Korla) and there were checkpoints on highways. When on the highway, we sometimes had to have our papers (driver ID or our passports) inspected at the checkpoints. There were also traffic cameras at points along the highways, so you had to be sure and watch your speed in those areas. If you get a chance, perhaps on a tour, it is interesting country to see! I enjoyed it very much, although I think my wife and daughter got a little bored with the long drive
Written September 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Guilin, China58 contributions
Local tour guide in Hothan: South Taklamakan Desert Tour Guide
Apr 2015 • Friends
Go to south Taklamakan desert is the best trip in all Xinjiang desert platform.
The most original and beautiful inside desert expeditions are in this area and between the Hothan, Yutian and Mingfen cities.
If somebody want to experience the beauty of this region, we recommend to contact with "the best" tour guide in Hothan: KURBANJAN SIRAJI
He is real Hothan Uighur ethnic. He has much knowledge about all desert places, people and customs, trek areas (also long camel caravan travel).
Kurban can provide you all equipment to camp in desert: DON'T MISS THIS EXPERIENCE !!!

His telephone number: (+86) 13779291939
His email: or
His web side:

We attach some photos from our last expedition
Written May 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

m m
Washington DC, DC1 contribution
Review of Abdul Wahab's Old Road Tours
Aug 2014 • Couples
I am thrilled that my husband and I used Old Road Tours for our 4 day, 3 night trek in the Pamirs around Karakol Lake. We went with Patty, Abdul's younger brother, and he was an excellent tour guide. He spoke very good English (he also speaks German) and was very patient, accommodating, and pleasant to be with. He was very concerned about the quality of our experience, and was attentive to our needs without being pushy or overbearing. We were well provided for on the tour as well. We had more than enough food and the accommodations (staying with Kirghiz families) were also very pleasant. It was initially more than I wanted to spend, but it was worth every penny. Abdul is a true professional who takes the experiences of his customers very seriously. I highly recommend Old Road Tours.
Written August 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia35 contributions
Great views and great times! Recommendations for people using Old Road Tours
Jul 2014 • Couples
We went on a four day hike with Pattie. He was a lovely guy with a great sense of humour! The trip was very interesting and people are required to get the hiking permit through a guide for KK lake so a tour guide was needed. If you want to have a tour guide I would highly recommend Pattie/ Old Road Tours. We have posted our pictures on Facebook and have lots of admirers.

Recommendations to people using Abdul Tours/ Old Road Tours:

I would just suggest that people get a detailed description of the itinerary. We had thought that we were getting private accommodation but ended up in shared rooms two of the three nights. We enjoyed meeting the other people in our room and enjoyed the authentic experience staying in the sheep herders house so we were happy, but that might not suit everyone's tastes.

I would also highly recommend if you are not happy with the breakfast and lunch (We were being offered stale and sometimes fresh bread as the majority of the meal of breakfast and lunch at the beginning of our tour which is not really what you want before or right after a long trek). I did not hesitate after spending a lot on this tour to ask for home made meals/ warm food and this was accommodated for. However, I did speak to others on the trail who did not ask to change the food and they were disappointed so I would suggest asking.

Lastly, I would suggest trying to get a group together as the cost of going with just two people was very expensive, especially considering the low costs of operating in China.
Written August 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hanoi, Vietnam15 contributions
Abdul and his family are spectacular!!!
May 2014 • Friends
My friend and I arrived in Kashgar with some travel ideas, which Abdul and his extended family (most of whom are also named Abdul) created a wonderful trip for us down the Karakoram Highway and to Tashkorgan. They even offered to pick us up and drop us off at the airport! They were very friendly, very professional, and fun to explore with! Highest possible recommendation!
Written May 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Flavia C
Shanghai, China48 contributions
1 day trip to Karasu Desert
Oct 2013 • Couples
During our trip to Xinjiang we decided to spend 1 day in the desert, visiting part of the South Silk Road from Kashgar to Yarkand. We had the chance to visit Yengisar (famous for its knives), Yarkand (the core of Uygur spirit) and the Karasu section of the Taklamakan Desert were we did camel back riding for about 1 hour. The whole day was accurately arranged by Old Road Tours by Abdul Wahab and this definitely gave it a plus in terms of contents and experience.
Written October 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kim W
Urumqi, China3 contributions
Old Road Tours Tour Company
Jun 2013 • Friends
A friend and I rented a car and driver from Old Road Tours Tour Company based in Kashgar. We started our journey from Urumqi taking the cross desert highway through the Taklamakan to Keriya, Hotan, Taxkorgan and Kashgar. It was spectacular... Our drivers were just great guys who wanted us to have a good time. We tried many different food experiences and the scenery was fabulous. If you are not used to Chinese hotels then the accommodation might seem a little minimalistic. However it is all pretty clean and tidy.
Written July 24, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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