Northern Xinjiang Tour Report Ⅰ 缤纷北疆行1

Posted: December 26th 2023

Report from our Client Mr Mah and his friends


Dates: 10th to 22nd September 2013, extended to 23rd September by typhoon in Guangzhou

Participants:  14pax from Malaysia


Their Flights: 

On China Southern Airlines

10th Sept 2013

Kuala Lumpur-Guangzhou    CZ366     0940  -- 1345

Guangzhou-Urumqi               CZ6888   1550 --  2125 

22nd Sept 2013

Urumqi-Guangzhou                CZ6957    0945 -- 1425Guangzhou-Kuala Lumpur     CZ365      1720 – 2115

(was delayed to 23rd Sept  1810 - 2200) Air Fare was 5612 Yuan all inclusive each

10th September

The flight from KUL to CAN was on time, while CAN to Urumqi arrived early at 8.30 pm. The Group was met by Ayeesha and driven to Yidu Hotel in Urumqi for check-in and introductions. All paid the Ground Package costs in cash to Lesley Lee, Director of Xinjiang China Travel and went up to rooms to rest.


11th September

We had breakfast in the Hotel.  Today's drive was 550 km, with a straight run all the way till lunch at a nowhere place with hot springs.  Lousy food there.   Then soon after, we had a tour stop at Multi Coloured Bay, some two-thirds of the distance.  We loved the beautiful Yadan landscape of layers of reds, yellows, orange, white, grey, blue and black in a Canyon like scene, with very little grass vegetation and no trees.   Then we continued the journey on long stretches of unsealed uneven roads (while they were repairing the main road).  It was bumpy and dusty and time-consuming and was the worst part of the trip.  Check-in to Baifulong Hotel in Fuyun County after arriving at sunset at 8.05pm.  Thirteen of us then went out together for Dinner at a nearby Restaurant and were surprised by non-Halal courses.  We ate the best meal of the trip here with rich Duck Soup, Pork ribs, spicy chicken and Khow Yoke plus other vegetables for a low price of Yuan 31 each.  Later in the rooms, there was some noise in the night from other Restaurant customers after their dinner. It rained lightly throughout the night.


12th September

We agreed to have packed breakfast in the bus to save time and ate the boiled eggs, mantou with pickled vegetable and milk.  It was raining the whole morning till we reached Cocoa Surrey Lake.  We stopped for 20 minutes for walking around and photos.  Weather was gloomy and dull, but the rain had stopped. Close up shots of nice sunflowers.  A very nice lake with some waterbirds in the distance, but they were too far to ID.  Scenery was good.  Then, we continued the drive uphill to 1400 metres ASL before descending to 1200m ASL as we arrived at Keketouhai Scenic Area.  We walked to the Ticket area and the Eco Buses in heavy rain.  The Buses went some 15 kms into the Park driving along the Iyrtish River.  We got off for walking around at the Shenzhong Mountain area.  The rain stopped just in time here for us.  Some climbed the short flight of steps for nice views.


After the tour, we went to a nearby Restaurant for lunch. It was a better lunch today with delicious but bony fish, and chicken soup.  From there, we drove towards Burqin.  At the road collapse area, some trucks were stuck in the mud and blocked the road.   So, most tour buses had to go “off-road” to pass with their passengers walking over the valley.  After this adventure, it was a long drive across the Junggar Basin with Altay Mountains in the distance. A few bumpy stretches here but not as bad as the day before. We arrived at Burqin at 7.20pm and checked in at the huge Tourism Hotel complex.  We showered and went out for Dinner at the Burqin Night Market. We had BBQ fish, lamb skewers, chicken etc. Quite good but expensive at Yuan 75 each, but we also included Guide and Driver's shares.  Gen bought 2 bottles of LouLan wine and that went down at dinner. Road distance today was 480 km. 

13th September

Buffet breakfast at Hotel was good with huge varied selection and nice tastes.  Hall was crowded with other tour Groups.  Then we did the slow drive up North to Kanas for the 140 km.  The traffic police impose TIME checks on tour buses to force them to drive slowly for safety on twisting mountain roads.  Beautiful scenery on route and we also stopped to kill time.  We bought some melons to enjoy on the way.  There was a new tourist town being built.  Here was a SIX star toilet with video adverts and lots of mirrors and even a chandelier in the centre.  The ladies spent precious time at the little stalls selling fruit and clothing. Finally we reached Jiadengyu at 12.30pm for lunch.  The whole town of hotels, guest houses and restaurants was built to cater for tourists to Kanas.  Then we took the shuttle buses some 16 kms into Kanas Park. It was a nice sunny day with medium clouds.


First visit was to Kanas Lake for a boat cruise at extra Yuan 120 each.  We wasted some time waiting for the boat.  I think this cruise was a waste of time and money as we saw nothing extra in that 1 hour.  Lakeside was 1400 m ASL.  Next we took another shuttle bus uphill towards the Guan Yu Pavilion.  To get to the top required a climb of 1000+ steps mostly gentle.  All of us made the climb happily to reach the Pavilion top at 2013 m ASL with fantastic views of the lake and valley on the way.  Next we went to our shuttle buses to see the scenic spots of Kanas River at Moon Bay and Sleeping Dragon Bay.  We had no time to walk between the Bays for scenery.  Then, out by Bus again to the Park entrance.  Check in at 8.20 pm to MeiLin Hotel, an average Spartan place in Jiadengyu.  This was at 1410 m ASL.   Five of us took Dinner with Driver Ma and Ayeesha at the restaurant across the road.  We got a nice fancy menu with lovely Lamb skewers, spicy Mutton slices and chicken at a cost of Yuan 400 for whole meal = Yuan 80 each person.  Admittedly, we paid tourist prices, but it was a very enjoyable meal with plenty of discussion of politics and ethnic issues with Ayeesha.  Lai was yawning openly after dinner.  We walked in darkness back to hotel as there were no street lamps.   Distance covered today was only 170 km due to the speed limits.

To Be Countinued...