Tashkurgan Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Tashkurgan with this comprehensive guide, including a list of places to visit, hiking and biking routes, cultural attractions, food and drink scene, local culture and customs, and transportation options.

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Tashkurgan, China

Located in Tarim, Xinjiang, Tashkurgan is a hidden gem in Northwest China that’s filled with natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. With a diverse range of attractions and activities, this city has something for everyone. This comprehensive guide will help you plan your perfect trip to Tashkurgan.

Introduction to Tashkurgan

Tashkurgan is a small city that’s located at an elevation of 3,206 meters above sea level. The name “Tashkurgan” means “stone fort” in the local language, and it is named after the ancient fortress that once stood here.

Tashkurgan is known for its unique blend of cultures. It is located on the ancient Silk Road, which served as a trade route between China and the West. As a result, Tashkurgan has been influenced by a variety of different cultures, including Chinese, Tajik, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek.

List of Places to Visit in Tashkurgan

No trip to Tashkurgan is complete without visiting the following attractions.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Tashkurgan Museum of History and Culture: This museum showcases the region’s rich history and culture.
  • Stone Fortress: This is an ancient fortress that dates back to the 10th century.
  • Bulungkol Valley: This is a valley that’s located near the Karakoram Highway, and it’s home to a number of ancient tombs and petroglyphs.

Natural Attractions of Tashkurgan: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Karakul Lake: This is a stunning lake that’s located at an altitude of 3,600 meters. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, and it’s a popular spot for fishing and boating.
  • Muztagh Ata: This is a majestic mountain that’s located in the Pamir Mountains. It stands at an elevation of 7,509 meters, and it’s a popular spot for hiking and mountaineering.
  • The Stone City: This is a natural rock formation that’s located in the foothills of the Pamir Mountains. It’s a unique geological wonder that’s a must-see for any traveler.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Tashkurgan

Tashkurgan is a great destination for hikers and bikers, with plenty of scenic trails and routes to explore. Some of the most popular trails include:

  • Karakul Lake to Muztagh Ata: This is a challenging but rewarding trek that takes you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the region.
  • Bulungkol Valley: This valley is home to a number of different hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
  • Pamir Highway: This is a scenic biking route that takes you through some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the country.

Best Things to Do in Tashkurgan: Activities and Tours

  • Visit the local bazaar: This is a great way to experience the local culture and try some of the region’s traditional foods and drinks.
  • Take a guided tour of the Stone Fortress: This ancient fortress is an important historical site, and a guided tour can help you learn more about its significance.
  • Go horseback riding: Horseback riding is a popular activity in Tashkurgan, and it’s a great way to explore the surrounding wilderness.

Week-Long Itinerary for Tashkurgan

Day 1: Arrive in Tashkurgan and explore the local bazaar. Day 2: Visit the Stone Fortress and the Tashkurgan Museum of History and Culture. Day 3: Hike to Karakul Lake. Day 4: Explore Bulunkol Valley. Day 5: Visit Muztagh Ata. Day 6: Take a guided tour of the Stone City. Day 7: Relax and explore the local cuisine before departing from Tashkurgan.

Food and Drink Scene of Tashkurgan

Tashkurgan is known for its delicious and unique cuisine, which reflects the region’s diverse cultural influences.

Must-Try Dishes

  • Mantou: This is a steamed bread that’s typically served with meat and vegetables.
  • Polu: This is a type of pilaf that’s made with rice and a variety of different meats and vegetables.
  • Laghman: This is a type of noodle dish that’s similar to Chinese noodles, but with a spicy twist.

Local Beverages

  • Yak Milk Tea: This is a traditional drink that’s made with yak milk, tea, spices, and salt.
  • Grape Wine: Tashkurgan is known for its delicious grape wine, which is made from locally grown grapes.

Where to Stay in Tashkurgan: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Tashkurgan Hotel: This is a comfortable and affordable hotel that’s located in the heart of the city.
  • Pamir Hotel: This is a popular hotel with comfortable rooms and great amenities.
  • Guesthouses: There are a number of affordable and charming guesthouses in and around Tashkurgan.

What to Buy in Tashkurgan: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Handmade Carpets: Tashkurgan is known for its beautiful handmade carpets, which make for a great souvenir or gift.
  • Local Honey: Tashkurgan is home to some of the best honey in China, which is made from the local wildflowers.
  • Traditional Crafts: There are a number of different traditional crafts that are made in Tashkurgan, including pottery, weaving, and calligraphy.

Local Culture and Customs of Tashkurgan

Tashkurgan is known for its unique blend of cultures, which is reflected in its customs and traditions. Visitors should be respectful of local customs and dress modestly when visiting religious sites.

Best Time to Visit Tashkurgan

The best time to visit Tashkurgan is during the spring and summer months, from April to September. The weather is mild and the landscapes are lush and green during this time.

Do’s and Don’ts of Tashkurgan


  • Respect local customs and dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Try the local cuisine and beverages.
  • Bargain when shopping at the local bazaar.


  • Take pictures of people without their permission.
  • Disrespect local customs and traditions.
  • Engage in illegal activities, such as drug use or gambling.

Safety and Health

Safety in Tashkurgan

Tashkurgan is a relatively safe city, but visitors should be aware of their surroundings and avoid walking alone at night.

Health in Tashkurgan

Visitors to Tashkurgan should be aware of the high altitude, which can lead to altitude sickness. It’s important to stay hydrated and to take it easy when first arriving in the city.

Getting to Tashkurgan: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Tashkurgan

  • Kashgar Airport: This is the nearest airport to Tashkurgan, and it’s located about 300 kilometers away.

Bus Stations Near Tashkurgan

  • Tashkurgan Bus Station: This is the main bus station in the city, and it offers connections to a number of different destinations throughout the region.

Other Options

  • Private Car: Visitors can also hire a private car or driver to take them to Tashkurgan.

How to Get Around in Tashkurgan

The best way to get around Tashkurgan is by taxi or private car. Visitors can also rent a bicycle or hire a driver to take them on a guided tour of the city.

Where to Go Next from Tashkurgan: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Kashgar: This is a bustling city that’s known for its colorful markets and rich cultural heritage. It’s located about 300 kilometers away from Tashkurgan.
  • Hotan: This is a city that’s famous for its jade, carpets, and textiles. It’s located about 400 kilometers away from Tashkurgan.


Tashkurgan is a unique and beautiful city that’s filled with natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re an avid adventure seeker or a history buff, Tashkurgan has something for everyone. With this guide, you can plan your perfect trip to this hidden gem in Northwest China.