[Photo provided to China Daily]
Nine days, 2,500 km
What to see:
Harvest time in Xinjiang turns the wheat in a giant field and the different shades of grassland and forest at higher altitudes into a sea of gold and green in Jiangbulake. People in Jiangbulake, which means "source of the holy spring" in the Kazak language, have been planting wheat near the mountains for more than 2,000 years.
Yiwu desert poplar forest (photo above)
The desert poplar forest in Yiwu county is famous for its strangely shaped trees, the result of enduring such a harsh environment for thousands of years. Some of the trees are more than 4,000 years old, and it's the densest desert poplar forest in China. Fall, when the leaves turn golden, is the best season to visit.
Yargul ancient city
With a history of more than 2,000 years, it is one of the best-preserved ancient cities in China. The ruins of mud-brick buildings still visible feature temples, civilian dwellings and government offices.