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6 Days Hexi Corridor Discovery Tour(Zhangye/Jiayuguan/Dunhuang)

Trace the Ancient Travel Route

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Around 1,600 years ago, the Buddhism was brought to China through the Hexi Corridor and expanded there. The armies of ancient China fought against the invasions from nomadic kingdoms in sumless battles at the Hexi Corridor. Merchants from Europe and Middle Asia entered the Hexi Corridor and got to Chang'an(Xian of today) for business. This tour takes you to explore this glorious wander land - Hexi Corridor.

Highlights of this tour

  • Take the chance to see the breathtaking rainbow mountains in China - Zhangye Danxia Landform;
  • Go to see "the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven - Jiayuguan Pass;
  • Once in a lifetime journey to the Louvre of Buddhist Art - Mogao Grottoes.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang
Travel Length:
6 Days and 5 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-GST-9
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Lanzhou Arrival

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Welcome to Lanzhou - city of Yellow River. Once your arrival at Lanzhong Zhongchuan Airport or Lanzhou Train Station, you will be picked up by your local guide, then be escorted to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is yours to this northwestern historical city on your own.

Free time ideas:

You can go to take a walking along the Yellow River, even cruise on the river. Or hike up to the top of the White Pagoda Mountain to enjoy the fresh air, beautiful scenery. The panoramic view of Lanzhou City from the mountain is marvelous. 

The Iron Bridge of Yellow River
Day 2 Lanzhou - Zhangye ( B,L )

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After breakfast, you will drive about 5 hours from Lanzhou to Zhangye city. Enjoy the beautiful landscape along the road. After arrival at Zhangye, have lunch in the city then take some rest in your hotel.

In the afternoon, drive about an hour to visit the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park. The Danxia landform is a spectacular petrographic geomorphology landscape which is formed from red-coloured sandstones and conglomerates. The one in Zhangye was formed in the pre-Jurassic Age. Thousands of mountains and stiffs stretch like the colorful sunset glow. The barren mountains are covered by a red grit rock stratum. At the same time, some surfaces of mountains appear other colors, such as white, yellow, etc, and form many irregular lines and blocks looking like some abstract oil paintings. There are four viewing decks for you to watch and shoot. You will visit one by one, and will be transferred by park buses from one deck to another.

Tips:

1. Pack with sun creams, sun glasses, protective clothing and hat to protect from strong sunlight in summer; 2. sunset is the best time for taking photos which happen around 19:00~20:00 in summer and 18:00~19:00 in winter.

Zhangye Danxia Landform PhotographyZhangye Danxia Landform
Day 3 Zhangye - Jiayuguan ( B,L )

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After breakfast, you will go to visit the Giant Buddha Temple which is famous for having the largest indoor sleeping Buddha in Asia. This temple was built in Xixia Dynasty(1098), and keeps many precious Buddhist scriptures and wall paitings. The Buddha statue was carved by woods with a length of 34.5 meters. His ears are as big as the space which 4 adults can sit side by side. The statue tells the story of Buddha’s Nirvana. The whole Dafo Temple is a large complex with regal arrangements. The Sleeping Buddha is the centrally seated, symmetric buildings situate along the sides.

After visit the Buddha Temple, drive about 220km(2.5hrs) to Jiayuguan City and check in your hotel. Then you will go to visit the "the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven", also the westernmost starting point of Great Wall of Ming Dynasty - Jiayuguan Pass. Start your exploration with an education visit to the Great Wall Mesum to learn some interesting facts about both the Jiayuguan Fort and Great Wall, including history, old photos, relics, etc. Then enter the gate to explore the grandiose Jiayuguan Fort. It is a complex of towers, city walls and other military buildings covering more than 25,000 square meters. The city wall is nearly 11 meters high, and comprises an outer and inner wall. There are two large gates standing at the east and the west of the inner wall. Walkways lead to the top of the wall, allowing horses to climb up the wall.

If time allows and you are interested, you can take an optional visit to the Xuanbi Great Wall (Overhanging Wall) which is about 18km away from the Fort. The walls were built on lofty cliffs with incredibly large gradient looking like an overhanging cantilever. Climbing up to higher gives you excellent views of the surrounding land and mountains.

Giant Buddha TempleJiayuguan FortGreat Wall Museum
Day 4 Jiayuguan - Dunhuang ( B,L )

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Today you will drive to Dunhuang from Jiayuguan in the early morning. On route, visit the Yulin Grottoes. The forty-two caves house some 250 polychrome statues and 4,200 square meters of wall paintings, dating from the Tang Dynasty to the Yuan Dynasty (seventh to fourteenth centuries).

In the evening, you can go out to go for a walk in the Shazhou Night Market where you can try some local food, relax in a drinking bar, or buy some interesting handcrafts, etc.

Stay overnight in Dunhuang.

Yulin Grottoes
Day 5 Dunhuang ( B,L )

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After breakfast, drive about 10km from the Dunhuang city to visit the newly opened Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center before go to Mogao Grottoes. You will watch two well-produced educational documentary movies that introduce the history, arts, and other facts about Mogao Grottoes. After the movies, take the interzonal bus to Mogao Grottoes. Mogao Grottoes is famed as the “Louvre of East”, which is outstanding for its exquisite mural paintings and statues. There are now 492 grottoes in which about 45000 square meters mural paintings and 2100 colorfully painted statues from which you can trace the development of Chinese art over 1600 years from one dynasty to the next because each dynasty built own caves to record its own features.

Tips:

1. During peak seasons (May to October), there are usually a lot of visitors to Mogao Caves, so it is recommended to make a reservation in advance for at least 7 days. 2. If you want to see the Special Caves (excluded in the regular visit, and only open for limmited individual visitors or small groups with reservations), you can contact our travel consultants or your tour guide to arrange for you, but you have to pay the seperate admission fee for each cave. 3. It is not allowed to take photos inside grottoes.

The following attraction is the Echoing Sand Mountains. It is said, in the sunny days, the sand mountains echo like Orchestra music even if there is no wind. If you slide from the sand mountains, you can hear the echoing sound clearly. Your last thing to do for today is the Crescent Lake. Surrounded by the Echoing Sand Mountains, Crescent Lake is a beautiful oasis with some well decorated traditional Chinese architecture, some trees and flowers and a lake that has never dried up and shapes like a crescent moon.

Tips:

1. In the summer time, travelers can stay up to late night around 24:00 to enjoy the cool time and beautiful sky of stars; 2. get fully prepared for the strong sunlight and high temperatures in the daytime.

Mogao GrottoesCrescent Lake in Dunhuang
Day 6 Dunhuang Departure ( B )

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Today is free for you until you tour guide see you off at the airport/train station.

Tips: remember to check out your hotel before 12:00 and pack all your belongs carefully.

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6 Days Hexi Corridor Discovery Tour(Zhangye/Jiayuguan/Dunhuang)

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