Silk Road Essential Highlights
Two full days and a half day sightseeing covering the grand Tiananmen Square, historical Forbidden City, spectacular Temple of Heaven, man-made wonder Great Wall of China, royal park Summer Palace, traditional Hutong, etc.
Take a morning high speed train to Xian, then visit Hanyangling Museum and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, then spend a full day visiting the incredible Terracotta Warriors, leisurely walking on the Ancient City Wall and Muslim Quarter.
Take a morning flight to Dunhuang from Xian, then go to visit Mingshashan (Echoing Sand Mountains) and Crescent Lake in the afternoon. The next day is to explore the western frontier of Dunhuang modern. On the Day 8, you will have a morning visit to the biggest highlight of Dunhuang - Mogao Caves. The afternoon time is for departure from Dunhuang.
Ni Hao! welcome to Beijing, the iconic city and capital of China! You will be met by our local tour guide at the arrival hall of Beijing Airport and escorted to your downtown hotel by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of the day is your own to relax. If you want to explore nearby areas, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.
Arrival Ideals: At present, there are many international and domestic flights to Beijing. Besides, you can take a high speed train to this capital city from Shanghai (5-6 hrs), Xian (5.5 hrs), Guangzhou (8-9.5 hrs), etc.
After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern side of the square was the site where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s five most important palaces – the Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived. Pass through various doorways in this magnificent structure to admire the beautiful and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow-glazed tile roofs, white marble bases and splendid colorful paintings.
After lunch, you will go to hop on a rickshaw to experience the Beijing Hutongs - small alleys made by neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to get a feel of the old Beijing life style, visit various antique shops and small boutiques, and truly feel the historical changes of Beijing, also pay a visit to a local family's home in the traditional Hutongs. After Hutong visit, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors while feasting your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colorful paintings in the Long Corridor.
Optional activities: 1) You can watch a wonderful Kungfu Show in the Red Theater (Hong Ju Chang) which usually starts at 19:30; 2) Enjoy the classic Chinese art performance of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater between 19:30-21:00.
After breakfast, drive to the imperial site - Temple of Heaven. It was originally used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for harvest, now becomes a bustling place for locals to take part in traditional activities, such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, etc.
After the Temple of Heaven visit, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It will more than live up to all of your expectations! This great wall, linking Gubeikou in the east and Juyongguan in the west, was served as the vital military strategic point in the ancient time. Moreover, Mutianyu section is the “longest great wall in China” so far and since protection work is well done here, tourists can now see its original appearance and enjoy the real ancient culture of great wall. Also, spectacular natural scenery in Mutianyu Great Wall always impresses visitors here for its abundant vegetation. You’ll take a cable car to ascend the Great Wall, then hike the most beautiful and interesting part of Mutianyu. It's a wonderful experience to climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views and take brag-worthy photos of the wall wriggling along mountain ridges. After the exciting time, descend Mutianyu Great Wall by cable car. (Note: If energy permits, you can hike up or down which takes about 40 minutes to climb steps. Please tell your likes to your travel consultant.)
Next, drive back to Beijing City, and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Park to see the magnificent Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.
This morning your tour guide will see you off at the Beijing West Railway Station for a high speed train trip to Xian (about 5 hours). You will be picked up by your Xian tour guide at Xian North Railway Station and escorted to take a half-day Xian tour before checking in your hotel in downtown.
You will have an educational visit to Hanyangling first. Compared with the Terracotta Warriors, Hanyangling is much less crowded so that you can enjoy a quiet lesson in archaeology. Here you can find many mini terracotta figures of not only warrior and horses, but also maidens and other animals. You actually walk on glass over top of the archaeological site, which gives an intriguing perspective. After Hanyangling visit, drive about an hour to visit Da Ci'en Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. The pagoda, rising to a height of 64.5 meters, was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to preserve classic scriptures he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. Xuanzang was the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. (Note: It costs an extra 30 RMB if you want to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda) After (or before) visiting the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, you will be provided a free experience of trying on the Hanfu which is the solemn costume of the emperors and their families, the ministers and the noble in the ancient dynasties of China. Seize this rare opportunity to take some photos to record this unique memory!
Lastly, go to check in your hotel. The rest of the day is on your own to explore this ancient capital of China.
After breakfast, drive about 40km to discover one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world - the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, built by the first emperor of China Qin Shihuang to protect him in his afterlife. Over 8,000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots, buried in 3 pits for more than 2,000 years until uncovered by a local farmer in 1974, form an ancient military army with complete battle units of infantry, cavalry, etc. Standing in front of these figures, one can’t help being amazed not only by the ambition of Emperor Qin Shihuang but also by the fabulous artistic skills of ancient Chinese artisans.
After lunch, return back to Xian take a wonderful stroll on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Enjoy panoramic views of modern Xian while you leisurely examine this well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circuit of nearly 14 kilometers. This visit is followed by a relaxing wander around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture.
Optional activities: 1) Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall; 2) Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.
This early morning, your tour guide will see you off at the airport for your flight to Dunhuang (about 2.5 hrs). Upon your arrival at Dunhuang Airport, our local guide and driver will pick up you and then transfer you to check in your hotel. Have a short rest before going to visit Mingshashan which is only about 10 km from the downtown. You will start sightseeing in the middle afternoon when it is not very hot and sunburn is low.
The magic Mingshashan (Echoing Sand Mountains) and Crescent Lake which are located in a same scenic area. 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. There are many exciting activities for you to try (at your own expense), such as sand skiing, viewing from glider or helicopter, motorcycling, etc. Riding a camel through the desert is very popular. 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. After sightseeing, get back to Dunhuang city.
Optional Mingshashan desert camping experience
If you like, you can camp for a night in the desert of Mingshashan, which will be one-of-a-kind experience to get closer touch with the desert. During the camping, there are a lot of activities and programs for you to have fun, such as sand skiing, desert motorcycle, bonfire party, etc.
Useful Tips: in the summer, travelers can stay up to late night around 21:30 to enjoy the cool time and beautiful sky of stars. It's usually very hot during 12:00~15:00. You can enter the park later when it is not that hot.
After breakfast, you will be taken to explore the remote wild Gobi desert landscape as well as several legendary historical sites. Drive westwards about 100 km, you will firstly arrive at Yumen Pass (Jade Gate Pass) which used to be a military defensive pass as well as an important border for international trading along the ancient Silk Road. It is said that the jadewares from West were imported to China through this gate, which is how the name Yumen was given. About 5 km from Yumen Pass is the Ruin of Great Wall of Han Dynasty which was built to fight against Xiongnu in the ancient time. Keep driving more 80 km, you will get to Yardang National Geologic Park. It is also called Devil City in that you will hear the sound just like the devil screaming when the strong wind goes through the desert. The park is featured Yardang landforms in distinct shapes like Mongolian Bao, Stone Bird, Peacock and others. Make full use of your imagination, you may find some rocks with some miniatures similar to famed architectures, like the Potala Palace in Tibet, Heaven Temple in Beijing or something else.
Leave Yardang National Geologic Park, and drive along the coming way back to Dunhuang. On route, you will take a side trip to visit Yangguan Pass which was the gate to another branch of ancient Silk Road.
Nightlife Ideas: 1) 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. 2) Enjoy the fascinating Silk Road Show - Silk Road Flower Rain which is a relaxing feast of unparalleled visual beauty with impressively elaborate dances performed by professional dancers wearing stunning costumes and an incredible set design.
Useful Tips: 1) Pack some food and water for the long driving on the desert; 2) get fully prepared for the strong sunlight and high temperatures in the daytime.
After breakfast, drive about 10 km from the Dunhuang city to visit the newly opened Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center before go to Mogao Grottoes. You will watch two short but 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 the East", which is outstanding for its exquisite mural paintings and statues. There are now 492 grottoes in which about 45000 square meters long 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. There are about 40 common caves opened to the public. In the tourist area, you will be divided into groups by different tour guides who will accompany you to visit the caves (usually 7~8 caves during April~November and 12 caves during December~March) with great introduction. After that, if you want to visit more other caves, you can do it by yourselves or follow other tour guides. Besides, there are 10 special caves (with extra fees) available for your extensive visit.
The rest of today is free for you to catch your flight/train to the next destination. Your Dunhuang Silk Road tour ends!
1. During peak seasons (May to October), there are usually a lot of visitors to Mogao Caves, so it is recommended to make 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 limited 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 extra admission fee for each cave. 3. It is not allowed to take photos inside grottoes.
The leisure Yangtze River Cruise, ideal way to explore both the nature and culture of China!
While taking a Yangtze River cruise, you will not only relax in various interesting onboard activities, such as Tai Chi class, dancing shows, parties, but also enjoy the stunning scenery along the mighty Yangtze River. The best highlights are the world-famous Three Gorges Dam and beautiful Three Gorges. At the same time, you will have a flexible choice between different ships of different standard and features, such as Victoria Cruise, New Century Cruise, etc. At China Discovery, we offer you all the best luxury yangtze cruise ships at the best price.
Downstream Cruise: Chongqing - Yichang (4 Days 3 Nights)
Upstream Cruise: Yichang - Chongqing (5 Days 4 Nights)
Guilin, the darling of tourists!
Guilin is famous for having the best landscape under Heaven which can be seen in three most popular places - Guilin, Yangshuo and Longsheng. Only 3 days are needed to get them all in a single trip. You will visit the essential sites in the city, enjoy a relaxing cruise along Li River, and have a pleasant time of countryside exploration in Yangshuo Town. Another highlight is the unique trip to Longji Terrace which is an ideal place for experiencing ethnic culture, hiking and photography.
1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2023.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.45. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
They had a great trip and they said the guide was super friendly and helpful,they are very satisfied but with that they did say that the last day was indeed too ‘relaxing’. They wanted to see more and to explore more interesting sites.
At the end if you count the whole tour they had a great experience and they are very happy, thank you.
I want to thank you for your work. Everything worked well.
Actually, we liked the trip a lot, and I am even planning to go there again for a study
Sure. We had fun! Thanks so much for organising it. Hoping to go back!
Happy Chinese New Year. The trip was really nice. Our family enjoyed it.
To make your life more colorful and interesting, you could take our best-selected optional activities in the most popular destinations like Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai.
You have the final say whether you want it or not. It would be better to decide when you are in the destinations. On one hand, the shows and performances may change according to season and weather. On the other hand, you can check your physical condition, time and discuss with your experienced local guide who may give you useful suggestions. If you are interested, your patient guide will accompany you there and escort you back to your hotel. Please pay attention that extra fee is charged for the optional shows and activities.
Place: Beijing Red Theater
Show Time: Daily 17:15 - 18:30 and 19:30 - 20:45
Nearby Attractions: Temple of Heaven
Useful Advice: You’d better watch it after visiting Temple of Heaven on the second day in Beijing.
Beijing Kung Fu Show is a mix of traditional martial arts and modern dance which has become the most loved Kung Fu show in China. The Kung Fu show not only shows about the performance of Chinese Kung Fu, but also tells about the story of Chinese young boy who dreams to become a Kung Fu master. The whole story includes seven scenes from “Initiation”, “Learning”, “Casting”, “Illusion”, “Remorse”, “Passing through the Gate”, to “Enlightenment”. It will be a memorable experience to watch the Legend of Kung Fu when traveling in Beijing.
Place: Several restaurants are offered. You may use the one close to tourist sites and your hotel.
Nearby Attractions: Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven
Useful Advice: Enjoy Beijing Roast Duck after visiting Great Wall on the third day in Beijing.
To enjoy the local flavor of Beijing, you should not miss Beijing Roast Duck. The roast duck is with thin, crisp skin and tempting color and its meat is fresh, tender, rich and fat but not greasy. Getting into the roast duck restaurants, you could catch the chance to know more about how a Beijing Roast Duck is made and watch the cook slice the duck into pieces with both skin and meat for each. When taste the duck, you could wrap duck, scallion, cucumber in a pancake or a sesame bun. Also, you could choose some other spices and sauce when tasting the delicious duck.
Dinner Time: around 18:30 -19:50
Show Time: around 20:00 – 21:00
There are three options for you: enjoy Dumpling Dinner and Tang Palace Dance Show together, only Dumpling Dinner, only Tang Palace Dance Show. If you want to do both, you’ll enjoy the Chinese traditional dumpling banquet first and then the fabulous Tang Palace dance and music. During the dinner, travelers could taste many combinations of dumplings, all shapes, sizes and flavors. While, the Tang Palace Dance Show take you to a magical journey through the ancient and prosperous Tang Dynasty (618-907). Enjoy the story told through impressive acting, dance and singing, traditional orchestra. It will be an amazing evening for your life in Xian.
Place: Several world class theaters are offered. You could use the one based on your likes.
Show Time: 19:30 - 21:00
Watching acrobatic in Shanghai is a magic experience for an exciting out in Shanghai. It is performed by the main troupes - Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe or Shanghai Circus World. Travelers could watch world famous Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe performs programs like Hula Hoops, Squeezing through the Barrel, Juggling Benches, Balancing on the Chair, Pagoda of Benches, Bicycle Skill, Play Diabolo, Kicking Bowls on the Bicycle, etc. Also, enjoy the famous “Ball of Death” with fast action and fun. If you like, you could choose to watch “Era - Intersection of Time” with many highlights presented.
Route: Shanghai Pudong International Airport - Shanghai Longyang Road Station
Operation Time: Longyang Road Station: First Train: 06:45; Last Train: 21:40. Pudong Internation Airport Station: First Train: 07:02; Last Train: 21:42.
Useful Advice: Make sure you’ll arrive at Pudong Airport and arrival time is able to take it.
If you arrive in Shanghai at Pudong International Airport, taking a high-tech maglev train to Pudong New Area will be awesome experience for your first stop in Shanghai. Also, you could transfer from downtown to the airport. It is available from 06:45 to 21:42, with services every 15 to 20 minutes. The 30 km journey just takes 7 minutes and 20 seconds. You could imagine how fast it is.
You need to pack some personal gears, such as light and comfortable walking shoes, outdoor coat and pants. You'd better also pack sun cream, sun glasses.
1. A valid passport, a valid China visa and Tibet Permits are necessary documents for traveling in Tibet.
2. In Tibet, we suggest you avoid strong activity; do not take shower at the first day; drink more water and avoid of alcohol; better not to take oxygen if your AMS symptoms are mild. Always remember that if you have any problems or feel uncomfortable, please tell your guide immediately or contact our travel consultant.
3. A windbreaker, a pair of durable and comfortable shoes, a down jacket (better with hat), sunscreen cream, sun block, skin cream and lip balm, sunglasses, medicine for urgent use.
Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding is only available to see giant pandas. If you are interested in giant panda volunteer experience, please extend to Dujiangyan Panda Base, Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base or Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Base instead.
Taking high speed train to travel around China will be unique and special experience for you. Instead of taking flight, you can take high speed train from Beijing to Xian/Xian to Beijing, Chengdu to Chongqing, Yichang to Shanghai/Shanghai to Yichang, etc. All are within comfortable traveling time to reach the destinations. If you are interested, please feel free to ask our travel consultants to arrange high speed train for you.
Vegetarian food in Chinese cuisine culture is usually divided into 3 categories: the Monastery Vegetarian Food, the Court Vegetarian Food and the Folk Vegetarian Food. And the main ingredients are: soybean, taro powder, mushrooms, fresh vegetables and tofu (bean curd). It will be easier to find the vegetarian restaurants in big cities of china, such as: Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, HK, etc.
We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.
The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join the meal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.
Yes, you will. There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants, if you are interested in local food tasting. But remember, some local snacks may not match your stomach, so ask your guided for more information before eating.
In China, there are myriads of souvenirs for visitors, and each city has its own specialty.
Some of the best buys are:
Bargains are not acceptable in big supermarkets and department stores. But in some night markets or tourist shops, you can bargain for a lower price, since the vendors always ask for very high price for a certain item. You’d better ask the opinion of the guide first, and then the guide will tell you the real value and quality of the item. Please note that when the bargain is processing, the guide will be hesitate to help as it may annoy the bosses. Just try to let the guides know you will bargain in advance.
If you do not need something from them, just do not ask for price. Some of the venders are very persisted, and if they keep selling things to you, you can simply say “No, thanks.” (Chinese pronunciation: ”Bu, XieXie”). If they do not give up, you just keep silence. Silence is sometimes useful to handle this situation.
Call your guide, or if you can’t find your guide, call your travel consultant or our office immediately. All the phone numbers include in our confirmation letter. Keep the letter with your during your trip.
Note: As our Beijing office is using the different guide arranging system, so we will not be able to provide the Beijing guide information until the day before you arrival, but once we have it, we will email you immediately.
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.
Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!
After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.
We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.
Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.
Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.
Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!
Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!
Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.
Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!
In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!
The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.
If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.
Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.
We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!
Beijing / Dunhuang
Beijing / Xian / Dunhuang / Shanghai
Beijing / Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi