The Silk Road was one of the most important arteries of trade and culture in world history that connected the East and West. China’s silk, tea and porcelain were brought to Middle Asia and Europe by the caravans and traders. In exchange, China got glasses, horse, fruits, jades, etc. from Middle Asia and Europe. The Silk Road also played a significant role in the cultural exchange between the East and West. The part of the Silk Road in China stretches more than 4,000km on the gigantic regions of northwester China, an almost dizzying agglomeration of desert, grassland, raging river and colossal mountains, connecting Xian, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Kashgar, etc. Unlike the ancient travelers who walked and rode camels to traversing the Silk Road, you from the modern civilization will explore the legendary route in a stylish and relaxing way – mainly taking high speed bullet trains, and also using flights and vehicle, to make your trip more enjoyable. You will get to Kashgar freely from Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan or other regions first, then travel to Gansu Province via Urumqi and Turpan. In Gansu, you will visit the “Louvre of East” - Mogao Grottoes, historical Jiayuguan Pass and enjoy the “Rainbow Mountains” in Zhangye Danxia Landform Park. Then travel to the ancient capital city Xian, and finish your trip in Beijing which has 7 World Heritage Sites, including Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, etc. There are so many interesting things to see and experience!
Day 1 Kashgar ArrivalAirport or border ports pickup, then transfer to hotel.
Welcome to Kashgar (喀什), a legendary city on the ancient Silk Road which use to be the epicentre of regional trade and cultural exchange for more than two millennia. It lies in the extreme west of China and the Southwest extreme of Xinjiang. Currently you can get to Kashgar easily by air, train and bus from Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. There are even daily flights to Urumqi and also international airline services to Islamabad, Osh and Andijan from this airport. You can also travel by land to Kashgar from Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
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Day 2 Kashgar City Tour ( B, L )Today's highlights: Abakh Khoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque, Old Town
After breakfast, you will visit the Abakh Khoja Tomb first. It is a typical Islamic architectural complex, as well as a famous tombs group of a large Islamic family of five generations. It was known as Abakh Hoja Tomb because a local Islam master whose name was Abakh Hoja buried here. He had strengthened the spread of Islam in Kashgar area, which later earned a great reputation for him and his family.
Nextly, you will visit the Id Kah Mosque which is regarded as the holy shrine for the Muslims. Every day, there are thousands of Muslims worshipping here. In the history, Id Kah Mosque used to be a school where Islam culture and history was taught. Many scholars and honored clergies graduated from here. Only several minutes' walking from the mosque is the famous Handicrafts Street where you can walk leisurely or buy some interesting souvenirs for your families and friends.
Following activity is to visit the Old Town of Kashgar City where you will experience the authentic Uyghur living style. You will also take a break and enjoy a cup of local tea at the ancient tea house which is more than 100 years old. The locals also like to spend some leisure time in the tea house with friends and families - drinking, chatting and playing music sometimes.
Accommodate at Kashgar city.
- Id Kah Mosque
- Abakh Khoja Tomb
- Kashgar Old Town
Day 3 Kashgar - Karakul Lake (B, L)Today's highlights: Karakul Lake
After breakfast, drive about 190km to visit the famous Karakul Lake. It seats at the foot of the Muztagh Ata (7546m), and along the China Pakistan Highway. At an altitude of 3600m, Karakul Lake is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau. It also features in the amazing combination of lake and snow mountain views. At its surrounding, there are three giant mountains - Muztagh Ata (7546m), Kongur Tagh (7649m) and Kongur Tiube (7530m) which remain snow-covered throughout the year.
Drive back to Kashgar City.
- Tranquil Karakul Lake in October
- Tranquil Karakul Lake in October
Day 4 Kashgar - Flight to Urumqi (B, L)Today's highlight: Kashgar Bazaar
After breakfast, go to visit the famous Kashgar Bazaar. Bazaar, in Uygur, means large market. As one of the most importance cities along the Silk Road, Kashgar Bazaar has always been a very important trading center where you can buy anything from herbal medicines to carpets, from a cradle to a camel.
If you happen to visit Kashgar on a Sunday, don't miss the opportunity to experience the Livestock Market, which takes place once a week on Sunday. By lunchtime, numerous sheep, camel, horse, cow and donkey will be driven by the Uyghur farmers and herders, and squeeze through the gates of the bazaars for trade. It’s dusty, smelly and crowded, but most people find it very exotic.
Afterwards, take a flight to Urumqi. Uppon arrival at Urumqi, it's free for you to relax.
- Sunday Bazaar
Day 5 Urumqi - Turpan ( B,L )Today's highlights: Karez Underground Irrigation System, Jiaohe Ancient City, Grape Valley
This morning we drive to the “fire land” - Turpan(3hrs), famous for its melons and vineyards.
The first attraction for today is the brilliant project - Karez System which is special kind of irrigation system consisting of vertical wells, underground canals, ground canals and waterlogging pond. The vertically dug wells are linked together to channel the water which occur during summer rain season, or melt from snow mountains of Tianshan range to desired farmlands on the ground. After the Karez visiting, tranfer to tour anther famous relic - the Jiaohe Ancient City which used to be the capital city of the former Cheshi State. It is renowned as the "perfect ruin of earth building" because it has been well preserved for almost two thousand years. Next activity for today is to visit the Emin Minaret. It is a elegant and innovative Islamic pagodaby built by the duke Emin Hezhuo to express his devotion to the lord Allah. Emin Minaret looks like a awl which is 44 meter high. Nearby, there is an ornate mosque. The following attraction is the Flaming Mountains. Stretching about 100km, Flaming Mountain is covered by red sandstones which look like flaming fire. Lastly, transfer to enjoy the pleasant cool of the Grape Valley where you can also taste some delicious grapes and other fruits.
- Jiaohe Ancient City
- Turpan Flaming Mountain
- Turpan Grape Valley
- Turpan Karez System
Day 6 Turpan - Dunhuang ( B )Highlights: Bezeklik Buddhist Caves, Flaming Mountains
After breakfast, go to visit the Bezeklik Caves, is a complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to 14th century between the cities of Turpan and Shanshan (Loulan). It is situated on a cliff at the foot of Flaming Mountains, 45km away from Turpan city. There used to be 83 grottoes, and now 57 grottoes have survived. Its highlight is about 40 large wall paintings covering more than 1,200 square meters which have different themes. Among all grottoes, the No. 17 and 18 are the oldest ones built during later Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589). The No.20 painted portrait of King and Queen of Gaochang Kingdom. The No.33 grotto painted the lord Buddha and his disciples. The No. 38 displays the living scene of the ancient Manichean...
After the visit, go to take a high speed train to Liuyuan. After about three and a half hours' train journey, you will arrive at Liuyuan. Be picked up by your tour guide, and then transfer to your hotel in Dunhuang City.
Tips of today: you have to eat lunch on the train or bring some snacks as lunch because the high speed train departs around noon time.
- Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves
Day 7 Dunghuang ( B,L )Today's highlights: Mogao Grottoes, Echoing Sand Mountains, Crescent Lake
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. 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 7-8 caves among them 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 extensional visiting.
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 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 extra 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.
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.
- Echoing Sand Mountains
- Mogao Grottoes
- Mogao Caves
Day 8 Dunhuang - JiayuguanToday's highlight: Yulin Grottoes
Today you will drive about 5 hours to Jiayuguan from Dunhuang 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).
After arrival at Jiayuguan city, relax on your own for the rest of today.
- Yulin Grottoes (No. 3 Cave)
Day 9 Jiayuguan - Jiayuguan Fort ( B,L )Tday's highlight: Jiayuguan Fort, Giant Buddha Temple
After breakfast, visit the Jiayuguan Fort. Wander on the ancient city wall, and feel the heartbeats of the “first pass under heaven”. Then stroll to visit the Great Wall Museum where you will learn about history of Jiayuguan and the Great Wall.
In the afternoon, drive to Zhangye. After arriving at Zhangye, 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 paintings. 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.
Accommodate in Zhangye city.
- Jiayuguan Fort
- Great Wall Museum
Day 10 Zhangye Danxia Geopark - Flight to Xian ( B, L )Today's highlight: Zhangye Danxia Landform
Today you will drive about 1 hour to Zhangye to take photography of the famous Danxia Geopark(Danxia Landform). 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 interzonal 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 are the best hours for taking photos which happen around 19:00~20:00 in summer and 18:00~19:00 in winter.
After the photography, drive back to Zhangye city to catch your flight to Xian. Upon arriving at Xian Xianyang International Airport, you will be welcomed by local tour guide, then transferred to check in your hotel.
- Zhangye Danxia Landform Views After Rain
- Zhangye Danxia Landform Photography
- Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains
Day 11 Xian (B, L)Tday's highlight: Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter
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 to 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 and walk leisurely on the well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circle 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.
- Terracotta Warriors
- Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China
- Muslim Community
Day 12 Xian & High Speed Train to Beijing (B, L)Tday's highlight: Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum
After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Big 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.)
Next is an educational visit to the Shaanxi History Museum where you can ramble in the modern exhibition halls to appreciate historic relics such as porcelains, paintings, and currencies dating from the Zhou to the Tang dynastic periods (1100BC to 907 AD). (Note: Shaanxi History Museum may be replaced with other activity or attraction because of crowding tourists during July ~ early September and China’s National Day during Oct.1-Oct.7. You may check details with your travel consultant.)
The rest of today is free for you until get escorted to catch a high speed train to Beijing (about 5hrs), the iconic city and capital of China! You will be met by local tour guide at the Beijing West Railway Station and escorted to check in your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to relax.
- Big Wild Goose Pagoda
- To Explore the Spectacular Heritages of Ancient China
Day 13 Beijing (B, L)Tday's highlight: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace
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, 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.
- Tiananmen Square
- Forbidden City
- Summer Palace
Day 14 Beijing (B, L)Tday's highlight: Mutianyu Great Wall, Sacred Way, Bird’s Nest and Water Cube
After breakfast, 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! 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.)
Continue your trip to Sacred Way, a 7-kilometer-long passage leading to the Imperial Tombs of 13 Emperors of Ming Dynasty. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who came from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Way, also would return to Heaven through this road. Take a walk through the largest archway in China and Great Palace Gate and you’ll see the magnificent stone guard of 12 sets of mythical animals and 12 officials. Then drive back to Beijing city and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view its famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.
Optional activity: After the whole day’s tour, treat yourself a great dinner to taste the famous Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude.
- The Magnificent Mutianyu Great Wall
- Sacred Way: the road leading to Ming Tombs
- Bird's Nest
Day 15 Beijing & Beijing Departure (B)Today's highlights: Temple of Heaven, Beijing Hutongs
After breakfast, drive to the imperial site of the Temple of Heaven. Originally a site used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for good harvests, it is now a bustling place where locals take part in traditional activities such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, and others.
Then get back to the central city 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 the tour, your Beijing tour is about to end. Your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to next destination or home.
- Temple of Heaven
Suzhou of over 2,500 years old is abundant with ancient culture and history of Wu State in ancient times.
City like Suzhou which gathers its best highlighting attractions together in the historical old city area is ideal for taking a day trip. This tour brings you the best features of Suzhou in a brief day tour - Appreciate the beautiful Lingering Garden, one of the four most famous classic gardens of China; Spend some leisure time on the Shantang Street to experience the very history and local life of Suzhou; Explore the most historical site in Suzhou – Tiger Hill; Have fun to see see how the exquisite silk garment is produced at No.1 Silk Factory.
“No mountain is worth seeing after a trip to Mt. Huangshan”!
If you want to travel Huangshan at a leisure pace, this is the ideal trip - short days, classic itinerary, cable cars covered, private transfer. You will reach the top of Mount Huangshan for a day-and-night trip to enjoy the best scenery, and get down the mountain to stroll along the Tunxi Ancient Street to encounter its hundred-years' history and admire the "Four Treasures of the Study" in Ink Stone Factory...
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, 2021.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.9. 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.
Thanks for Advise, you also take care of yourself. Hoping we will be in touch, after this episode. You have blessed time, till we contact again.
China is still on our list, but not at this time. We have canceled other trips until a later date. I will contact you when we start making our plans to visit China.
Unfortunately, we will not be visiting China this year. We are very sad. Our daughter was working in Shanghai but had to come back to the U.S. so we will not be visiting her there.
If we decide to plan a trip to China in the future we will certainly contact you.
I hope you remain healthy!
Thank you for your email.
We are being advised not to travel at all in 2020 because of the virus still being a bit of an unknown.
Thank you for your help. We have your details and will be in touch when travel looks less risky.
Dear Mrs. Catherine,
thank you so much for your kind message and for all information!
My family and I are good, we live in Sestri Levante, a small city on the sea, about 50 km from Genoa, and here the situation is good, from May 3 phase 2 will start with some less restrictions.
The situation starts to going better also in Milan, Lombardia and Piemonte but all Italy is “red zone” without transit from one city/region to another city/region
I hope that 2021 will be our Tibet year!
And how are you? I suppose that everything is quite well in your splendid Country.
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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.
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Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.
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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!
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Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi - Kashgar
Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar
Beijing / Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi
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