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15 Days Classic Ancient China Silk Road Tour with Bullet Train Experience

Kashgar - Turpan - Dunhuang - Jiayuguan - Zhangye - Xian - Beijing

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 4,000 km on the gigantic regions of northwester China, an almost dizzying agglomeration of deserts, grasslands, raging rivers 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, and 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!

  • Type : Private Tour
  • Tour Code : CD-SRHTT-15
  • Price : from $2805 ($3215)
    1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
    2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
  • Trip Length : 15D/14N
  • Theme : Culture / Nature / High Speed Train

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR

  • Follow the footprints of Marco Polo and explore the most important cities and towns along the ancient China Silk Road, such as Xian, Dunhuang, etc.
  • Enjoy an awesome view of Karakul Lake and majestic MT. Muztagh, harsh landscape of Pamir Plateau, also join the exotic Sunday Bazaar in Kashgar.
  • Explore the ancient Jiaohe Ancient City and brilliant Karez Underground Irrigation System in Turpan, then take a scenic high speed train journey to Dunhuang.
  • Puruse the astonishing Mogao Grottoes with delicate murals and Buddha statues, enjoy the vast dunes of the Echoing Sand Mountains and visit the never-dry-up Crescent Lake in Dunhuang.
  • Discover the glorious ancient China's history and culture in Xian and Beijing, two greatest ancient capital cities of China.
  • Stand on the fort of Jiayuguan where is the starting point of the Great Wall, then go to take photos of the rainbow mountains - the Danxia Landform in Zhangye.
15 Days Classic Ancient China Silk Road Tour with Bullet Train Experience
  • Day 1 ~ 6 Kashgar Arrival & Xinjiang Tour
    Start your trip from Kashgar, spend two days visiting the most interesting attractions in and nearby Kashgar, including Id Kah Mosque, Karakul Lake, Bazaar, etc., then go to Turpan, the veritable oasis in the desert. The highlights of Turpan include Karez System, Jiaohe Ancient City, Grape Valley, etc. Lastly, take a high speed train to Dunhuang.
  • Day 7 ~ 10 Gansu Province Tour
    Spend one day exploring World Heritage Site - Mogao Grottoes and enjoy Gobi and desert sceneries at Echoing Sand Mountains, then drive from Dunhuang to Jiayuguan for another day. In Jiayuguan, you will spend a morning to see the Jiayuguan Fort, then drive to Zhangye where you will spend a night and a day. The Best highlight is the Danxia Landform Park.
  • Day 11 ~ 15 Visit Xian, Beijing & Departure
    Spend one and a half days in Xian to visit the famous Terracotta Warriors, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, then take a high speed train to Beijing where you will have a two and a half days tour to sightsee the world-famous Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Tian'anmen Square, also hike the Great Wall. Return home from Beijing.
Itinerary Day by Day (Can Be Customized)
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Day 1 Kashgar Arrival

Airport or border ports pickup, then transfer to hotel

Welcome to Kashgar, the southwestern border city of Xinjiang which used to be the epicenter of the regional trade and cultural exchange of ancient Silk Road for more than two millennia. Upon arriving at the airport/railway station of Kashgar, you will be welcomed by your local tour guide and driver, and escorted to Kashgar downtown to check in to your hotel. The rest time of today is free for you to relax and explore this legendary Silk Road city.

How to get to Kashgar?

- From mainland cities. You can take domestic flights from Beijing (about 6~7 hours), Xian (about 4 hours), Chengdu (about 6~7 hours), Shanghai (about 8 hours), Guangzhou (about 8 hours), Jinan (about 7 hours), Zhengzhou (about 7 hours), etc., or provincial flights from Urumqi (about 2 hours), Korla (about 1.5 hours), Yili (about 1.5 hours). There is no high speed train to Kashgar yet.

- From the borders. You can also get to Kashgar from land border ports, such as Kalasu Port, Irkeshtam Port, Torugart Port, Khunjerab Port. If you need transfer, we can send a tour guide and driver to pick up you from the borders.

  • Welcome to Kashgar Welcome to Kashgar

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 Hoja Tomb first which is not a simple tomb but an exquisite architectural complex including chapels, gardens, archways, etc., as the best place in the region to admire Uygur people’s extraordinary aesthetics and skills of Islamic architecture. It also offers a rare opportunity to see and learn about funeral custom celebrated Uygur families because there is a large Islamic family of five generations whose name is Abakh Hoja buried here. The Abakh Hoja was a local Islam master who had strengthened the spread of Islam in Kashgar area, which later earned a great reputation for him and his family.

Next, you will visit the landmark of Kashgar - Id Kah Mosque which is regarded as the holy shrine for the Muslims. Every day, there are thousands of Muslims worshiping 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 exotic Kashgar Old Town where you can experience the authentic Uyghur living style. Explore the traditional earth buildings where local people are living in, walk through the famous Handicrafts Street where you can see how the local craftsman making handicrafts. It is a good place to buy some interesting souvenirs for your families and friends. 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.

Today’s activities end. Have a good rest in your hotel.

  • Id Kah Mosque is the most influential Islamic mosque in Xinjiang Id Kah Mosque is the most influential Islamic mosque in Xinjiang
  • Abakh Khoja Tomb Abakh Khoja Tomb
  • Kashgar Old Town Kashgar Old Town

Day 3 Kashgar - Karakul Lake (B, L)

Today's highlight: Karakul Lake

Today, you are going to visit the famous Karakul Lake, which is about 190 km/about 3 hours’ drive from Kashgar downtown. Although it is a long drive, you are surprisingly compensated by the constant landscape of the overwhelming Pamirs Plateau - harsh and lonely snow mountains, inhabited barrens, expansive grassland, pure glaciers, peaceful villages... Make a stop at Baishahu (White Sands Dunes Lake) where a tranquil lake lies under the towering snow mountains of Pamirs Plateau. The sands of Taklamakan Desert fly westward, get stopped by the edge of Pamirs and deposit at the slopes of the mountains, then get washed by the melting ice of the snow mountains, which is the reason why you can see white sand dunes surrounding the White Sand Lake.

You will get to Karakul Lake around noon. After lunch, throw yourself into the breathtaking scenery of the lake and its surroundings. With an altitude of 3600 meters, Karakul Lake is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in Central Asia. It welcomes visitors with stunning views of pristine lake nestled against Pamirs mountains which provide an azure backdrop as they are covered with snow all year around, including three gigantic mountains - Muztagh Ata (7546 meters), Kongur Tagh (7649 meters) and Kongur Tiube (7530 meters). From other sides, there is a mixture of boundless grasslands, deserts and valleys. A few Kirghiz nomads put their yurts and graze their herds of sheep, horses and camels near the lake. Take your time to wander around the lake to enjoy the landscape and take photos until returning time.

Drive the same way back to Kashgar, and have a good rest in Kashgar city.

  • Reflection of Snow Mountain on Karakul Lake Tranquil Karakul Lake in October
  • 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 which is huge, busy, crowded, amazing, chaotic, interesting and colorful. Bazaar, in Uygur, means the large market. Kashgar Bazaar has been the largest and busiest trading center of West and Central Asia since the origin and flourish of the Silk Road. Here you can buy anything from Muslim millinery to authentic Iranian saffron, from pashminas to carpets, from fruits to spices, from a cradle to a camel… or find a place to sit down to enjoy some local snacks, or just experience local culture.

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 to squeeze through the gates of the bazaars for trade. It's dusty, smelly and crowded, but most people find it very exotic.

After the tour, you will be escorted to catch your flight to Urumqi - the capital city of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Meet your tour guide and driver at the airport, then transfer a short while to the downtown of Urumqi. Check in to your hotel. The rest time is free for you to relax.

  • Sunday Bazaar Sunday Bazaar

Day 5 Urumqi - Heavenly Lake - Urumqi (B, L)

Today's highlights: Heavenly Lake, Xinjiang Regional Museum

This morning after breakfast, you will be taken to have an educational visit to the Xinjiang Regional Museum. It is the most important ancient Silk Road themed museum in China, which exhibits about 50,000 historical relics including more than 400 National First-class relics (60% of the total in Xinjiang). Among all the exhibitions, the most unique exhibition is the Mummy Hall. It collects 10 more than 4000 years old mummies which were mostly found in Loulan Ancient Kingdom Ruin and preserved almost intact. Loulan Princess, the most famous mummy in the museum, will definitely strike you with its typical European face. All these important exhibitions help you learn deep into the history and culture of Xinjiang as well as the ancient Silk Road.

Leaving the museum, you are going to explore the Heavenly Lake (or Tianchi in Chinese) which is only about 70 km (about 1.5 hrs' drive) away from Urumqi downtown. To protect the authenticity of the natural environment, our private car can only bring you to the entrance of the park. You will then shift onto a park bus to the parking lot around the lake area. Walking for about 15 minutes, you will get to the lakeside of Heavenly Lake. The rest time is free for you to stroll along the periphery of the lake, breathe the remarkably fresh air, and soak in the wonderful scenery. With an altitude of 1980 meters, Heavenly Lake and its alluring surroundings truly offer you a visual feast like heaven, featuring in serene alpine lake, rugged slopes with snow-capped mountains, pure glaciers, wild forest, vast grassland as well as unique ethnic culture.

Generally speaking, there are three ways to explore Heavenly Lake. You can walk around the lake, take a boat cruise, or ride a cable car to the mountain top. If time allows, you can even enjoy all the experiences. The Boat cruise and cable car need extra fees. Tell your preference to your guide, who will then arrange accordingly for you.

- Walking around the lake. Plank roads were constructed to encircle the lake. But since the lake is very large, it takes about 5 hours to finish the circle. You can decide the hiking length on your own according to your physical condition and time. Fee: free.

- Boat Cruise on the lake. It is very popular among travelers to take a boat cruising to the deeper area of the lake and back, which is leisure and scenic. There are modern ships, Chinese-style ships and high-speed boats available at different prices. Fee: about CNY 100.

- Panoramic view from Maya Mountain. If you want more landscape, you can take a cable car up to Maya Mountain, where you can enjoy the panoramic view of Heavenly Lake and a closer view of Tianshan Mountain Range. Fee: about CNY 220.

After the landscape trip, take a park bus to exit the park, and drive back to Urumqi.

  • Modern Urumqi city with Tianshan Mountains as background Modern Urumqi city with Tianshan Mountains as background
  • Aluring Heavenly Lake scenery in autumn day Aluring Heavenly Lake scenery in autumn day
  • Stunning scenery of Heavenly Lake of Tianshan Stunning scenery of Heavenly Lake of Tianshan

Day 6 Urumqi - Turpan (B, L)

Today's highlights: Tuyuk Valley, Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon, Karez System, Jiaohe Ancient City

This morning we drive to the “fire land” - Turpan(3hrs), famous for its melons and vineyards.

The first attraction for today is Tuyuk Valley (Tuyugou in Chinese) which is an Uighur valley with lots of historical sites. Mazar Village, the oldest existing Uighur village with a history of over 2,600 years, is a big highlight of the valley. Mazar Village holds a significant status in Buddhism and Islam. It is said that 6 Muslims came to China and started preaching there, so Mazar Village is called Eastern Mekka. Before Islam, it once was a Buddhist center as well. Many Buddhist caves can be found in the village, but the statues and murals failed to survive. The villagers still live peacefully in the village and you can clearly see how they run their daily lives in the old mud adobe houses.(with extra fees) available for your extensional visiting.

Then, you will drive to Turpan City along Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon, which condenses the essence of the landscape of Flaming Mountain - the hottest spot in Turpan. Flaming Mountain is immortalized in the Chinese classic Journey to the West as a blazing mountain that the monk Xuan Zang has to pass through. Finally, they use a magic fan to extinguish the blaze and go on with their trip. Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon splits the whole mountain in half and you will clearly admire the unique landform - red sandstones looking like flaming fire, distinctive rocks showing the uncanny workmanship of nature and deep gorge with crisscross valleys. The magnificence, strangeness, danger, and elegance of Flaming Mountain are fully shown here.

Next discover the brilliant project of Karez System. Together with the Great Wall and Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Karez System is regarded as one of China’s Three Greatest Ancient Projects. It is a 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 occurs during summer rain season, or is melted from snow mountains of Tianshan range to desired farmlands in the desert area. Visiting Turpan Karez Museum, you will not only see the pictures and models detailing the history of Karez System, but also visit the real underground tunnels.

Your last stop is the famous relic - Jiaohe Ancient City - an ancient city that was strategically located along the ancient Silk Road. Perching on a plateau, it acted as a natural barrier from the attacking enemies in the old times. Now, it is renowned as the best-preserved earthen architecture in the world. The interesting sculptures, videos and some other displays in Jiaohe Cultural Village Museum will give you an appreciation of the history of Jiaohe City before you start exploring. Then, take a shuttle bus to the core scenic area. Walking up along the pathway uphill, you can see many historical structural remains, including the residential area, official area and Buddhist temples. It is also available to walk to the central platform for a more awesome view of the whole park. When the night drops, you will feast on a breathtaking sunrise over the ruins.

  • Jiaohe Anicent City Sunset Jiaohe Anicent City Sunset
  • Peaceful Mazar Village in Tuyugou Valley Peaceful Mazar Village in Tuyugou Valley
  • Audrey's Group from USA and 3 Other Counties - Flaming Grand Cayon Audrey's group from USA and 3 other counties visited Flaming Grand Cayon

Day 7 Turpan - Dunhuang (B)

Highlights: Echoing Sand Mountains, Crescent Lake

After breakfast, you will take a high speed train (about 3.5 hours) from Turpan to Dunhuang. You tour guide will pick you up and transfer to Echoing Sand Mountains (Mingshashan). 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.

Stay overnight in Dunhuang City.

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.

  • Echoing Sand Mountains Echoing Sand Mountains
  • Crescent Lake Never Dry Up Crescent Lake Never Dry Up
  • Lili's family from German - Mingshan Mountain Our customers Lili's family from German visited Mingsha Mountains in Dunhuang, Gansu in July, 2021.

Day 8 Dunhuang - Jiayuguan (B, L)

Today's Highlights: Mogao Grottoes, Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center

After breakfast, drive about 10 km from the Dunhuang city to visit the modern 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 the 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 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.

After lunch, drive about 5 hours to Jiayuguan from Dunhuang. Enjoy the breathtaking desert and Gobi views along the road.

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 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 an extra admission fee for each cave. 3) It is not allowed to take photos inside the grottoes.

  • Mogao Caves were constructed on a cliff of Mingshashan Desert Mogao Caves were constructed on a cliff of Mingshashan Desert
  • Mogao Caves Mogao Caves

Day 9 Jiayuguan - Zhangye (B, L)

Today's highlights: 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 Jiayuguan Fort
  • Great Wall Museum Great Wall Museum

Day 10 Zhangye Danxia Geopark - Flight to Xian (B, L)

Today's highlights: 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 Views After Rain
  • Zhangye Danxia Landform Photography Zhangye Danxia Landform Photography
  • Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains

Day 11 Xian (B, L)

Today's highlights: Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter

After breakfast, drive about 40 km 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. (Before the Terracotta Warriors Museum visit, you will have a rare opportunity to make a miniature Terracotta Warrior on your own under the instruction of a local potter.)

After lunch, return 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 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. Rent a bike (extra cost: 45RMB) to enjoy a relaxing cycling on the Wall is strongly recommended. The cycling routes and duration are flexible. Feel free to discuss with your tour guide. Leave the City Wall, then go to wander leisurely around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture. Don't miss the Great Mosque of Xian which is a fusion of Chinese culture and Islamic culture, a sacred religious site with huge ancient architectural complex, also a surprisingly quiet land away from the bustling Muslim streets. After the Great Mosque visit, you will be escorted back to your hotel. (If you want to stay more time at the Muslim Quarter for dinner and relaxing, or want to explore the nearby Bell & Drum Towers on your own, please let your tour guide know)

Optional activity: Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after (or without) a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Terra Cotta Warriors Terracotta Warriors
  • Ancient City Wall Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China
  • Muslim Snack Street Muslim Community

Day 12 Xian & High Speed Train to Beijing (B, L)

Today's highlights: 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.) 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!

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 Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Xian Shaanxi History Museum To Explore the Spectacular Heritages of Ancient China

Day 13 Beijing (B, L)

Today's highlights: 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 - 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 Forbidden City exploration, take a short visit to Jingshan Park where you can get a nice shot of one watchtower of Forbidden City and take a panoramic view of Forbidden City.

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 during 19:30-21:00.

  • Tiananmen Square Tiananmen Square
  • Forbidden City Forbidden City
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace

Day 14 Beijing (B, L)

Today's highlights: 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! 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 will 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: 1) Enjoy an exciting and safe toboggan ride (about 2~3mins) down Mutianyu Great Wall; 2) After the whole day's tour, treat yourself a great dinner to taste the famous Peking Roasted Duck.

  • Mutianyu great wall The Magnificent Mutianyu Great Wall
  • Bird's Nest Bird's Nest
  • Sacred Way Sacred Way: the road leading to Ming Tombs

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.

Your Beijing tour is now about to end. Your tour guide will escort you to catch your flight/train to next destination.

  • Temple of Heaven Tour Temple of Heaven
  • Hutong Family Hutong

Recommended Add-on Options

The quotation for this trip is from $2805 Per Person

1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in a 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.

What's included?

  • Professional licensed English-speaking guide;
  • Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);
  • Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;
  • Domestic flights (economy class) and high-speed trains (second class) as listed in the itinerary;
  • Airport (and train station) pick up and drop off;
  • Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;
  • All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);
  • Accident insurance;
  • Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

What's excluded?

  • China visa;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;
  • Single Room Supplement;
  • Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
  • Recommended optional activities;
  • Flights or trains not listed in the itinerary;
  • Excess Baggage Charges;
  • Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.

Check What our Customers Say...

Hi Leo,

I realized I never really sent my comments on the trip. Overall, we had a fabulous time and we were so lucky that we had no COVID restrictions during our travels. Gulnur and Jackie were particularly good guides- I’d recommend them again. We also really liked the hotels in Turpan and Dunhuang. (The one in Urumqi was less comfortable, but fine) Dunhuang was the star stop for us. Loved Mogao grottoes, was a great anniversary. The only site we would have skipped was the grasslands near Zhangye. With current COVID changes, there’s really not much to do there right now. I understand that normally you can ride horses and do other things. Anyway, thanks again for a great trip!

Lisa

Lisa - 2022.08.22‚ USA, August 22, 2022

Hello Wonder,

we had a very nice cruise and I will send you more feedback by E-mail. Talk to you soon!

Axel

Axel - 2022.08.22‚ Germany, August 22, 2022

Hi Rita,

we are very keen to see the volcano and huitengxile grassland. We will plan again some other time.

Akhilesh

Akhilesh - 2022.08.22‚ Singapore, August 22, 2022

Hi Rita,

everything is very well happening today, it's a fabulous day we are now on the return to town, it's perfect The driver and the guide are very good.

Frederic

Frederic - 2022.08.20‚ France, August 20, 2022

Hi Wonder,

Good evening! The cruise is good. Today was the the 小小三峡 tour (optional), very good so far so good thanks! Yes, we met a family, they bought the same tour through different agent. And once they heard that my tour is cheaper comparing to theirs asked for your wechat happy to introduce! I also shared with some other colleagues, for their future reference. The room is good. We only upgraded from 2nd floor to 3rd floor and paid additional 300 rmb. Which is fine

Alexander

Alexander - 2022.08.15‚ Russia, August 15, 2022
>>Read Details

How Our Teams Serve you at China Discovery

"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.

1-on-1 Travel Consultant

China Tour

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.

Local Tour Guides

China Tour

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!

Local Drivers & Vehicle

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!

Comfortable & Homelike Hotels

China Tour

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.

Meals & Dining

China Tour

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!

Photo gallery of this trip

  • Welcome to Kashgar Welcome to Kashgar
  • Id Kah Mosque is the most influential Islamic mosque in Xinjiang Id Kah Mosque is the most influential Islamic mosque in Xinjiang
  • Abakh Khoja Tomb Abakh Khoja Tomb
  • Kashgar Old Town Kashgar Old Town
  • Reflection of Snow Mountain on Karakul Lake Reflection of Snow Mountain on Karakul Lake
  • Tranquil Karakul Lake in October Tranquil Karakul Lake in October
  • Sunday Bazaar Sunday Bazaar
  • Modern Urumqi city with Tianshan Mountains as background Modern Urumqi city with Tianshan Mountains as background
  • Aluring Heavenly Lake scenery in autumn day Aluring Heavenly Lake scenery in autumn day
  • Stunning scenery of Heavenly Lake of Tianshan Stunning scenery of Heavenly Lake of Tianshan
  • Jiaohe Anicent City Sunset Jiaohe Anicent City Sunset
  • Peaceful Mazar Village in Tuyugou Valley Peaceful Mazar Village in Tuyugou Valley
  • Audrey's Group from USA and 3 Other Counties - Flaming Grand Cayon Audrey's Group from USA and 3 Other Counties - Flaming Grand Cayon
  • Echoing Sand Mountains Echoing Sand Mountains
  • Crescent Lake Never Dry Up Crescent Lake Never Dry Up
  • Lili's family from German - Mingshan Mountain Lili's family from German - Mingshan Mountain
  • Mogao Caves were constructed on a cliff of Mingshashan Desert Mogao Caves were constructed on a cliff of Mingshashan Desert
  • Mogao Caves Mogao Caves
  • Jiayuguan Fort Jiayuguan Fort
  • Great Wall Museum Great Wall Museum
  • Zhangye Danxia Landform Views After Rain Zhangye Danxia Landform Views After Rain
  • Zhangye Danxia Landform Photography Zhangye Danxia Landform Photography
  • Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains
  • Terra Cotta Warriors Terra Cotta Warriors
  • Ancient City Wall Ancient City Wall
  • Muslim Snack Street Muslim Snack Street
  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Xian Shaanxi History Museum Xian Shaanxi History Museum
  • Tiananmen Square Tiananmen Square
  • Forbidden City Forbidden City
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace in Beijing
  • Mutianyu great wall Mutianyu great wall
  • Bird's Nest Bird's Nest
  • Sacred Way Sacred Way
  • Temple of Heaven Tour Temple of Heaven Tour
  • Hutong Family Hutong Family

Most Important Trip Notes

Below are some important things to know regarding of train travel tips, traveling documents, hotels and food, weather, booking guide. Traveling with China Discovery, you only need to focus on enjoying your holiday time. We will take care of all the details. Our travel consultants are always ready to help you if you have any questions about the trip.

1. How to travel by high speed trains in China?
Understanding China Train Designations
China trains are divided into two kinds: High Speed Trains and Normal Trains with different speeds, facilities and names. There are three kinds of High Speed Trains in China, differed by the letters G/D/C plus several digits. Generally speaking, G trains are faster and with better amenities. Normal trains are not recommended.
Facilities and Services in China’s High Speed Trains
All China high speed trains are fully air-conditioned and non-smoking. Western toilets are provided. There are also luggage racks, dining car, power plugs, water-dispenser and some other user-friendly facilities equipped on the train.
Which Class of Seat to Take
Second Class Seats, First Class Seats, Business Class Seats are three common seats you can find on most China high speed trains. First Class Seats are strongly recommended. They are larger and less-crowded.
How to Book China Train Tickets
Currently, you can only book China train tickets 30 days in advance. You can book on China Railway’s official website or some online travel agencies, or go to purchase tickets at any of China’s railway station. Passport is always required no matter you book online or at railway stations. If you book ticket online, you can collect ticket at the ticket counters in any railway station in China any time.
Security Check & Luggage Check
After arriving at railway station, firstly get your ticket and passport prepared and represent to the staff, and then pass Security Check & Luggage Check, and find the right boarding gate. It's easy and simple.
How to Handle Your Luggage
Travelling with luggage on China train is not a problem. If you take high speed trains, it will be easier to handle your luggage because there are plenty of spaces to place your luggage, and there are also many ways to deliver your luggage.
Related Tips about this tour
When is the best time to take this trip?
Xinjiang and Gansu regions are located in northwestern China where are relatively drier and hotter than southern and eastern China. You are suggested to visit during spring (April to May), summer (June to August) and autumn (September to November) when it's neither too hot nor too cold. The sunlight is usually very strong in Xinjiang and Gansu. Please daub sun cream and wear sunglasses and hat to protect yourself. Autumn is the most beautiful period of time in the whole year. In winter (December to February), there are usually strong snows in Xinjiang, and it's also very windy and cold in Gansu. While, Xian and Beijing are suitable for travelling all year around.
Vehicle and Road Condition
In this tour, the driving hour is usually less 2 hours each day. But on Day 3, you have to drive for about 6~7 hours for a round trip to Karakul Lake, and on Day 8, you will have to drive about 5 hours to Jiayuguan from Dunhuang. Most of the roads are in good condition. There may be traffic jams in rush hours and holidays. We usually choose the suitable time to start your trip to avoid large traffic. Our drivers are licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience. All our vehicles are air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained.
Hotels and Dining
The choices for accommodation are flexible in this tour. The standards of hotels range from local 3-star to some international 5-star but amenities and services may differ in different cities. Kashgar, Turpan, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan and Zhangye are smaller destinations where the hotels are not as good as those in Xian and Beijing. All the hotels we choose are usually based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Air conditioning and Wi-Fi are usually available. Chinese food is mainly provided in this trip.
Payment and Booking Guide
1. What kind of payment method do you accept?
PayPal, Wire Transfer/Bank Transfer, Western Union are acceptable before your arrival, and after your arrival, CASH is required.
2. How soon before our trip do you need payment?
Early booking is always better than being rushed, and we would suggest booking to be 2-3 month earlier than your arrival so as to guarantee the booking items. If you are interested in any of our tours, you can pay a deposit first and balance to be paid 30 days prior to your arrival. You can also choose to pay the full amount so as to avoid small loss caused by currency exchange rate fluctuation.
3. When should we pay the deposit and the balance?
Certain deposit will be paid if you decide to book, and balance is required to be paid 30 days prior to your arrival. If booking is less than 30 days, full payment is required.

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