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7 Days Miraculous Land Tour from Dunhuang to Zhangye Xining

In-Depth Northwestern China Silk Road Exploration

Gansu Province and Qinghai Province are both located in northwestern China. They are usually traveled together in a Silk Road trip or landscape tour. Both two destinations were very important regions in the history of ancient Silk Road. Gansu is featured in the Gobi and desert landscape, Danxia Landform, Great Wall culture and Buddhist grottoes, while Qinghai is famous for high plateau mountains, lakes, grassland and Tibetan culture.

This 7 Days Miraculous Land Tour takes you travel from Dunhuang, via Jiayuguan and Zhangye, to Xining (opposite route is available too). It is a classic itinerary which has diverse landscape and many cultural experiences. Both your eyes and mind will be refreshed as you will explore magnificent World Heritage Site Mogao Grottoes, western starting of Great Wall, colorful Danxia landform, wild Yardan Gobi view, holy Tibetan Taer Monastery, vast Qinghai Lake and many unique places in just one go!

  • Type : Private Tour
  • Tour Code : CD-QGT-07
  • Price : from $1127 ($1325)
    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.
  • Theme : Nature / Culture
  • Physical Demands :

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR

  • Dunhuang – 2 full days in Dunhuang to visit educational Mogao Caves, stunning Mingshashan Desert and Crescent Lake and adventure to remote land of Great Wall Ruin, Yardang National Geologic Park, Jade Gate Pass…
  • Jiayuguan – drive a private car along the wild Gobi desert to Jiayuguan to visit the No. 1 fortress of the Great Wall and learn many historical stories and facts about China’s ancient frontier history;
  • Zhangye – explore the spectacular Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye Danxia Landform Geo-park in a pleasant time, also go to visit cliff-side Matisi Temple (Matisi Grottoes) which has a history over 1500 years;
  • Xining – enjoy a visual feast of landscape at Qinghai Lake which is reputed as the paradise for photography, walking and biking, also experience authentic Tibetan culture in the famous Ta’er Monastery in Xining;
  • Tailor-made itinerary which can be customized to meet your personal interest, dates and budget;
  • Valuable tour package including hotel, tour guide, transfer, meals, attraction sightseeing, etc.
Itinerary Day by Day (Can Be Customized)
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Day 1 Dunhuang Arrival

Dunhuang airport/train pick up

Welcome to Dunhuang, the brightest star in the Gobi desert. Your tour guide will welcome you in the airport/train station, and then escort you to your hotel. The rest of today is for you to explore this exotic city by yourself. Free time idea: Shazhou Night Market is the most bustling place in the city where you can stroll leisurely to experience local living, hunt for delicious food, relax in a drinking bar, or buy some interesting handcrafts, etc.

How to Get to Dunhuang? Dunhuang is located in remote northwestern China. You can get there by domestic flights from Shanghai, Chengdu, Lanzhou, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Xining, etc., or high speed trains from Jiayuguan(1.5hrs), Zhangye(4.5hrs), Lanzhou(8.5hrs), Xining(6.5-7hrs), etc.

    No documents found.

Day 2 Dunhuang Geology Tour (B, L)

Today's Highlights: Yardang National Geologic Park, Yumen Pass, Great Wall of Han Dynasty

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 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 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 extensional visiting.

The following attraction is Mingshashan, 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.

Useful Tips:

1) It is necessary to make a reservation in advance for at least 7 days for Mogao Grottoes visit during May ~ October when there are usually a lot of visitors; 2) It is not allowed to take photos inside the grottoes; 3) in the summer, travelers can stay up to late night around 21:30 in Mingshashan Scenic Area 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.

Nightlife Ideas: 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.(Notice: the Silk Road Show is not available during November to middle April of next year.)

  • Beautiful Yardang National Geopark Sunset in June Beautiful Yardang National Geopark Sunset in June
  • Crescent Lake Never Dry Up Crescent Lake Never Dry Up
  • Riding Camel at Mingshashan (Echoing Sand Mountains) Riding Camel at Mingshashan (Echoing Sand Mountains)

Day 3 Dunhuang - Jiayuguan (B, L)

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

After breakfast, drive about 10km 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 extensional visiting.

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 4 Jiayuguan - Zhangye (B, L)

Today's Highlights: Jiayuguan Fort, Zhangye Danxia Geopark

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 the history of Jiayuguan and the Great Wall.

In the afternoon, drive to Zhangye to explore 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, sunglasses, 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.

Accommodate in Zhangye city.

  • Jiayuguan Fort Jiayuguan Fort
  • Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains

Day 5 Zhangye - Mati Temple & High Speed Train to Xining (B, L)

Today's Highlights: Giant Buddha Temple, Matisi Temple

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

After the Giant Buddha Temple visit, drive about 65 km to visit the Matisi Temple (Matisi Grottoes). Built in Northern Liang period (A.D. 397 - A.D.460), Matisi Temple blends Buddhist culture, grotto art, Qilian Mountain landscape and Tibetan culture together in a single site. Its key site is the Puguang Temple which is set in the side of a sheer mountain rock wall with 21 grottoes in five storeys arranged in the form of a pagoda. The facades of several temples jut out on the surface of the cliff, making them look like they are hanging in the air. There are somewhere you need to climb up steep stairs to get up to the top storeys of the temple. The view outside the grotto is very beautiful with rolling hills covered with trees. In the distance is the Qilian Mountain which is usually snow covered (November to June).

After sightseeing at Matisi Temple, you will be transferred to catch your high speed train to Xining (about 2 hrs). Our local guide will pick up you at the train station, then escort you to check in your hotel.

  • Matisi Temple is famous for Buddhist culture, grotto art, Qilian Mountain landscape and Tibetan culture Matisi Temple is famous for Buddhist culture, grotto art, Qilian Mountain landscape and Tibetan culture
  • Mati Temple Mati Temple

Day 6 Xining - Qinghai Lake - Xining ( B,L )

Today's highlights: Qinghai Lake (Erlangjian Scenic Area), Grasslands, Mountains...

After breakfast, drive around 2.5 hours to see the picturesque Qinghai Lake (3,200 m) from Xining via Huangyuan County, Riyue Mountain, Daotang River, etc. You won't feel boring along the driving journey since fascinate scenery of green grassland, blue sky, white clouds, clustered flocks and herds unfold like a photo gallery.

You will stop at the Erlangjian Scenic Area to enjoy the beauty of Qinghai Lake. As the largest inland and salt water lake in China, Qinghai Lake stretches 105 km at length, 63 km at width and occupies a water area of over 4,500 square kilometers. Attracting thousands of photographers to take photos every year, this plateau lake was elected as the Most Beautiful Lake in China by China’s National Geographic. Surrounded by harsh mountain ranges in the distance, the lake has amazing blue waters, endless beautiful green grassland and distinctive white nomad tents dotted on vast “Sea of Rape Flowers” by the lakeside. The natural water and pastureland scenery and color scheme make it a truly magnificent painting. Meanwhile, Qinghai Lake is a sacred site where the Mongolian nomads who live nearby and devoted Tibetan Buddhists coming from afar to worship the lake each year.

Optional Qinghai Lake Cruise: enjoying a scenic ship cruise on Qinghai Lake, which lasts about 50 minutes and costs RMB 150 / pp. Note: 1) this price doesn't include your personal expense on the ship, such as drinking, food, etc. This boat cruise is only available during July ~ October.

After sightseeing, you will drive back to Xining to accommodate.

Tips:

1. Qinghai Lake is famous as the Paradise of Migrant Bird. If you are planning a bird watching tour, you are suggested visiting the Bird Island during May and June; 2. From late July to early August is the best time to view the vast golden rape flower fields surrounding the Qinghai Lake; 3. If you are interested and time allows, you can take optional visiting to some interesting attractions along the driving between Xining and Qinghai Lake, such as Dangaer Ancient City, Riyue Mountain, Jinyintan Prairie, etc.

  • Herd of Tibetan nomads around Qinghai Lake Herd of Tibetan nomads around Qinghai Lake
  • Qinghai Lake Blooming Rape Flowers Qinghai Lake Blooming Rape Flowers

Day 7 Xining Departure (B, L)

Today's Highlights: Taer Monastery, Dongguan Great Mosque

After breakfast, go to visit one of the most famous Tibetan monasteries - Taer Monastery. Taer Monastery is the birthplace of the Tibetan Buddhism master Tsongkhapa who was the founder of Gelug(a sect of Buddhism). It is also famous as one of the 6 monastery of Gelug. You must not miss the three bests of Taer Monastery - murals, barbola and butter sculptures. Taer Monastery is also a very important institute to learn Buddhism, Astronomy and Medicine. There are many Buddhist ceremonies organized here in each year.

After lunch, take a visit to the Dongguan Great Mosque. As one of the four great mosques in China, Dongguan Great Mosque is the holy home to the millions Muslims in China. There are many Muslim disciples worship and attend Muslim event here.

The rest of today is free until your tour guide and driver escort you to catch your flight/train to the next destination.

  • Taer Monastery Barbola Taer Monastery Barbola

Recommended Add-on Options

The quotation for this trip is from $1127 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, 2022.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD USD 1= RMB 6.65. 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;
  • Excess Baggage Charges;
  • Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.

Check What our Customers Say...

Hi Lyn,

Thanks. We really liked the tour. The itinerary and timing was perfect for us. The hotels were reasonable, especially the one on the mountain, which had great food in the restaurant.

I think maybe this hike was quite difficult for the guide, since our group likes to hike and we are all physically fit. I think maybe it has been a long time since he climbed the mountain, because of Covid-19 and no foreign tourists. And I think most people probably take the cable car up, but we like to use our own legs. Anyway, he did his best and was nice and helpful.

Regards,

Curtis

Millicent - 2021.03.29‚ USA, March 29, 2021

Jen: It was great, they went out of their way to take care of us. The food was delicious and the scenery was beautiful.

Yevgen: It was great, thank you so much for organizing it! I will recommend you to anyone who asks :)

Jennifer - 2021.03.27‚ USA, March 27, 2021

Hi Rita,

It was very good

The driver very good

The guide was awesome

Totally recommended (the whole trip)

Juan - 2021.03.26‚ Colombia, March 26, 2021

Hi Tracy,

Yes it was great.

Mark - 2021.03.22‚ USA, March 22, 2021

One day tour of Xi’an China

Having had a great experience using Chengdu Bamboo International Tours to explore the Yunnan province, we only felt it was right to do so a second time when touring Xi’an.

Our organizer Riley was extremely efficient and accommodating, linking us with Waldner, our tour guide in Xi’an. With an effortless decorum and compelling attitude, he took me to visit the Great Wall and the Muslim quarter on a half day expedition.

Then, one the second day, my husband and I went to see Emperor Qin’s Terracota warriors, the highlight of our trip!  An absolute must-see.

We enjoyed the explanations and funny antidotes Waldner shared along the way. He was timely and communicative, spoke excellent English and had a deep understanding of a history and culture so unique to our own.

We would definitely recommend this service to anyone looking to explore China.

Teddy - 2021.03.19‚ Tanzania, March 19, 2021
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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.

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.

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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!

Here are recent candid photos of this China trip

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  • Beautiful Yardang National Geopark Sunset in June Beautiful Yardang National Geopark Sunset in June
  • Crescent Lake Never Dry Up Crescent Lake Never Dry Up
  • Riding Camel at Mingshashan (Echoing Sand Mountains) Riding Camel at Mingshashan (Echoing Sand Mountains)
  • 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
  • Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains
  • Matisi Temple is famous for Buddhist culture, grotto art, Qilian Mountain landscape and Tibetan culture Matisi Temple is famous for Buddhist culture, grotto art, Qilian Mountain landscape and Tibetan culture
  • Mati Temple Mati Temple
  • Herd of Tibetan nomads around Qinghai Lake Herd of Tibetan nomads around Qinghai Lake
  • Qinghai Lake Blooming Rape Flowers Qinghai Lake Blooming Rape Flowers
  • Taer Monastery Barbola Taer Monastery Barbola

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