covid-19 latest news, useful prevention advice

[Important] China travel is reopening for expats! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & policies of each destination, and find the Best China Expats Tours »

5 Days Dunhuang to Turpan Silk Road Culture Tour $848

Strategic Ancient Towns of Silk Road


Both Duhuang and Turpan had played important roles in the history of Silk Road. Dunhuang was the cultural center of Hexi Corridor which was the arm of the empires in ancient China to rule West Region. While Turpan is the cultural, economic and transportation center of the West Region. More than 200 cultural sites, 40,000 cultural relics, 18 ancient characters and 25 languages have been discovered in Turpan. There were once stretching roads went through the Gobi, desert and snow mountain to connected two places, but nowadays they have been replaced with the new “Silk Road” – modern high-speed railway. In this tour, you will travel from Dunhuang to Turpan discover both the magnificent culture and unique landscape of ancient Silk Road in a well-paced way.

Highlights of this tour

  • Riding a modern high speed bullet train traversing through the wild land of remote northwestern China;
  • In-depth exploration of Dunhuang’s legendary history and vast Gobi scenery in a full day;
  • Well-design itinerary to help you learn deep about Mogao Caves’ history and art with visiting both the Digital Exhibition Center and Caves Area;
  • Unlock Turpan’s mysterious history in the ancient ruins and caves, also experience exotic local Muslim culture.

Basic Trip Information

from $848
  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.
Travel Route:
Dunhuang / Turpan
Travel Length:
5 Days and 4 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Dunhuang Railway Station/Airport 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. You can also get to Dunhuang by high speed trains from Jiayuguan (1.5hrs), Zhangye (4.5hrs), Lanzhou (8.5hrs), Xining (6.5-7hrs), etc.

Bustling Shazhou Night Market
Day 2 Dunhuang Geology & Silk Road History Tour (B, L)

After breakfast, you will be taken to explore the remote wild Gobi Desert landscape as well as several legendary historical sites. Drive westwards about 100km, you will firstly arrive at Yumen Pass (Jade Gate Pass) which used to be a military defensive pass as well as an important border for international trading along the ancient Silk Road. It is said that the jadewares from West were imported to China through this gate, which is how the name Yumen was given. About 5 km from Yumen Pass is the Ruin of Great Wall of Han Dynasty which was built to fight against Xiongnu in the ancient time. Keep driving more 80 km, you will get to Yardang National Geologic Park. It is also called Devil City in that you will hear the sound just like the devil screaming when the strong wind goes through the desert. The park is featured Yardang landforms in distinct shapes like Mongolian Yurt, Stone Bird, Peacock and others. Make full use of your imagination, you may find some rocks with some miniatures similar to famed architectures, like the Potala Palace in Tibet, Heaven Temple in Beijing or something else.

Leave Yardang National Geologic Park, and drive along the coming way back to Dunhuang. On route, you will take a side trip to visit Yangguan Pass which was the gate to another branch of ancient Silk Road.

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.

Beautiful Yardang National Geopark Sunset in June Yangguan Pass
Day 3 Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes Art Tour & High Speed Train to Turpan (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 10 km from the Dunhuang city to visit the newly opened Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center before go to Mogao Grottoes. You will watch two short but well-produced educational documentary movies that introduce the history, arts, and other facts about Mogao Grottoes. After the movies, take the interzonal bus to Mogao Grottoes.

Mogao Grottoes is famed as the "Louvre of the East", which is outstanding for its exquisite mural paintings and statues. There are now 492 grottoes in which about 45000 square meters 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.

Mogao Caves Visit 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 the extra admission fee for each cave. 3. It is not allowed to take photos inside grottoes.

In the afternoon, you will be taken to train station to catch your high speed train to Turpan. After about 4.5 hours' ride, you will arrive at Turpan and get picked up by our local tour guide. Go to check in your hotel.

Mogao Grottoes Mogao Grottoes Feitian (Flying Apsaras) Watch a documentary film in the Dome Theater of Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center
Day 4 Turpan (B, L)

Today you will explore the “fire land” - Turpan, 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. Last 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. Lastly, transfer to enjoy the pleasant cool of the Grape Valley where you can also taste some delicious grapes and other fruits.

Accommodate at Turpan City.

Jiaohe Ancient City Turpan Karez System
Day 5 Turpan - Urumqi (B, L)

After breakfast, go to visit the Bezeklik Caves, is a complex of Buddhist cave grottoes 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, 45 km 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 late 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... The following attraction is the Flaming Mountains. Stretching about 100 km, Flaming Mountain is covered by red sandstones which look like flaming fire.

After the visit, drive about 3 hours to Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Tour ends!

Turpan Flaming Mountain Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

Recommended Add-on Options

No documents found.

Recommended or Similar Tour Packages You May Also Like

Abakh Khoja Tomb
10 Days Classic Silk Road Tour (Xian/Dunhuang/Turpan/Kashgar)

Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar

A Bullet Train Running on the High Speed Rail in Xinjiang
15 Days Classic Ancient China Silk Road Tour with Bullet Train Experience

Kashgar - Tupran - Dunhuang - Jiayuguan - Zhangye - Xian - Beijing

Mogao Caves
12 Days Silk Road Tour from Beijing

Beijing / Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi

No documents found.

Customize your own China Tour

China DIY Travel
We are here to help you design your own travel experience in China which suits your specific needs best. Tailor make now!
Start to design

Why travel with us...

Personalized service to ensure you're delighted.
Flexible to get more time for photos or discovery.
We time the visits to avoid the crowds.
The food, accommodations, and sights selected to your interests.
Personal tour guide and private vehicle at your service.
More about Us

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >

You're inquiring about the " 5 Days Dunhuang to Turpan Silk Road Culture Tour "

Please tell us more about your travel plans within just a few simple steps. We'll get back to you with a quotation in 0.5~23.5hrs.

Check Your Tour Inform

  • No documents found.

Tell us more about your trip

Tell us about yourself