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5 Days Xian to Zhangye Impacting Tour by Flight $765

Incredible Culture and Landscape

1

The Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye is remote but now can be reached easily from Xi’an by direct flight or high speed trains. Currently, there is a flight departing from Xian in the afternoon, and arriving at Zhangye after less 2 hours’ flying. The high speed trains are not as fast as flight. They need about 8 hours to get to Zhangye, but provide more departing schedules. So why not to spare out 2~3 days to travel to Zhangye after your Xian trip, to witness the incredible Danxia landform landscape and charming arts hiding in the Buddhist grottoes. China Discovery has already designed a good trip for you.

Highlights of this tour

  • Visit the word famous UNESCO World Heritage Site Terracotta Warriors and even make a miniature Terracotta Warrior on your own under the instruction of a local potter in Xian;
  • Stroll leisurely around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter and try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture in Xian;
  • Enjoy the different Danxia landscapes of both Binggou Danxia Area and Zhangye Danxia Landform Geo Park in a full day exploration;
  • Get a deep insight into China’s authentic Buddhist culture after visiting the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian and Giant Buddha Temple, Matisi Grottoes in Zhangye.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from $765
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Xian / Zhangye
Travel Length:
5 Days and 4 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-CTXD-05B
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureHikingPhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Xian Arrival

Welcome to Xian! Your tour guide will meet you at Xian Xianyang International Airport (or railway station), then escort you to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to explore this ancient capital of China.

Note: if you arrive at Xian in early and want to have some activities arranged for the rest time, please let us know in advance. There are many options available (with extra costs), including: 1) visit a local family and learn to cook Chinese dishes or making dumplings; 2) have an interesting class of Chinese calligraphy or painting in Tangbo Art Museum; 3) explore the bustling Zhonggulou Square where the beautiful Bell Towers and Drum Towers are located at.

Arrival Ideas: Xian is only about 2~3 hours flying from majority of big cities in China, such as Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, etc. You can also get to Xian by high speed trains from Beijing (5.5hrs), Shanghai (6-7hrs), Guangzhou (8.5-9hrs), Hangzhou (6.5-7hrs), Pingyao (3hrs), Zhengzhou (2hrs), and so on.

Welcome to Xian
Day 2 Xian (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 40km to discover one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world – Terracotta Warriors and Horses, built by the first emperor Qin Shihuang to protect his afterlife. Over 8, 000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots, buried in 3 pits more than 2000 years until uncovered by local farmer in 1974, forms an ancient military army with complete battle unites, such as infantry, cavalry, etc. Standing in front of these figures, one can’t help being amazed not only by the ambition of Qin Shihuang but also 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. It is followed by a relaxing wandering around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, where you can taste the most delicious Xian food and various snacks, as well as experience local culture.

Optional activities: 1). Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall; 2). Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show after a hearty dumpling dinner.

Terra-Cotta Warriors Enjoy a cycling on the Ancient City Wall of Xian
Day 3 Xian & Flight to Zhangye from Xian (B, L)

After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. The pagoda, rising to a height of 64.5 meters, was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to preserve classic scriptures he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. Xuanzang was the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. (Note: It costs an extra 30 RMB if you want to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda) After (or before) visiting the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, you will be provided a free experience of trying on the Hanfu which is the solemn costume of the emperors and their families, the ministers and the noble in the ancient dynasties of China. Seize this rare opportunity to take some photos to record this unique memory!

Next is an educational visit to Hanyangling. Compared with the Terracotta Warriors, Hanyangling is much less-crowded so that you can enjoy a quiet lesson in archaeology. Here you can find many mini terracotta figures of not only warrior and horses, but also maidens and other animals. You actually walk on glass over top of the archaeological site, which gives an intriguing perspective.

After the visit, your guide escorts you to the airport to take a 2 and a half hours' flight to Zhangye. After arrival, met by local tour guide and transferred to check in your hotel in Zhangye.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda Terracotta Figures in Hanyanglilng Museum
Day 4 Zhangye Danxia Sightseeing ( B, L )

Zhangye is famous for its unparalleled Danxia Landforms which is a spectacular petrographic geomorphology landscape formed from red-colored sand stones and conglomerates. Among all the Danxia places in Zhangye, Binggou Danxia Landform Scenery Area and Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park (Linze Danxia) have most significant Danxia landscapes. Today you will go to explore both of them.

After breakfast, you will go to visit Binggou Danxia Landform first which is about 1 hour's driving from Zhangye downtown. Even though just being visited by fewer travelers, Binggou Danxia Landform Scenery Area has its own featured charms. If the Linze Danxia Scenery is a visual feast of colors, then the Binggou Danxia is a great joy to find how the Mother Nature became a sculptor who sculptured the mountains to amazing different shapes, like grand palaces, long corridors, giant pillars, etc. You will hike leisurely about 2 hours to look the spectacular landform closely.

In the afternoon, drive about an hour to visit the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park which 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 five viewing decks for you to watch and shoot. You will visit one by one, and will be transferred by park buses from one deck to another.

You won't miss the precious opportunity to enjoy the amazing sunset. Viewing Deck No. 4 is the best location to take sunset of the Danxia Landform. It's better to get there earlier to occupy a good location. After sunset, drive back to Zhangye downtown for accommodation.

Useful Tips:  1) Pack with sun creams, sun glasses, protective clothing and hat to protect from strong sunlight in summer; 2) sunset is the best time for taking photos which happen around 19:00~20:00 in summer and 18:00~19:00 in winter.

Zhangye Danxia Landform Views After Rain Zhangye Danxia Landform Photography Binggou Danxia Landform
Day 5 Zhangye Tour & Departure ( B, L )

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 (Horse Hoof Temple). 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. Legend has it that once a celestial horse drunk water and left its footstep on a rock here, which is the reason why Matisi Temple got its name. Matisi has four wonders - green mountains, clear water, precipitous peaks and fantastic grottoes. Among the four, the fantastic grotto groups are most attractive, stretching as long as 30 kilometers. The highlighting part is the 21 grottoes around the 5-storey Puguang Temple which is set in the side of a sheer mountain rock wall. The temple also has collected many magnificent relics, including Standing Buddha of Jin Dynasty (CE 266-420), imperial robe of Emperor Kang Xi, saddle of Emperor Qiang Long, etc. Visitors can also experience strong sense of Tibetan culture here. Colorful prayer flags and white pagodas can be found at many places of the temple. In fact, there is a Tibetan village near the area. Before your visit, just be prepared to climb stairs inside the mountain and get through small openings from one temple to the next. Comfortable shoes are necessary. Because of its long history, Matisi Temple is praised as one of the Three Artistic Treasured Grottoes of Hexi Buddha Holy Land (the other two are Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, Yulin Grottoes in Anxi).

After sightseeing at Matisi Temple, drive back to Zhangye City to catch your flight/train to next destination.

Matisi Temple is famous for Buddhist culture, grotto art, Qilian Mountain landscape and Tibetan culture Giant Buddha Temple China Discovery's Guests Visited Mati Temple

Recommended Add-on Options

+1 more day to hike the stunning Mount Huashan

Challenge yourself to hike the thrilling hiking routes on Mount Huashan.

Mount Huashan is located in Shaanxi Province, 120 kilometers away from Xian. It is not only as one of the sacred Taoist mountains in China, but also a very challenging mountain for hiking lovers. Mount Hua is famous for its lofty peaks and steep paths. Some travelers who have walked the Skywalk (Plankroad in the Sky) describe Mount Hua Hiking as the “Most Dangerous Hike in the World”. Well, this used to be true many years ago when little safe facilities were constructed, such as the cableway, tight wire, handrails. Today, it is available for most travelers to climb from the foot to the top of the mountain.

North Peak of Mount Huashan

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Zhangye / Danxia / Matisi / Zhangye

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

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