11 Days In-depth Wild Silk Road Adventure Tour (Cultural Relic & Unrivalled Landscape)

Wild Silk Road Adventure

1
In the ancient time, travelers and merchants from Europe and Middle Asia take the Silk Road in Xinjiang and Gansu to get to the prosperous inner cities, such as Xian and Luoyang. Though the Silk Road has become a history, but there are a lot of historical sites left - Buddhist grottoes, old cities and towns, bazaars, etc. At the same time, the wild and spectacular natural beauty of Xinjiang and Gansu never changes.

Highlights of this tour:

  • A highlighting trip to visit the diverse beautiful landscape and unique cultural sites in Gansu Province - Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang
  • Explore Golden Triangle Destinations in Xinjiang Province - Urumqi, Kashgar and Turpan (Heaven Lake, Id Kah Mosque, Sunday Bazaar, Grape Valley...)

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from
  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:
Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi - Kashgar
Travel Length:
11 Day and 10 Nights
Tour Code:
CT-GST-11
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~3 Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan

Make Lanzhou as the arrival city, then start your trip to Zhangye to visit the rainbow mountains Danxia Landform, Giant Buddha Temple, then drive to Jiayuguan to visitJiayuguan Pass

Day 4~6 Dunhuang City Tour & Train to Turpan

Visit the Buddhist caves Yulin Grottoes and Mogao Grottes, then enjoy the beautiful desert scenery at Echoing Sand Mountains. Last, take a train to Turpan.

Day 7~11 Xinjiang Tour(Urumqi, Kashgar and Turpan) & Train to Dunhuang

Arrive at Turpan and visit the Karez System, Flaming Mountain and Grape Valley, then transfer to the capital city of Xinjiang - Urumqi to visit the beautiful Heaven Lake, then take a night flight to Kashgar to visit Abakh Khoja Tomb, Sunday Bazaar and Id Kah Mosque.

Full Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Lanzhou Arrival

Welcome to Lanzhou - city of Yellow River. Once your arrival at Lanzhong Zhongchuan Airport or Lanzhou Train Station, you will be picked up by your local guide, then be escorted to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is yours to this northwestern historical city on your own.

Free time ideas:

You can go to take a walking along the Yellow River, even cruise on the river. Or hike up to the top of the White Pagoda Mountain to enjoy the fresh air, beautiful scenery. The panoramic view of Lanzhou City from the mountain is marvelous. 

  • The Iron Bridge of Yellow River

Day 2 Lanzhou - Zhangye ( B,L )

After breakfast, you will take a morning high speed bullet train to Zhangye city from Lanzhou (about 4hrs). Enjoy the beautiful landscape along the road. After arrival at Zhangye West Railway Station, you will be met by local tour guide. Let's get ready for trip!

In the afternoon, drive about an hour to visit the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park. The 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 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.

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 Views After Rain
  • Zhangye Danxia Landform Photography Zhangye Danxia Landform Photography

Day 3 Zhangye - Jiayuguan ( B,L )

After breakfast, you will 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.

After visit the Buddha Temple, drive about 220km(2.5hrs) to Jiayuguan City and check in your hotel. Then you will go to visit the "the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven", also the westernmost starting point of Great Wall of Ming Dynasty - Jiayuguan Pass. Start your exploration with an education visit to the Great Wall Museum to learn some interesting facts about both the Jiayuguan Fort and Great Wall, including history, old photos, relics, etc. Then enter the gate to explore the grandiose Jiayuguan Fort. It is a complex of towers, city walls and other military buildings covering more than 25,000 square meters. The city wall is nearly 11 meters high, and comprises an outer and inner wall. There are two large gates standing at the east and the west of the inner wall. Walkways lead to the top of the wall, allowing horses to climb up the wall.

If time allows and you are interested, you can take an optional visit to the Xuanbi Great Wall (Overhanging Wall) which is about 18km away from the Fort. The walls were built on lofty cliffs with incredibly large gradient looking like an overhanging cantilever. Climbing up to higher gives you excellent views of the surrounding land and mountains.

  • Great Wall Museum Great Wall Museum
  • Jiayuguan Fort Jiayuguan Fort
  • Giant Buddha Temple Giant Buddha Temple

Day 4 Jiayuguan - Dunhuang ( B,L )

Today you will drive to Dunhuang from Jiayuguan in the early morning. On route, visit the Yulin Grottoes which is known as the "sister caves" of Mogao caves. It is a Buddhist cave temple site located about 160 km east of the oasis town of Dunhuang and the Mogao Caves, and was listed as the UNESCO World Heritage sites as part of the Chinese Section of the Silk Road. There are 43 existing caves in the Yulin Caves, with a total of 5,200 square meters of murals and more than 259 colored sculptures. You can visit up to 6 caves in which you can admire magnificent mural paintings which is believed to be even more beautiful than those in Mogao Caves. There are also 3 “special caves” (No. 2, No. 3 and No. 25) with outstanding art value that you can visit with extra charges.

Stay overnight in Dunhuang.

Nightlife Ideas: 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.

  • Yulin Grottoes (No. 3 Cave) Yulin Grottoes (No. 3 Cave)

Day 5 Dunhuang ( 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 well-produced educational documentary movies that introduce the history, arts, and other facts about Mogao Grottoes. After the movies, take the interzonal bus to Mogao Grottoes.

Mogao Grottoes is famed as the “Louvre of East”, which is outstanding for its exquisite mural paintings and statues. There are now 492 grottoes in which about 45000 square meters mural paintings and 2100 colorfully painted statues from which you can trace the development of Chinese art over 1600 years from one dynasty to the next because each dynasty built own caves to record its own features. There are about 40 common caves opened to the public. In the tourist area, you will be divided into groups by different tour guides who will accompany you to visit 7-8 caves among them with great introduction. After that, if you want to visit more other caves, you can do it by yourselves or follow other tour guides. Besides, there are 10 special caves (with extra fees) available for your extensional visiting.

The following attraction is the Echoing Sand Mountains. It is said, in the sunny days, the sand mountains echo like Orchestra music even if there is no wind. If you slide from the sand mountains, you can hear the echoing sound clearly. Your last thing to do for today is the Crescent Lake. Surrounded by the Echoing Sand Mountains, Crescent Lake is a beautiful oasis with some well decorated traditional Chinese architecture, some trees and flowers and a lake that has never dried up and shapes like a crescent moon.

Useful Tips:

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 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. 

  • Crescent Lake has been a famous attraction for more than 1200 years Crescent Lake has been a famous attraction for more than 1200 years
  • Mogao Grottoes Mogao Grottoes

Day 6 Dunhuang - Turpan ( B )

Today is free for you to have fun until your tour driver escort you to catch your train to Turpan. Currently, there are 4 high speed bullet trains running to Turpan from Liuyuan South Railway Station in Dunhuang. It takes only about 3.5 hours to get to Turpan. Upon arriving at Turpan North Railway Station, you will be picked up by your local tour guide, and transferred to check in your hotel in the city. The rest of today is free at your own leisure.

Dunhuang free time idea:

Visit Dunhuang Museum where some precious arts and relics are preserved here. It is also a great place to learn about Dunhuang culture and history as well as the history of Ancient Silk Road.

    No documents found.

Day 7 Turpan ( B,L )

Welcome to Turpan. Your tour guide will pick you up from train station, then escort you to your hotel.

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.

  • Jiaohe Ancient City Jiaohe Ancient City
  • Turpan Karez System Turpan Karez System

Day 8 Turpan - Urumqi ( B,L )

After breakfast, go to visit the Flaming Mountains. Stretching about 100km, Flaming Mountain is covered by red sandstones which look like flaming fire. Want to get rid of the heat of Flaming Mountains? Transfer to enjoy the pleasant cool of the Grape Valley where you can also taste delicious grapes and other fruits.

In the afternoon, you will explore the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves. Its highlight is about 40 large wall paintings covering more than 1,200 square meters which have different themes, such as the Gaochang Kingdom, Buddhism, etc.

Drive back to Urumqi.

  • Turpan Flaming Mountain Turpan Flaming Mountain
  • Turpan Grape Valley Turpan Grape Valley

Day 9 Urumqi - Heaven Lake - Kashgar ( B,L )

After breakfast, drive to visit the beautiful Heaven Lake. It is located on the Heaven Mountain. In ancient fairytale, it was the fairyland where the Heavenly Queen lived. It is the best summer resort in Xinjiang. Cruising on a boat, enjoying the breathtaking picturesque views of inverted reflection of snow mountains, flourishing plants and blooming flowers around the lake.

Drive back to Urumqi and take a flight to Kashgar. Your tour guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel in Kashgar.

  • Heaven lake Heaven lake

Day 10 Kashgar ( B,L )

After breakfast, you will visit the Abakh Khoja Tomb first. It is a typical Islamic architectural complex, as well as a famous tombs group of a large Islamic family of five generations. It was known as Abakh Hoja Tomb because a local Islam master whose name was Abakh Hoja buried here. He had strengthened the spread of Islam in Kashgar area, which later earned a great reputation for him and his family.

Nextly, you will visit the Id Kah Mosque which is regarded as the holy shrine for the Muslims. Every day, there are thousands of Muslims worshipping here. In the history, Id Kah Mosque used to be a school where Islam culture and history was taught. Many scholars and honored clergies graduated from here. Only several minutes' walking from the mosque is the famous Handicrafts Street where you can walk leisurely or buy some interesting souvenirs for your families and friends.

Following activity is to visit the Old Town of Kashgar City where you will experience the authentic Uyghur living style. You will also take a break and enjoy a cup of local tea at the ancient tea house which is more than 100 years old. The locals also like to spend some leisure time in the tea house with friends and families - drinking, chatting and playing music sometimes.

Accommodate at Kashgar city.

  • Id Kah Mosque Id Kah Mosque
  • Abakh Khoja Tomb Abakh Khoja Tomb
  • Kashgar Old Town Kashgar Old Town

Day 11 Kashgar Departure ( B )

After breakfast, go to visit the famous Kashgar Bazaar. Bazaar, in Uygur, means large market. As one of the most importance cities along the Silk Road, Kashgar Bazaar has always been a very important trading center where you can buy anything from herbal medicines to carpets, from a cradle to a camel.

If you are happened to visit Kashgar on a Sunday, don't miss the opportunity to experience the Livestock Market, which takes place once a week on Sunday. By lunchtime, numerous sheep, camel, horse, cow and donkey will be driven by the Uyghur farmers and herders, and squeeze through the gates of the bazaars for trade. It’s dusty, smelly and crowded, but most people find it very exotic.  

Lastly, go to airport to catch your departing flight, or transfer to the border. Your Urumqi Kashgar tour ends. 

  • Sunday Bazaar Sunday Bazaar
Free Quote for the Trip

Recommended Add-on Options

No documents found.

11 Days Northwestern China Cultural Relic & Desert Landscape Tour

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

Recommended other China tours you may like

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

You're inquiring about the " 11 Days In-depth Wild Silk Road Adventure Tour (Cultural Relic & Unrivalled Landscape) "

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

Submit