The Hexi Corridor (the corridor at the west of the Yellow River) is the essence of ancient China Silk Road, a glorious path full of stories and natural wonders. Around 1,600 years ago, the Buddhism was brought to China through the Hexi Corridor and expanded there. The armies of ancient China fought against the invasions from nomadic kingdoms in sumless battles at the Hexi Corridor. Merchants from Europe and Middle Asia entered the Hexi Corridor and got to Chang'an (Xian of today) for business. The most magnificent landscape of Wild China is hidden here too.
This 6 Days Zhangye Jiayuguan Dunhuang Discovery Tour takes you to explore this glorious wonder land - Hexi Corridor, from Lanzhou to artistic capital Dunhuang, via incredible “rainbow mountains” in Zhangye and historical Jiayuguan. It is the most classic trip of the region with diverse experiences, enjoyable pace and budget price!
You can also start this tour either from Zhangye directly. Lanzhou has more schedules of domestic flights and trains, while Zhangye only has flights from Xian, Chengdu, Lanzhou, and high speed trains from Lanzhou, Xining, Dunhuang, etc., but can save some money for you. Our travel experts will construct you to plan your itinerary accordingly.
Day 1 Lanzhou ArrivalLanzhou airport/train station pick up
Welcome to Lanzhou - the city of Yellow River. Once your arrival at Lanzhou 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 relax in this northwestern historical city on your own.
Arrival Plan B - You can also escape the transfer at Lanzhou, directly get to Zhangye instead. Currently, Zhangye can be reached by flights from Xian, Lanzhou, Chengdu, Beijing and Guangzhou. You can also get there by high speed trains from Lanzhou (4 hrs), Xining (2hrs), Xian (7.5hrs), Dunhuang (4hrs), Jiayuguan (1.5hrs), Urumqi (8hrs), and so on.
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 and beautiful scenery. The panoramic view of Lanzhou City from the mountain is marvelous.
Day 2 Train to Zhangye (B, L)Today's highlight: Zhangye Danxia Landform Geographical Park
After breakfast, you will take a morning train to Zhangye city from Lanzhou (about 5 hrs). Enjoy the beautiful landscape along the road. After arriving at Zhangye West Railway Station, you will be met by a local tour guide. Let's get ready for the 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 in 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 the 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.
1. Pack with sunblocks, sunglasses, protective clothing and hat to protect from strong sunlight in summer; 2. Sunset is the best time for taking photos, which happens around 19:00~20:00 in summer and 18:00~19:00 in winter.
- Zhangye Danxia Landform Views After Rain
- Zhangye Danxia Landform Photography
Day 3 Zhangye - Jiayuguan (B, L)Today's highlights: Giant Buddha Temple, Jiayuguan Pass, Overhanging Wall
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 is a large complex with regal arrangements built in the Xixia Dynasty(1098), and keeps many precious Buddhist scriptures and wall paintings. Its famous treasure is the Sleeping Buddha, which is centrally seated with symmetric buildings situated along both sides. The Buddha statue was carved by wood 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 visiting the Buddha Temple, drive about 220 km (2.5hrs) to Jiayuguan City and check into your hotel. Then you will go to visit "the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven", also the westernmost starting point of the Great Wall of Ming Dynasty - Jiayuguan Pass. Start your exploration with an educational 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 gradients looking like an overhanging cantilever. Climbing up to higher gives you excellent views of the surrounding land and mountains.
- Jiayuguan Fort
- Giant Buddha Temple
- Great Wall Museum
Day 4 Jiayuguan - Dunhuang (B, L)Today's highlights: Yulin Grottoes, the "sister caves" of Mogao caves
Today you will travel to Dunhuang from Jiayuguan in the early morning. On route, visit 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 are 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.
After arriving at Dunhuang city, check in to your hotel.
Nightlife Idea: go out 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)
Day 5 Dunhuang (B, L)Today's highlights: Mogao Grottoes, Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center, Echoing Sand Mountains, Crescent Lake
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.
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.
Free Time 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. The tickets of the show sell out quickly. If you want to watch the show, please let your travel consultant or tour guide know in advance.)
- Crescent Lake has been a famous attraction for more than 1200 years
- Echoing Sand Mountains
- Mogao Grottoes
- Mogao Grottoes Giant Buddha in No. 96 Cave
Day 6 Dunhuang Departure (B)Dunhuang airport/train station drop off
Today is free for you until your tour guide see you off at the airport/train station.
Tips: remember to pack all your belongings carefully, and check out your hotel before 12:00 or extra cost may occur.
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1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 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 6.85. 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.
Thanks for tickets. Good hotel, wonderful tour guide. On our way now to Heavenly Lake.Akmet was a fantastic guide for us in Turpan. His English was perfect. And his knowledge was outstanding. We have had the most wonderful holiday. The tour guides have been fantastic. Especially Sadik in kashgar. All 3 were very professional and knowledgeable. Our experience in xinjiang has been the best we have hadn't in China. So, thank you for our tour of xinjiang.
Trip to Urumqi, Turpan, Kashgar and Tashkurgan. Had a fantastic 11 day tour of Xinjiang Province. Wonderful local guides who were extremely knowledgeable about their areas. Breathtaking scenary wherever we went, especially the road trip to Tashkurgan! Would definately return to Xinjiang and go to many more places that we haven’t visited.
Kunming and Pu'er were very nice. The hotels were good and somehow individual. Coffee and Tea plant age very interesting (tour/explanation could have been more in detail and much longer). Rice terraces good to see. We did some hiking, which was very good. The places for visiting sunrise / sunset not to be recommended - not special and much too crowded. Xishuangbana: elephants valley was interesting. The villages, zoo, king palace was from my point of view not to be recommended. Too touristic / standard program, nothing special. Here I would have liked something more individual, more nature, more culture and real history... The same for the hotel in Xishuangbana - this was not to be recommended.
The driver and guide, both have been very good! Organisation also very good.
Good morning Wonder!
You did a great job assisting and always got back to me in time with questions and queries. Also, you were available during my holiday as well. I contacted you over possible flight changes and gave some great advice that helped me save a lot of money. So all in all I am very happy with the service I got.
it was a great trip, magnificent hike, just too many people at top, and the villages were charming. I am about to tip guide and driver
Good morning Vivien!
there was no problem at all, we loved Lily, she even took pictures and videos of us and then edit them to make a small compilation video of the things we did, she was great we loved all the trip
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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