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6 Days Hexi Corridor Discovery Tour(Zhangye/Jiayuguan/Dunhuang) $892

Trace the Ancient Travel Route

1

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 are hidden here. This tour takes you to explore this glorious wonder land - Hexi Corridor.

You can start this tour either from Lanzhou or Zhangye. 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.

Highlights of this tour

  • Take the chance to see the breathtaking rainbow mountains in China - Zhangye Danxia Landform;
  • Go to see "the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven - Jiayuguan Pass;
  • Once in a lifetime journey to the Louvre of Buddhist Art - Mogao Grottoes.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from $892
  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
Travel Length:
6 Days and 5 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-GZJD-06
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
CultureHikingPhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Lanzhou Arrival

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 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, 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 4 hrs). 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, sunglasses, 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
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 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 with symmetric buildings situating along both 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 visit the Buddha Temple, drive about 220km (2.5hrs) to Jiayuguan City and check in your hotel. Then you will go to visit "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.

Jiayuguan Fort Giant Buddha Temple Great Wall Museum
Day 4 Jiayuguan - Dunhuang (B, L)

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 Ideas: 1) 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. 2) 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.

Yulin Grottoes (No. 3 Cave)
Day 5 Dunhuang (B, L)

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 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 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

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)

Today is free for you until your tour guide see you off at the airport/train station.

Tip: remember to check out your hotel before 12:00 and pack all your belongings carefully.

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6 Days Hexi Corridor Discovery Tour(Zhangye/Jiayuguan/Dunhuang)

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