covid-19 latest news, useful prevention advice

9 Days Silk Road Tour with Best of China Golden Triangle Cities from $1811

Beijing - Xian - Dunhuang - Shanghai

1
Our 9 Days Silk Road Tour with Best of China Golden Triangle Cities gives you a great chance to a memorable adventure to trace back on the history and appreciate the surviving art treasures on the ancient Silk Road, also a unique experience of exploring both modern and ancient faces of China. There are up to 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many national parks to visit in this tour.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Follow the Silk Road, heading to the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, exploring the places where the cultures of East and West meets and enjoy magnificent desert landscape;
  • Visit Beijing and Xian, the ancient capitals and cities of World Heritage Sites, discovering the time-hornored culture and history of this ancient Empire dynasties;
  • Appreciate the seamless blend of the classic elegant beauty and the modern fashion in dynamic Shanghai;
  • Many optional cultural activities available, including authentic Kungfu Show, Tang Dynasty Show, delicious Peking Roast Duck meal, etc.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from $1811
  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:
Beijing / Xian / Dunhuang / Shanghai
Travel Length:
9 Days and 8 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-T10-09
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureHikingPhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~3 Arrival & Beijing Tour

Two full days Beijing sightseeing covering the grand Tiananmen Square, historical Forbidden City, spectacular Temple of Heaven, less crowded Mutianyu Great Wall, royal park Summer Palace, etc.

Day 4~7 Xian Dunhuang Silk Road Journey

Take a flight to Xian and visit the Terracotta Warriors, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Ancient City Wall and Muslim Quarter on Day 4 and 5. On the Day 6, you will take a flight to Dunhuang to visit its best 3 attractions - Mogao Grottoes, Mingshashan and Crescent Lake. Lastly, take a flight to Shanghai on Day 8.

Day 9~10 Shanghai Tour & Departure

Experience the great contrast of Shanghai by visiting the traditional Yu Garden and Jade Buddha Temple, modern and prosperous Shanghai World Financial Center, Nanjing Road and the Bund, etc.

Full Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Beijing Arrival

Welcome to Beijing, the capital of China, rich in history and culture.

Your lifetime Silk Road tour begins with welcome from your local guide at the Beijing airport. Then be escorted to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is yours to acclimatize or explore the vast metropolis on your own.

Day 2 Beijing ( B, L )

After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern side of the square was the site where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s five most important palaces – the Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived. Pass through various doorways in this magnificent structure to admire the beautiful and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow-glazed tile roofs, white marble bases and splendid colorful paintings.

After lunch, you will go to hop on a rickshaw to experience the Beijing Hutongs - small alleys made by neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to get a feel of the old Beijing life style, visit various antique shops and small boutiques, and truly feel the historical changes of Beijing, also pay a visit to a local family's home in the traditional Hutongs. After Hutong visit, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors while feasting your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colorful paintings in the Long Corridor.

Optional activities: 1) You can watch a wonderful Kungfu Show in the Red Theater (Hong Ju Chang) which usually starts at 19:30; 2) Enjoy the classic Chinese art performance of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater between 19:30-21:00. 

  • Tiananmen Square Tiananmen Square
  • Forbidden City Forbidden City
  • Summer Palace in Beijing Summer Palace

Day 3 Beijing Great Wall Tour ( B, L )

After breakfast, drive to the imperial site - Temple of Heaven. It was originally used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for harvest, now becomes a bustling place for locals to take part in traditional activities, such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, etc.

After the Temple of Heaven visit, drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It will more than live up to all of your expectations! This great wall, linking Gubeikou in the east and Juyongguan in the west, was served as the vital military strategic point in the ancient time. Moreover, Mutianyu section is the “longest great wall in China” so far and since protection work is well done here, tourists can now see its original appearance and enjoy the real ancient culture of great wall. Also, spectacular natural scenery in Mutianyu Great Wall always impresses visitors here for its abundant vegetation. You’ll take a cable car to ascend the Great Wall, then hike the most beautiful and interesting part of Mutianyu. It's a wonderful experience to climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views and take brag-worthy photos of the wall wriggling along mountain ridges. After the exciting time, descend Mutianyu Great Wall by cable car. (Note: If energy permits, you can hike up or down which takes about 40 minutes to climb steps. Please tell your likes to your travel consultant.)

Next, drive back to Beijing City, and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Park to see the magnificent Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.

Optional activity: After the whole day’s tour, treat yourself a great dinner to taste the famous Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude.

  • Harmony families hiking on the Great Wall Harmony families hiking on the Great Wall
  • Sacred Way of Ming Tombs Sacred Way: the road leading to Ming Tombs

Day 4 Beijing & High Speed Train to Xian ( B, L )

This morning your tour guide will see you off at the Beijing West Railway Station for a high speed train trip to Xian (about 5 hours). You will be picked up by your Xian tour guide at Xian North Railway Station and escorted to take a half-day Xian tour before checking in your hotel in downtown.

You will have an educational visit to Hanyangling first. 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 Hanyangling visit, drive about an hour to visit Da Ci'en 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!

Lastly, go to check in your hotel. The rest of the day is on your own to explore this ancient capital of China.

Optional activitiesEnjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Big Wood Goose Pagoda Big Wood Goose Pagoda
  • Terracotta Figures in Hanyanglilng Museum Terracotta Figures in Hanyanglilng Museum

Day 5 Xian Terracotta Warriors Tour ( B, L )

After breakfast, drive about 40 km to discover one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world - the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, built by the first emperor of China Qin Shihuang to protect him in his afterlife. Over 8,000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots, buried in 3 pits for more than 2,000 years until uncovered by a local farmer in 1974, form an ancient military army with complete battle units of infantry, cavalry, etc. Standing in front of these figures, one can’t help being amazed not only by the ambition of Emperor Qin Shihuang but also by the fabulous artistic skills of ancient Chinese artisans.

After lunch, return to Xian 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 while you leisurely examine this well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circuit of nearly 14 kilometers. This visit is followed by a relaxing wander around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture.

Optional activities: 1) Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall; 2) Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Witness the countless Terracotta Warriors Witness the countless Terracotta Warriors
  • Ancient City Wall Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China
  • Muslim Snack Street Muslim Community

Day 6 Flight to Dunhuang ( B )

This early morning, your tour guide will see you off at the airport for your flight to Dunhuang (about 2.5 hrs). Upon your arrival at Dunhuang Airport, our local guide and driver will pick up you and then transfer you to check in your hotel. Have a short rest before going to visit Mingshashan which is only about 10 km from the downtown. You will start sightseeing in the middle afternoon when it is not very hot and sunburn is low.

The magic Mingshashan (Echoing Sand Mountains) and Crescent Lake are located in a same scenic area. 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. There are many exciting activities for you to try (at your own expense), such as sand skiing, viewing from glider or helicopter, motorcycling, etc. Riding a camel through the desert is very popular. 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. After sightseeing, get back to Dunhuang city. 

Optional Mingshashan desert camping experience

If you like, you can camp for a night in the desert of Mingshashan, which will be one-of-a-kind experience to get closer touch with the desert. During the camping, there are a lot of activities and programs for you to have fun, such as sand skiing, desert motorcycle, bonfire party, etc.

  • Crescent Lake Never Dry Up Crescent Lake Never Dry Up
  • Glamorous Mingshashan (Echoing Sand Mountains) Glamorous Mingshashan (Echoing Sand Mountains)

Day 7 Dunhuang Visit & Flight to Shanghai ( B )

Camera ready! Today, you'll visit the Mogao Grottoes with a group of 492 temples, located about 25 km southeast of the Dunhuang center, and it is an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road. The caves house some of the finest examples of Buddhist art with a span of 1,000 years. 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.

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 separate admission fee for each cave. 3. It is not allowed to take photos inside grottoes.

Then, you'll move on to the Dunhuang Museum, a local museum for housing the cultural relics that were excavated in the Dunhuang area. Now there are over 4000 historical items contained in the museum. The museum is divided into four exhibition halls.

After the tour, you'll be escorted the airport and take an afternoon flight back to Shanghai. Upon arrival, you will be met by tour guide and transferred to your hotel in Shanghai.

  • Mogao Grottoes Mogao Grottoes
  • Mogao Grottoes Feitian (Flying Apsaras) Mogao Grottoes Feitian (Flying Apsaras)
  • Watch a documentary film in the Dome Theater of Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center Watch a documentary film in the Dome Theater of Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center

Day 8 Shanghai Visit ( B, L )

You will take a full day of sightseeing to explore both the past and present of Shanghai. Your first stop is Shanghai Museum, one of the Best Four Museums in China. This modern museum, with a round top and a square base which symbolizing the ancient Chinese perception of the world as "round sky, square earth", has collected many international-standard exhibits of bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, jade from more than 5,000 years ago to the Qing dynasty. To help you learn about the history and facts about the relics in the museum easily, an Audio Explanation Device will be prepared for you.

Then you will take an interesting visit to Yu Garden, a shining star among all the ancient Chinese gardens in Jiangnan. This garden fully embodies the traditional design of Chinese architecture with jagged pavilions with elegant decorations, glittering pools with roving fish, and pine trees sprouting to the sky, all designed to refresh your mood and spirit. Adjacent to the garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar where you can savor tasteful local snacks and explore elaborate traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works. Next, you will drive several kilometers to enjoy a panoramic view of the modern face of Shanghai from the 100th floor (474 m) of “the Eye of Shanghai” Shanghai World Financial Center.

You will then be transferred to another popular landmark of Shanghai, Nanjing Road, a shopping paradise as well as a great place to take a wonderful walk to experience the modern atmosphere of the City. Lastly, you will stop at the Bund, originally a simple towpath for transporting goods but now transformed into a feverish trading district. You will stroll along the Bund, seeing and feeling the perfect fusion of Chinese and Western cultures while at the same time taking in the stunning Shanghai skyline with your own eyes!

Optional Activity - Take a relaxing Huangpu River night cruise to see the city’s most significant edifices and streets sparkling under the atmospheric cover of darkness (about 50 minutes).

  • Shanghai Museum Shanghai Museum - One of the Best Four Museums in China
  • Beautiful The Bund Beautiful International Buildings at The Bund
  • Classical Yu Garden in Shanghai The Tranquil Yu Garden with Classical Chinese Style to Relax

Day 9 Shanghai Departure ( B, L )

After breakfast, an hour’s drive will take you away from the city’s hustle and bustle and you’ll visit Zhujiajiao Ancient Town which is known as the “Venice of Shanghai”.  

Zhujiajiao has a history of 1,700 years and is a well-preserved waterside ancient town. You’ll stroll along Hundred-year-old North Street, take some awesome pictures on the Fangsheng Bridge, have a panoramic view of Zhujiao by climbing up to Yuanjin Buddhist Temple, enjoy some leisure time on the traditionally decorated boat, cruise along the canals and see the old residences, shops and bridges which are filled with classic architectural style in Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 AD - 1911 AD).

After the water town tour, your guide and driver will escort you to the airport, railway station or port to catch your flight/train/ship to your next destination or home. Tour ends.

  • Zhujiajiao Water Town Zhujiajiao Water Town - Relax in the Quaint & Charming Jiangnan Area
Free Quote for the Trip

Recommended Add-on Options

+1 more day to western Dunhuang to visit Yandan Geopark and Yumenguan

A full day to explore the remote wild Gobi desert landscape as well as several legendary historical sites in western Dunhuang, including 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, the Ruin of Great Wall of Han Dynasty which was built to fight against Xiongnu in the ancient time, Yandan National Geologic Park which also called Devil City in that you will hear the sound just like the devil screaming when the strong wind goes through the desert and Yangguan Pass which was the gate to another branch of ancient Silk Road.

Yardang National Geopark Looks Like A Fleet from Aerial View
+2 more days to Jiayuguan with an excursion to Yulin Caves

Jiayuguan Pass is about 370 km away from Dunhuang. It used to be the starting point of the ancient Great Wall built during Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), also the most important military defensive project guarding the far northwestern area of China because of its strategic location at the narrowest point of the western section of the Hexi Corridor which had been the vital defensive frontier since Han Dynasty (BC 202—220). 

You can travel from Dunhuang to Zhangye by car. Most classic itinerary is to leave Dunhuang in the morning, then drive about 4~5 hours to Jiayuguan with an excursion visit to Yunlin Caves, which is the "little sister" of Mogao Caves. In Jiayuguan, you can spend either a half day tour or a full day visiting Jiayuguan Fortress, Hanging Great Wall and other sites in the region.

Jiayuguan Fort
9 Days Silk Road 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

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

Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar

Mogao Caves
12 Days Silk Road Tour from Beijing

Beijing / Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi

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 " 9 Days Silk Road Tour with Best of China Golden Triangle Cities "

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

  • +1 more day to western Dunhuang to visit Yandan Geopark and Yumenguan
    +2 more days to Jiayuguan with an excursion to Yulin Caves

Tell us more about your trip

Tell us about yourself

Submit