Day 1 Xian Arrival
Welcome to Xian! Your tour guide will meet you at the Xian Xianyang Airport. Then be escorted to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is yours to explore the ancient heart of China on your own.
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.
Day 3 Xian & Flight to Dunhuang ( B,L )
After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation place in Tang Dynasty. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. With a height of 64.5 meters, the pagoda was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to reserve classic scriptures he bought from India in early Tang Dynasty. (Xuanzang, the prototype character of Tang Seng in the novel of Journey to the West). (Note: It charges extra 30 RMB to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda)
The rest of today is free for you until get escorted to catch flight to Dunhuang (about 2.5hrs), the brightest star along the ancient China Silk Road. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by local tour guide, and transfer to your hotel in downtown.
Day 4 Dunghuang ( 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 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.
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 extraadmission fee for each cave. 3. It is not allowed to take photos inside grottoes.
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 things 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. In the summer time, travelers can stay up to late night around 24:00 to enjoy the cool time and beautiful sky of stars; 2. Get fully prepared for the strong sunlight and high temperatures in the daytime.
Day 5 Dunhuang & High Speed 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 about 4 high speed bullet trains running to Turpan from Liuyuan Railway Station in Dunhuang. It takes only about 3.5~4 hours to get to Turpan. Before the train departure, you can go on your own to hunt for some local food and fruits or buy some souvenirs for your families and friends at Shazhou Market.
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.
Day 6 Turpan ( B,L )
Today you will explore the “fire land” – Turpan, famous for its melons and vineyards.
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. Lastly, transfer to enjoy the pleasant cool of the Grape Valley where you can also taste some delicious grapes and other fruits.
Accommodate at Turpan City.
Day 7 Turpan – Urumqi ( B,L )
After breakfast, go to visit the Bezeklik Caves, is a complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to 14th century between the cities of Turpan and Shanshan (Loulan). It is situated on a cliff at the foot of Flaming Mountains, 45km away from Turpan city. There used to be 83 grottoes, and now 57 grottoes have survived. Its highlight is about 40 large wall paintings covering more than 1,200 square meters which have different themes. Among all grottoes, the No. 17 and 18 are the oldest ones built during later Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589). The No.20 painted portrait of King and Queen of Gaochang Kingdom. The No.33 grotto painted the lord Buddha and his disciples. The No. 38 displays the living scene of the ancient Manichean… The following attraction is the Flaming Mountains. Stretching about 100km, Flaming Mountain is covered by red sandstones which look like flaming fire.
After the visit, drive about 3 hours to Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Turpan Flaming MountainTurpan Flaming Mountain
Day 8 Urumqi & Flight to 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.
After the scenic time at the Heaven Lake, drive back to see the Mummy Exhibition in the Xinjiang Regional Museum. Afterwards, take a flight to Kashgar (2hrs).
Day 9 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.
Day 10 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 China Silk Road tour ends.
No 103, Yabaoli, Chaoyang Distirct, Beijing, China
Mon - Sun 9.00 - 20.00