Day 1 Xian Arrival
Welcome to Xian! Your tour guide will meet you at the Xian Xianyang Airport. Then be escorted to your hotel by 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.
Terra-Cotta WarriorsXian City Wall
Day 3 Xian & Flight to Dunhuang from Xian (B)
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)
After the visit, your guide escorts you to the airport to take a 2 and a half hours’ flight to Dunhuang. After arrival, met by local tour guide and transferred to check in your hotel in Dunhuang.
In the afternoon, visit the magic Echoing Sand Mountains and Crescent Lake. 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. 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.
Crescent Lake in Dunhuang
Day 4 Dunhuang (B, L)
After breakfast, you will be taken to explore the remote wild Gobi desert landscape as well as several legendary historical sites. Drive westwards about 100km, you will firstly arrive at 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. It is said that the jadewares from West were imported to China through this gate, which is how the name Yumen was given. About 5 km from Yumen Pass is the Ruin of Great Wall of Han Dynasty which was built to fight against Xiongnu in the ancient time. Keep driving more 80 km, you will get to Yardang National Geologic Park. It is also called Devil City in that you will hear the sound just like the devil screaming when the strong wind goes through the desert. The park is featured Yardang landforms in distinct shapes like Mongolian Bao, Stone Bird, Peacock and others. Make full use of your imagination, you may find some rocks with some miniatures similar to famed architectures, like the Potala Palace in Tibet, Heaven Temple in Beijing or something else.
Leave Yardang National Geologic Park, and drive along the coming way back to Dunhuang. On route, you will take a side trip to visit Yangguan Pass which was the gate to another branch of ancient Silk Road.
Tips: 1) Pack some food and water for the long driving on the desert; 2) get fully prepared for the strong sunlight and high temperatures in the daytime.
Yangguan PassYardang National Geopark
Day 5 Dunhuang & Dunhuang Departure (B, L)
After breakfast, drive about 10kkm 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, which will be very helpful when you visit the 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.
Tour ends, and your tour guide will see you off at the airport/train station.
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.
No 103, Yabaoli, Chaoyang Distirct, Beijing, China
Mon - Sun 9.00 - 20.00