Silk Road Express
Silk Road Express from Urumqi to Dunhuang will offer you a quick but colorful trip. The must-see sites and highlights of the Silk Road will be presented to enjoy the culture and landscape.
D1. Arrival Urumqi
Transfer to the hotel. Time permiting after dinner, you will visit Erdaoqiao International Bazaar(meaning for market), which is one of the biggest market where you can all sorts of dried fruites, scarf, carpet, souvenirs, and snacks.
Overnight in Urumqi Mirage Hotel or similar
D2. Urumqi/Heavenly Lake/Kashgar
Hotel breakfast, then you will take one-hour ride to Heavenly Lake(Tianchi) to explore the beautiful mountain lake that is a popular site in China. Fly to Kashgar in the afternoon. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel.
-Heavenly Lake: Located in the Heavenly Mountain(Tianshan), the lake is famous for the lovely legendary in China for thousand years. There are Kazakh tribe around the lake, you will see their whote yurts here as well.
Overnight in Kashgar Tianyuan International Hotel 4-star or similar
D3. Kashgar/Karakul Lake/Kashgar
Hotel breakfast, then drive 200 km to Karakul Lake, along the renown friendship highway. On the way, there are huge mountains and impressive white sand lake where we will stop for photo. Once you arrive at Katakul, the giant Muztaga with a height of 7456m reflecting on the lake water creates an amazing picture. This high mountain lake is surrounded by the many peaks over 7000 meters apart from Muztaga. You can wander around the lake, or ride horse. Afterwards, drive back to Kashgar.
-Karakul Lake: Beautiful mountain lake with an altitude nearly 3800 meters, has impressive scenery with the snow-covered mountains.
Overnight in Kashgar Tianyuan International Hotel 4-star or similar
Hotel breakfast, visit Apha Hoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque, Grand Bazaar, handicraft street, old town, handicraft center. Take an evening flight back to Urumqi.
-Sunday Bazaar: It was said this is the biggest market in the world, you can purchase all products apart from your parents.
-Idkar Mosque: It is the biggest mosque in Xinjiang. The mosque with its square is for local Uyghurs to pray.
-Apa Hoja Tombs: It is a family cemetery, with stunning blue tiles shining in the sun.
Overnight in Urumqi Mirage Hotel or similar
Hotel breakfast, then it takes 3 hours by car to Turpan. Visit the Ancient City of Jiaohe, Sugong Minaret, Karez Irrigation System, Astana Tombs, Ancient City of Gaochang, and Bezklik Caves.
-Ancient City of Jiaohe: Built on a 30 meter terrace from 2200 year ago, Jiaohe is a ruin to prove local splendid history.
-Astana Ancient Tombs: It was a public cemetery 1000 years ago for the citizens of Gaochang Kingdom. You will see dried corpses and colorful tomb paintings.
-Karez Irrigation System: These underground tunnels provide enough water offering to the farmers and their field to support local civilization in the dry and hot oasis.
-Ancient City of Gaochang: It was built in the first century BC, Gaochang has huge city wall and various temples. Unfortunately it was abandoned in the cilvil war of Mongolians in the 14th century.
-Sugong Minaret: Built in 1777, also called Eming Tower, it is a representative of Uyghur architecture.
Overnight in Turpan Huozhou Hotel or similar
D6. Turpan/Express Train to Liuyuan/Dunhuang
Hotel breakfast, then you will take 3.5-hour bullet train to Liuyuan. Upon arrival, take 2-hour ride to Dunhuang. After lunch, you will visit Singing Sand Dunes, Crescent Moon Spring this afternoon.
-Minsha Dunes: It means Singing Sand Dunes, the sand was moved from Taklamankan desert to form the dunes in the history. The impressvive lake in the Sand Dunes is the Crescent Moon Sring that has never been covered by the sand surprisingly!
Overnight in Dunhuang Hotel 4-star or similar
This morning you will visit the highlight of the Silk Road, Mogao Grottos, it takes about 3 hours to visit 5-7 caves. Then you will visit Dunhuang Museum in the afternoon(Close on Monday). Why not explore the night market in Dunhuang tonight, where there are food, fruites, souvenirs, dried fruites, and jewelry.
-Mogao Caves: It had been built since 1700 years before, though it was stolen many times in the history, there are still well-preserved splendid frescos with colorful paintings, statues looking like finished yesterday.
Overnight in Dunhuang Hotel 4-star or similar
Today is departure day, you will be transferred to Dunhuang airport where you can catch your flight to next destination. The short but wonderful Silk Road Express Tour concludes.
End of the trip.
Ürümqi or Urumqy is the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, in the northwest of the country.With a built up population of 3.1 millions as of 2010 census (5 urban districts plus Midong), Ürümqi, whose name means"beautiful pasture" in the Mongolian language of the Dzungar people,is the largest city in China's western interior. Since the 1990s Ürümqi has developed economically and now serves as a regional transport node and commercial centre.
The largest city inwestern China, Ürümqi has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most remote city from any sea in the world. It is about 2,500 kilometres(1,600 mi) from the nearest coastline as Ürümqi is the closest major city to the Eurasian pole of inaccessibility. The city has an administrative area of10,989 square kilometres (4,243 sq mi) at an average elevation of 800 metres (2,600 ft).
Although Ürümqi is situated near the northern route of the Silk Road, it is likely to be arelatively young city. According to Chinese scholars, during the 22nd year of Emperor Taizong's reign in the Tang Dynasty, AD 648, the Tang government set upthe town of Luntai in the ancient town seat of Urabo, 10 kilometers from the southern suburb of present-day Ürümqi.
Thus, little is heard of the region following the Tang Dynasty in the Chinese texts until the Qing Dynasty conquest of Dzungaria in 1755 under the Emperor Qianlong. Qianlong Emperor named the expanded town of Luntai "Dihua", meaning "toenlighten." In 1884, the Guangxu Emperor established Xinjiang as a Province,with Dihua (today's Urumuqi) as its capital. Following the founding of the People'sRepublic of China, on 1 February 1954, the city was renamed Ürümqi, meaning"beautiful pasture" in the Mongolian language of the Dzungar people.
Turpan also known as Turfan or Tulufan, is an oasis county-level city in Turpan Prefecture, in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Its population was 254,900 at the end of 2003.Turpan is located about 150 km (93 mi) southeast of Ürümqi, Xinjiang's capital, in a mountain basin, on the northern side of the Turpan Depression, at an elevation of 30 m (98 ft) above sea level. Turpan has a harsh, cold desert climate, with long and very hot summers, winters that are quite cold and moderately long, and brief spring and autumn in between. Annual precipitation is very low, amounting to only 15.7 millimetres (0.62 in). July is the hottest month, averaging 32.2 °C (90.0 °F), while January is the coldest, at −7.6 °C (18.3 °F), for an annual mean of 14.4 °C (57.9 °F). Extremes have ranged from −28.9 °C (−20 °F) to 48.1 °C (119 °F).
Turpan lies in the 2 deepest inland depression in the world with more than 4000 sq km of land below sea level. Anciently called Huozhou (land of fire) its climate has not changed, although a vast tree-planting program to the NW has helped break the wind. Turpan survives with the assistance of karez, covered water channels, which bring melt water from the mountains to the north and west. These merge with the waters of the Tian Shan that, having been absorbed by the desert, resurface at the foot of the Flaming Mountains. However, the very heat and dryness of the summer, when combined with the area's ancient system of irrigation, allows the countryside around Turpan to produce great quantities of high-quality fruit.
Kashgar (Kashi) 喀什
Kashgar or Kashi is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Kashgar is the administrative centre of Kashgar Prefecture which has an area of 162,000 km² and a population of approximately 3.5 million. Located in the western extremity of China, the city covers an area of 15 km² at the altitude averages 1,289m/4,282 ft. above sea level.
Kashgar has been an important trading centre since the days of the Silk Road, and still is today. The road from Eastern andCentral China branches out to both the north and south of the Taklamakan Desert, and Kashgar is where the two branches meet again in the western part of the desert. The local population is a mixture of Uyghurs, Han Chinese, Kyrgyz, Tajiks and Uzbeks, boasting a colorful ethnic variety. The majority residents are Uyghurs in Kashgar. The Uyghurs employed an alphabet based upon the Syriacand borrowed from the Nestorian, but after converting to Islam widely used alsoan Arabic script. They spoke a dialect of Turkic claimed to be preserved in the Kudatku Bilik, a moral treatise composed in 1065.
Travelers are advised to read the Trip Notes before your China tours.
Visas - A China visa is required for entry into China for all nationalities except Japan, Singapore and Brunei. Travellers holding APEC cards are allowed entrance visa free if their card has already been approved for China. Please view our web page for detailed information about China Visa: http://silkroadtrips.com/260.html
Insurance - Travel insurance is compulsory for all our customers. Please provide us with:
• Insurance company
• Policy number
• 24 hour medical emergency contact number
• The expiry date of the policy
You may check our webpage for more detailed information as below.
Vaccinations and Your Health - We recommend that you contact your primary care physician or a travel doctor for advice on vaccinations and travel health and we advise that you check to see if your tetanus-diphtheria booster is still valid every 10 years.
Luggage - We suggest you to take one main piece of lockable baggage and a shoulder bag. Total allowance: 44lbs/20kgs. Don’t overload yourself, because you have to carry your own baggage.
Itinerary Disclaimer – The information in this trip details has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.
Accommodation - Each tour lists the hotel standard, you can check it before your booking, The hotels are selected for convenience of location, comfort or character, and can range differently from tour to tour. In some remote areas, accommodation may be of a lower standard and may not have all western amenities. Please note that there is no international classification system for hotels, and differences and quality do exist between the European Countries and China, though it is marked 4 or 5 star hotel.
In bigger cities and large towns the standard is similar although on a lesser scale. In small towns or villages where tourism is less prevalent, the hotels we use are smaller and facilities are more limited, though we generally stay in the best place in town. Rooms will still be en suite but rooms can be basic. Plumbing and electricity supplies can be somewhat erratic and although the welcome is warm, service levels may be less efficient than you may be used to.
Booking a Single Room – Silkroadtrips are pleased to offer travellers the option of pre-booking a guaranteed single room. Kindly note our single supplement do not include sharing cabins on the overnight trains or cruises. All of our tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.
Aboard the overnight sleeper train, berths are usually in 1st class ‘soft sleeper’ lockable compartments for 4 which have 2 sets of bunks with clean bedding provided. WC and washbasins are provided for shared use at the end of each carriage. Hot meals and snacks are sold to your berth on all overnight journeys. In times of large demand we may have to travel in 2nd class ‘hard sleeper’ which consists of sectioned off compartments for 6,leading off an open plan carriage.
Bullet trains are getting popular, it is very modern with a high velocity of 300km per hour. There are western toilets, dinning car on the bullet trains, and normally for short distance running 1—8 hours.
You can check in 20 kg baggage and carry 5kg hand bag with you while boarding a flight in China. Please be aware, before boarding a flight in China that the Chinese authorities will only allow bottles onto aircraft if they have been checked in as main luggage. Any bottles in the hand luggage may be confiscated.
Eating is always an important part of the tours. Each tour of Silkroadtrips has listed the included meals, please check it on-line. Our professional guide will always arrange the meals at clean local restaurants to taste different food with different budget approximately from CNY20 to CNY200 per person per meal. Please check our webpage for Chinese Cuisine as below.
Tipping - If you're happy with the services provided then a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. Tipping is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across China and other Asian countries. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Tipping is not common practice at restaurants in China or Tibet.
Tour guides: Throughout your tour you may at times have local guides or national guide. We suggest CNY10-15 per person per day for guides.
Porters: In some hotels a porter may offer to carry your bag to your room. We suggest CNY5 per bag for porters.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest that you tip only those more involved with the group (for example those that help you with your bags etc). CNY5-10 per person per day is generally appropriate.
Optional Extras - Our standard tours are planned to be as fully inclusive as possible. However, from time-to-time you may be suggested to join optional tours/sightseeing in addition to the standard sightseeing planned for that city. Such options are at an additional cost, with prices ranging from 20-200 CNY per person. If you do not wish to take part in any optional extras, you will have the option of enjoying some free time at leisure or to return to the hotel.
Personal Expenses - Kindly check the inclusions for your tour, you will need to take some extra money to cover drinks, laundry and souvenirs, plus any additional sightseeing that may be offered to you. Based on the advice of previous customers an approximate amount of $250 per week should be sufficient; however for those that can’t resist a bargain, consider allocating a higher amount.
Electricity Supply & Plugs
China operates on a 220V and uses a combination of US/European and Chinese style plugs in most hotel rooms. You can buy an international adaptor before the tour