Highlights: Welcome to Shanghai, the most metropolis of China! Upon arrival, you'll be met by our representative and escorted to your hotel. The rest of today is at your leisure.
City explore in Shanghai by metro and taxi today with a local guide, you will visit the Bund that is riverfront of the Huangpu River, Yuyuan Garden that is an old pretty garden, Xintiandi that is former French Colony, etc.
Free time till we catch overnight hard sleeper train to Xi'an in the evening.
Today you will explore the OId Ciy Wall, which was built 600 years ago with a length of 14km. You can ride bike on the old city wall. Then you will wander around the renown Muslim Quarter where there are shops, markets, restaurants, and old houses etc. to explore.
Today you will take one-hour ride to the well-known Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. There are three pits in the museum where you will be impressed by the high-level art 2000 years ago, and your guide will let you know the history and the story about it. Later, you will be transferred to the station to catch 3-hour bullet train to Lanzhou.
Take a 4-hour ride to Xiahe, Labrang in Tibetan language. Visit Labrang Monastery in the afternoon. Labrang Monastery is one of the six biggest Tibetan monasteries, it presents typical Tibetan Buddhism culture.
Take a long ride toady to Xining. On the way you will see the stunning grassland and many Tibetan villages. Stop in Tongren to visit Rongwo Monastery, a well-known Tibetan temple in Qinghai Province.
This morning visit Kumbum, one of the six biggest Tibetan monasteries, with many well preserved relics, colorful statues and yak butter carving. Kumbum Monastery is where Tsongkhapa, the founder of Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, was born.
This afternoon you will catch 2-hour bullet train to Zhangye. Upon arrival, transferred to Danxia town to accommodate.
Visit the colorful Multi-colored Danxia this morning, which is very impressive for its clay colors. Afterwards, you will take 2-hour ride to Jiayuguan where you will visit the western end of the Ming Great Wall, the Jiayuguan Fortress that is a UNESCO cultural site. Later, you will take 5-hour ride from Jiayuguan to Dunhuang through the Gobi Desert.
You will visit the Minshan Sha or Singing Sand Dunes & Crescent Moon Spring this morning, then you will visit the gem of the Silk Road, the Mogao Caves, this afternoon. The early history of the caves can be traced back to 1600 years ago, and still well-preserved though being damaged in the history.
Take 2-hour bus ride to Liuyuan where you will catch 8-hour overnight train to Turpan this evening.
Turpan is a hub on the ancient Silk Road, and there are lots of historical sites that are renowned for its well-preserved conditions. Today you will visit Bezklik Grottos, Astana Ancient Tombs, the Ancient City of Jiaohe and Gaochang, Karez Irrigation System, and Emin Minaret with a local guide. You may taste some dried fruits and eat Uyghur food.
You will take a 3-hour ride to Urumqi where you will visit Xinjiang Museum (close on Mondays), mummies are a must-see in it, particularly the Loulan Beauty and Xiaohe Beauty. Afterwards you will visit the well-known Erdaoqiao International Bazaar where you can purchase all sorts of souvenirs. Later, you will be transferred to the hotel in Urumqi for a rest.
This morning you will take 1-hour ride to Heavenly Lake, or Tianchi in Chinese, which is a high mountain lake with stunning scenery in the Tianshan Mountains.
Then you will catch 19-hour overnight train to Kashgar.
Welcome to Kashagr, the historical city on the ancient Silk Road. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to hotel. Enjoy your free time if you arrive early.
Today it is a busy day to explore Kashagr with a local guide. You will take the city tour by the the first stop to visit the Apa Hoja Mausoleum which was built in 1640 by local Imam for his father, and later it became a family graveyard to bury 72 people for 5 generations. The mausoleum is impressive for its delicate Uyghur architectural style including the blue tiles, the dome and the minaret.
Next, you will visit Kashgar old town to explore the interesting area where there are old houses for shops, workshops, restaurants, bakery, and tea houses etc. It displays the long history and vivid lifestyle in Kashgar from ancient Silk Road period to today. Handicraft Street is a must-see section in the old town, where the huge music instruments and bronze vessels are very impressive. You might taste some local snacks here, such as Nang Bread, grilled eggs, dried fruits etc. before visiting the old Id Ghar Mosque, the biggest mosque in Xinjiang. Enter the mosque at non-praying time to appreciate its architecture and decor, please wear long pants and cover the shoulders for ladies while visiting this mosque.
In the afternoon, you will wander around the Grand Bazaar in Kashgar, which is well known in Central Asia for its colorful and lively market. As a Uyghur saying goes that you can buy everything except for your parents. There are more people in the afternoon, because the farmers will drive to here from different area in the morning and buy things in the afternoon at the market. Actually the bazaar opens every day, and more people on Sunday. The animal bazaar is relocated near Kashgar Airport and opens only on Sundays. If it is Sunday, you will also visit the Animal Bazaar.
When your tour is finished, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Catch a car to the Karakul Lake which is situated by the renowned China-Pakistan friendship highway. Karakul Lake is a beautiful mountain lake with altitude nearly 3600 meters. It is a stunning scenery to view the lake and the snow-capped mountains at the same time.
Move on to Tashkurgan that is situated at the border between China and Pakistan.
Enjoy the small town scenery in Tashkurgan, then you will visit the Stone City that was built 2000 years ago, and the ruin still can trace back its original style.
Later you will take a car to drive back to Kashgar.
Transferred to Kashagr airport to catch your flight heading for your next destination, where the wonderful Silk Road tour concludes.
March to October
3 star hotel/inn
Chartered car or public bus
Harder sleeper Shanghai/Xi'an
Bullet train Xi'an/Lanzhou
Bullet train Xining/Zhangye
Harder sleeper Dunhuang/Turpan
Harder sleeper Urumqi/Kashgar
Breakfasts listed in the itinerary
English-speaking local guides
Sites listed in the itinerary
Please apply your China Visa before the tour.