Welcome to Xi'an, the historical city on the Silk Road. Upon arrival Xi'an, you will be met and transferred to hotel in Xi'an.
This morning you will take the fantastic tour to Terra-cotta Warriors that is one-hour car ride from Xian. There are 4 exhibition halls presenting various warriors and horses that were make 2200 years ago, and each warrior has unique face.
This afternoon you will move to visit the 14-km old City Wall in Xian, which was built in Ming Dynasty and still well preserved. You can walk, or ride bike on the wall to view the old city and modern city in and out of the city wall.
Later, you will visit the Muslim Quarter in the city center, which is situated near Bell and Drum Tower. There are shops, snack stands, market, and restaurants in this area, and it is nice to view the bustling street here.
In the morning, you will visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaanxi Provincial Museum.
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda: It was build 1500 years ago in Tang Dynasty, still well preserved. You can have a bird view of the city when you climb up the pagoda.
Shaanxi Provincial Museum (close on Mondays): One of the biggest museums in China, houses more than 3000 relics dated back to millions years ago.
In the afternoon, catch a 3-hour bullet train to Lanzhou. Upon arrival, transferred to hotel.
Today you will visit Gansu Provincial Museum firstly(close on Mondays), which exhibits the relics and antiques from Silk Road, particularly the Galloping Horse Statue in the museum is a must-see. Afterwards you will take a 2-hour car ride to Linxia where you will take ferry to sail across the Liujiaxia Reservoir to view the Binglingsi Grottos that was built beside the Yellow River. There are various Buddha Statues with the stunning scenery around the Grottos are amazing.
Afterwards, you will be transferred to the hotel in Xiahe (Labrang).
Today you will walk up to a spot where you can have a bird view of the entire monastery, then you will visit Labrang Monastery with a local Lama guide. Labrang Monastery is one of the six biggest Tibetan monasteries presenting typical Tibetan Buddhism culture.
Later you will take 4-hour car ride back to Lanzhou where you will catch the overnight train to Jiayuguan.
Today you will visit the western end of the Great Wall, Jiayuguan Fortress, which was built on the narrowest area in the Hexi Corridor between Qilian Mountain and Black Mountain. Afterwards you will climb up the Overhanging Greal Wall to enjoy the amazing mountain view.
Later, you will be transferred to visit the tomb brick painting in the Wei and Jin Ancient Cemetery, where the fresh colors painted on the brick are very impressive.
Take 5-hour ride to Dunhuang in the morning, and view the stunning snow-capped Qilian Mountains, Gobi Desert and Oasis towns on the way. Then wander around the Singing Sand Dunes and Crescent Moon Spring in the afternoon. You have opportunity to ride camel at the sand dunes.
You can explore the night market or watch Dunhuang performance copied from Mogao Caves this evening.
In the morning, you will visit Mogao Caves, the gem of the ancient Silk Road. The early history of Mogao Caves can be track back to the 4th century, and built many times in the histoty. The colorful fresco, statues in Mogao Caves display various stories about Buddhism.
After lunch, you will take 2-hour car ride to Liuyuan station where you will catch 3-hour bullet train to Turpan. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to hotel. Turpan is a basin in Xinjiang province, and renown for its hottest weather in China.
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 Thousand Buddha Caves, 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 at the lunchtime.
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 Loulan Beauty and Xiaohe Beauty.
Lunch is included at local restaurant. Afterwards you will visit the renown Erdaoqiao Grand 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, a world natural heritage.
Then you will catch 2-hour flight to Kashgar. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to hotel.
Today it is a busy day to explore Kashgar with a local guide. You will take the city tour by 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.
Lunch is arranged at a local Uyghur's house for you to taste the authentic and traditional Uyghur food including nang bread, hand-stretched noodles, and pilau...etc.
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.
Today you will take about 4 hours by a private vehicle departing from Kashgar to Karakul Lake. You will drive along the renowned friendship highway to Pamir Plateau. On the way, you will stop at Upar Uyghur town to buy some snacks and fruits before heading to the mountains. Then you will view the pretty White Sand Lake that looks like a mirror reflecting the snow-capped mountains on the lake water. After lunch, you will wander around the stunning Karakul Lake(3600 meter), which is situated beside Muztagh Summit. The mountain, the lake and the yurt around the lake create a picture of paradise. Later, you will be transferred back to Kashgar.
Transferred to Kashagr airport to catch your flight heading for your next destination, where the wonderful Silk Road tour concludes.
Group Size: 4--15 pax
Travel Season: Year around
Accommodation: 4-star hotel
Transport: Chartered car or bus
Fast train Xian/Lanzhou
Softer sleeper Lanzhou/Jiayuguan
Fast train Liuyuan/Turpan
Meals: Listed in the itinerary
Guide: English-speaking local guides
Entrance Fees: Sites stated
China Visa Required