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.
Today you will take one-hour car ride to The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum that is one of the highlights of the Silk Road. Discovered and excavated in 1974, each of the warriors is unique one with its own uniform. You will learn the history and story about this site with your local guide.
In the afternoon, your will visit Muslim Quarter, particularly the Grand Mosque that is a traditional Chinese architectural style mosque.
Visit the old city wall in Xian, which was built in Ming Dynasty with a length of nearly 14km. You can walk or ride a bike on the city wall.
Then you will be transferred to catch 3-hour bullet train to Lanzhou. Upon arrival, met and transferred to hotel.
Today you will visit Xiguan Mosque in Lanzhou, which is the biggest Mosque in the city. Then you will visit Yellow River, Zhongshan Bridge, and water wheel park etc. Taste the yummy hand-made noodles for lunch.
Then you will take 3-hour car ride to Yinchuan.
Visit the rock carvings. The Helanshan Rock Carvings are located 60km northwest of Yinchuan. The cliff carvings in Mt.Helan were done by the nomadic poeple in north China during Warring States period and Western Xia State. These carvings depict the life, religious activities, wars, herding, and hunting of the minority peoples at that time.
After lunch, head to the Western Xia Mausoleum, 40km west of Yinchan city. These were the royal tombs of the Western Xia State about 800 year ago. Nine kings and more than 140 royal family members of Western Xia State were buired here covering an area of 50 square kilometers. The tombs are in the shape of pyramid, hence its name the Pyramid in China.
After hotel breakfasy, you will head to the Nanguan Mosque. The Nanguan Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in North China. The mosque has a high status among the Hui people.
Then you will visit Ningxia Museum where there are plenty of relics displaying the history about Ningxia area.
Later, you will catch overnight train to Dunhuang.
In the morning, you will visit Mogao Caves, the gem of the ancient Silk Road. The early history of Mogao 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.
Afterwards, you will visit the Minsha Shan or Singing Sand Dunes & Crescent Moon Spring this afternoon, where you have opportunity to ride the camel.
In the evening, you can explore the night market or watch the Dunhuang performance at the theater.
Today you will visit Dunhuang Museum (close on Monday), which is a new museum to exhibit he history, relics, antiques, paintings and statues in Dunhuang area on the Silk Road.
Afterwards, you will take 2-hour ride to Liuyuan where you will catch 3-hour bullet train to Turpan.
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 will 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, a world natural heritage.
Then you will catch 2-hour flight to Kashgar. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to hotel.
Today is a busy day to explore Kashagr 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: 1--15 people
Travel Season: Year around
Accommodation: 5 star-hotel (4-star in Turpan)
Transport: Chartered car or bus
Bullet train Xi'an/Lanzhou
Bullet train Dunhuang/Turpan
Meals: Listed in the itinerary
Guide: English-speaking local guides
Entrance Fees: Sites stated
China Visa required