This tour travels from the start of the ancient Silk Road city, Xian, ends in the old city Kashgar. You will enjoy the history and culture along the ancient Silk Road. This is a long historical tour to view the desert, the mountains, temples, and camels etc. in China.
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 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.
Afterwards, you will move back to Xi'an city to visit the 14-km old City Wall in Xian that was built 600 years ago in Ming Dynasty.
Later you will explore the interesting Muslim Quarter where there are markets, shops, restaurants, old houses and stands to sell all sorts of things.
Today you will enjoy your free morning, then catch the 3-hour bullet train from Xian to Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your Lanzhou hotel.
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 Danxia Mount in Zhangye 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 Fort that is a UNESCO cultural site.
Later, you will check in the hotel in Jiayuguan.
After breakfast, you will take 5-hour car ride from Jiayuguan to Dunhuang through the Gobi Desert.
You will visit the Minshan Sha or Singing Sand Dunes & Crescent Moon Spring this afternoon near Dunhuang city.
In the evening, you can explore Dunhuang night market.
In the morning, you will visit Mogao Caves, the gem of the ancient Silk Road. The early history of Mogao can be tracked back to the 4th century, and built many times in the history. The colorful fresco, statues in Mogao Caves display various stories about Buddhism. It is interesting to learn the Buddha stories in the caves with a local guide guide.
Afterwards 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 dry basin in Xinjiang Province, and renowned for its extremely hot weather in China in Summer.
Turpan is a hub on the ancient Silk Road, and there are lots of historical sites that are renowned for its well-preserved conditions.
You may taste some dried fruits and eat Uyghur food on your own cost for lunch.
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 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.
Then you will catch about 13-hour overnight train to Kashgar.
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.
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 a car ride to the Pamir Plateau. Firstly, the red mountains on the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway are amazing. Then the White Sand Lake beside the snow-capped mountains is impressively pretty. At lunch time, you will arrive at the Karakul Lake, which is situated by the renowned Muztag Ata, the father of Ice. 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.
The Kirgiz are local people living in the houses and yurts near the lake.
Later, you will continue the driving to Taxkorgan that is situated at the border between China and Pakistan, where there are Tajik people living here. Tonight you will stay in a hotel with the altitude around 3300 meters.
You could taste the yak hot pot for your dinner.
Enjoy the small town scenery in Taxkorgan this morning, then you will visit the Stone City that was built 2000 years ago, and the ruin still can trace back its original style. It said the stone city used to be the small state in the history in the ancient Silk Road.
Moreover, you will also view the grassland on the Pamir Plateau, where there are yaks, sheep and horses etc.
Later, you will take a car ride 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: 2--15 Travelers
Travel Season: Year around
Accommodation: 3-star hotel or inn
Transport: Chartered car or public bus
Bullet train Xi'an/Lanzhou
Bullet train Xining/Zhangye(Second Class)
Bullet train Dunhuang/Turpan(Second Class)
Harder sleeper Urumqi/Kashgar
Meals: Breakfasts listed in the itinerary
Guide: English-speaking local guides
Entrance Fees: Sites listed in the itinerary
Things not listed in INCLUDED
Please apply your China Visa before the tour.
Duration: 16 days