This 17 days small group tour covers all highlight tourist cities along Silk Road: Xian, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Kashgar. And the extent tour in Xinjiang to Kuqa, Minfeng, Hotan to explore more cultural relics and natural beauty. The 2-day driving through Taklimakan Desert will help you explore ruins of vigorous cities existed there in several thousand years ago.
Met by your local guide and driver upon your arrival in Xian and transfer to hotel. The rest day is free for your disposal.
Day 2 (May 16th) Xian
After breakfast, pick up from hotel and start today’s trip with the world famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. Next head to the ancient City Wall, the largest and best preserved city wall in China. Then take a walk on the Bell Tower & Drum Tower Square to pay an outer visit to Bell Tower and Drum Tower. At last roam on the most famous food street in Xian – Muslim Quarter where you will meet lots of local food and snacks.
Day 3 (May 17th) Xian – Zhangye by D2673 (13:40/20:23)
Start today’s tour with Shaanxi History Museum which is one of the biggest museums in China housing the cultural heritage of Shaanxi Province and showing the development of the Chinese civilization. Then move to visit the nearby Big Wild Goose Pagoda which was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) to keep the Buddhist Sutra brought from ancient India by Master Xuanzang. After visiting transfer to North Xian Railway Station to take the fast train to Zhangye.
Arriving in Zhangye met by local driver (no guide) at the train station and transfer to your hotel for check in.
Day 4 (May 18th) Zhangye to Jiayuguan
After breakfast, we will first pay a visit to the Danxia Mountain, where you will see a truly picturesque world. Then move to the Giant Buddha which is considered the largest architectural relics in Gansu Province. Then drive to Jiayuguan in the afternoon . Upon arrival in Jiayuguan, check in the hotel for rest.
Day 5 (May 19th) Jiayuguan to Dunhuang
After breakfast, drive to visit Jiayuguan Fort, the very west starting point of the Chinese Great Wall. Here you will see the Great Wall constructed on cliff. Next move to the Great Wall Museum where you will get some comprehensive knowledge of Great Wall as a military defensive system in ancient China.
In the afternoon we will visit Mural Tombs of Wei and Jin Dynasty – a shared burial area of various ethnic groups in ancient time. The brick paintings in the tombs are quite interesting. At last transfer to visit the Overhanging Great Wall. The Great Wall here is named so because it was built almost on the cliff. After the tour, drive to Dunhuang and check in the hotel.
Day 6 (May 20th) Dunhuang
In the morning pick up by driver and guide and transfer directly to Mogao Grottoes, one of the four most famous caves in China and the real must see attraction along ancient Silk Road. Before visiting the real caves you will firstly learn about basic facts of the grottoes through Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition. Afterward pay a visit to Dunhuang Museum to have a glimpse of the city’s history. In the evening, take a walk in Shazhou Night Market where lots of local food and also many interesting tourists souvenirs you can find.
Day 7 (May 21st) Dunhuang – Turpan by K4931(19:18/7:35)
In the morning pick up by driver and guide and transfer directly to the Echoing-Sand Mountain. When you slide down the slope, you can hear the roaring echo of sands, hence the name. Walking for some time you will reach the Crescent Lake, your eyes will be feasted on the crescent-shaped spring surrounded by the endless Gobi desert. In the evening transfer to train station to take the overnight train to Turpan.
Accommodation: on the train
Day 8 (May 22nd) Turpan
Upon arrival in Turpan, met by local guide and driver at the railway station. Then starts today’s tour with Jiaohe Ruins, one of the most important towns along the ancient Silk Road and the largest, oldest and best-preserved earth construction in the world. Then go to visit the Karez Well— an amazing irrigation system which made Turpan a rich oasis which is honored as the “Underground Great Wall”. So it is regarded as the pride of Turpan. The last stop will be Sugong Pagoda, the largest existed ancient Islamic pagoda in Xinjiang which is also known as the Turpan Pagoda among local residents. Then back to hotel.
Day 9 (May 23rd) Turpan – Urumqi (Breakfast)
Today we will firstly drive to visit Astana Tombs which is called “Underground Museum of Turpan”. At last you will go to the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Cave, a series of caves with thousands of Buddhism murals. The vivid murals show many Buddhism figures, stories, and the social life about 1,000 years ago. At last we will pay a visit to the hottest place in China– the Flaming Hill, situated at the north of ancient Silk Road. The temperature is so high that nothing grows on the hill. After that drive to Urumqi.
Day 10 (May 24th) Urumqi – Kuqa by K9772(20:20/6:33+1)
After breakfast, pick up by your driver and guide and transfer to Xinjiang Regional Museum to have a glimpse of Xinjiang history and costume. Then continue the tour to Heavenly Lake. Clear lake, snow mountains and soaring trees compose the charming scenery of the Heavenly Lake. Then drive to Train station to take the overnight train to Kuqa.
Accommodation: On the train
Day 11 (May 25th)Kuqa
Today we will visit one of the most famous Buddhist Caves in Xinjiang, the Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves, the oldest Buddhist art treasure trove in China, started building around the 3rd century, even one century earlier than the renowned Mogao Grottoes. Afterwards we will explore Tianshan Grand Canyon and then drive to Kuqa. Tianshan Grand Canyon lying 48km to downtown Urumqi is the most complete and of the highest ornamental value. The Grand Canyon boasts all natural landscape in Xinjiang except for desert. So the canyon is regarded as the natural museum of the nomadism culture. After that drive to Aksu to check in local hotel. Accommodation: Kuqa
Day 12 (May 26th) Kuqa – Minfeng
Today we will spend most of time driving along the highway in Taklamakan Desert. In desert nearby County we will appreciate grand and shocking beauty of diversifolious poplar forest. Diversifolious poplar forests in Taklamakan Desert stand straightly like handsome generals even after dying. The Taklamakan Desert is the largest desert in China which used to be the must-pass area of ancient Silk Road. In ancient time many ancient kingdoms flourished in nowadays Taklamakan Desert when there were enough oasis. Later with fading of Silk Road and frequent wars those kingdoms disappear one after one. Driving through China’s largest desert we will arrive at Mingfeng County and check in local hotel.
Day 13 (May 27th) Minfeng – Hotan
In the morning board the van. We will drive for 320km to Hotan. Arriving in Hotan visit the King Trees of Walnut and Fig. And then enjoy your free time.
Day 14 (May 28th)Hotan – Kashgar
In the morning we will go to visit the last stop in Hotan –Melikawat Ruins. The ruins locates 25km to southeast of Hotan Township and can be dated back to 1600 years old. It is said the Melikawat was part of Hotan Kingdom. And the Chinese currency of the Han and Tang Dynasties discovered in the ancient city prove the city’s role in trading activities along ancient Silk Road. In the afternoon drive to Kashgar.
Day 15 (May 29th) Kashgar
After hotel breakfast, drive to airport for flight to Kashgar. Upon yor arrival, met by local guide and driver and drive to visit the Idigar Mosque, a typical Islamic architecture like domes, minarets and arches, as well as pious prayers. Next we will pay a visit to Sunday Market, also known as Sunday Bazaar, the largest international trade market on the northwest boundary line of China. Then head to the Apak Hoja Tomb, an ancient Islamic building complex and a cemetery where five generations of famous Islamic masters were buried.
At last visit the Handicraft Street and Old Street of Kashgar where bring you back to the ancient Kashgar, with narrow alleys and traditional houses built with earth or brick.
Day 16 (May 30th) Kashgar to Karakurl Lake
Today we will pay a full day tour to Karakurl Lake. After hotel breakfast, drive for about 3 hours we will arrive at the lake spot. The lake is surrounded by the mountain who wears snow cap almost all year round. The tranquil lake and it’s surrounding environment makes a big contrast to the bustling city area.
Day 17 (May 31st) Kashgar Departure
Pick up from your hotel by our driver and transfer you to Kashgar airport to catch your flight to next destination.
*Bullet train (2nd class seat) Xian – Zhangye, Zhangye – Jiayuguan
* Overnight train ticket (sof-sleeper one 4-berth cabin) Dunhuang – Turpan and Urumqi – Kuqa
*Main entrance tickets to the attractions mentioned above
*15 nights hotel with daily breakfast (2 night in Xian, 1 night in Zhangye, 1 night in Jiayuguan, 2 nights in Dunhuang, 1 night in Turpan, 1 night in Urumqi, 1 night in Kuqa , 1 night in Minfeng , 1 night in Hotan, and 3 nights in Kashgar)
*Professional drivers & air-conditioned vehicles
*English-speaking guide during sightseeing tours
*Government taxes and service charges
Price Exclusions :
*Flight to Xian and from Kashgar
*Lunch and Dinner
Please use our online booking or send your travel request via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to us. You are also welcome to call us at 0086-15129005119 from Mon to Sun 24 hours.
Our real trip advisors will have your booking confirmed no more than 1 working day. We even take last minute booking if time is pressing. When your booking is confirmed, you will get a confirmation email from us, which includes the confirmed detailed itinerary with prices.
Deposit USD 50 will be charged in advance via Paypal for tour booking. The balance can be paid to our tour guide when you are on the tour, or the credit card balance payment via Paypal latest 3 days ahead of the tour date. Both RMB and hard currency are acceptable.