The Silk Road is a historically important international trade route between China and the Mediterranean. Because silk comprised a large proportion of trade along this road, in 1877, it was named ‘the Silk Road’ by Ferdinand von Richthofen, an eminent German geographer.
The Silk Road is not only an ancient international trade route, but also a splendid cultural bridge liking the cultures of China, India, Persia, Arabia, Greek and Rome. The scenery and sights along the Silk Road are also spectacular and intriguing. There are well-known Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, the bustling Sunday Bazaar in Kashgar and exotic customs in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, etc.
May and October are the best time to travel the Silk Road. The summer can be searingly hot. The winter is freezing. During May, the average temperature along the route is mild and the scenery is most beautiful during this month.
10 days private tour visiting Urumqi, Turpan, Kashgar, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan and Lanzhou.
Tour Code: ST-CSK10
Departure: Private tour with flexible departure.
Day 01 Arrive Urumqi (D)
Arrival Urumqi—the capital city of Xinjiang. Upon arrival, guide meet and transfer to hotel. Welcoming dinner would be at a local Uyghur restaurant near the old town area.
Day 02 Urumqi – Turpan (B, L, D)
This morning departure from Urumqi to Turpan (2.5 hours). Upon arrival, check in 4-star Tuha Hotel, then start your tour in Turpan by visiting the Flaming Mountain; the Bizaklik Caves, where “Bizaklik” means “a place with beautiful decorations”; the ruins of Gao Chang – an ancient Chinese Silk Road garrison town (where you will be taken by donkey cart to visit the temple area). Before lunch, you will tour the Ancient Tombs of Astana which is called the “Gaochang live history record and underground museum in the Turpan area. You can have a short siesta before continue your tour to the Emin Minaret, the Karez underground irrigation system and the Jiao he Ruins (with a history of over 2500 years).
Day 03 Turpan – Urumqi – Kashgar (B, L, D)
This morning, continue to explore Turpan – visit Turpan Museum and Grape Valley. Turpan is most famous for its grapes and raisins, especially the seedless variety called sultanas when dried. After lunch, transfer to Urumqi airport for your flight to Kashgar. This is a scenic drive where you see the Gobi Desert, the windmill hydro plant and ruins along the way. Upon arrival at Kashgar, transfer to hotel for check in.
Day 04 Kashgar (B, L, D)
Visit the outstanding Sunday market, the biggest in Asia (the Bazaar only holds on Sunday). It attracts 50,000 people to view, thousands of donkeys, camels and sheep, as well as a huge range of merchandise, this will be a memorable experience. In the afternoon, you will visit the local bazaar and trekking tour around old town are with handcraft streets.
Day 05 Kashgar – Urumqi (B, L, D)
Visit Abakh Khoja Tomb, Idkah Mosque and the old town and visit to a Uygur family as well. After tour, transfer to airport for the flight to Urumqi in the afternoon. Upon arrival, transfer to Hotel.
Day 06 Urumqi (B, L, D)
Today you drive 115 km east of Urumqi to the serene alpine landscapes around Tian Chi (Heavenly Lake). With scenery reminiscent of Switzerland, the alpine pastures around the lake are home to the grazing horses of the yurt-dwelling Kazakhs. After lunch, you spend some time with the nomads and drink tea in a Kazak felt yurt. Then, return to Urumqi to visit the Xinjiang Museum, which famous with its outstanding dry corpses over 4000 years old and with other silk relics. Before dinner you will also visit Urumqi Erdaoqiao Market and old town area.
Day 07 Urumqi – Dunhuang (B, L, D)
Transfer to the airport for morning flight to Dunhuang. Upon arrival, guide meet and transfer to hotel. City tour to the Western Thousand- Buddha Cave, which is situated to the west of Mogao Caves, is set into a cliff on the bank of the Dang River, then, visit Carpet Factory. After dinner, you may visit the local night market in the downtown.
Day 08 Dunhuang (B, L, D)
Day tour to the magnificent Mogao Grottoes. Since 366 AD, devout Buddhists have spent their time building the 492 grottoes. These caves contain some of the most important Buddhist art in the world, including thousands of murals, paintings, and manuscripts. Mixing Indian and Chinese styles, they are a remarkable record of Silk Road civilization. After lunch, visit Dunhuang Silk Road Museum. Late afternoon, Visit to the picturesque Crescent Moon Spring, situated among the mountain–high sand dunes of the exotic Gobi desert, the Ming Sha Hill and the Old City. Sunset camel ride.
Day 09 Dunhuang – Jiayuguan – Lanzhou (B, L, D)
Morning excursion to Jiayuguan City. Upon arrival, visit Jiayuguan Fortress and Great Wall-the western terminal of the world famous Great Wall. Jiayuguan Pass, the first pass at the west end of the Great Wall of China and was built during the Ming Dynasty, earned the name “Strategic Pass under the Heaven” as an important communication center in Chinese history. Later afternoon, take flight to Lanzhou. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel.
Day 10 Depart Lanzhou (B, L)
Day tour to Gansu Museum, White Pagoda Park, Water Wheel Garden and Yellow Stone Exhibition Hall. Transfer to airport for flight to next destination city.
- Private vehicle and guide
- Admissions to sites listed
- Lunch (L) as indicated
- Hotels with daily breakfast (B)