China Silk Road In-depth 18 days tour
Xi'an- Urumqi - Kashgar-Turpan-Dunhuang - Xi'an
Day01 Arrival in Xi'an
Our guide will greet you outside the customs at Beijing Capital International Airport and escort you to the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you.
Day02 Xi'an- Urumqi
our guide will transfer you to take a flight to Urumqi. Your local guide will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel for a one-night stay. Your private Silk Road adventure will start tomorrow.
Day03 Urumqi - Korla
After breakfast, you will take a car for about 6 hours (500 kilometers) down to Korla by crossing Tianshan Mountain. There will be a visit to the Tiemen Pass, which was an importation military throat on the Silk Road of 2,000 years ago. From here, the ancient Silk Road will turn into a narrow and zigzag valley along the Peacock River. Tonight, you will stay at a nice hotel in Korla.
Day04 Korla - Kuqa
Driving eastwards for about 3 hours (280 kilometers), you will arrive in Kuqa, which is the birthplace of Qiuci Culture and noted for the local featured knife. You could visit the Subash Ruins which has witnessed the flourish of Buddhism in Xinjiang during the 6th to the 8th centuries.
Day05 Kuqa - Aksu
Ruins of Subash Ancient Buddha Temple, Kuqa
After breakfast, you are going to the Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves in Baicheng County, about 50 kilometers to the east of Kuqa. On the cliffs of the Mingwudage Mountain, there are hundreds of caves lasting for three kilometers, consisting of exquisite murals and vivid Buddha statues in large quantity. These treasure troves do narrate the prosperous history of Xinjiang in all respects and the external communication from the 3rd to the 13th centuries. Taking another 4 hours (298 kilometers), you will reach Aksu and stay there for one night.
Day06 Aksu - Kashgar
There will be a 6-hour drive for about 500 kilometers to Kashgar today. Upon arrival, you will check in a local hotel for a three-night stay.
Day07 Kashgar - Karakuri Lake - Kashgar
Our clients at the Karakuri Lake, Kashgar
In the morning, you will take the car for 3.5 hours (200 kilometers) to the Karakuri Lake which is located 3,600 meters above sea level. Surrounded by snow mountains to the east of the Pamirs, this lake offers local herds with fertile grassland and travelers with extraordinary charming scenery. You could also see the yurts, camels and horses of the Tajik people inhabiting here.
Abakh Khoja Tomb, Kashgar
The Kashgar city sightseeing is arranged today. Firstly visit the famous Sunday Bazaar where you could experience the real daily life in Xinjiang. On the market, there are various kinds of local goods, such as fresh fruit, snacks, colorful clothes, delicate handicrafts as well as livestock. The following destination is the Id Kah Mosque located in the city center. It is the largest mosque in China originally built in 1142 and the center of Moslem activities in Xinjiang. Finally, you will visit the Abakh Khoja Tomb which is a large and unsophisticated family graveyard of the local leaders in the 17th century. The graveyard consists of gate tower, tombs, pond, garden and mosques, looking like a typical Islamic palace.
Day09 Kashgar - Hetian
Leaving from Kashgar, you are going to Hetian, another famous city in south Xinjiang. The 520-kilometer journey, dotted with gobi, desert and oasis, will take you about 7 hours by car. On the way, you could visit the 500-year Yarkant King Mausoleum and Amanishahan's Mausoleum in Shache County (or Yarkant County). Tonight, you will stay at a nice hotel in Hetian.
Day10 Hetian - Minfeng
Ancient City of Jiaohe, Turpan
Hetian has been noted for producing jade, carpet and silk. Therefore, it is a must to visit the Silk Village, which also boasts a hundred-year-old walnut tree. After that, the car will run eastwards for 3.5 hours (300 kilometers) to Minfeng County. While passing by Yutian County, you can visit a local bazaar. Please have a good rest in Minfeng tonight.
Day11 Minfeng - Korla
The most challenging section will occur today. You will take the car running through the Takla Makan Desert from Minfeng northwards back to Korla City. Located in the middle of the large Tarim Basin, Takla Makan is the largest desert in China with shifting dunes and poplar forest. The whole journey is 780 kilometers and takes you 9 to 10 hours.
Day12 Korla - Turpan
From Korla, you will head for Turpan located in the basin of the east Tianshan Mountain. Having a 400-year recorded history, Turpan has played as a transportation and cultural communication hub on the Silk Road. The 380 -kilometer journey will be finished in 5 hours. Upon arrival, you will check in a local hotel for a two-night stay.
Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Turpan
Today's visit includes the Ruins of Ancient City of Jiaohe, the Sugong Pagoda, the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves, and the Flaming Mountains. Jiaohe City was constructed by Cheshi State from the 2nd BC to the 5th AD and gradually declined in the 14th century. You could see the relics of the principal body to recall its glory. The Sugong Pagoda is a novel Islamic pagoda built 200 years ago. The Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves was originally carved since the 6th century on the cliffs of the Mutou Valley of the Flaming Mountain, and once the royal temple during 9th~13th centuries. Due to man-made and natural damage, only 83 caves with rare Buddha murals are preserved.
Day14 Turpan - Dunhuang
Mogao Grottoes, Dunhuang
The historical tour of Turpan will be extended to the Karez System which is a widely used underground irrigating system in Turpan. As your Xinjiang tour ends today, our guide will transfer you to take a high speed train to Dunhuang. Upon your arrival, a local guide will pick you up at Liuyuan Railway Station of Dunhuang and transfer you to the hotel.
Today you will visit the fabulous Mogao Caves today, which is the shining pearl and the Oriental Louvre on the Silk route. At the following Dunhuang Museum, you could see more historical and cultural relics excavated in this region.
Day16 Dunhuang - Xian
You will experience a short camel-ride along the Echoing-Sand Mountain to reach the Crescent Lake. Later, our guide will transfer you to Dunhuang Airport to take a flight to Xian. Upon arrival in the airport, the guide will escort you to the hotel.
If the Terra Cotta Warriors is a must and the most attractive place in Xian, Shaanxi Provincial Historical Museum can be counted as another to better understanding this renowned ancient capital of deep historical and cultural accumulation.
Please enjoy your free time before departure! Our guide will transfer you to take the homebound flight on time.