Traveling Silk Road is a journey through history that is very much alive today !

lesley@china-silkroad-travel.com
Request a Quote
Home > China Tours > China Silk Road Adventure >

9 Days Classic Silk Road Travel

Destinations:Lanzhou, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Kashgar

from: US$1483
Tour Code: CITA-SR02
Summary: This tour will take you to the famous UNESCO heritage site of Mogao grottoes in Dunhuang and the fascinating city of Kashgar on the ancient Silk Road, as well as the Labrang Monastery in Xiahe. You will be able to experience the Tibetan and Uighur cultures, customs and the daily life of the people.

Day 1

Lanzhou
Huanghe River Mother Statue

Our tour guide will meet you at the Lanzhou airport, arrange to transfer you to the hotel and check you in. After hotel check-in and time permitting, we will visit the Yellow River Mother Sculpture, Water Wheel Park.
Yellow River Mother Sculpture: The Yellow River is revered by the Chinese as the mother of their civilisation. It runs right through Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province. The Yellow River Mother Sculpture is located on the south bank of Yellow River in the city of Lanzhou. The sculpture is 6 meters long and 2.6 meters in height, and weighs more than 40 tons. The sculpture comprises a mother and a baby, the mother with long hair, slim figure, lying on the undulating water looking happy and kind. Resting on her breast is a small child smiling naively. The Yellow River Mother Sculpture reflects the long history and culture of Gansu Province.
The Waterwheel Garden: The Waterwheel Garden was built in 1994, and is located on Binhe Middle Road in Lanzhou, Gansu Province. The garden covers an area of 1.45 hectares (3.58 acres) and is comprised of two waterwheels, a cofferdam, the recreation area and a water mill house.
 

Day 2

Lanzhou  Xiahe
Labrang Monastery

After breakfast we will head to Xiahe by bus to visit the Labrang Monastery, Songke Grassland.
Labrang Monastery: The Labrang Monastery is located at the foot of the Phoenix Mountain, northwest of Xiahe County in Gannan Tibetan Nationality Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. As a propitious place in the hearts of the Tibetans, it stands by the Daxia River and faces the Dragon Mountain. A long time ago, this place was a boundless sea, which over time had turned into the present landscape. There is a beautiful legend that tells about how the Dragon Mountain, Phoenix Mountain, and the Daxia River were formed.
Songke Grassland: Lying at an average altitude of over 3,000m above sea level, the Songke Grassland is situated a short 14km from Xiahe. This vast expanse of grassy plains, covering an area of around 70 square kilometers, is a lonely, beautiful place that presents a nice change for those coming from the bustling cities, such as Chengdu or Lanzhou. There are only 4,000 Tibetan nomads left on the grasslands, and they graze yak herds and offer tourists the chance of a ride on their horses. Entertainment here varies according to your preference. Botanists and hikers will be happy to just set off into the rolling hills, but for those after a little more excitement, the horse rides, costing around RMB25, are good fun.
 

Day 3

Xiahe  Lanzhou  Jiayuguan
Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves

In the morning we will return to Lanzhou by bus.
You will take a cruise from Liujiaxia Gorge to Binglingsi (by speed boat), to visit the Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves. Then you will be transferred to the railway station to take the train to Jiayuguan.
Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves: The Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves are on the cliff of Xiaojishi Hill. Located on a branch of Gansu part of the Silk Road, the Bingling Caves were started by Buddhist monks from as early as the West Jin Dynasty (265AD -316AD) although the official carving began in 420AD. Today there are 183 caves existing with 694 stone statues, 82 earth statues and murals of 900 square meters (9,688 square feet). Another pleasant surprise on your way to Bingling Caves is the beautiful Liujiaxia Reservoir. The crystal water lying among the yellow earth mountains is quite a sight. At the end of the Reservoir, the green water connects to the yellow water while the blue sky connects to the yellow earth. Perhaps this can only be experienced in Liujiaxia.
 

Day 4

Jiayuguan  Dunhuang
The Jiayuguan Pass

In the morning we will head to the Jiayuguan PassThe Great Wall on the Cliff, Great Wall Museum and the Yulin Grottoes. After that you will continue by bus to Dunhuang.
Jiayuguan Pass: Jiayuguan Pass stands in the southwest part of Jiayuguan City, about 6 km away from downtown. Construction of the castle was started in 1372 in the Ming Dynasty, and is located in the Jiayu Highland, hence its name Jiayuguan Pass. It is situated between the Wenshu and Heishan Mountains at the foot of Jiayuguan Hill of the Qilian Mountain range.
The Great Wall on the Cliff: The Suspended Wall is a part of the Great Wall of China. The wall here was built on the ridge with a gradient of 45 degrees. It is high in the air and it looks as if it fell down from the top of the hill. So people refer to this section of the Great Wall as the "Suspended Wall". The Suspended Wall, the extension of the walls at the Jiayuguan Pass towards the north, was an integral part of the ancient defense system at the Jiayuguan Pass.
Great Wall Museum: The Great Wall museum opened to visitors in October 1989, and it is the first museum to exhibit the Great Wall culture in a comprehensive and systematic way. The Museum covers an area of 12,312 square meters with an exhibition area of about 1,766 square meters. Its main building takes a shape of a typical signal fire tower on the Great Wall.
Yulin Grottoes: The Yulin Grottoes lie 70 km to the south of Anxi County, Gansu Province. The Grottoes are chiseled into the cliffs on both the east and west sides of the Yulin River. The east cliff has 30 grottoes and the west has 11, with a distance of more than 100 meters between them. It used to be called Ten-Thousand Buddha Gorge. The grottoes began to be chiseled and sculpted during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), and was enlarged in the later dynasties, such as Tang (618-907), Five Dynasties (907-960), Song (960-1279), the Western Xia (1038-1227), Yuan (1271-1368) and so on. More than 1,000 square meters of frescoes, and more than 100 colored sculptures are still extant there. 
 

Day 5

Dunhuang  Turpan
Echoing-Sand Mountain

After breakfast we will visit the world-famous Mogao Grottoes , Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake. After that you will be transferred to the railway station to take the train to Turpan.
Mogao Grottoes: The Mogao Grottoes, a shrine of Buddhist art treasures, is 25 km from downtown Dunhuang on the eastern slope of Mingsha Shan (Echoing Sand Mountain). A network of plank-reinforced roads plying north to south 1600 meters long lead to the cave openings, which are stacked five stories high, some reaching up to 50 meters. Incidentally, Mogao means high up in the desert. According to Tang Dynasty records, a monk had witnessed onsite a vision of thousand Buddhas under showers of golden rays. Thus inspired, he started the caves construction work that spanned a millennium, from the 4th to the 14th centuries. What remains today is truly awe inspiring, and is likely the world’s richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures. Please note that cameras are not allowed inside the grottoes.
Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake: Together with the Crescent Spring and the Mogao Caves, the Echoing-Sand Mountain is the most popular tourist site in Dunhuang. Echoing-Sand Mountain, known as Mingsha Mountain to the Chinese, is 5 km to the south of Dunhuang and is famous for the constant sound of the moving sand. Legend has it that many years ago a horrific battle was fought here, and the sounds we hear today were the haunting cries of soldiers buried in the sand dunes. Situated within the Echoing-Sand Mountain Park, the Crescent Moon Lake is literally an oasis in the desert. The lake’s name derives from the crescent moon shape taken by the pool of spring water between two large sand dunes. Although the surrounding area is very dry, the pool surprisingly doesn’t dry up as one might expect.
 

Day 6

Turpan
Jiaohe Ruins

After you are checked in at the hotel we will visit Jiaohe Ancient City RuinsAstana TombsTuyoq Valley and The Flaming Mountain.
Jiaohe Ancient City Ruins: The city's name means 'River City'. It was founded during the first century BC and abandoned during the 15th century. It is located atop a steep cliff on a leaf-shaped plateau between two deep river valleys in the Yarnaz valley 10 km to the west of Turpan City. It runs northwest to southeast, 1760 meters long and 300 meters across at the widest part. The ruins include city gates, streets and lanes, government office, temples, domestic houses, cave houses, wells, and an underground temple. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Silk Road Sites.
Astana Tombs: This is the graveyard of the residents who lived in the Gaochang City in the Jin-Tang period. Between 1959 and 1975, a great number of cultural relics had been unearthed, including Chinese documents, textiles, epitaphs, coins, clay sculptures, pottery, wooden wares, silk-paintings, crops and foods, etc. The site is known as the Underground Museum.
Tuyoq Valley: This is a 12 km long primitive Uighur agricultural valley about 70 km from Turpan, with vineyards and fields in the northern and southern valleys and a narrow ravine that connects them. It is a Muslim religious pilgrimage site. The southern mouth of the valley has big Uighur mosques older than the Sugong Minaret and a cave thought by many to be described in the Koran. About a kilometer from the cave shrine is a group of grottoes that have some Buddhist and Nestorian artwork. These grottoes are said to date from the West Jin Dynasty (265AD-316AD), and are considered to be the earliest in Turpan. Most of the murals are damaged. Fortunately, 10 of the grottoes still have some of the preserved murals. These precious murals are very unique in style.
The Flaming Mountain: The Flaming Mountain is famously described in the classic Chinese mythological novel “Journey to the West”. It runs west from Shanshan County, is 98 km in length and 9 km across, with a relative height of 500 meters and the highest peak at 832 meters. The mountain is a branch range of the Bogda Mountain, formed in the orogenic movements of the Himalayas. This is the hottest place in China. The highest air temperature in summer is 47.8 degrees Centigrade, and the ground is over 70 degrees Centigrade in summer. Many years of volcanic activity have formed the unique crisscrossing gullies and ravines. During mid-afternoon the heat becomes intense as the sun's rays are reflected off the red rocks, as though the hillsides are engulfed by tongues of fire, hence the name.
 

Day 7

Turpan  Urumqi  Kashgar
Sugong Minerat

After breakfast we will visit the Karez Irrigation System and Sugong Minaret. After that we will return to Urumqi so you can take the flight to Kashgar. Your tour guide in Kashgar will meet you at the airport, transfer you to the hotel and check you in.
Karez Irrigation System: The ancient Karez Irrigation System, which is still used today, is a unique irrigation system in Turpan. It takes advantage of the slopes, draws the underground water to flow by itself to irrigate farmland. It consists of four parts: vertical wells, underground channels, ground canals, and small reservoirs.
Sugong Minaret: Located in Mura Village 2km to the east of the city of Turpan, the minaret tower was built in the 41st year of the long reign of Qianlong Emperor during the Qing Dynasty. It is the embodiment of the ancient architectural arts of the Uighur people. The body of the tower is cylindroid in shape, built with bricks arranged in various symmetrical patterns on the outer wall. The tower has 14 windows and a spiral staircase inside going to the top.
 

Day 8

Kashgar  Karakul Lake
Old Town

After breakfast we will visit the Sunday Bazaar, and then head to Karakul Lake to enjoy the beautiful sceneries. After that, we will return to Kashgar to visit the Apak Hoja Tomb and Old town.
Karakul Lake: At an altitude of 3600m, this is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau, near the junction of the Pamir, Tianshan (Heavenly Mountain), and Kunlun Mountain ranges. Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake are the Muztag Ata (7546m), Konur Tagh (7649m) and Kongur Tiube (7530m). The lake is popular among travelers for its beautiful scenery and the clarity of its reflection in the water, whose color ranges from a dark green to azure and light blue. There are two Kirgiz settlements along the shore of Karakul Lake, a number of yurts about 1 km east of the bus drop-off point and a village with stone houses located on the western shores.
Apakh Hoja Tomb: This Mazar is the holiest place in Xinjiang for the Muslims, and an architectural treasure. Built in 1640, it is reminiscent of the Central Asian artistic style of Samarkand or Isfahan. The site is also known as the Xiang Fei (Fragrant Concubine) Tomb in memory of Abakh Khoja's granddaughter, Iparhan, who was the Fragrant Concubine of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty. A handsome blue-and-white tiled gate leads into the compound, which includes a small religious school and the Abakh Khoja family tomb. The latter is domed and faced with muti-color tiles. It is the most complete Islamic tomb dating from the beginning of the Qing Dynasty.
Old Town: Kashgar is an ancient city, and in walking the streets of its Old Town, one gets the sense of what this legendary Central Asian hub was like in the days when the Silk Road was at its zenith. 500-year old remnants of the city wall, narrow lanes and colorful multi-ethnic crowds combine to make Kashgar’s historic district a highlight of any visit to the city. Visit the small alleys to look at the characteristic Uygur residences. You will experience and enjoy the culture and history that has been retained in the small alleys and deep courtyards. In the alleys on platforms beside the residence you could marvel at the even more ancient primitive workshops for hand-made earthenware. Some 17 or 18 antique workshops have been restored.
 

Day 9

Kashgar  Your destination
Id Kah Mosque

In the morning we will visit the Id Kah Mosque. After the visit you will be transferred to the airport to take the flight to your destination.
Id Kah Mosque: This is the largest mosque in China, and the most famous mosque in Xinjiang. The construction of the mosque started in the middle of the 15th century, and the mosque has gradually developed to its present size. The buildings of Id Kah Mosque look magnificent and solemn, and display the artistic styles of Islamic mosque architecture. The Mosque has an area of about 16,800 square meters, consisting of the Pray Hall, the Koran teaching Hall, the Corridor, the Arches and other buildings attaching to it. The Pray Hall of the mosque, which can hold 4,000 prayers, is supported by 140 carved wooden pillars. 

 

Travel in party of Superior Class
★★★★★
Deluxe Class
★★★★
Tourist Class
★★★
2-5 persons $ 2166 $ 1940 $ 1796
6-9 persons $ 1888 $ 1713 $ 1571
10 persons & above $ 1760 $ 1625 $ 1483
Single room Supplement $ 660 $498 $ 390

Service included:

√ Entrance fees
√ Breakfast in the hotel
√ Personal Guide & Driver + Private car / van for Private Transfers & sightseeing
√ Hotels (twin share bases) as listed in the itinerary .
√ Domestic flights or trains as listed in the itinerary
    Trian: Lanzhou to Jiayuguan . Dunhuang to Turpan  (Soft sleepers)
    Flights: Urumqi to Kashgar with tax
√ Service Charge & Government Taxes .
√ Luggage Transfers between airports and hotels

Service excluded:

* All the lunches and dinners and the breakfast when overnight on the train
* Personal expenses. such as laudentry and tips to the guide and driver
* other activities such as boating, camel riding ect
Contact Center

86+991-2699399

xinjiangtravel@hotmail.com
silkroadtrip@hotmail.com

ID:citictour

ID:toursxinjiang