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

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27 Days Great Silk Road Adventure

Destinations:Beijing, Xian, Lanzhou, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Kashgar, Tashkent, Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Bukhara, Khiva

from: US$4670
Tour Code: CITIC-SD-17
Summary: Explore the worlds greatest land trade route, following in the footsteps of Marco Polo. Our China itinerary commences at historic Kashgar; ancient trade hub on the Silk Road and site of the legendary Sunday market. We include the old Silk Road oasis of Turpan and Dunhuang as well as Jiayuguan, site of the most western extent of the Ming dynasty great wall and conclude in Xian; ancient Chang'an where Emperor Qin Shihuang's great tomb and its army of terracotta warriors was constructed.

Day 1

Beijing

International flight on your own arrangement. Once arrive in Beijing,be met & transferred to your hotel. Feel free at leisure for the rest of the day.

 Day 2

Beijing
Temple of Heaven

Full day trip to the Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. Enjoy Kungfu Show in the evening- The Tian'anmen Square : The largest city square in the world.
The Forbidden City : The largest imperial palace in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties with a history of around 600 years.
The Temple of Heaven : The place where the ancient emperors used to pray for the God's bless of the whole nation.

Day 3

Beijing
The Great Wall

Full day trip to the Great Wall,Ming Tomb and Sacred road. Enjoy a famous Peking Duck Banquet for dinner. The Great Wall : One of the seven wonders in the world and the symbol of China.
- The Ming Tomb : The only underground tomb of the thirteen tombs of the emperors in the Ming Dynasty.

Day 4

Beijing Xi'an
Summar Palace

Visit The Summer Palace, Cruise in the Summer Palace, Hutong ,  You will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight and fly to Xian.
The Summer Palace : The largest and best-preserved royal garden in China with a history of over 800 years.
Hutong:   was near the palace to the east and west and arranged in orderly fashion along the streets. Most of the residents of these hutongs were imperial kinsmen and aristocrats. Another kind, the simple and crude hutong, was mostly located far to the north and south of the palace. The residents were merchants and other ordinary people.
 

Day 5

Xi'an
Bell Tower

Visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, the Bell Tower and the Wild Goose Pagoda. Enjoy the Tang Dynasty show in the evening.
The Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses : The greatest archaeological findings of the century: the army of terra-cotta warriors and the bronze chariots entombed in vast underground vaults at emperor Qin's tomb.
The Bell Tower : The emblem of Xian city.
The Wild Goose Pagoda : The pagoda where widely renowned Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) stored his classics brought from India.
The Tang Dynasty show : The show that presents the palace dances and sings in the Tang Dynasty when Xian was the capital.

Day 6

Xi'an Lanzhou
The Ancient City Wall

Visit Shaanxi historical museum, Xian City Wall, The Grand Mosque. You will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight and fly to Lanzhou.
The Provincial Museum : One of the main museums in China which holds numerous unearthed cultural relics of China.
The Ancient City Wall : An extension of the old Tang Dynasty structure boasting the most complete city wall that survives through Chinese long history.

Day 7

Lanzhou Xiahe (260kms, 3-4hrs)
Labrang Monastery

Visit Labrang Monastery, Songke Grassland.
Labrang Monastery : One of the major monasteries of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect. The architectural layout follows the Tibetan style, while the construction patterns are mostly Tibetan, Han, or a mixture of the two. The White Towers (in the northeast and in the northwest) are very typical.

Day 8

Xiahe  Lanzhou (260kms, 3-4hrs)

Be transfered back to Lanzhou today.

Day 9

Lanzhou  Jiayuguan by train
Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves

Visit Cruise from Liujiaxia Gorge to Binglingsi( fast boat), Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves.
Be transferred to the railway station to catch the train to Jiayuguan.
Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves : Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves : These caves, which stretch for 200 meters, were built during the Western Qin, North Wei, Sui, Tang, and Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing dynasties (between the 3rd and 18th centuries). They are highly valued for their contribution to research into the history of Chinese painting, and the spread of Buddhism during that time.

Day 10

Jiayuguan
The Jiayuguan Pass

Visit The Jiayuguan Pass, The Great Wall on the Cliff, Weijin Tomb, Great Walls Museum.
The Jiayuguan Pass : This Ming Dynasty fort guards the strategic Jiayuguan pass, at the western end of the Great Wall – this was the last section built by the Ming Dynasty. It was built in 1372, and subsequently enlarged and strengthened, and was known as 'the strongest pass under heaven'.
The Great Wall on the Cliff : This is a nearby section of the Great wall which was built on the cliff, and includes sections at a 45 degrees angle, making it seem as if the wall is hanging from a cliff.
Weijin Tomb : About 15 kilometers northeast of Jiayuguan, there are over 1,400 tombs which were built during the Wei and Jin dynasties (between the 3rd and 5th century). They feature brick wall paintings showing various social activities of the times.

Day 11

Jiayuguan  Dunhuang (360kms, 4-5hrs)
Yulin Grottoes

Visit Yulin Grottoes.
Yulin Grottoes : These caves, with their murals and sculptures, are in a valley among Qilian Mountain, about 180kms from the Mogao Caves. The name is derived from the elms in the valley, and as you travel along the valley road you can easily imagine how it must have been to be a poet or brave solder in the distant past.

Day 12

Dunhuang  Turpan by train
Mogao Grottoes

Visit Mogao Grottoes , Echoing-Sand Mountain, The Crescent Lake.
Be transferred to the railway station to catch the train to Turpan.
Mogao Grottoes : Constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to the 14th centuries, the caves hold the world's richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.Cameras are not permitted.
Echoing-Sand Mountain : Crescent Moon Spring is 6km south of Dunhuang in the Singing Sands Mountains and is quite literally an oasis in the desert. The spring's name derives from the crescent moon shape taken by the small pool of spring water between two large sand dunes. Although the area is very dry, the pool doesn't dry up as one might expect,

Day 13

Turpan
Dinner in Local family

Visit Jiaohe Ancient City, The Flaming Mountain, Suleiman's Minaret,
Jiaohe Ancient City : The city's name means 'the River City'. It was founded during the first century B.C. and abandoned during the 15th century.
Astana Tombs : Astana Tombs: where the ancient people are buried. It is famous for its terracotta figurines and tomb paintings -
The Flaming Mountain : The Flaming Mountain: 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 areengulfed by tongues of fire, hence the name.

Day 14

Turpan Urumqi (200kms, 2-3hrs)
Tuyoq Valley

After breakfast visit Tuyoq Valley, Bezklik Grottoes and Local Uyger family in the Vineyard and in the afternoon drive to Urumqi
Tuyoq Valley The caves lies 65 kilometers to the east of the city of Turfan and are constructed or dug in eastern and western cliffs in Tuyoq valley . Among more than 40 caves, there are 10 preserving murals. They are considered to be the earliest caves in Turfan, Murals are mostly damaged, but unique in style
Bezklik GrottoesIt is located 50 kilometers to the east of Turfan City . “Bezeklik”means “a place with beautiful decoration”. There are 83 numbered caves; among them 40 preserved murals totaling 1200 square meters. These caves are first excavated in Qu`s Gaochang period. The exising caves were reconstructed or newly extended by Uighurian people. In some caves one can find that Buddhish murals are painted on Manichean murals. Themes of the murals are mainly the stories about causes.
Local Uyger Family with VineyardTurpan is a kingdom of Grapes, all the local uyger families plant the grapes at the back of their house. Local Uyger family visiting is a special experience for you to know their lifestyle in the fireland.

Day 15

Urumqi  Kashgar
Apark Hoja Tomb

After breakfast visit the Xinjiang Museum and then take the flight to Kashgar and check into the hotel and visit the Idigar Mosque, Apark Hoja Tomb,
Id Kah MosqueIt is the large Mosque in China and most famous one in Xinjiang. The Mosque started to build in the mid of fifteenth century, and has gradually developed to the present size. Id K ah Mosque, with about 16800 square meters in area, consisting of Pray Hall, the Koran teaching Hall, The Corridor, the Arches and other buildings attaching to it. The Pray Hall of the mosque can hold 4000 prayers is supported by 140 carved wooden pillars.The buildings of Id Kah Mosque look magnificent and solemn , and display the artistic styles of Islamic mosque architectures.
Handicraft streetStreets near this big market are choked on Sundays with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, Ute, motorbike or on foot, with their animals. It's loud, lively and cheerful as they arrive, eat breakfast, set up their animals and check out the action. Cattle, sheep (they definitely look different), goats, donkeys, horses have their own sections; sellers show their animals are "good eaters"(most go as livestock not meat) and the entire experience is fascinating and fun.
Apak Hoja Tomb,This Mazar is the holiest place in Xinjiang and an architectural treasure . Built in 1640 , it is reminiscent of the Central Asian artistic style of Samarkand or Isfahan . 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 multi - colored tiles. I t most complete Islamic tomb of the Qing Dynasty up-to-now in China

Day 16

KashgarTaxkorgan ( 400kms, 5-6hrs)
Karakul Lake

Today you will go to Taxkorgan by coach to visit the White sand lake, Kalakuli lake, Gaici Fort(pass by) ,stone city and the colorful mountain (see afar)
White sand lake : the lake is coverd by the blowed sand ,always shining in the sunshine. Lake Karakul i : Karakuli Lake is in Kashgar about 1500 kilometers from Urumqi in southwest of Xinjiang. It is about 3600 meters above sea level. with its srounding mountains Muztagata which is 7546 meters above sea level and the Gongeer Peaks with 7719 meters above sea level. Stone city : at the north of the Tashkurgan is a significant castle ruins on the mountain and unique with bizarre-shaped stones littering everywhere
Karakul Lake,At an altitude of 3,600 m. it is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau, near the junction of the Pamir, Tianshan 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), Kongur Tagh (7,649m) and Kongur Tiube (7,530 m). The lake is popular among travellers 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 small number of yurts about 1km east of the bus drop-off point and a village with stone houses located on the western shores.

Day 17

Taxkorgan county  Kashgar ( 400kms, 5-6hrs)
Old Town

In the morning back to Kashgar and visit the Old Town. and the Pepole square.
Old town ,Kashgar is an ancient city, and in walking the streets of its Old Town, will provide a 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.

Day 18

Kashgar  Urumqi  Tashkent
Sunday Bazaar

After breakfast visit the Sunday bazaar and then take the flight back to Tashkent via Urumqi airport. and check into the hotel once upon Tashkent
Sunday Bazaar (livestock Market)Streets near this big market are choked on Sundays with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, ute, motorbike or on foot, with their animals. It's loud, lively and cheerful as they arrive, eat breakfast, set up their animals and check out the action. Cattle, sheep (they definitely look different), goats, donkeys, horses have their own sections; sellers show their animals are "good eaters"(most go as livestock not meat) and the entire experience is fascinating and fun.

Day 19

Tashkent  Samarkand
Kukeldosh-madrasahs

Old town, cult-architectural complex? Khast – Imam (Khazret – Imam ) with grand Friday mosque, medieval Yunus-khan and Kafal-Shashi mausoleums (XVI c), Barakh – khan and Kukeldosh madrasahs (XVI-XVII c), Islamic University, library in Tillya Sheykh mosque with one of Osman caliph’s (VII c) original Korans, the oldest in the world; Istiqlol square with Abdul Kasim madrasah (XVI-XVII c) (the craftsmen works and sells their original products and souvenirs here), Alisher Navoiy monument, great amusement park, аnd the color music fountain; Amir Timur square (Tamerlan) with the park, equestrian statue of Tamerlan, surrounded by historic and administrative buildings such as the Forum palace, the Timurids? museum, Uzbekistan Hotel, Tashkent chimes, Tashkent University of Low and others; Courage monument – the monument to Tashkent people suffered from the destructive earthquake in 1966; Opera and Ballet theater, built by the Japanese prisoners of war in 1945, аnd the color music fountain; Mustaqillik (Independence) square with the Independence monument, “Ezgulik” arch, the eternal flame, the fountains; “Chorsu” eastern bazaar, decorative and applied art? with the richest collection of Uzbekistan? craftsmen’s products. After lunch – transfer to Samarkand.

Day 20

Samarkand Sightseeing Tour
Registan square

Registan square - the "heart" of Samarkand - ensemble of 3 majestic madrassahs (XIV-XVI c.c.) – Sherdor, Ulugbek and Tillya Qory, Bibi-Khanum the gigantic cathedral Mosque (XV c.), Gur-Emir Mausoleum of Timur (Tamerlan), his sons and grandson Ulugbek (XV c.)

Day 21

Samarkand Sightseeing Tour
Tamerlan’s grandson

Continue of excursion. Tamerlan’s grandson Ulugbek’s the well-known ruler and astronomer-scientist observatory (1420 y.) - the remains of an immense (30 m. tall) astrolabe for observing stars position, Shakhi-Zinda – “The Living King” (XI-XVIII c.c.) Necropolis of Samarkand rulers and noblemen, consisting of set of superb decorated mausoleums, exotic Siab bazaar.

Day 22

Samarkand--Shakhrisabz  Bukhara
Jakhongir Mausoleum

After breakfast head to Bukhara and visit Shakhrisabz enroute. Sightseeing: ruins of Ak Saray Palace (1380-1404), Doruttilyavat Ensemble (ХIV-XV cc), Kok Gumbaz Mosque (1435), Jami Mosque (1915), Jakhongir Mausoleum (XIV c), Dorussiadat Ensemble (XIV c), Chor-su Trade dome. Transfer to Bukhara (300 km.)

Day 23

Bukhara Sightseeing Tour
Samanids Mausoleum

The heart of Bukhara – historic- architectural complex Lyabi-Khauz with the oldest in Central Asia pool (XIV-XVII c) surrounded by medieval buildings madrasah and khanaka? of Nadira Divan-begi (XV-XVI c) with the facade, decorated with gorgeous mosaic, Kukeldash madrasah (XV c) -? the largest madrasah in Bukhara. Poi –Kalyan Complex includes: 48 m minaret Kalyan (XII c) – the symbol of Bukhara; large Friday mosque Kalyan (XV c) with galleries topped with 288 domes of 1 hectare area; the only one active madrasah in Bukhara Miri-Arab (XVI c). The Samanids mausoleum (IX-X c) - one of the ancient mausoleums in Central Asia made of burnt brick, which remains in a good condition nowadays. Ark citadel (IV – XX cc) – surrounded with large fortress wall – the oldest building in Bukhara, the main residence of the Emirs.? Chor –Minor – the original building of four minarets (XIX c), the only one, which remained from a large Karavan-Saray. Sitorai Mohi-khosa Palace (XIX-XX cc) - country summer palace of Bukhara Emirs.

Day 24

Bukhara   Khiva
Kyzyl Kum desert

Drive through Kyzyl-Kum desert to Khiva (500 km; ~ 8 hrs). En route a short stop for walking along Kyzyl-Kum desert and on a picturesque bank of Amudarya river.
Khiva is the most intact and most remote of Central Asia's Silk Road cities, the final destination of a trip back through the centuries from socialist Tashkent to medieval Slave Town. Where Samarkand leaves the imagination exhausted, Khiva's khanate romance is plain to see and where Urgench lies restricted to two dimensions

Day 25

Khiva Sightseeing Tour
Ichan Kala

Sightseeing in Khiva. Ichan Kala – under the open sky museum, which is protected by the UNESKO as one of the world heritage masterpiece. ?Kalta-Minor Minaret (1855 y) – unfinished minaret of 26 m height and base diameter of 16 m height. It was planned to be the highest minaret in Central Asia. Kunya-Ark (XVII – XIX c) – the first palace of Khiva khans with the office, welcome room, harem, summer mosque, mint place, stables, storehouses, workshops. Pahlovan Mahmud mausoleum (XIV-XIX c) –decorated with tiles gorgeous mausoleum over the grave of Khiva national hero and poet.

Day 26

Khiva--Tashkent

Continue of the excursion. Islam Khodja madrassah and minaret (1908 y.). Juma-mosque (1789 y) – the original Friday mosque with? 45x55 m hall and flat roof, propped up by? 218 wooden carved columns ( X-XIX c) with magnificent acoustics. Tash-Khauli (1830-1838 y) – palatial and habitable rooms complex, enclosed with the brick wall.
Evening flight to Tashkent.

Day 27

Tashkent  Your destination

You will be transfrred to the airport based on your flight time and end of service

 

Travel in party of Superior Class
★★★★★
Deluxe Class
★★★★
Tourist Class
★★★
2-5 persons $5963 $5724 $5582
6-9 persons $5686 $5352 $5049
10 persons & above $5290 $4936 $4770
Single room Supplement $1699 $1436 $1092

Service included:

1 Entrance fees/
2 Breakfast in the hotel
3 Personal Guide & Driver + Private car / van for Private Transfers & sightseeing
4 Hotels (twin share bases) as listed in the itinerary .
5 Domestic flights or trains as listed in the itinerary
Train (soft sleeper): Lanzhou to Jiayuguan, Dunhuang to Turpan
Flights with tax: Beijing to Xi'an, Xi'an to Lanzhou, Urumqi to Kashgar Return.
6 Service Charge & Government Taxes .
7 Luggage Transfers between airports and hotels
8 Government letter for visa support

Service excluded:

1 All the lunches and dinners
2 Personal expenses. such as laudentry and tips to the guide and driver
3 other activities such as boating, camel riding ect
Contact Center

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silkroadtrip@hotmail.com

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