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16 Days Silk Road & Etzina Exploration

Destinations:Beijing, Xining, Xiahe, Lanzhou, Jiayuguan, Etzina, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Kashgar

from: US$2533
Tour Code: CITIC-SR10
Summary: Travel the ancient Silk Road through China’s Ejina Region. Visit watch towers guarding the Great Wall of China built by the Han emperors camp that are scattered throughout the area: The Black City of the Xi Xia Dynasty and reputed to be Marco Polo’s city of Etzina and the Mongol Ghost City of Khara Khoto.

Day 1

Beijing

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

Day 2

Beijing
Tiananmen Square

After breakfast starts with a visit to the Temple of Heaven .You will see local people practicing Tai Chi,as well as singing and calligraphy in the neighboring park,and take a leisurely walk through Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City, enjoy the panoramic view of Forbidden City form Jing-shan Hill .Sample Peking Duck Dinner before a fantastic Kongfu Show .
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.Located in the middle of Beijing, Forbidden City was the Chinese royal palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Also called Palace Museum, the Forbidden City is recognized as the most magnificent and splendid palace complex in China and one of the five world-famous palaces with the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in England, the White House in United States and the Kremlin in Russia.
The Temple of Heaven : Temple of Heaven ( Tiantan ) is located in the southern part of Beijing, and has been one of the most holy places for the whole country for more than five centuries. It used as a complex of sacrificial buildings for the Ming and Qing emperors, and is the largest one in Beijing among several royal altars to Heaven, Earth, the Sun, the Moon and other deities or symbolic forces of Nature.

Day 3

Beijing
Great Wall

Morning head to visit the Great Wall, Ming Tomb .Then explore the alleyway -"Hutong" by riding on a traditional rickshaw to catch close-up glimpses of local life.
The Great Wall : One of the seven wonders in the world and the symbol of China.Badaling Great Wall is the most impressive and the most visited section of the Great Wall of China. Constructed in 1502 during the Ming Dynasty, the Badaling Great Wall once served as an important military fortification.
The Ming Tomb : The only underground tomb of the thirteen tombs of the emperors in the Ming Dynasty.Some 50 kilometers northwest of the downtown Beijing, the Ming Tombs are generally combined with a visit to the Great Wall. Otherwise known as the “13 Tombs”, this is the burial site of 13 out of 17 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. However, the only one you can get a good look at is the tomb of Emperor Wanli, who reigned from 1537 to 1620. This tomb was unearthed in 1956. There are two others that have been uncovered, but the rest remain illusive.

Day 4

Beijing  Xining
Kumbum Monastery

After breakfast head to Xining, visit the Kumbum Monastery (Ta'er si).]
Kumbum Monastery (Ta'er si) :Located 26km south of the city proper, the sacred Kumbum Monastery (Ta'er si), is the best of the sights in the Xining area.The ancient monastery, built during the 39th year (1560 AD) of the reign of emperor Jiajing (Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 AD), boasts a Tibetan name, Kumbum, which means a grand place housing 100,000 Buddle.The sight is most sacred due to the personages who have graced it with their presence. It was originally built upon the birth place of the founder of the Gelukpa Sect (Yellow Hat) of Tibetan Buddhism, Tsong Khapa. Two of his disciples from this region also went on to become famous in the Buddhist world, one becoming Dalai Lama, the other the Panchen Lama, both great living Buddhas. The present Dalai Lama, now in exile in India, also studied and lived here.

Day 5

Xining  Xiahe
Labrang Monastery

After breakfast head to Xiahe visit the Labrang Monastery, Songke Grassland.
Labrang Monastery: is located at the foot of the Phoenix Mountain northwest of Xiahe County in Gannan Tibetan Nationality Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. A propitious place in the hearts of the Tibetan, it stands by the Daxia River and faces the Dragon Mountain.As for the Dragon and Phoenix Mountains, there is a beautiful legend. A long time ago, this place was a boundless sea. After countless changes, mountains and lands appeared.
Songke Grassland:lying at an average altitude of over 3,000m above sea level, 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 is a nice change for those from bustling Chengdu or Lanzhou. There are only 4,000 Tibetan nomads on the grasslands, all wrapped up in their many, dirty layers, who graze yak herds and offer tourists the chance of a ride upon 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 exciting the horse rides, costing around RMB25, are good fun.
 

Day 6

Xiahe  Lanzhou  Jiayuguan
Water Wheel Park

After breakfast head to Lanzhou ,visit the Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves en route.Visit Yellow River Mother Sculpture, Water Wheel Park, if there are still some time after the airport transfer.Then be transferred to the railway station to catch the train to Jiayuguan.
Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves is on the cliff of Xiaojishi Hill. Located on a branch of Gansu part of the Silk Road, the Bingling Caves were started by some Buddhist monks from as early as the West Jin Dynasty though the official carving began in 420. After many years' work, 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.
Yellow River Mother Sculpture is located at the south bank of Yellow River in the city of Lanzhou. It is the regarded as best of its kind in China.
The sculpture has the length of 6 meters and height of 2.6 meters with more than 40 tons. The whole sculpture comprises a mother and a baby. The mother with long hair, slim figure, lying on the undulate water looks happy and kind. On her breast holds a small kid who bears naive smile. Yellow River Mother Sculpture reflects the long history and culture of Gansu Province
 

Day 7

Jiayuguan  Ejina Qi
Khara-Koto

Our guide will meet you at the train station,and then head to Ejina Qi,visit Khara-Koto.
Khara-koto is first rediscovered by a Russian explorer named Botanin, who traveled through Inner-Mongoliain 1886 AD. The city was then visited a second time by Tsogt Badmajapov, a Russian explorer who had continued the work of Nikolai Przhevalsky in Mongolia and Tibet after his Death. Badmajapov only performed initial surveys, after which in 1908 a Russian expedition was sent off to the East to find the ruined city and seek archeological remnants and relics.In 1909 AD, this expedition under leadership of the Russian explorer Colonel Pyotr Kuzmich Kozlov reached the ancient ruins and surveyed the site. Apart from the ancient walls of the fortified town, the scientists identified a sand buried Stupa, at some 400 meters outside of the City Walls opposite the Main Gate. Inside the Stupa lay a hidden treasure. Breaking inside Kozlov and companions found a large collection of scrolls, scriptures and art pieces

Day 8

Ejina  Qi Boluosongzhi  Ejina Qi

After breakfast head to visit Boluosongzhi,afternoon back to Ejina Qi

Day 9

Ejina Qi  Jiayuguan  Dunhuang
The Jiayuguan Pass

Morning head to Jiayuguan,and visit The Jiayuguan Pass, The Great Wall on the Cliff,.Then head to Dunhuang.
The Jiayuguan Pass : Jiayuguan Pass stands in the southwest part of Jiayuguan City, about 6 km away from downtown. The castle was begun in 1372 in the Ming Dynasty and 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 Qilian Mountain.
The Great Wall on the Cliff : The Suspended Wall is a part of the Great Wall. The wall here was built on the ridge with the 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.

Day 10

Dunhuang  Turpan 
Mogao Grottoes

After breakfast visit the Mogao Grottoes , Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake.then be transferred to the railway station to catch the train to Turpan.
Mogao Grottoes:The traveler finds the Mogao Caves, a shrine of Buddhist art treasures, 25 km (15.5miles) from downtown Dunhuang on the eastern slope of Mingsha Shan (Mount Echoing Sand). A network of plank reinforced roads plying north to south 1600 meters (5, 249 feet) long lead to the cave openings, which are stacked five stories high some reaching up to 50 meters (164 feet). By the way, Mogao means high up in the desert.According to Tang Dynasty records, a monk had witnessed onside a vision of thousand Buddhas under showers of golden rays. Thus inspired, he started the caves construction work that spanned ten dynasties.
Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake:Located 5 km (about three miles) south of Dunhuang City, the Echoing-Sand Mountain, for many Chinese well known as Mingsha Mountain, is celebrated for the sound of the moving sand. In 1994 it was acclaimed as the national key scenic spot. Together with the Crescent Springand the Mogao Caves, the Echoing-Sand Mountain is most popular sitein Dunhuang travel.You may wonder why the sand makes these different sounds. There is a legend that says how, in ancient times, a general with many soldiers came here to fight in a war with their enemies.

Day 11

Turpan
Astana Tombs

After check in hotel Visit Astana Tombs, Tuyoq Village and Bezklik Grottoes.
Bezklik Grottoes:“Bezklik”means “a place with beautiful decoration”. These caves are first excavated in Qu`s Gaochang period. The excising caves were reconstructed by Uighur people.
Tuyoq Valley,constructed in eastern and western cliffs in Tuyoq valley . more than 40 caves, there are 10 preserving murals. They are considered to be the earliest caves in Turpan, Murals are mostly damaged, but unique in style.
Astana Tombs are the graveyard of the residents lived in the Gaochang City in the Jin-Tang times.. Between 1959 and 1975, a great number of cultural relics have been unearthed, including Chinese documents, textiles, epitaphs, coins, clay sculptures, pottery, wooden wares, silk-paintings, crops and foods ,etc Known as “the Underground Museum.

Day 12

Turpan  Kuqa
Jiaohe Ruins

After breakfast visit Jiaohe Ruins,Karez Well, Sugong Minaret,and then catch the soft sleeper train to Kuqa.
Jiaohe Ruins is located on a mesa in willow leaf shape between the Yarnaz River valleys 10 kilometers to the west of Turpan City. running from northwest to southeast, 1760 meters long and 300 meters across at the widest part. The city includes city gates, streets and lanes, government office, temples, domestic houses, cave houses, wells, and an underground temple
Karez Irrigation System,The Karez System is a unique irrigation system in Turpan, which, taking 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 was built in the 41st year of the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty,It is an embodiment of the ancient architectural arts of the Uygur nationality. The tower is 37 meters high and 10 meters in diameter at the base. The body of the tower is cylindroid in shape, built with bricks arranged in various symmetrical patterns.
 

Day 13

Kuqa  Kashgar
Kizil Grottoes

Our nice guide will meet you at the train station,and then head to visit the Subashi Ruins,Kizil Grottoes.Then take the soft sleeper train to Kashgar.
Subashi Ruins, located 23 kilometers northwest of Kuqa County, Xinjiang Province are the ruins of the Subashi Temple. The Ruins are divided by Kuqa River into eastern and western areas. These large area ruins reflect the temple's past brilliance.Subashi Temple was a Buddhism temple, which was built in the first century and reached its peak during the sixth to the eighth centuries in the Sui and Tang dynasties. In the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), the hierarch Xuanzang was pulled by the splendor of the temple and the popularity of Buddhism in this area, and stayed here for more than 2 months on his way to India to get Buddhist sutra.
Kizil Grottoes the caves were excavated on the cliff of Qul-tagh Mountain by the Muzart River, as the earliest caves in Xinjiang, they care also the earliest ones in China. The contents of these paintings are very rich. Including jataka stories, Buddha’s life story and the stories about karma.

Day 14

Kashgar
Apak Hoja Tomb

Visit the Id Kah Mosque ,Apak Hoja Tomb and the Old Town upon arrival.
Id Kah Mosque 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.
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 15

Kashgar  Urumqi
 Sunday Bazaar

After breakfast head to visit Sunday Bazaar,then take the flight to Urumqi,visit the Xinjiang International Bazaar upon arrival..
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.
Erdaoqiao Market & International Bazaar The Erdaoqiao Bazaar is the largest in Urumqi. You'll find a bustling market filled with fruit, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets and almost anything that you can imagine. On Sunday, there are more stalls and more goods to buy than any other day. The old streets around the bazaar are really worth seeing.Here is the most welcomed place by tourist especially by ladies where they can buy some traditional Uygur make up cosmetic.

Day 16

Urumqi your destination
Xinjiang Museum

After breakfast head to visit the Xinjiang Museum,then transfer to the airport and take the flight to your destination.
Xinjiang Museum,the museum is the main institution to collect and investigate the unearthed cultural relics and specimens in Xinjiang. There are more than 50 thousand pieces of various kinds of cultural relics stored in the museum, among them, the ancient mummies represented by ‘the Loulan Beauty', manuscripts in Chinese, Kharosthi, Qiuci, Yanji, Tibetan, Uigurian and other characters prevailed in ancient Western Regions, etc., are unusual tidbits in the world.

 

Travel in party of Superior Class
★★★★★
Deluxe Class
★★★★
Tourist Class
★★★
2-5 persons N $ 3816 $ 3566
6-9 persons N $ 3133 $ 2883
10 persons & above N $ 2783 $ 2533
Single room Supplement N $ 717 $ 490

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, Turpan to Kucha, Kucha to Kashgar
Flights with tax: Beijing to Xining, Kashgar to Urumqi
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, breakfast on the train
2 Personal expenses. such as laudentry and tips to the guide and driver
3 other activities such as boating, camel riding ect
Contact Center

86+991-2699399

xinjiangtravel@hotmail.com
silkroadtrip@hotmail.com

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