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16 Days Silk Road & Northern Xinjiang Tour

Destinations:Kashgar,Kuqa, Bayinbuluk,Turpan,Dunhuang, Xining, Tongren, Xiahe,Lanzhou

from: US$2817
Tour Code: CITIC-SD-18
Summary: This tour include the silk road section and the northern xinjiang tour. You will start the tour in Kashgar when you finish your Kyrgyzstan tour,driving along the Karakom hightway to enjoy the Pamir landscape. Take the soft sleeper train to Kuqa. Appreciate the beautiful view of the deep Tianshan Mountain experience the Nomadic life of modern Mongolian or Kazakhs.visit the Oasis town of Turpan, to be guest in the local Uighur family.visit the UNESCO Mogao caves, Jiayuguan Pass.Driving along the Qilian mountain to Tongren and Xiahe which are the center of Tibetan in the west region of China,know about the Tibetan buddisim culture which is very different with the other minorities.Inclusion, Different folkore, amazing landscape,and silk road history will let you have a great west China Tour!!!

Day 1

Irkestam/Torugart Border- Kashgar
The shops in the Bazaar

Drive to the Irkestam/Torugart border, custom control, and then drive to the pass where you will meet our Chinese guide. Drive to Kashgar.Crossing "modern" fronteirs is half the fund on the Silk Road today. We cross over to China and your Chinese English-speaking guide would meet you at Turgart Pass and then transfer to head for the Silk Road centra of Kashgar. our Chinese guide will prepare the packed lunch for you, then you will have 3-5 hours driving to Kashgar to start your China Silk Road Adventure, our professinal organization will let you have a great silk road tour with us. as the Sunday bazaar is only available on Sunday and the border is not open, thus we suggest you to cross the border on Friday, please note, the border is still closed on China holiday, please check our website about the date when the border is closed in the year of 2014 before you make the plan.

Day 2

Kashgar City Tour
Our Clients from Singaore in front of Apak Hoja Tomb

After breakfast take the city tour.Visiting the Id Kah Mosque fronted by the busy square., the largest in China that built in 1442;Abakh Hoja Tomb, built in 1640, it is reminiscent of the Central Asian artistic style of Samarkand of 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.Roam through the Colorful National Street that assembled rich and verity workshop of making uyghur’s handcrafts,and 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. in the afternoon visit the Old town, Visiting the small alleys and knowing Uygur characteristic residence culture, you can enjoy and experience the culture and history that is contained in the small alleys and deep courtyards. In the alleys on platforms besides the residence marvel at the even more ancient primitive workshops for hand-made earthenware.Some17or18 antique workshops have been restored.

Day 3

Kashgar-Taxkorgan County (290km,about 4.5hours)
Karakul Lake and the Muztag Peak

AAfter breakfast drive on the China and Pakistan highway to visit the Karakul Lake and enjoy the Pamir landscape.
  Karakul Lake is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau with an altitude of 3,600 m,, 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. 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 1km east of the bus drop-off point and a village with stone houses located on the western shores. Karakorum high way It is 1200 kilometers almost Sino Pakistan—Chinese friendship high way build since 1976. Ancient Silk Road Merchants often run Via over Karakorum, Wahan corridor with Hindi Kush Mountain to India, Pakistan until Iran. On the road, enjoy the scenery of the Mt. Muztag, Taxkorgan, Persian language that means, stone castle, the brave Tajiks people lives on the Pamir more than 2000 year with nomadic life.

Day 4

Taxkorgan County-Kashgar-Kuqa ( K5828: 20:32-06:37)
The Summar of Stone Fortress

After breakfast visit Stone Fortress,and walk around the pastureland to see Local Tajiks customs.Around 12:00pm back to Kashgar and catch the train to Kuqa (soft sleeper). our nice guide will bring you to the local market to buy something for overnight on the train.
Stone fortress Located on a tableland northeast of the county seat of Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, the covers an area of 100 thousands square meters and consists of ruins of city and temple of the Tang times and government office of the Qing Dynasty. A temple occupied the eastern part of the city. In the western and southeastern parts are found ruined houses. On the ruins of the temple the Pulitin Office of the Qing Dynasty was built. The city is oval in shape. The city walls were built with sun-dried bricks on stone foundation. It is 1285 meters in circumference outside. Kuqa was the center of buddisim, culture and military in Tang dynasty which is around 6-9 centry AD. 

Day 5

Kuqa -Bayinbuluk (374km,about 4.5hours)
The Painting of Kizil Grottoes

 Our nice guide will meet you at the train station and head to the hotel and have a bath to fresh up, after breakfast visit the,Kizil Grottoes,and then drive to Bayinbuluk natural reservation along the Tianshan Mountain ranges, enjoy the splendid pure view. Kizil Grottoes (also romanized Qizil Caves, spelling variant Qyzyl) are a set of Buddhist rock-cut caves located near Kizil Township in Baicheng County, Xinjiang, China. The site is located on the northern bank of the Muzat River 65 kilometres (75 km by road) west of Kucha. This area was a commercial hub of the The Silk Road.[3] The caves are said to be the earliest major Buddhist cave complex in China, with development occurring between the 3rd and 8th centuries .The Kizil Caves complex is the largest of the ancient Buddhist cave sites that are associated with the ancient Tocharian kingdom of Kucha, as well as the largest in Xinjiang.

Day 6

Bayinbuluk-Naraty (80km,about 2.5hours)
The Bayinbuluk Swan Lake Nature Reserve

 In the morning visit the Bayinbuluk Swan Lake Natural Reserve ,then drive to the Narat Grassland.
   Bayinbuluk Swan Lake Natural Reserve lies in Bayinbuluk grassland,taking up 1,000 square kilometers. In 1986 it was listed by the State as the national nature reserve.It is a paradise of flocks of swan. The swans are like white sails wandering on the lake,carefree and contenting themselves.Therefore it is offered the name“Swan Lake”.This natural reserve is abundant in birds,particularly water birds of various kinds in large quantity. In spring flocks of great swans,little swan and swans with prominent nose nest here to produce their offspring According to investigation, the total number of great swans here are over 6,000-7,000. Mongolian herdsmen treat the swans as angels or happy birds. They take good care of them.The Swan Lake is not only a cool resort in summer but also a fascinating tourist attraction.

Day 7

Naraty-Urumqi
Our Traveler from Malaysia in Naraty

After breakfast visit the Naraty Grassland,afternoon take the flight to Urumqi.check in the hotel upon arrival and the Culture show in the International bazaar is highly recommended.
 Narat Grassland:Located at the important line of communications connecting Southern and Northern Xinjiang, the north part of Nalat Grassland connects to Gongliu and Xinyuan County Town,and west part to Hejing county.East part comes from Aikendaban of northwest Hejing and west part reaches to Wulandaban.It is about 150 kilometers long and 3,000-4,500 meters above sea level.The northern slope faces the wind and yearly rainfall is 400-700mm.A large stretch of wild apple trees have been found in Xinyuan County at the 1,500-2,000 above sea level.It was listed as a nature reserve.

Day 8

Urumqi-Turpan (220km,about 3hours)
The Pagoda in Jiahe Ruins

After breakfast visit Xinjiang Museum then head to Turpan.Visit Jiaohe Ruined city, Karez Irrigation System, Sugong Minerat, Local Uyger family in the Vineyard
Xinjiang Museum,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 Westen Regions, the silk ,wool, cotton and hemp fabrics and folk rainment, etc., are unusual tidbits in the world.
Jiaohe Ruined.is 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 Systemis a unique irrigation system in Turfan, 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 reservois
Sugong Minerat: 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.

Day 9

Turpan-Dunhuang (9hrs driving on the sleeper train)
Our Travelers from Australia in Bezklik Grottes 

 After breakfast drive to 60kms to the east of Turpan and visit Bezklik Grottoes, Astana Tombs, , Tuyoq Valley and in the evening you will be transferred to the train station to Dunhuang.
Bezklik GrottoesImeans “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.
Astana Tombs, covering an area of 10 square kilometers, the Astana Tombs are the graveyard of the residents lived in the Gaochang City in the Jin-Tang times (3-9centry AD), including large sized family graveyard. Between 1959 and 1975,here had been excavated 13 times, 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., and total number of them reaches tens thousands. Known as “the Underground Museum.
Tuyoq Valley 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 stylee.

Day 10

Dunhuang
Cresecent Lake in Sand Dune

Our nice guide will meet you at the train station and then you will have 2 hours driving to Dunhuang city and after breakfast visit the Mogao Grottoes , Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake.
  Mogao Grottoes: 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). 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.

Day 11

Dunhuang-Jiayuguan (360km,about 3.5hours)
The Jiayuguan Fort

 After breakfast head to Jiayuguan.Visit The Jiayuguan Pass, The Great Wall on the Cliff.
 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 12

Jiayuguan-Zhangye (280km,about 4hours)
The Rainbow mountain of Dnaxia Landform

In the morning head to Zhangye,visit the Danxia Landform Geological Park,Giant Buddha Temple.
  Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park is 40 kilometers from Zhangye County and 20 kilometers from Linze County. It is most developed and the most frequented one among the three.Large areas of northwestern China are sparsely populated, and contain stunning scenic locations unheard of by outsiders. On this trip, the highlight is the Danxia Landform of Zhangye—magnificently multi-coloured mountains, valleys, hills, and cliffs that ripple away towards the horizon
  Giant Buddha Temple :Midway in the Hexi Corridor along the Silk Road lies the historic city of Zhangye, the centerpiece of which is the mysterious Giant Buddha Temple. Located in the southwest corner of Zhangye in Gansu Province, the Giant Buddha Temple is the largest architectural relic in Gansu Province of the Western Xia (1038-1227) period. China's largest reclining Buddha is well preserved in this temple. 

Day 13

Zhangye-Xining (380km,about 7hours)
The Beautiful View of Qilian Mountain along the No227 

After breakfast drive to Xining on Highway No.227(Zhanye-Minle-Qilian MountainGrassland-Biandukou-Ebo-Qinshuizui-Daton-Xining)with various viewing spots along the waye.
 Qinghai’s captial, Xining, is home to a city mix of minority peoples, mostly Hui Muslims and Tibetans with a sprinkling of Kazakhs and Mongols. From the 16th century, it served as a stopover on the Silk Road’s lesser-used southern route, and is now a good base for exploring Qinghai. Xining lies in a remote valley, and, at 2,200 m, experiences a cool summer and freezing winter. The Great Mosque, one of the largest and most impressive in northwest China, is situated on Dongguan Dajie, close to the city center. Restored recently, it was originally built in the 14th century, and is thoroughly Chinese in design, with elements such as flying eaves and vividly-colored arches. Enclosed within is a public square, that is usually bustling with worshipers. 

Day 14

Xining-Tongren (260km,about 3.5hours) 
Longwu Temple

After breakfast drive to Tongren and visit Longwu Temple and Wutun Temple.
 Longwu Temple: was built around 1301 BC and belongs to the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The temple is beginning to be discovered by visitors and currently, only a few visitors come for touring purposes. The Tibetan-style temple is backed by a mountain setting. Buildings are well arranged, and gloriously decorated.
 Wutun Temple located in the Tongren County of Huangnan Tibet Autonomous Region of Ningxia Province, the Wutun Temple is a temple of Lamaism.The Wutun Temple is not less than 300 years old, but it is difficult to estimate when it was exactly built. The temple is a complex of Chinese and Tibetan culture. It has tow gardens, the up and the down ones. One is 1.5 km away from the other. There are Da Jing Hall and the Sakymuni Hall in the Up Gardene.

Day 15

Tongren-Xiahe (110km,about 3hours) 
Our  Clients from German in Labrang Monastery

Morning drive to Xiahe and visit the Labrang Monastery,Sangke Grasslands upon arrival.
 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, are good fun. 

 

Day 16

Xiahe-Lanzhou-Beijing (260km,about 4hours)
Liu Jiaxia Reservoir

 Morning drive to Linxia and visit the Binglin Monastery.Then back to Lanzhou take the flight to Beijing. and our service will be end in this route, you may take the Beijing tour with us or back to home via Beijing airport. this route will let you have a full idea of silk road and the northern part of Xinjiang 
  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 (265-316) 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. 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.


Price: per person
Travel in party of Superior Class
★★★★★
Deluxe Class
★★★★
Tourist Class
★★★
2-3pax N $ 4796 $ 4560
4-6pax N $ 3740 $ 3495
7-9 N $ 3169 $ 2817
10 & above    on enquiry on enquiry
Single room Supplement N $ 630usd $ 490usd

Service included:

*Private transportation with good AC 
* Hotel with breakfast
*All the entrance fee listed in the itinerary
*Full board meals 
*Breakfast when overnight in the train
*Excellent English guide service
*Shuttle bus in Naraty and Bayinbulak 
*Travel permit to Bayinbulak 
* Soft sleeper train: Kashgar to Kucha, Turpan to Dunhuang
* Flights: Naraty to Urumqi
* Visa support letter 
* Travel insurance

Service excluded:

* Flight from Lanzhou to Beijing: 185usd/pax (subject to be changed)
* Boat cruise to Binglinsi temple
* Personal expenses and tips to the guide and driver.
 
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