Day 1 Lanzhou
Please arrange your international flight to get to Lanzhou, we will meet you at the airport upon arrival, transfer you to the hotel and check you in. You will have the rest of the day free to do a little exploration at your leisure.
Accommodation: In Lanzhou
Day 2 Lanzhou Xiahe (233kms,3-4hrs driving)
Today the tour will start from the Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Temple, take a speedboat from Liujiaxia Reservoir to Binglingsi in the morning. On the way, you will see 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. Upon arrival, head to visit the Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves which is close to Liujiaxia Reservoir, These caves 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).
Coming out from the Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Temple, we will head to Xiahe with about 3 to 4 hours driving. Upon your arrival, we will enjoy the lonely and beautiful place Songke Grassland in the afternoon. here you will see the Tibetan nomads left on the grasslands, and graze their yak herds.
Accommodation: In Xiahe
Binglingsi Caves Songke Grassland
Day 3 Xiahe Lanzhou Zhangye D2753(18:27-21:58)
Breakfast at the hotel and then we will start our new day trip from the one of the six monasteries Tibetan Buddhism Labrang Monastery, The monastery is renowned for its rich Tibetan culture, imposing Buddhist structures, unique Tibetan food, and the long corridor of prayer wheels. It is a holy place where Buddhism followers learn the essence of Buddhism and retains the best Tibetan Buddhist teaching system in the country, Known as the "World Library of Tibet" by the world. In the heyday, the monks reached more than 4,000 people. if you visit the monastery in the morning, you may here the explanation of the local english lama.
Afternoon, drive you back to Lanzhou and transfer to the train station, here you will take a 5 hours express train to the next stop Zhangye.
Accommodation: In Zhangye
Labrang Monastery Labrang Monastery
Day 4 Zhangye
In the morning, we will meet you at the hotel lobby and take you to visit the Grand Buddha Temple, which is the important place of the Silk Road. 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. you will see the largest and well-preserved reclining Buddha in this temple. and then we are about to visit the Mati Temple where were built in Jin Dynasty. A series of horse shoe prints are visible in Grotto 9, which are said to be left by a heaven horse. As a result, the temple was named for the horseshoe prints left by the legendary heaven horse, which become the treasure of the temple. Next, we are going to visit the Wooden Pagoda Temple, the only pagoda that remains in Zhangye. The tour today will end up to enjoy the sunset of Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, which is the most typical arid area of northern China. Ribbons of reds, oranges and yellows slice through the rock, to create a rainbow vista contained only by the contours of the jagged mountain peaks. so many people also call it "Rainbow Mountain".
Accommodation: In Zhangye
Mait Temple Zhangye Danxia
Day 5 Zhangye Jiayuguan (223kms, 3hrs driving)
Morning we will depart from the hotel and drive all the way to Jiayuguan about 3 hours. Upon arrival, we will climb 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. and visit the The Great Wall Museum, which was opened to visitor in October 1989 and it is the first one to exhibit the Great Wall culture in a comprehensive and systematic way. (There are many steps from one tower to the other, please consider if are able to walk and climb about 2hrs). Next, we will pay a visit to the Great Wall on the Cliff, 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". After the visiting, transfer to the hotel and check in. Have a good night in Jiayuguan.
Accommodation: In Jiayuguan
Jiayuguan Pass the Great Wall on the Cliff
Day 6 Jiayuguan Dunhuang (350kms, 4.5hrs driving)
Enjoy your buffet breakfast at the hotel, then we will head to Dunhuang with about 4.5 hours driving. On the way, you will see the historical and cultural site Yulin Grottoes,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. The name Yulin (elm forest) came 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.
Accommodation: In Dunhuang
Yulin Grottoes Yulin Grottoes
Day 7 Dunhuang
Morning we will start our journey from the Mogao Grottoes, also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes, this UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the great artistic and religious wonders of the world and it is famous for its exquisite murals and various sculptures inside the caves, which was built in different dynasties, spanning 1,000 years of Buddhist art, enjoy the Silk Road Movies in the visitor Center about 40 mins before our exploration into the Grottoes.The professional guide from the Mogao will bring you to 8grottoes with their special torch so that you have clear view of the murals and paintings. （Note: No photos and Video in the caves). The visiting time is around 4hrs including movie.
Following a lunch in the local restautant, we will head up to Echoing Sand Mountain&Crescent Lake. When there is wild wind, the sands will be blown up and make loud sound, while the sound sounds like being produced by some ancient musical instrument when blew by breeze, There is also a Crescent Lake that has been in existence for hundreds of years without ever being buried by the sand. Riding the camel as the Silk Road Caravan in the vast desert is highly recommended (approximately 40mins). Please bring your sunglasses and and mask to keep out the dust.
Evening enjoy the walking tour to the Dunhuang’s Shazhou Night Market, the most bustling place of Dunhuang at night. It's easy to lose our sense of time wonder the market while enjoy your leisure time and taste some local cuisine.
Accommodation: In Dunhuang
Mogao Grottoes Crescent Lake
Day 8 Dunhuang
Today we will spend a whole day to explore the geological landscape of Dunhuang, the first site we will visit is the Yumen Guan Pass, It got the name because the famous Khotan jade entered the Dunhuang from here. Yumenguan pass and Yangguan pass were the two critical defensive passes protecting Dunhuang from invasion from the West about thousands of year ago. From here you can not only learn more history and culture about the ancient Silk Road, but also learn many famous poems of Tang Dynasty. Thereafter, we will travel to the amazing Yadan National Geological Park, also called "Yadan Ghost City", which is the largest one of Yadan Landform found so far. The park stretches twenty-five kilometers from north to south and about two kilometers from east to west. It features the unique and wonderful scenes and landscapes of Gobi desert.
Accommodation: In Dunhuang
Yumenguan Pass Yanda National Geologic Park
Day 9 Dunhuang
Time flies and you will end your pleasant trip today. We will arrange the airport transfer for you, looking forward to seeing you next time.