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
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). then we will back to Lanzhou and do an exploration of this city, visit the first bridge Of the Yellow River, it is the first highway bridge in the ancient Yellow River, also the second city steel bridge in China. afterwards, transfer to Yellow River’s Mother Statue, explore the ancient history and culture of Gansu Province and stroll around the Waterwheel park, an ancient irrigation tool.
Accommodation: In Lanzhou
Binglingsi Caves First Bridge of the Yellow River
Day 3 Lanzhou Wuwei (274kms, 3-4hrs driving)
Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel, then we will drive you to Wuwei with about 3 to 4 hours driving. The journey will begin from the Leitai Han Tomb, it is a large brick-and-stone structure built during the late Eastern Han Dynasty. A total of two hundred and twenty one pieces of relics were unearthed from the tomb including gold, sliver, copper, iron, bone, stone and pottery. Later, we are going to Tiantishan Grottoes, also known as Temple of Giant Buddha, after many generations of digging and building, the grotto caves became so impressively huge with majestic structures. Hence, some scholars named it “originator of Chinese Grottoes”. After the visit, transfer to the hotel and have a good rest.
Accommodation: In Wuwei
Tiantishan Grottoes Leitan Han Tomb
Day 4 Wuwei Zhangye (243kms, 3-4hrs driving)
Morning we will meet you at the hotel lobby and then transfer you to our next stop Zhangye. Upon arrival, our guide will accompany you to the first stop Giant 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. the 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. following in a lunch in local restaurant and then head to Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park enjoy the sunset, 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 Linze County
Giant Buddha Temple Zhangye Danxia
Day 5 Zhangye Jiayuguan (223kms, 2-3hrs driving)
Today we will head to Jiayuguan with about 3 hours driving. The tour will begin from 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. After that, you will explore 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, travel to the Weijin Tombs, which are ancient tombs of brick paintings dating back 265-420 AD. The wall paintings discovered are lifelike and succinct in style and cover a wide range of subjects including politics, economics, culture, military affairs, folk customs, and science and technology during the Wei and Jin periods. After the visiting, transfer to the hotel, have a good rest.
Accommodation: In Jiayuguan
Jiayuguan Pass Weijin Tombs
Day 6 Jiayuguan Dunhuang (350kms, 4.5hrs driving)
In the morning, we will depart from Jiayuguan and drive all the way to Dunhuang. Afternoon 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
In the evening, you will enjoy the walking tour to the 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
Crescent Lake Shazhou Night Market
Day 7 Dunhuang Turpan D2711(18:18-21:50)
Today we will visit 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, drive you to Liuyuan South Station and catch an express train to Turpan.
Accommodation: In Turpan
Mogao Grottoes Mogao Grottoes
Day 8 Turpan Urumqi (200kms, 3hrs driving)
Today you will start your journey in Turpan. A must and first visit is the oldest Uighur village Tuyoq Village located in the very center of Flaming Mountain Canyon. It used to be the holy site of Buddhism and Islam. The village consists of four parts: Canyon scenery, Thousand Buddha Caves, Maza tomb and the old buildings of the ancient village. and then you will head to visit the Astana Tombs, which 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.
then we will do a Turpan city tour. the first stop is Sugong Minaret, the largest Islamic minaret in China built in 1778 by Sulaiman that is the ruler and leader of Turpan to commemorate and commend his father's achievements of the reunion of Xinjiang. Afterwards, we will also pay a visit to Karez Well, A special irrigation system that the locals make full use of the topography of Turpan to draw the underground water to irrigate their farmland ingeniously. The tour today in Turpan end up to enjoy the scenery of Jiaohe Ruins with a history of 2,300 years lies between two rivers on a loess plateau atop a cliff of over 30m. It is one of the best preserved ruins of its ancient era in China, it was include in the World Heritage List on June 22, 2014.
In the afternoon, we will drive all the way to Urumqi about 3 hours, passing by the wind power station which is the largest one in Asia spreading at the foot of Tianshan Mountain. Following glimpse of Salt Lake in Dabancheng.
Accommodation: In Urumqi
Sugong Minaret Jiaohe Ruins
Day 9 Urumqi Heavenly Lake (120kms, 1.5hrs driving)
Today you will enjoy the tour of the picturesque Heavenly Lake (approximately 1.5hrs), 2000m up in the Tianshan mountain range. which is surrounded by the snow mountains, blooming wildflowers, evergreen pine trees. 40-minute scenic shuttle bus ride that twists though the dramatic mountains. Then you can either walk to the lakeside in 10mins or take the electronic cart. There are 3 options suggested. Boating cruise to take the incredible view of Tianshan Mountain. Trekking along the lake in the fresh air. or you can explore further to the Maya Mountain by the cable car to enjoy the magnificent view of the Mountains. The lunch in the local Kazakh's yurt is highly recommended.
Travel back to Urumqi in the afternoon which is about the other 1.5hrs, tour at the Xinjiang regional museum to see archaeological treasures from the Silk Road and Xinjiang's minority cultures. then you will have a chance to visit the Xinjiang International Bazaar, the largest bazaar in Urumqi. You'll find a bustling market filled with fruit, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets and almost anything that you can imagine. (Option: The Culture Show with Banqute,fr $45/pp)after the visiting, transfer to the hotel for rest.
Accommodation: In Urumqi
Heavenly Lake Xinjiang International Bazaar
Day 10 Urumqi
Breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch your flight back to your sweet home.It has been a great silk road holiday and we look forward to seeing you another China trip. (You can take a flight from Urumqi to Lanzhou directly when the journey end.)