16 Days China Silk Road Tour




Day 1

Arrive in Kashgar

 

Highlights: pick you up from Kashgar airport and transfer to your hotel 
Our professional tour guide and driver will welcome you at Kashgar airport and transfer to your Hotel . Have a good rest after a long flight journey. Our guide will give you a phrasebook which helps you learn some common Uighur phrases.

Overnight in Kashgar

Day 2

Explore Kashgar city

 

High lights: Visit Sunday Market, Livestock Market, Apak Hoja tomb, Idkah Mosque, Old city and local family dinner 
Explore the rich, endless culture of the Uighurs in Kashgar. Visit the largest bazaar in Central Asia at the Kashgar Sunday market both livestock market and main bazaar), spend time by the Id Kah mosque, the largest mosque in China and marvel at the intricate architecture of Kashgar’s historic Apak hoja tomb. We’ll also spend time today in the Kashgar old town and have dinner with a local Uighur family.

Overnight in Kashgar

Day 3

Kashgar - Karakul Lake,200km,5 hours

 

High lights: Drive along the KKH, Opal Village, Gaz Valley, White sand mountain and Karakul Lake 
We set out along the Sino – Pakistan Karakorum Highway, on the Pamirplateau (the roof of the world) for your visit to Karakul Lake (3600m above sea level). The lake sits at the feet of the notorious, Muztagh Ata (7546m) and Gongur (7719m) mountains. ‘Muztagh Ata’ means Father of the Ice Mountain and is one the most beautiful and mysterious mountains in the world. Return by late afternoon back to Kashgar.

Overnight in Kashgar

Day 4

Kashgar - Hotan,530km,8hours

 

High lights: Stop in Yingsar, explore Yarkant and Kaghilik 
We set out from Kashgar after breakfast, stopping first in the ‘knife-town’ of Yengisar, well-known for its handmade Uighur knives. Here you can visit a local knife factory and see the artisans in action as they sculpt another perfect tool. Then it’s on to Yarkand for a few hours to enjoy local culture and do some sightseeing. For example, the Golden Mosque (built in 1533) and its graveyard which includes several hundred-year-old tombs. Yarkand was once the capital of many Uighur Kingdoms in ancient times and an important station on the old Silk Road. It has more than 2000 years of history. After Yarkand we’ll call at Kargilik another former hub on the Silk Road. The Tibet highway starts from Kargilik and we’ll stop off at the grand mosque (1533) here, before moving on to Hotan for the night.

Overnight in Hotan

Day 5

Hotan - Kucha,735km,8hours

 

High lights: Drive through second largest shifting sand desert 
An early start today as we set out for Kuche after breakfast and driving into the New desert highway. This desert highway was built from 2005 to 2007 and opened in 2008. Today we drive on a first class desert highway and 200km through local villages. You’ll love the drive with the outstanding scenery of Sand dunes and we can stop whenever you like for photos, walking around or fun . The word ‘Taklamakan’ means Sea of Death: “once you come in, you can never go back”, This will certainly be an unforgettable part of your trip. We arrive in Kuche in the afternoon and check in to the Hotel

Overnight in Kucha

Day 6

Kucha to Turpan by Train

 

High lights: Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves, Tianshan Mysterious grand canyon, Kucha grand mosque, old city, Bazaars.
We set out after breakfast and visit world famous Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves which sit on the cliffs on the North bank of the Muzat River, 75km (46miles) from Kucha city. The caves were built between the 3rd and 8th century A.D. and are the earliest Buddhist art treasure trove in China – in use one century before the more well-known Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang. We’ll take our lunch at Kizil and keep driving to the Tianshan Grand canyon. The route is a worthy photo opportunity as we pass through many interestingly shaped mountains along the way. Before going to dinner we’ll also return to Kucha to spend time in the old town area , local bazaars and visit Kucha grand mosque which was built in 17th century and is the only mosque to have preserved the Shariya (Islamic Court) in China. In the evening take overnight first class soft sleeper train to Turpan.

Day 7

Turpan for whole day

 

High lights: visit Idikut (Gaochang) Ancient City, Astana tombs, Toyup village, Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves and Flaming Mountains 
Arrive at Daheyan train station in the morning and journey to Turpan city. We start our tour in Turpan with a visit the ancient city of Idikut (Gaochang). The city was first built in the first Century BC and later became capital of the Idikut (Gaochang) Uighur Kingdom in the 8th Century. You can take a donkey cart to visit the site if you like. We’ll stop in the city for about 40 minutes and then drive to Karakhoja Astana tombs, a Tang -dynasty burial ground which also known as the “Underground Museum”. Astana means “capital” in the Uighur language and Karakhoja is the name of a legendary hero of the ancient Uighur Kingdom who conquered by killing a vicious dragon. Moving on, we journey to Toyup village, an old, beautiful and timeless village with a friendly Uighur community. Here we visit several local families and eat lunch with a local family in their home. This could quite likely be the highlight of your tour.. After lunch we visit Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves which used to be an important center for Buddhist worship under the Xizhou Huigu government of the Idikut (Gaochang) Kingdom. Finally, on the way back to the hotel we will stop at the Flaming Mountains which people claim are so hot and dry that “flying birds even a thousand miles away dare not to come”. Later, we’ll eat dinner in the Oasis hotel restaurant and the round the day off with an atmospheric song and dance festival under the grape

Overnight in Turpan

Day 8

Turpan to Liuyuan by Train

 
High lights: Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city, Karez underground Irrigations system and then take overnight train to Liuyuan

Our special itinerary today includes sightseeing in Turpan and take overnight train to Dunhuang. First we visit Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city which is one of the best preserved ancient cities in China. The ruins of the buildings are divided into temples, civilian dwellings and government offices. Workshops and residential houses in the streets are still visible and time there is time spent in a world long disappeared. After an hour of walking around the city area, we’ll push on to see the world famous Karez irrigation system, unique to this part of the world, The system is considered as one of the three great projects in China with the other two being the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. Then visit the Emin Suliman minaret which is a magnificent combination of ancient Uighur and Islamic architecture. It is the tallest ancient pagoda in Xinjiang and the only Islamic ancient pagoda in the country. Locals call it “pure tower.” After the tour drive to Daheyan train station for overnight first class soft sleeper train to Liuyuan.

Day 9

Liuyuan to Dunhuang,130km,1.5hours

 

High lights: The historical Museum in Dunhuang

Arrive at Liuyuan railway station, you guide and driver will pick up you and drive to Dunhuang city and visit the historical Museum in Dunhuang, this is a very important and famous local historic museum of its kind all over China. In this museum more than 4000 pieces of relics those were unearthed in Dunhuang area and they can help you understand Dunhuang history very well. After visiting, check in your hotel. For dinner you can have Dunhuang local cuisine.

Overnight in Dunhuang

Day 10

Dunhuang for whole day

 

High lights: Mogao grottoes, Crescent Moon Lake and Mingsha Mountain

Today will be a very happy day! After breakfast, drive to Mogao caves’ digital center to watch two movies which each one is 20 minutes, the first movie is about the background of that Mogao grottoes were made, another one is brief introduction to Mogao caves’ arts. Then take the special shuttle bus to visit Mogao caves. After lunch, visit Crescent Moon Lake and Mingsha Mountain, it is called “the wonder in the desert”, there you can ride camel with double humps, but in middle east region you can only see camels with single hump. you can also play the sand-sliding and gliding for entertainment. You can stay in the desert for longer and enjoy the sunset in the desert.

Overnight in Dunhuang

Day 11

Dunhuang to Jiayuguan,375km,4hours

 

High lights: Jiayuguan Fort, Overhanging Great Wall

After breakfast drive to Jiayuguan city, along the trip, you can enjoy scene of Gobi and desert, you can see some beacon tower which were made in China Han dynasty. Arrive in Jiayuguan city, after lunch, visit Jiayuguan Fort which is the western start point of Ming Dynasty Great Wall, and it has the reputation of the first grand pass under the sky, then drive to Overhanging Great Wall, it looks like the wall hanging over the mountain, you guide will give you some time to climb up the overhanging Great Wall.

Overnight in Jiayuguan

Day 12

Jiayuguan to Xining,560km,8hours

 

High lights: Kumbum Monastery

After breakfast take the fast train to Xining which is the provincial capital city of Qinghai province, the train will cross Qinlian mountain which is a famous mountain at the north-east edge of Tibetan plateau, and along the railway, the natural scenery is very beautiful. after arriving at Xinning railway station, another guide and driver will pick up you and drive to the Kumbum Monastery and visit Kumbum monastery which is the birth place of Tsongkapa who was the founding father of Tibetan Buddhism yellow sect. After visiting, go to Xining city and overnight in Xining.

Overnight in Xining

Day 13

Xining to Xiahe,240km,4hours

 

High lights: Labrang Monastery

After breakfast, drive to Xiahe which belongs to Gansu province, along the trip, there are big beautiful mountain and marvelous grass land. Arrive in Xiahe, Visit Labrang Monastery which is the highest school in Amdo Tibetan area. This Monastery is one of six great monastery of Tibetan Buddhism yellow sect, it Includes six colleges, even nowadays there are more than 3000 monks living in this monastery.               Overnight in Xiahe

Day 14

Xiahe to Liujiaxia,150km,2.5hours

 

High lights: Binglingsi grottoes temple

In the morning departure from the hotel to Liujiaxia reservoir via Linxia city which belongs to Linxia Hui autonomous prefecture, it is the capital city of the prefecture where you can see strong Moslem custom. Arrive at the wharf, change the speed boat to Binglingsi grottoes temple. This is a distinctive grotto temple, it has not only man-made relics, but very beautiful natural scenery. although nowadays it looks like a “dead corner”, in ancient time it is on the southern route of the ancient silk road. after visiting, back by the same yacht to the same wharf and take the same car to Lanzhou.

Overnight in Lanzhou.

Day 15

Lanzhou to Tianshui,380km,5.5hours

 

High lights: Maiji grotto

Departure from the hotel to Tianshui city which is the second biggest city of Gansu province, after lunch drive to Maiji mountain and visit Maiji Grottoes. Maiji grotto is one of the four greatest Buddhist grottoes in China which located in the famous Qingling mountain area and it is famous for large quantity of sculptured status which were made in different period with different characteristics, because of this, Maiji grotto is called “the exhibition building of oriental sculptures”

Overnight in Tianshui

Day 16

Travel to Xi’an Airport by bus fly to Hong Kong (the flight should be after 15:00 pm)

 

In the morning, city sightseeing, after lunch take bus from Tianshui to Xi’an And fly to Hong Kong, end your happy tour.