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Trip details

16 Day Discover China by the Silk Road

16 Day Discover China by the Silk Road

Date: May to Oct

Price: Upon Request

Trip Focus: Culture+Silk Road

Status: Open to Booking

Route: Xi'an-Lanzhou-Wuwei -Zhangye -Jiayuguan-Dunhuang-Yadan-Duhuang-Urumuqi-Turfan-Urumuqi-Kashgar

Trip Code: C003

Overview

The silk road, by far the history’s most notable trade route. This network of trails and paths connected the east and west in a way that was unseen up until that point. In this tour from Absolute Panda, we will follow the path of these early Chinese merchants starting from the easternmost point of Xi'an before heading west to Kashgar. As we travel, you will experience substantial shifts in the cultural and natural landscape.


The ancient Chinese city of Xi'an is the Start Point of the Silk Road. As the capital of 13 dynasties, this city is the ideal setting to explore China’s ancient history. During your stay, you can explore the original city wall, the world famous Terracotta Warriors and the Muslim quarter.


The vibrant geology of Zhangye is otherworldly. As we transverse the panoramic sights of this desert landscape, you can imagine what traveling this trade route must have been like. 


A major check point of the Silk Road, Jiayuguan pass oversaw the exchange of countless merchants and goods. The sight of the stone architecture against the mountainous backdrop is certain to impress any traveler.


In the northern Chinese regions of the Gobi Desert, we will visit Dunhuang. It is here that we will explore the Mogao cave and its vast collection of traditional paintings. These depictions tell the prosperous history and the downfall of the Silk Road.


The westernmost Chinese providence of Xinjiang is rich with Silk Road history. While traveling through Urumqi and Kashgar, you will be immersed in the local lifestyle of a variety of different ethnic groups endemic to the Silk Road.

 

 

Dates and Prices

Upon Request


Itinerary

 

Day 1.Arrive Xi'an

Day 2.Xi'an-Lanzhou

Day 3.Lanzhou-Wuwei 

Day 4.Wuwei-Zhangye 

Day 5.Zhangye-Jiayuguan

Day 6.Jiayuguan-Dunhuang 

Day 7.Dunhuang 

Day 8.Dunhuang-Yadan-Duhuang 

Day 9.Dunhuang-Urumuqi-Turfan  

Day 10.Turfan-Urumuqi 

Day 11.Urumuqi-Tianchi-Urumuqi   

Day 12.Urumuqi-Kashgar      

Day 13.Kashgar-Karakuri Lake-Kashgar 

Day 14.Kashgar-Dawakun Desert-Kashgar 

Day 15.Kashgar

Day 16.Depart Kashgar


Day 1: Arrive Xi’an
Upon arrival in China, you will be escorted by our local guide to your hotel. Any free time can be spent exploring Xi'an’s ancient wall; which first was built in 200 B.C., the present one is built in Ming Dynasty(1368-1644). In the evening, you can wander through the Muslim Quarter, settled by Persian and Arab traders who traveled the Silk Road 1,300 years ago.
Accommodation: Xi‘an

 
Day 2: Xi'an-Terracotta Army –Lanzhou(bullet train)
This morning we will travel to the world famous Terracotta Warriors. Unearthed in 1974 in the suburbs outside of Xian, this army of stone soldiers ranks as one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries in history. Consisting of 8,000 life-size soldiers, 100 chariots and 600 horses, no two soldiers are the same. The army was constructed to serve the emperor, Qin Shihuang (259–210 B.C.) after his death. During our visit we will see the three archeological dig sites where soldiers are still being excavated and restored even now. After leaving the museum, we will eat lunch and then board the bullet train to Lanzhou.
Accommodation: Lanzhou
 
Day 3. Lanzhou—Wuwei (280km; 3.5hr)
In the morning, we visit White Pagoda Hill and the ancient water wheel in Lanzhou. After eating lunch, we will depart Lanzhou and drive for 3.5 hours (280km) towards the town of Wuwei; which served as an important depot on the Silk Road. The surrounding landscape will gradually shift as we travel from Loess Plateau to the dunes of the Gobi Desert. As we drive, we will drive past through Tianzhu; a place bordering the Loess Plateau, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Mongolia Plateau. This region is renowned for producing of white yaks. 
Accommodation: Zhangye

Day 4. Wuwei—Zhangye (244km; 4hr)
In the morning we will depart from our accommodation and ride to visit the Grand Buddhist Monastery, the largest monastery in Gansu Province. This monastery is located in the southeast part of Zhangye City and was built in 1098. The monastery is named after the giant Buddha statue that is housed inside. The Buddha is 34.5 meters long, its shoulder is 7.5 meters wide and its ears are over 2 meters long; making it the largest reclining Buddha statue in China. Another important attraction of the city is the wooden pagoda, which is located in the south of Zhangye City. This pagoda was first built during the Northern Zhou Dynasty and was reconstructed in 1926. After we have finished visiting Zhangye, our group will continue to Jiayuguan. As we drive, we can pay a visit to Danxia Landforms, which were first formed roughly two million years ago. 
 
Day 5. Zhangye—Jiayuguan (223km:4hr)
In the morning we will depart from our accommodation and ride to visit the Grand Buddhist Monastery, the largest monastery in Gansu Province. This monastery is located in the southeast part of Zhangye City and was built in 1098. The monastery is named after the giant Buddha statue that is housed inside. The Buddha is 34.5 meters long, its shoulder is 7.5 meters wide and its ears are over 2 meters long; making it the largest reclining Buddha statue in China. Another important attraction of the city is the wooden pagoda, which is located in the south of Zhangye City. This pagoda was first built during the Northern Zhou Dynasty and was reconstructed in 1926. After we have finished visiting Zhangye, our group will continue to Jiayuguan. As we drive, we can pay a visit to Danxia Landforms, which were first formed roughly two million years ago. 
Accommodation: Jiayuguan.     
                     
Day 6 Jiayuguan—Dunhuang (385km;6.5hr)
Departing from the hotel in Jiayuguan, we will visit the Fort at Jiayuguan Pass, which is located at the narrowest point of the western section of the Hexi Corridor. This battlement was strategically constructed near a desert oasis located at the westernmost edge of China. After leaving the fort, we will continue to Dunhuang; a major stop along the ancient Silk Road. It is situated in a rich oasis containing Crescent Lake and Mingsha Shan. Dunhuang commands a very strategic position at the crossroads of the ancient southern Silk Route and the main road leading from India via Lhasa to Mongolia and Southern Siberia, as well as controlling the entrance to the narrow Gansu Corridor which led straight to the heart of the northern Chinese plains and the ancient capitals of Chang'an and Luoyang.
Accommodation: Dunhuang
 
Day 7 Dunhuang 
In the morning we will pay a visit to the Dunhuang grottoes, which is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in China. The Dunhuang grottoes include the Mogao, Yulin, and west Qianfo grottoes. After that we can also visit Crescent Spring and Mingsha Shan (Echoing-Sand Mountain), which is named after the sound of the whistling wind on the dunes, the “singing sand phenomenon”.  
Accommodation: Dunhuang
 
Day 8 Dunhuang—Yadan—Duhuang (380km)
In the morning, we will visit Yumenguan (Pass of the Jade Gate.) In ancient times, the portion of the Silk Road that connected Central Asia and China passed through this corridor. We can also drive to Yadan National Geological Park, which features the largest landforms in Yadan. The most magnificent views here are the rock formations known for resembling countless other world-famous monuments, such as the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, the Potala Palace in Tibet, the Arabian mosque, the Pyramid and Sphinx in Egypt, the relics of ancient Roman and so on. In addition, you will find other natural formations, resembling sculptures of lions, caravans trekking along the Silk Road, and turtles emerging from the sea. This area is referred to as the Yadan “Abode of Demons” by local people. 
Accommodation: Dunhuang 
 
Day 9 Dunhuang—Urumuqi--Turfan  (fly 1.2hr and drive 250km)
After breakfast at the hotel in Dunhuang, our group will drive to the airport and depart by plane to Urumqi. Upon arrival, we meet our driver and drive to Turpan, en route we will drive pass the Largest Wind Power Station in Asia.  
Accommodation: Turpan
    
Day 10 Turfan--Urumuqi (250km)
In the morning we will visit Karez well, a unique underground water system built by ancient farmers from the various ethnic minorities of China. After eating lunch, our group will continue to “Flaming Mountain” (Huo Yan Shan) as well as a nearby Uyghur village. There is also the option to visit the ruins of the ancient city of Gaochang and the Astana Graves. These tombs were used by the inhabitants of Gaochang for approximately 600 years (200 CE – 800 CE.) The complex covers 10 square kilometers and contains over 1,000 different tombs. Different plots for separate castes and families are marked by gravel dividers. Due to the arid environment many important artifacts have been well preserved at the tombs, including natural mummies. 
Accommodation: Urumqi
 
Day 11 Urumuqi—Tianchi--Urumuqi  (200km)     
After leaving our hotel in Urumqi we will drive to Tianchi, which literally means "Heavenly Lake" in Mandarin Chinese. Formerly known as Yaochi (“Jade Lake”), it was named Tianchi in 1783 by the Qing Commander, Mingliang.  The lake is 2,000 m above sea level, covering 4.9km², 105 m deep at its deepest point. After visiting Tianchi, we will return to Urumqi for the night.
Accommodation: Urumqi
 
Day 12 Urumuqi-Kashgar  Fly 1.6hr                                             
In the morning our group visit the famous Bazar in Urumqi to browse market stalls teeming with exotic cultural good and delicious cuisine. Once we have left to Bazar, we will fly to the far western city of Kashgar. Upon arrival, our driver will meet us at the airport and will escort us to the hotel accommodation. 
Accommodation Kashgar
 
Day 13 Kashgar—Karakuri Lake—Kashgar  (Driving distance 390km)
In the morning we will drive along the China-Pakistan Road. Along the way, we will encounter the Ganzi Gorge, traditional Caravanserai (inns), sand dunes, a sand river and snow-capped Muztagata Peak. We can visit local Kirgiz families for an enlightening cultural experience before continuing to Karakuri Lake. After exploring Karakuri Lake, we will drive back to Kashgar. 
Accommodation Kashgar

Day 14 Kashgar—Dawakun Desert—Kashgar (260km)
After breakfast, we will drive to Dawakun to enjoy some gorgeous desert scenery. Dawakun Desert is populated with flowing natural streams and lakes contrasted by the vast desert. There is a variety of activities available here such as using rowboats and riding horses or camels. After we have finished our day of activities, we drive back to Kashgar for the night.
Accommodation Kashgar
 
Day 15 Kashgar
In the morning we pay a visit to the Abakh Hoja tomb, or the Tomb of Xiangfei in Chinese. The tomb is the most magnificent funeral monument in Kashgar. It served as final resting place of Abakh Hoja, the powerful ruler of Kashi in the 17th century. Built around 1640 AD, legends say that 72 people from five generations of the same family were buried in this tomb. We can also visit the Etigar Mosque, a grand Islamic structure with a history of more than five hundred years. Shakesimirzha, the ruler of Kashgar, had the mosque built here first in 1442. He used this mosque to say prayers to the souls of his deceased relatives. Extended and renovated time and again through the ages, it has finally reached its present shape and size. We can spend the rest of the day exploring Kashgar. Some examples of destinations include visiting local bazaars, handicraft street, old town or visiting local Uyghur family. 
Accommodation Kashgar
 
Day16 Depart china by Kashgar
After eating breakfast in your hotel accommodation, our team will escort your group to the airport in Kashgar to leave China. This will conclude your trip itinerary in China.
 


 

Map

Silk Road of China Map

Accommodations

Xi'an
Lanzhou
Wuwei
Zhangye
Jiayuguan
Dunhuang
Yadan
Urumuqi
Turfan
Kashgar     

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