18 Days Silk Road Exploration Tour
- Tour Code:SK04
- Tour Duration: 18 Days
- Destination:Beijing, Dunhuang, Guilin, Hong Kong, Kashgar, Turpan, Urumqi, Xi'an, Yangshuo
- Tour overview:This tour begins in HongKong, travel to Guilin and Xian, and moves westward to Dunhuang, Turpan, Kashgar and Urumqi, end in Beijing, along the Silk Road. You'll explore centuries-old cities once enriched beyond measure by local suppliers and merchants who traveled the trade route.
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in HongKong
Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement
Upon your arrival you will be greeted by our local guide and then transferred to your hotel by a private air-conditioned car. For the rest of the day you will enjoy some leisure time.
Day 2 HongKong (B, L)
Sightseeing: Victoria Peak, Aberdeen, Repulse Bay
Today we will start to explore Victoria Peak first. The Peak is Hong Kong’s number one tourist destination. It features the city's oldest mode transport, the 112-year old Peak Tram and Hong Kong's most unusual building and icon, The Peak Tower where you will find shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
Then you will visit lovely Repulse Bay: Primarily an exclusive residential area, Repulse Bay has a relaxed, resort-like atmosphere. You will find statues of Kwun Yum and Tin Hau, both protectors of fishermen.
The tour will continue with a visit to Aberdeen fishing village where you will enjoy a Sampan Ride on the harbor to get a close-up look at this unusual way of life.
For the rest of the day you will have leisure time to explore Hong Kong on your own.
Day 3 HongKong/Guilin (B)
Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
The morning is at your leisure before boarding your flight to Guilin. Upon arrival in Guilin, you will be greet and then be transferred to your hotel for check in
Day 4 Guilin (B,L)
Sightseeing: Elephant Trunk Hill, Fubo (wave-subduing) Hill, Reed Flute Cave,Seven Star Park
Start today’s tour with a visit to Elephant Trunk Hill. Located at the conjunction of the Li River & the Peach Blossom River, the whole hill looks very much like a giant elephant with a long trunk drinking out of the river; it is the symbol of Guilin city.
Then you will head to Fubo Hill. You will see lots of rock stone carvings & Buddha statues from since Tang Dynasty. If you climb to the summit, you will have a wonderful bird's-eye view of Guilin city.
We’ll continue to visit visit to Reed Flute Cave, which is a vast and very impressive cave system, and one of the most important sights of Guilin. Known as "the Palace of Natural Arts", you can see beautiful stalactites & stalagmites and learn how they are formed.
Afterwards we will make a walk through Seven Star Park. It is one of the best urban parks in China. The park is in the east bank of Lijiang, the largest park in Guilin with the theme of rock caves.
Day 5 Guilin/Yangshuo/Guilin (B,L)
Sightseeing: Li River and West Street
Guilin is famous for its picturesque scenery, and the best way to see it is from the deck of Li River Cruise ships. In the morning you will depart from your hotel and be transferred to the Zhujiang Pier (about 1 hour drive) for a 4.5 hours wonderful cruise. You will enjoy the unique mountains, peaceful green fields, farms and villages with water buffalos, cows wondering around on both sides of the river bank.
In the afternoon you will disembark at the old town Yangshuo. Having a history of more than 1,400 years, West Street is the oldest street in Yangshuo. You will have some time to explore the old town’s lovely attractions and will be transferred back to Guilin city in the evening.
Day 6 Guilin / Xian (B,L)
Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Shaanxi Provincial Museum
After breakfast, you will be transferred to airport and take the flight to Xi’an. After your arrival there, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by our local guide.
This afternoon, visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum. It is a magnificent architectural complex in the Tang Dynasty style. The Museum possesses a treasure of 113,000 historic and cultural artifacts unearthed in Shaanxi, and it covers an area of 1,100 square meters for exhibition.
Day 7 Xian (B,L)
Sightseeing: Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Ancient City Wall
Today you will experience the highlights of Xi’an. After breakfast, you will depart you’re your hotel. You will visit the amazing 2000-year-old Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. Regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World, the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Over 2,200 years ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, ordered the construction of a vast army of Terra-cotta warriors in search of immortality. After his early death they were buried with him to protect his empire.
Another highlight today is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Situated in the south of Xian city, it is one of the main constructions in the famous Buddhist temple-Da-Ci-En Temple. There, the well-known Buddhist Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) stored his collection of classic Buddhist artifacts brought from India in Tang Dynasty. Now it is the Landmark of Xian.
Then we will go on to visit the Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the Ancient City Wall. You will experience a half-hour's hike along the Ancient City Wall. It is the largest and best preserved present city wall in ancient China and is probably the best military battlement in the world. If you want to, you can rent a bicycle for a ride on top of the spectacular city wall. The wall was built in the Tang dynasty (618 -907) and enlarged in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
Day 8 Xian/Dunhuang (B,L)
Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Yumenguang Pass, Great Wall of the Han Dynasty.
This morning, you will be transferred to airprot to take flight to Dunhuang. Arrive in Dunhuang, your local guide will greet you and then accompany you to hotel.
After lunch, you will have the visit to Yumenguang Pass, Once as one of the west gates out of the country of the Han Dynasty (206 B. C. -220 A. D.), it is quite ruined by the shifting sands but still shows the ever splendor. And Great Wall of the Han Dynasty. Great wall of the Han dynasty was build for defending the nomadic Xiongnu during the Han Dynasty (206 BC--220 AD).
Day 9 Dunhuang/Turpan (B,L)
Transfer via: Overnight train –on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Mogao Grottoes, Crescent Lake, Echoing-Sand Dune,
After breakfast, you will head for the Mogao Grottoes for a visit: Constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to the 14th centuries, the caves hold the world's richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.
Later we continue to visit the Echoing Sand Dune and Crescent Lake. The Echoing-Sand Dune are famous for the sounds the wind makes when blowing over the dunes. Also, the sand is said to be rather noisy when tread upon. The Spring's name derives from the crescent moon shape the small pool of spring water has taken between two large sand dunes. Although the area is very dry, the pool doesn't dry up as one might expect. And this is a resort of Taoism for local people.
Day 10 Turpan (L)
Sightseeing: Jiaohe Ruins,Karez Well ,Grape Valley
Early morning arrive in Turpan, be met and transferred to your hotel in Turpan. After a short rest, start the city tour to s explore the Jiaohe Ruins, the remains of an ancient walled capital of the Uighur with its large monastery and palace. It is probably the same size as Gaochang but better preserved. UNESCO has contributed to its preservation. The dry weather has helped city preserve its cityscape. It is a life-sized model of a Tang Dynasty city.
Move on to visit Ancient Karez system.The entire Turpan region has for 2000 years relied upon the Karez underground irrigation system for sustenance; There is currently one karez well site open for exhibition. It is complete with a museum of displays and pictures. It is a good way to get an understanding of how the tunnels were dug.
Then we will proceed to visit Grape Valley. Lying at the base of the western end of Flaming Mountains, Grape Valley is a unique world of vineyards and fruit trees. you can sit in the shades and sip the local wines to kill a brutally hot afternoon.
Day 11 Turpan/Urumqi/Kashgar (B,L)
Transfer via: Flight-on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Astana Tomb,Passing by Flaming Mountain to Visit the Bezkelik Thousand Buddha Caves,
Today you will visit to The Astana Tomb, which is located in the Gobi Desert and 6km from the Gaochang Ancient City. Astana means capital in Uygur. Covering an area of 10 square kilometers, the tombs were the public cemetery of the ancient Gaochang residents, both aristocrats and commoners.
Passing by Flaming Mountain to Visit the Bezkelik Thousand Buddha Caves, Once an important Buddhist site with many caves covered with brightly painted murals, Bezeklik means "place of paintings" in Uighur. The caves were hewn into the cliffside, and large murals, Monks used to live inside the caves and the frescoes here clearly represent the life work of generations of devotees. Unfortunately, this place was damaged by the locals who converted to Islam in the 10th century and looted by the western archaeologists in the early 20th century.
After the tours, you will be transferred to Urumqi airport by private car. Take flight to Kashgar. Arrive at Kashgar, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 12 Kashgar(B,L)
Sightseeing: Id Kah Mosque, The Abakh Khoja Tomb, Sunday bazaar, The old twon of Kashgar.
Today’s ctiy tour include ID Kah Mosque. It is the largest mosque in China. Every Friday, it houses nearly 10,000 worshippers and may accommodate up to 20,000.
Then we will visit the Abakh Khoja Tomb, which is also known as the Tomb of Xiang Fei (Fragrant Lady) in China. Situating 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) northeast of Kashgar City, Abakh Khoja Tomb is an ancient Islamic building, where five generations of a famous Islamic master were buried. It is also commonly known as the tomb of Xiangfei, the only Uygur concubine of Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Later, we will go to Sunday Bazzar. There is a bazzar everyday in Kashgar, but the one on Sunday is the liveliest, as the whole community gets together. The Bazzar in Kashgar is a social and commercial highlight of the week in Western Xinjiang. In the bazaar you can find different kinds of goods: ironware, silverware, fruit, clothes, local food, livestock, etc. Traders are buying and selling one week's stock of cows, sheep, goats and horses. The process of bargaining is fantastic.
Finally, we will have a visit to The old twon of Kashgar,contains a large group of Uygur residential houses. The Old Town city is now home to 630 homes with more than 2450 people, all of whom are Muslims.
Day 13 Kashgar/Urumqi (B,L)
Transfer via: Flight –on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Heavenly Mountain
This morning, you will be transferred to airport to take flight to Urumqi. Arrive in Urumqi, you will be met and transferred to hotel by our local guide.
After lunch, you will head to visit the Heavenly Mountain (Tianchi); it is surrounded by green pastures and pristine conifer forests. Snowy Alp-like peaks soar to great heights and enclose the lake. Take a boat ride on Heavenly Lake and escape into a peaceful, dream-like world.
Transferred back to the city of Urumqi.
Day 14 Urumqi (B,L)
Sightseeing: Nanshan Pasture, Terai Camp, Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum
Today you will explore the Nanshan Pasture. The Nanshan Pasture is located in Kelawucheng Mountain, a branch of north Heavenly Mountain. Moreover, there are numerous valleys in the pasture. It is cool here in the summer, and is a good place to get away from the heat. You can ride a horse or a camel running through the valleys, walk across the woods picking mushrooms and enjoying the magical wild flowers, you also can climb up the mountain to overlook.
Then continue to visit the Terai Camp to experience the Kazak nomadic life and taste delicious Xinjiang Cruise – milk tea and mutton.
In the afternoon, move to Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum with exhibits of local arts and crafts. The building occupies a space of 11,000 square meters and is built in a modern style enhanced by local architectural features. The central dome is thirty meters high and from its height one can view the entire city of Urumchi.
Day 15 Urumqi/Beijingi (B,L)
Transfer via: Flight – on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Summer Palace, Hutong Tours in Richshaw.
In the morning visiting the Summer Palace. Equally famous as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is called 'Yiheyuan' (Garden of Nurtured Harmony) in Chinese. Until nowadays, it is the best preserved and the largest imperial garden in China. You will regret it if you leave Beijing without having visited this grand imperial garden.
We will experience a unique Hutong tour by taking a rickshaw in this afternoon. Hutongs are a kind of ancient city alley or lane and are very typical for Beijing. Most of them can be found close to the Forbidden City, and many were built during the three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing. Today, the Hutong is a living museum of Beijing history showing the traditional lifestyle of Beijing people.
Day 16 Beijing (B,L)
Sightseeing:. Mutianyu Great, Ming Tomb, Sacred Way. Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium), National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube')
Today we will be transferred to the surrounding countryside of Beijing and visit the Mutianyu Great Wall, the pride of China and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Whereas Genghis Khan contemplated it as a military obstacle, Richard Nixon described it as one of humankind's greatest achievements. You will be able to climb and walk on the sections of the 2,000 years old ancient wall, admiring the splendid mountain views. Bring a jacket and layer- although it is breezy, the climbing is tough. So be in a good shape!
This afternoon we will visit the legendary Ming Tombs, The Ming Tombs are situated at the foot of Heavenly Longevity Mountain, northwest of Beijing. Since there are 13Ming emperors buried there, there are also called the 13 Ming Tombs. Passing though the Sacred Way, a road guarded on both sides with stone statues by which the ancient emperors went to hold a memorial ceremony for the ancestors, you will encounter the marble tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors.
On the way back to hotel, you will be driven to visit the main 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, take an exterior visit of both the, Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest/Olympic Stadium), National Swimming Centre('The Water Cube'),feel free to take some photos of the stadiums.
Day 17 Beijing (B,L)
Sightseeing: The Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square,Forbidden City, .
This morning our tour will begin with a visit of the Temple of Heaven, which was completed in 1420, and expanded over the years by two Qing Dynasty Emperors. It was the place where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. With the three blue-tiled cone-shaped roofs, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail, it has become a worldwide symbol of Beijing.
After lunch, we will go on our city tour to visit Tiananmen Square, the symbolical heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people.
From here we will walk across the Golden River Bridge to visit the Forbidden City and experience the ancient Emperor's daily life. For 5 centuries Chinese emperors carried out their administration here. With almost 10,000 rooms, it was the centre of the Ming and Qing dynasties, a massive complex of palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens where 24 emperors used to live. Forbidden City was the largest palace in the world, and in the past it was indeed a forbidden place for commoners. Your tour here will include private access to the Emperor's palace.
Day 18 Beijing/Departure (B)
Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement
Today will be free for your own purposes, until our guide will escort you to the airport for your next destination.