25 Days China Silk Road In-depth Tour

  • Tour Code:SK06
  • Tour Duration: 25 Days
  • Destination:Dunhuang, Hotan, Jiayuguan, Kashgar, Korla, Kucha, Lanzhou, Taxkorgan, Turpan, Urumqi, Xiahe, Zhangye
  • Tour overview:The tour starts in Gansu Province and ends in Xinjiang Province of China. In these 25 days, you will have an in-depth Silk Road route trip, to enjoy the splendid scenic sights and feel the local life of the western part of the country.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Lanzhou

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Upon arrival in Lanzhou, you will be met at airport and transferred to hotel for check-in. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Day 2 Lanzhou/Xiahe (B,L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Liujia Gorge, Bingling Temple

This morning you will have the tour to Liujia Gorge. Located in Yongjing County is the Liujia Gorge on the Yellow River. Steep cliffs and towering mountains rise on either side of the river, and manifest their spectacular grandeur. It was there that a key water conservancy project was completed in 1974, for the purposes of irrigation, navigation, flood control, electric energy production, and aquatic resources utilization.

Then you will head to see Bingling Temple. Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves is located on the Small Jishi Hill, about 35 kilometers (about 22 miles) west of Yongjing County in Lanzhou City. Being one of the very noted four caves in China, it is the second to Mogao Caves in respect of artistic value.

Day 3 Xiahe (B,L)

Sightseeing: Labrang Monastery, Octagonal Town site

Today you will visit the Labrang Monastery. Labrang Monastery (or Labuleng Lamasery) of Xiahe is in the county town, built in 1710. It's one of the six most important leading lamaseries of the Yellow Hat Buddhist Sect in China, largest around Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan provinces. The monastery is now the most important religious and cultural activity center for Tibetan outside Tibet Autonomous Region. It boasts the best Tibetan Buddhism system and is hailed as the world’s institution of Tibetology.

Continue the tour to visit the Octagonal Town site, as the name implies, Octagonal Town has eight corners, but it is actually in the shape of a "cross". The total length of the town is 2193.4 meters, and covers an area of 300 mu. Architecturally, the town was built before the Tang Dynasty.

Day 4 Xiahe/Lanzhou/Zhangye (B,L)

Transfer via: Xiahe to Lanzhou - private vehicle on our arrangement;
Lanzhou to Zhangye - bullet train on our arrangement

Today you will be driven back to Lanzhou, then take bullet train to Zhangye. Arrive in Zhangye, be met and transferred to hotel.

Day 5 Zhangye (B,L)

Sightseeing: Giant Buddha Temple, Mati Temple

After breakfast you will be transferred to visit the Giant Buddha Temple, located in the southwest part of downtown Zhangye, which is well known for the remains of China's biggest indoor sculpture of Nirvana Buddha.

Then go ahead to visit Mati Temple, consists of several caves, it is located inside sheer rock cliffs and with wooden pavilions clinging miraculously to the rock.

Day 6 Zhangye/Jiayuguan (B,L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Danxia National Geological Park

This morning you will visit Danxia National Geological Park, which is the best representative of China's colorful Danxia landform and the largest Danxia landscape in an arid area, with a wide variety of landforms.
Then you will be driven to Jiayuguan.

Day 7 Jiayuguan/Dunhuang (B,L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Jiayuguan Fort, Great Wall Museum, Overhanging Great Wall

Today you will visit Jiayuguan Fort. Located in the western end of Hexi Corridor in Gansu Province, Jiayuguan Fort is the main part of the western end of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It is the first mountain pass of the west Yellow River.

Then visit the Great Wall Museum, China's first museum to feature the history and culture of the Great Wall.

Go ahead to visit Overhanging Great Wall, which was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Work began on it in 1539, and was completed in the following year. It was built using layer upon layer of stone and yellow earth. In subsequent years, the wall has dwindled from its original length of 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles) to its current 750 meters (2, 460 feet).The Overhanging Wall gets its name because there is a 231 meter long section, with an obliquity of 45 degrees, built onto a 150m high ridge. From a distance, it is said to resemble a dragon about to extend its body towards the ground.     

After the sightseeing tour today you will be driven to Dunhuang.

Day 8 Dunhuang (B,L)

Sightseeing: Mogao Grottoes, Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center, Echoing Sand Dune and the Crescent Lake

Visit Mogao Grottoes and the Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center. Mogao Grottoes, a famous site on the ancient Silk Road, it holds the world's richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.

Go ahead for the Echoing Sand Dune. When there is wild wind, the sands will be blown up and make loud sound, like being produced by some ancient musical instrument when blew by breeze, hence the name. Then visit the Crescent Lake, just like its name indicates, the lake is in a natural shape of half-moon and had been commonly considered as one of the Eight Great Landscapes of Dunhuang.

Day 9 Dunhuang (B,L)

Sightseeing: Yangguan Pass, Dunhuang Museum

Full day visit to the ancient border Yangguan Pass, some 70 kilometres southwest outside Dunhuang, it was established in 121BC of the Western Han Dynasty (206BC - 24AD) to defend against the attacks of other minority nationalities and to develop the area of Xiyu - the western regions of Han Dynasty being the area west of Yumenguan Pass including what is now Xinjiang and parts of Central Asia. Yangguan Pass once was the gateway to the Xiyu area and an important pass on the Silk Road.

Drive back to the city and visit the Dunhuang Museum. It is a local museum for keeping the cultural relics that were found in Dunhuang. The Dunhuang Museum reflects the flourishing social development and cultural exchange between China and the West during the time when Dunhuang was a major center along the Silk Road. A trip to the Dunhuang Museum will provide visitors with a greater understanding of the history and culture of the Chinese people and their ancient civilization.

Day 10 Dunhuang/Turpan (B,L)

Transfer via: Bullet train on our arrangement

Free at leisure until be transferred to railway station in Liuyuan and take bullet train to Turpan. Upon arrival, you will be picked up from railway station and transferred to hotel.

Day 11 Turpan (B,L)

Sightseeing: Ancient City of Jiaohe (Yarkhoto), Karez Well System, Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta), Turpan Museum

Today you will visit Ancient City of Jiaohe (Yarkhoto), or called Jiaohe Ruins, it is one of the world's largest, oldest historic sites and the best preserved raw soil buildings with more than 2,000 years.

Continue to visit Karez Well System, which was once the main source of water for both field irrigation and daily life in ancient times.

Go ahead for Emin Minaret (Sugong Pagoda). More than 240 years have gone by since the pagoda was established in 1777, it is the largest Islamic tower in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Finally you will visit Turpan Museum, a state-owned comprehensive museum.

Day 12 Turpan (B,L)

Sightseeing: Ancient City of Gaochang, Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Tuyugou Valley

Today you will visit to the Ancient City of Gaochang, which is known as the largest site of ancient city in China western region so far, it was served as the capital of Gaochang Kingdom (460-640) in the ancient time.

Passing by the Flaming Mountain to visit the Bezkelik Thousand Buddha Caves, once was 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 cliff-side, with 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.

Then proceed to visit Tuyugou Valley. It is a desert oasis seldom visited by tourists, known for its fantastic rock peaks, seedless grapes, and Buddhist meditation caves dating back to the 3rd century A.D.

Day 13 Turpan/Korla (B,L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Tiemen Pass

After breakfast you will be driven to Korla, upon arrival you will be transferred to visit the Tiemen Pass. As one of the famous twenty-six passes in ancient China, it was an important traffic fort on midway of ancient Silk Road.

Day 14 Korla/Kucha (B,L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Grand Kucha Mosque, Subashi Ancient City Ruins

You will be driven to Kucha, once arrive there you will visit the Grand Kucha Mosque, initially built in the 16th century, it is the second largest mosque in Xinjiang, only after the Etigar Mosque in Kashgar, and it has capacity for 3,000 worshipers.

Then move to visit Subashi Ancient City Ruins, actually should be called Subashi Temple Ruins, it is the largest ruins of Buddhist culture existing in Xinjiang. As a typical example of earthen ruins in arid region of northwest China even the Central Asia, it still reflects the temple's past brilliance.

Day 15 Kucha (B,L)

Sightseeing: Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves, Tianshan Grand Canyon

Today you will visit Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves, initially built in the 3rd century and located on cliff of Mingwutage Mountain, it is the oldest one among the Four Grottoes in China. There are 236 grottoes had been numbered, except some statues were damaged badly, many architectures and murals are well preserved till now.

Proceed to visit Tianshan Grand Canyon (also called Kzilia Grand Canyon). Situated in the southern foot of Tianshan Mountain, it stands 1,600 meters above sea level, with its highest peak reaching 2,048 meters, is made up of ranges of rufous massifs.

Day 16 Kucha/Alaer (B,L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Kucha Palace

After breakfast you will visit Kucha Palace, and then you will be driven to Alaer along the new desert road (6-7 hours driving).

Day 17 Alaer/Hotan (B,L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Taklamakan Desert

Today go ahead driving along the new desert road to Hotan. This is a day you can enjoy fabulous views of the Taklamakan Desert, you will enjoy the scenery of sand dune. The sun rise in the desert will be a scene you may never forget. With a length of 1000km from the west to east and a width of 400km from the north to south, the desert covers an area of 337.6 thousand square km. It is the largest desert in China and the second largest shifting desert in the world. Here you will pass through the desert highway which is boundless like sea.

Arrive in Hotan, you will check in the hotel and have a rest.

Day 18 Hotan (B,L)

Sightseeing: Hotan silk workshop, Hotan jades bazaar, Ruins of Rawak Temple

Today you will visit Hotan silk workshop and Hotan jades bazaar (market). Hotan silk and jade enjoy high reputation on the Silk Road, having visits of silk workshop and jades bazaar are must-do activities during a Silk Road tour.

Move to visit the Ruins of Rawak Temple, located in the north of desert, it is the only temple which has a gandara style (similar form as an Indian temple) which is quite well preserved. The Uygur word "rawak" means "pavilion”. This Buddhist temple was ever in the center of a group of Buddhist pagodas.

Day 19 Hotan/Kashgar (B,L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: King of Yarkan’s Tomb

After early breakfast in hotel, you will be driven to Kashgar. The driving time today is about 11-12 hours, and on the way you will visit the King of Yarkan’s Tomb, also called the Tomb of the King of Shache. Firstly built in 1533, the tomb covers an area of 1050 square meters, though it had been damaged over the past hundreds of years, the wall decoration and the structure are in good shape.

Day 20 Kashgar (B,L)

Sightseeing: Kashgar Old City, Idgar Mosque, Abakh Khoja Tomb, Sunday Bazzar

Today you will visit the Kashgar Old City, the only labyrinthine city block in China featuring Islamic culture.

Continue to see Idgar Mosque. It is the largest mosque in Xinjiang, and has a history of over 500 years. The whole mosque is over 140 meters in length and 120 meters in width. Light green is the featured color of the gate, elaborate carvings are everywhere on the gate, representing classic Islamic characteristics.

Then proceed to 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).

If it happens to be Sunday, you will also visit the Sunday Bazzar (bazzar means market, Sunday Bazzar only available on Sundays).

Day 21 Kashgar/Taxkorgan (B,L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Kalakuli Lake

After early breakfast in hotel, you will be driven to Taxkorgan. The driving time today is about 7-8 hours, and on the way you will visit the Kalakuli Lake. Located at the foot of Muztaga Peak, it is about 191 kilometers from Kashgar City. Covering an area of 10 square kilometers, Karakuri Lake is about 30 meters deep with an altitude of 3,600 meters which is an alpine glacial erosion lake famous for its reflection of snow mountains around.

Arrive at the hotel in Tajik Autonomous County of Taxkorgan at night.

Day 22 Taxkorgan/Kashgar (B,L)

Transfer via: Private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Stone City, Golden Grass Land

Today you will visit the ruins of Stone City, this ancient city was built several hundreds of years ago. Located at the north–east of Taxkorgan, it was the capital of ancient Puli Kingdom, one of the 36 kingdoms in the western regions in ancient China's Han Dynasty, now on foot of the stone city living the local people.

Go ahead to visit the Golden Grass Land scenic area, which is a wetland on the Pamirs.

After the tour you will be driven back to Kashgar.

Day 23 Kashgar/Urumqi (B,L)

Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum, International Bazzar

You will be driven to airport and take morning flight to Urumqi, upon arrival you will be picked up and be transferred to visit Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum (close on each Monday), which was officially opened in 1959 and reconstructed in 2005 with a total area of 17,228 square meters. The exhibition hall houses more than 40,000 precious cultural relics and specimens, national relics, revolution relics.

Then you will go ahead to visit the International Grand Bazzar. As the largest bazaar in the world, it sets Islamic culture, architecture, ethnic commerce, entertainment and catering in one, and reputed as the "Window of Xinjiang", "Window of Central Asia" and even the "Window of the World".

Day 24 Urumqi (B,L)

Sightseeing: Heavenly Lake and Heavenly Mountain Scenic Area

Today you will visit the Heavenly Lake and Heavenly Mountain Scenic Area. The scenic area sits on form a natural highland scenic area surrounded by snow mountains and coniferous forest. In a shape of half-moon at an height of 1910 meters above the sea-level, the Heavenly Lake is just like a green pearl inlayed into the northern side of the Heavenly Mountain, 3400 meters in length, 800-1500 meters in width and 105 meters in deepest point.

Day 25 Urumqi/Departure (B)

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Free at leisure until be transferred to airport for your flight departure.

Tour Price

1. Normally hotels allow a maximum of 3 adults per room with an extra bed, at extra charge. Some hotels will allow three adults and a small child.
2. Tour price is indicative only, please enquire for a detailed quotation.
3. More people more discounts. Please enquire for more details.