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Home China Silk Road Tour Silk Road Private Tours 10 Days Ancient China Silk Road Tour from Xian to Kashgar

Tour Overview

Take the 10-day China Silk Road tour package to experience a variety of landscapes rich in historic relics, cultural relics, ethnic flavors, and natural sights. Extending from Xian to Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, and finally Kashgar, your eyes will be dazzled by the amazing Terracotta Warriors, Rainbow Mountains, Jiayuguan Great Wall, Mogao Caves, Crescent Spring, Jiaohe Ruins, Heavenly Lake, Kashgar Old Town…

And your spirit will be extremely satisfied by the brilliant culture and history created on the noble Silk Road. Please feel free to inquire if you have any ideas about your trip!

Travel destinations: Xi’an, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Kashgar
Suitable for: First-timers, History Buffs
Tour type: Private

Highlights of this tour:

1. Marvel at the skill of ancient craftsmen when witnessing the majestic life-size terracotta warriors.
2. Take the spectacular Danxia Landform landscape of colorful Rainbow Mountain scenery.
3. Ascend the fortress of Jiayuguan Fort, the westernmost end of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall.
4. Follow your guide to the famous “underground gallery”, Weijin Tombs, to see colorful paint paintings.
5. Immerse in the Mogao Grottoes, the hall of Buddhist art, admiring the exquisite murals and beautiful painted sculptures.
6. Be dazzled by the overwhelming of goods in the stalls of Xinjiang International Bazaar.
7. Photograph the fascinating scenery of Heavenly Lake, composed of quiet lakes and mountains, majestic snow-capped peaks, pristine forests, and endless grasslands.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Upon your arrival at Xian airport/train station, the local English-speaking tour guide and driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name.

    Friendly tip: you are suggested to land at Xian before 11 AM to ensure no rush for the rest of the day.

    Your Silk Road tour of China begins with Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Known as "the Eighth Wonders of the World", the museum shows a surprisingly high level of sculpture, which is listed among the most significant discoveries of the 20th century. The splendid scene and format will leave you with an impressive memory.

    After that, if time permits, you can continue your visit to the Muslim quarter to have relaxing sightseeing and enjoy the local food/snacks. Muslin Quarter is the most famous food street in Xian. It consists of an Islamic food area, an ethnic group shopping center, a Great Mosque, and the living area of the Hui people, with a history of more than 1,000 years. The tour guide will give recommendations for you to have the best local food experience.

    Meal: Lunch

    Accommodation: in Xian

    Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xian
    Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xian

  2. In the morning, the driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and drop you off at Xian North Train Station for a high-speed train to Zhangye. The train rides for around 6.5 hours, and you are suggested to prepare some snacks or just enjoy the scenery on the way.

    Upon your arrival at Zhangye West Train Station, the local driver will be waiting for you at the exit gate holding a welcome board with your name and transfer to a local hotel. Free and easy on your own for the rest of the day. You can explore Zhangye City on your own. (No tour guide service for today ).

    Reference trains: D2671 / 07:48-14:16 or D2687 / 10:08-16:43. The Xian tour guide will give the paper train tickets to you when you are in Xian.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Zhangye

  3. Get up early to visit the highlights of Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park. The Danxia landform earns the most spotlight for Zhangye City. Rated as one of the "10 Wonders of Nature in the World" in 2011 by National Geographic News, it does deserve the reputation. There are two main scenic areas of the Zhangye Danxia with different features, and you will visit The Rainbow Mountain Scenic Area today.

    Located in Linze County, Rainbow Mountain features its bright color and is better for enjoying the sunset, which is chosen by most travelers. Seen from the high platform, the rising layers of mountains in beautiful red with different saturation are bathed in rosy sunlight, depicting a gorgeous picture for the visitors who trudged a lot to here.

    In the afternoon, you will head back to Zhangye City and continue your visit to Zhangye Giant Buddhist Temple. Built in the Western Xia Dynasty, the Giant Buddhist Temple survived the vicissitudes and stood on the Silk Road for 900 years. There is a gigantic sleeping Buddha statue of Sakyamuni the largest scale in Asia inside the temple, hence the name. The beautiful woodcarving, paintings, and statues as well as the underlying culture and history impress travelers a lot.

    Meal: Breakfast + Lunch

    Accommodation: in Zhangye

    Danxia Geological National Park Rainbow Mountain
    Rainbow Mountain, Danxia Geological National Park

  4. At 08:00 am, the driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and transfer you to the train station for your high-speed train to Jiayuguan (reference train number: D2743 / 10:27-11:53 ). Upon your arrival at Jiayuguan station, you will find the local English-speaking tour guide and driver waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name.

    After driving through the yellow sand of the desert, you will come to Jiayuguan Pass, also known as the "First and Greatest Pass Under Heaven", "the Throat of Hexi Corridor". As the western end of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty, Jiayuguan Pass, being constructed for hundreds of years, not only occupied a vital position in military defense but also exerted an important influence in trade & culture exchange as a key waypoint of the ancient Silk Road.

    Next, continue your private China Silk Road tour to the Jiayuguan Great Wall Museum. Inside the Jiayuguan Pass Scenic Area, there is the first Great Wall-themed museum with 7 major exhibition halls to show you more detailed knowledge about this great construction engineering in Chinese history. The oil painting of the Great Wall exhibited here on a large scale, about 220.5 square meters is a highlight deserving a longer stop.

    Afterwards, move on to Weijin Tombs. Driving through the wilder Gobi about 20km from Jiayuguan City, you will come to the famous "underground gallery", Weijin Tombs. Under the title, wall paints dominate the theme of the visit to this site. Underneath the yellow sand, were about 1,400 ancient tombs buried in the obscure desert and only 6 tombs are open to the public today. It's a surprise discovery process when beholding the paints with bright colors vividly depicting the scholars and official life in Weijin Time.

    Last, check in at the local hotel.

    Meal: Breakfast + Lunch

    Accommodation: in Jaiyuguan

    Jiayuguan Pass
    Jiayuguan Pass

  5. Dunhuang played an important role in history, especially during the boom of the Silk Road. It is not only an important link of economic and cultural exchanges between the East and the West, but also a place where many cultures meet.

    At around 05:00 am, the driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and transfer you to the train station for your high-speed train to Dunhuang (reference train number: K367 / 05:45-10:51 ).

    Friendly tip: there is ONLY one trip on a high-speed train from Jiayuguan to Dunhuang in the morning. Thus, you will get up early in this morning to catch the train. You are suggested to take-away breakfast.

    The train rides for around 5 hours. Upon your arrival at Dunhuang, you will find the local English-speaking tour guide and driver waiting for you at the exit gate holding a welcome board with your name. When it is not too hot, you will start your Dunhuang Silk Road tour of China with Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain.

    Echo Sand Mountain and Crescent Spring are harmonious mates of miracles created by nature, glittering like a pearl along the Silk Road for thousands of years. The incredible co-existence between spring water and sand mountains always amazes visitors at their first sight here: the sand mountains meander like a huge dragon and roar when wings blow while the Crescent Spring, like a gentle maiden, is embraced in the arms of mountains without being smudging.

    Friendly tip: There is a camel ride available in the Echo Sand Mountain, if you would like to try it, please pay in cash on your own (around CNY100~150/pax ). Of course, your tour guide will help to purchase tickets.

    Last, come to Shazhou Night Market for further exploration. Though you might have visited many night markets or food streets during your weeks of vacation, Shazhou Night Market still brings you something different. On a stroll, you'll discover the unique vibrancy of this northwestern city, far from the rural center.

    Meal: Breakfast + Lunch

    Accommodation: in Dunhuang

    Dunhuang Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Spring
    Experience riding a camel

  6. This morning you will head to the amazing Mogao Grottoes. As the existing anthology of Buddhist art with the biggest scale and the best preservation in the world, Mogao Caves wins fame as "the pearls of oriental art". It keeps 735verns, about 45,000 square kilometers of frescoes, 2,415 painted sculptures, more than 4,000 flying Apsaras (the beautiful Bodhisattva in Buddhism who has fair scent and does well in dancing and music), and 5 wooden constructions of Tang and Song Dynasty as well as thousands of Stone pillars and flagstones with lotus carving on them.

    After the visit, you will take a high-speed train to Turpan. The train rides for around 3.5 hours, you can have a nap on the train or just enjoy the scenery on the way. When you arrive at Turpan train station, there will be a local driver picking you up and transferring you to a local hotel.

    Meal: Breakfast + Lunch

    Accommodation: in Turpan

    Buddha Statues in Mogao Grottoes
    Buddha Statues in Mogao Grottoes

  7. The first site of the China Silk Road in Turpan will be Karez Well, an underground irrigation system created by ancient Xinjiang people. This project can be called the source of life for the arid northwestern region. Later, move on to Sugong Pagoda, you will witness this typical Islamic architecture with the largest scale among all pagodas in Xinjiang.

    Next, come to Tuyu Valley. It is the oldest Uyghur village in Xinjiang and a nice place to soak up Buddhist and Islamic culture. Afterwards, continue your visit to Jiaohe Ruins, the largest, oldest and best-preserved raw-soil building in the world with a history of more than 2,000 years. You will wander around this ancient city stepping back in time to trace past civilizations.

    Xinjiang Sugong Pagoda
    Sugong Pagoda

    At the end of the tour, you will head to Urumqi in 3 hours of driving. Upon arrival at Urumqi, follow your guide to explore Xinjiang International Bazaar. It's one of the bazaars with the largest scale in the world with a strong Islam flavor in its buildings. You should not miss this site during your tour to Urumqi, even if you are not going shopping, you would favor the experience for the strong ethnic flavor here. Eyes are dazzled by the overwhelming of goods in the stalls while ears are excited by the hawking, bewildering you if you are traveling through space and time to the ancient Silk Road to glimpse the prosperous trades between different nations.

    Meal: Breakfast + Lunch

    Accommodation: in Urumqi

    Erdaoqiao International Bazaar Xinjiang
    Chinaxiantour's customers in Xinjiang International Bazaar

  8. After breakfast at the hotel, drive around 1.5 hours to the amazing Heavenly Lake of Tianshan Mountain. Heavenly Lake, read Tianchi Lake in Chinese, is an alpine lake nestled against the slope of the snow-covered Bodga Mountain. Heat, the special feature coming with summer is seldom there due to its geographical conditions. Looking out over the scenic area, the white snowy mountains mirroring the green lake and colorful flowers spotted on the green grassland along the lake, plus the tour guide's commentary to the tale of Queen Mother of the West bringing it some color of mystery, both your eyes and souls will be fully pleased by the pure beauty here.

    Afterwards, move on to Xinjiang Regional Museum. As the only autonomous region-class museum in Xinjiang, the museum houses over 40,000 collections including all kinds of relics and specimens, exhibited in five separate halls. You can find many treasures ever glittering on the famous Silk Road. The No.1 star exhibition in the museum is the unprecedented ancient corpse with even tiny fingernails well preserved.

    At the end of the visit, you will be dropped off at the airport for an evening flight to Kashgar, the last destination of your 10-day China Silk Road tour. Upon your arrival at Kashgar airport, there will be a local driver picking you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and transferring to the local hotel.

    Meal: Breakfast + Lunch

    Accommodation: in Kashgar

    Xinjiang Heavenly Lake
    Heavenly Lake

  9. Today, you will further visit Kashgar city. No doubt the first site will be Kashgar Old Town. Kashgar's spirit is in the old town with curved lanes distributed in the maze-like Islam blocks, which is the thing that bewilders you to be here. Eyes on face and camera in hands should be busiest during the visit, elegant folk dwellings, neat streets, cozy tea houses gathering leisure old people, naughty kids playing in front of doors and bursting into laughter when you walking closely... soul warmth rising from the bottom of hearts along your slowly wander.

    Xinjiang Kashgar Old Town
    Welcome Ceremony in Kashgar Old Town

    Later, move on to the Local Handicrafts Market. Spending some time in the handicrafts market is also a top thing to do in Kashgar. Follow the local crowd to walk leisurely and stop at a stall interesting you or talking with those hawkers with ethnic faces. Do not forget to bargain when you are picking some as souvenirs.

    After that, visit the largest Islam Mosque in Xinjiang - the Id Kah Mosque, whose birth can be traced back to 1442, in the Ming Dynasty. It's an ancient architectural complex sitting in the city center with strong ethnic and religious color, composed of four parts: the pagoda, garden, scripture hall, and praying hall. Not only function as a center for religious activities, is the Mosque also a place for local people to celebrate festivals. If you are lucky enough to visit it on a praying day and or festival day, you will meet an extremely busy scene where thousands of Islam followers gather on the Square.

    Meal: Breakfast + Lunch

    Accommodation: in Kashgar

    Kashgar Id Kah Mosque Xinjiang
    Id Kah Mosque

  10. The 10 days China Silk Road tour will end today. We will arrange an airport transfer for you and wish you a pleasant journey home! If you want to visit more places in China, please feel free to contact us. We will be very happy to help!

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: N/A

Price Includes

  • 9 nights' accommodation in well-selected hotels;
  • Meals listed in the itinerary;
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle with licensed drivers;
  • Excellent local English-speaking tour guides services as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Entrance tickets as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Second-class train tickets and economic-class flights mentioned in the itinerary;
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day;
  • China Travel Insurance.

Price Excludes

  • Flight/train tickets to Xian / off Kashgar;
  • China Visa fee;
  • Any optional activities inside the attractions;
  • Any item not mentioned in the itinerary;
  • All kinds of gratuities for guides, drivers & others.
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