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Home China City Tours Xining Tours Silk Road Tours Including Xining 10 Days Silk Road Hexi Corridor Tour from Xining to Dunhuang

Tour Overview

A China Silk Road tour won’t be complete without the visit of Hexi Corridor. This 10 days 10-day Silk Road Hexi Corridor tour departs from Xining to Tongren, Xiahe, Lanzhou, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, and Dunhuang, with the inclusive of professional local guides, experienced drivers, high-speed trains as well as comfortable hotels, bringing you a true adventure to trace the real civilization of ancient Silk Route. Just imagine it: you will leave your footprints to the holy Ta’er Monastery, the gorgeous Qinghai Lake, the amazing Rainbow Mountain, the splendid Mogao Grottoes…

Highlights of this tour:

* Visit the largest inland lake in China, Qinghai Lake, which is surrounded by vast grasslands, numerous rivers, abundant water and grass, and a sea of rape flowers in summer.
* Take a spiritual journey to several typical Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, – Ta’er Monastery, Longwu Monastery, and Labrang Monastery.
* Feast your eyes on the spectacular view of the colorful Rainbow Mountain in Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park.
* Take part in a wide variety of optional desert entertainment items at the Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain, which are harmonious mates of miracles created by nature.
* Step inside the caves of Mogao Grottoes to find out why it is praised as the pearl of oriental art and admire the exquisite apsaras frescoes.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Upon your arrival at Xining 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.

    You will explore the amazing Xining by visiting Ta’er Monastery. As one of the “Six Great Monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism Gelug Sect”, Ta’er Monastery is another site in Xining, Qinghai Province, sharing the same popularity with Qinghai Lake. Ta’er Monastery has profound historical origin that it’s the birthplace of famous Tsongkhapa, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism Gelug Sect. Not only bearing the divine position in religious followers, the monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist institution of higher education. Beneath the glorious decorations on surface fascinating your eyes, the rich accumulations in history, culture, religion and arts of Ta’er Monastery excites your souls deeply especially when meeting those devout followers trudged for pilgrimage here.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Xining

    Ta'er Monastery in Qinghai
    Ta'er Monastery

  2. After breakfast, drive around 2.5 hours to the amazing Qinghai Lake. You must have heard the fame of Qinghai Lake before you go. It is indeed hot for tour to Qinghai and the whole Silk Road. Why? The co-existence of different views collected at the meantime at Qinghai Lake push its fame higher and higher: massive sea-like lake, vast desert, lush meadow-grass and yellow sea of rape flower. A single one of the four elements would attract people as a “wonderful place”, however, the mix of the four at Qinghai Lake makes it a “must-go” place. Each summer (June and July), it ushers in the annual peak when the blossom of rape flowers and round-the-lake cycle track here.

    Today, the main scenic area as you will be visiting is the Erlangjian Scenic Area where is reputed as the most beautiful place in Qinghai Lake. There is boat cruises, horse rides and bike rides available around the lake, you can optionally try it according to your interests (optional).

    Finishing the sightseeing, drive back to your hotel.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Xining

    Qinghai Lake
    Qinghai Lake

  3. After breakfast, drive around 2.5 hours to Tongren Country and visit the Longwu Monastery which bearing large scale and exerting important influence in the wake of Ta’er Monastery and Labrang Monastery in Western Region of China. It’s a typical Tibetan Buddhist Monastery with profound history dating back 600 years ago, regarded as center of spirit by locals. Travelling here, you will be treated with a feast on gorgeous architecture complex, delicate Thangkas, Buddhist statues and interesting historic stories.

    Later, continue to drive around 2.5 hours to Xiahe for overnight.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Xiahe

    Longwu Monastery
    Longwu Monastery

  4. Today you will visit the must-see sights in Xiahe. The first one will be the amazing Labrang Monastery. You will regret that you didn’t pay an earlier visit to Labrang Monastery if you hear the loud titles of it: one of the “Six Great Monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism Gelug Sect”, famous Tibetan Buddhist college with best complete teaching system of Tibetan Buddhism, the longest corridor of turning scriptures in the world…It does deserve the titles and also your visit after trudge. The grand temple complex housing elegant Buddhist images and statues, wall paintings and other treasures receives devout worship from those Tibetans who are pilgriming from misty valley in each dawn, telling you the moved power of belief from hearts.

    In the afternoon, move on to Sangka Grasslands definitely would refresh yourself. Distinct from the spiritous touch at Labrang Monastery, Sangke Grasslands is filled with esthetical taste, appealing endless people to cry out mental pressure built up from busy life. Lush grasses waves green carpets here stretching distantly on the plateau with altitude of 3,000 meters while flocks and herds spotted on it to add more vitality, which forms awesome idyllic sights, bewildering travelers to crazily click the shutters. More “wow” moments here is from those interesting activities at local families, like have local foods and appreciate their ethnic dances.

    Friendly tip: The best visit time to Sangka Grasslands is from June to September.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Xiahe

    Labrang Monastery
    Labrang Monastery

  5. Today you will head to Lanzhou. One the way, making a stop at Binglingsi Grottoes will be a perfect chance to further learn Chinese culture of grottoes. It is actually a series of grotto complex featured in Buddhist elements and engraved on the mountain cliffs. Considering Binglingsi Grottoes stands on the cliff along Liujiaxia reservoir, people need to take a speedboat to approach the grottoes to have a better visit. The boat thrilling travels through the breath-taking landscape offering a delicious appetizer for travelers, later on, the climax is coming when you walking closely to those giant statues with vivid shapes and walling paintings in bright color, deeply dazzling each visitor.

    After the visit, drive around 1.5 hours to Lanzhou.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Lanzhou

    Bingling Temple Grottoes
    Bingling Temple Grottoes

  6. In the morning, follow your guide to explore the highlights of Lanzhou city. The first one will be Huanghe River Custom Tourist Line, which is considered as “the Bund of Lanzhou City”, taking Zhongshan Bridge as the axis to stretch out along the Yellow River. The sites to visit of the Tourist Line are distributed on the Road River, including Yellow River Mother Sculpture, Zhongshan Iron Bridge, White Pagoda Hill Park, Waterwheel Park and so on. A leisure strolling bathed in rosy light of dusk on the River Road is a top thing to do in Lanzhou.

    Later, move on to Gansu Provincial Museum which is the largest one in the whole Gansu with abundant collections reflecting Gansu local culture and Silk Road ‘s history and culture. The famous Bronze Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow exhibited in Silk Road Hall on the second floor is the most precious treasure of the museum. Besides, the Buddhist Hall displaying the Buddhist cultures featuring Han nationality, Tibetan region and Western region and grottoe arts from Dunhuang and Tianshui are also big seeing points here.

    In the afternoon, you will be dropped off at Lanzhou train station for high-speed train to Zhangye. The train rides around 4.5 hours which would be a good chance for you to rest on the train or enjoy the urban scenery outside the window on the way. Upon your arrival at Zhangye West Station, there will be the local driver picking you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and drive to local hotel.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Zhangye

    Lanzhou Waterwheel Park
    Waterwheel Park in Huanghe River Custom Tourist Line

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

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

    In the afternoon, drive back to Zhangye city and pay a visit to Zhangye Giant Buddhist Temple. Built in Western Xia Dynasty, the Giant Buddhist Temple had survived from the vicissitudes and stands on Silk Road for 900 years. There is a gigantic sleeping Buddha statue of Sakyamuni with the largest scale in Asia inside the temple, hence the name. The beautiful woodcarving, paintings and statues as well as the underneath culture and history impresses travelers a lot.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Zhangye

    Zhangye Danxian Rainbow Mountains
    Rainbow Mountains

  8. Today you will head to Jiayuguan and explore the best relics in Jiayuguan. After driving through the yellow sand of 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 Great Wall of Ming Dynasty, Jiayuguan Pass, being constructed for hundreds of years, not only occupied a vital position in military defense but also exerted importance influence in trade & culture exchange as a key waypoint of ancient Silk Road. You can climb up the tower to admire the entire view.

    Next, continue your visit to 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 constructional engineering in Chinese history. The oil painting of Great Wall exhibited here with large scale, about 220.5 m2 is a highlight deserving 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. In accordance with 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 public today. It’s definitely a surprise discovery process when beholding the paints with bright colors vividly depicting the scholars and officals’ life in Weijin Time. The background knowledge about history, culture, politics and economy reflected by the paintings explained by tour guide helps you better understand this site, please follow up your guide closely!

    Last, transfer to local hotel.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Jiayuguan

    Jiayuguan Pass
    Jiayuguan Pass

  9. After breakfast, drive around 5 hours to Dunhuang. You are suggested to wear comfortable shoes and take some snacks considering this will be a long-time journey.

    Having lunch in Dunhuang, and after short rest when it is not too hot, you will head to Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain. Echo Sand Mountain and Crescent Spring are harmonious mates of miracle created by natural, 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 meanders like a huge dragon and roars when wings blowing while the Crescent Spring, like a gentle maiden, is embraced in arms of mountains without being smudging. A life-time experience provided here as optional activity is camel ride at Echo Sand Mountain.

    Friendly tip: There is camel ride available in the Echo Sand Mountain, if you would like to try it, please pay in cash on your own (around CNY100 /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 something different for you. Mogao Caves visited in daytime put the most outstanding highlight of Dunhuang before you, Shazhou Night Market just takes you into the down-to-earth life of the local. Do you feel a pull from the strong perfume emitting from the stalls bathed in the dim lights and speed up towards the hawkers and carefully avoid the busy crowds? For sure, you will find the special vitality of this northwest city remoting from the country center during your leisure strolling.

    Accommodation: Overnight in Dunhuang

    Dunhuang Echoing Sand Mountain
    Echoing Sand Mountain

  10. Today 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, about45,000 square kilometers of frescoes, 2,415 painted sculptures, more than 4,000 flying Apsaras (the beautiful Bodhisattva in Buddhism that has a 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 a lotus carving on them.

    In the afternoon, you will be dropped off at Dunhuang airport/train station for departure. Your 10-day Silk Road Hexi Corridor tour ends here smoothly.

    Accommodation: N/A

    Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes
    Mogao Grottoes

Tour Price Per Person

The price varies depending on the activity, number of people, travel date, and selected hotel. Please contact us for a specific price.


Price Includes

  • 9 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotel with daily breakfast
  • Lanzhou-Zhangye high-speed train (second class seat)
  • 10 Chinese style lunches
  • Entrance tickets as listed in itinerary
  • Excellent English-speaking tour guides
  • Private transfers in air-conditioned vehicle with licensed drivers
  • Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour
  • Government taxes

Price Excludes

  • China Visas/flights
  • Any dinner
  • Any optional activity/battery car/shuttle bus/boat cruise/camel rides/horse rides etc. inside the attractions
  • Our package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase commercial travel insurance before your trip for any unforeseen circumstance
  • Any item beyond "Price Includes"
  • Gratuities to guide and driver (recommended if you are satisfied with their services)
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