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Home China Silk Road Tour Silk Road Group Tours 12 Days Essential Silk Road Group Tour from Xi’an to Urumqi

Tour Overview

This 12 days connects the vast areas of China northern land and covers the most essential parts of China Silk Road. Departing from Xian, you will go through Lanzhou, Xiahe, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan and Urumqi to learn the speical scenery, history an culture of each city. The selected pick-up guides and drivers, included accommodations and bullet trains will give you an impressive journey alone the old mysterious Silk Road route! Take this classic trip to explore the splendid natural landscapes and unforgettable cultural relics!

1. Explore the unique landscapes, history, and culture of important cities along the Silk Road.
2. Visit the eighth wonder of the world – the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, the best-preserved city wall in China – the Xi’an City Wall, and the architectural remains of the Tang Dynasty – the Small Wild Goose Pagoda.
3. Take a leisure stroll along the Huanghe River Custom Tourist Line to enjoy the beautiful scenic spots along the way, such as the Yellow River Mother Sculpture and Waterwheel Park.
4. Follow your guide to the famous “underground gallery”, Weijin Tombs, where you will see colorful paint paintings that vividly depict the lives of officials during the Wei and Jin Dynasties.
5. Immerse in the Mogao Grottoes, the hall of Buddhist art, admiring the exquisite murals and beautiful painted sculptures.
6. 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 Xi’an Xianyang International Airport, our driver will pick you up on time with holding a sign with your name on it and then transfer to hotel. Check in your hotel and then it is free and easy on your own arrangement.

    Accommodation: 3 star hotel booked by us

  2. AM: First, we’ll visit today’s highlight –Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, which was praised as “the eighth major miracle of the world”. It’s one of the top ten places of historical interest in China, which listed as the world heritage by the UNESCO about a decade ago including Vault 1, 2 ,3. You will have a chance to visit the Mausoleum of the first emperor Qin.

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    Xian Terracotta Army
    Terracotta Warriors and Horses

    PM: Next, we’ll visit Xi’an Ancient City Wall, which is the most complete city wall that has survived in China. It is one of the largest and most complete ancient military systems of defense in the world, and also the largest and the most intact City Wall of the Ming Dynasty. Therefore, it provides invaluable and substantial material for the study of the history, military science, and architecture of the Ming Dynasty. Afterwards, go head to the very city center located Bell & Drum Tower Square to have an outer look of Bell Tower and Drum Tower. Close to it, you will visit the Great Mosque where you can learn the history that how Muslim culture combined with local. Besides, you can stroll on the Muslim Quarter to find the most authentic local snacks to feast your stomach. After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

    Accommodation: 3 star hotel

    Xian City Wall
    Our customers on Xian City Wall

  3. AM: After the breakfast at hotel, you will meet your guide at hotel lobby. Today you will visit the two famous pagodas in Xi’an downtown: Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Small Wild Goose Pagoda. The first stop is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which was originally built to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that Xuanzang brought back to China from India. Now, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is surrounded by a big garden, and people can have a retreat at there.

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    Xian Big Wild Goose Pagoda
    Big Wild Goose Pagoda

    PM: We will come to Small Wild Goose Pagoda, and it is also a relics that monks learned and translated the Buddhist sutras. Inside the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, you will have a chance to visit Xian Museum which tells you the profound past of this ancient city. Lastly, you will visit the Shuyuanmen Culture Street where many Chinese traditional stationeries collected like writing brushes, inkstand and rice paper. Finally, you will be sent back to your hotel.
    Accommodation: 3 star hotel

    Xian Small Wild Goose Pagoda
    Small Wild Goose Pagoda

  4. AM: Our driver will pick you up from your hotel at 10:30am, drive to Xi’an North Train Station for bullet train G2023/12:12-15:23 to Lanzhou. Upon arrival, our guide and driver will pick you up on time and transfer to hotel. You will have a short rest.

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    PM: We will visit the Yellow River Mother Sculpture and Water Wheel Park. It will be a special enjoy when you appreciate the sunset of Yellow River while walking along it and visit the sculpture and water wheel. After the tour, go to have dinner at local restaurant, then transfer back to the hotel.

    Accommodation: 3 star hotel

    Lanzhou Waterwheel Park
    Waterwheel Park in Huanghe River Custom Tourist Line

  5. AM: Our driver pick you up from your hotel lobby at 8am, and drive for 3 hours to the Binglingsi Grottoes.

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    PM: You will board a boat ship at Liujiaxia Gorge to Binglingsi Grottoes. There are 776 Buddha statues, over 1,076 square yards murals and 6 stones sculptures from 1,600 years ago waiting for your exploring(2.5-3hours). Then, you will have a lunch and drive for about 2 hours to Xiahe. Check in your hotel in Xiahe.

    Accommodation: 3 star hotel

    Bingling Temple Grottoes
    Bingling Temple Grottoes

  6. AM: In the morning, we will go to visit Labrang Monastery, the largest Buddhist Institute of Tibetan Buddhism. Where tourists will also appreciate thousands of statues of Buddha made of various materials.

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    PM: Drive back to Lanzhou and check in hotel.

    Accommodation: 3 star hotel

    Labrang Monastery
    Labrang Monastery

  7. AM: Take the early morning bullet train D2741/07:25-12:00 to Jiayuguan Pass.

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    PM: After having a lunch, we will go to the Jiayuguan Pass, the very west starting point of the Chinese Great Wall. Here, you will see the Great Wall constructed on cliff and also you will have a chance to visit the Great Wall Museum where you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Great Wall as a military defensive system in ancient China. Then, move to the Wei-Jin Art Gallery. It is located at the 20km northeast of Jiayuguan, in a barren section on the outer limits of the Gobi desert.Finally, go to local hotel and check in.

    Accommodation: 3 star hotel

    Jiayuguan Pass in Dunhuang
    Jiayuguan Pass

  8. AM: After breakfast, met by your guide and driver at 8:00am, drive for about 5 hours to Dunhuang.

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    PM: After a short rest, start the tour at about 3.30 pm. We will go to visit the Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake. When you slide down the slope, you can hear the roaring echo of sands, hence the name Echoing-Sand Mountain. A short Camel Ride will leave you an unforgettable memory. Riding along the mountain to reach the Crescent Lake, your eyes will be feasted on the crescent-shaped spring surrounded by the endless Gobi desert. Then go to the Shazhou Night Market to have dinner. After the tour finished, transfer back to your hotel.

    Accommodation: 3 star hotel

    Dunhuang Echoing Sand Mountain
    Echoing Sand Mountain

  9. AM: Our guide and driver pick you up from hotel at 8:00am. First, we will go to visit the Mogao Grottoes, which displays a very colorful and descriptive world in the paintings. And, it is known as one of the four most famous caves in China.

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    PM: After the tour finished, drive for about 2 hours to Liuyuan Train Station for late afternoon bullet train D2711/17:34-21:08 to Turpan. Upon arrival, our local driver will pick you up and transfer to hotel.

    Accommodation: 3 star hotel

    Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang
    Mogao Grottoes

  10. AM: Our English speaking guide and the driver will pick you up from your hotel at 8:30 am. The first stop is Gaochang Ruins: The Ancient City located at the east of Turpan, the city-state that ruled the area from the 9th century to the 13th. Next, we will go to Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Cave, which is located at 50 kilometers to the east of Turpan City. And “Bezeklik” means “a place with beautiful decoration”. There are 83 numbered caves; among them 40 preserved murals totaling 1200 square meters.

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves
    Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves

    PM: Then, we will visit Flaming Hill. The mountain is a branch range of the Bogda Mountain , formed in the organic movements of the Himalayas. Its highest air temperature in summer is 47.8 degrees centigrade, and the ground is over 70 degrees centigrade in summer. For this reason and its natural geographical features, people vividly call it “ Flaming Mountain ”. Besides, we will go to Sugong Pagoda, which is one of the most popular Islamic constructions and the only Islamic style pagoda. After the tour finished, transfer to your hotel.

    Accommodation: 3 star hotel

    Xinjiang Sugong Pagoda
    Sugong Pagoda

  11. AM: Our English speaking guide and the driver will pick you up from your hotel in the morning, drive for about 2.5 hours to Urumqi. First, we will visit the Heavenly Lake.

    Noon: Lunch on your own.

    PM: If time permits, take a city tour in Urumqi, which gives you a glimpse of the major sights of this north-western city populated by the Han people and thirteen ethnic minorities. Quite different from the usual Chinese street scene, Urumqi features nomadic Khazakhs is a Middle Eastern bazaar, a jade-carving center and more. After the tour, transfer to your hotel.

    Accommodation: 3 star hotel

    Xinjiang Heavenly Lake
    Heavenly Lake

  12. Our driver will pick you up from your hotel at confirmed time (usually 2.5 hours ahead of your flying time for domestic flight and 3.5 for international flight), transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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

  • 11 nights accommodation based on 3-star hotels with daily breakfast
  • Bullet train tickets (2nd class seat ): Xi’an-Lanzhou, Lanzhou-Jiayuguan, Dunhuang-Turpan
  • Local ground English-speaking guides
  • All private transfers using Air-conditioned vehicles
  • First Gate Entrance fee to the attractions mentioned
  • Government taxes and service charges
  • One bottle of mineral water per person per day

Price excludes

  • Any lunch and Dinner
  • Guide service on the train
  • Any other services not mentioned in the Itinerary
  • Camel Ride on the Echoing-Sand Mountain (CNY100/person)
  • Tip for driver and guide

Kind Notice

  • Minimum 1 person required to book the tour
  • If you want to do the Silk Road group tour in other date, please contac us about availability and cost
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