Gansu Province, including Jiayuguan and Dunhuang, is an essential area for the ancient Silk Road in China, boasting the tremendous historic & cultural relics as well as fabulous natural scenery. In this 4 days private tour, accompanied by the local English-speaking tour guide and experienced driver, you will explore the mighty Jiayuguan Pass, the delicate Yulin Grottoes, the amazing Ghost City and the incredible Mogao Grottoes through this 4-day tour. Just try it!
- Day 1: Jiayuguan Arrival & Jiayuguan Tour (L)Jiayuguan Pass, Jiayuguan Great Wall Museum, Weijin Tombs
Upon your arrival at Jiayuguan airport / train station, our local English speaking tour guide and driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name. Your exploration begins!
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 Jiayuguan local hotel for overnight.
Accommodation: Overnight in Jiayuguan
- Day 2: Jiayuguan-Dunhuang Tour (B,L)Yulin Grottoes, Shazhou Night Market
After breakfast, you will head to Dunhuang. On the way, you will visit Yulin Grottoes which locates in Jiuquan City, about 100km east away from Dunhuang city. Although not being as famous as Mogao Grottoes and Longmen Grottoes, Yulin Grottoes is rated highly and commented as a surprise by former visitors. It is the lower fame that makes the grottoes less visited and better protected. Engraved in North Wei Dynasty on the cliff of the Yulin River Valley, Yulin Grottoes looks extremely spectacular. The colorful wall paintings here will take you into another world with strong flavor of history and religion.
Arrival in Dunhuang, 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
- Day 3: Dunhuang Tour (B, L)Jade Gate Pass, Great Wall of the Han Dynasty, Ghost City, Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain
Today you will further explore the local relics of Dunhuang. The first site will be Jade Gate Pass. The relics of Jade Gate Pass is located at the far western edge of Hexi Corridor, about 90 km away from Dunhuang city, with main geographical landscape of gobi and deserts. How bleak you feel about this place from eyes, how moved you feel about its history from your hearts. Jade Gate Pass had been a vital position on military defense in ancient China since the time of famous Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty who is famous for his achievements on defending against invasion. So many heroes with their stories about Jade Gate Pass emerged in the history and so many famous events happened there has been written in poems and novels and familiar by people.
Afterwards, move on to the Great Wall of the Han Dynasty. With history about 2,100 years, the Great Wall of the Han Dynasty is another masterpiece from the great Emperor Wu who was ambitious in defending against Huns and uniting the Western Regions. The Great Wall was taken 20 years to build, playing an important role in pacifying the regions. The section we will visit is the best-preserved part today.
Later, continue your visit to The Yadan Landform (Ghost City). The Yadan Landform we are heading for is about 90km west away from Jade Gate Pass. About 25km long and 1-2km wide, this place yells when wind blowing just like ghost screaming, scaring visitors a lot, hence the name of Ghost City. Going inside, it excites your eyes and amazes your mind with those “streets”, “buildings”, “squares” and even “churches” forming a real “city” relic!
In the late afternoon when it is not too late, come to explore the 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 yout tour guide will help to purchase tickets.
Accommodation: Overnight in Dunhuang
- Day 4: Dunhuang Tour & Dunhuang Departure (B, L)Mogao Grottoes
Today you will head to the amazing Mogao Grottoes. As the existing anthology of Buddhist art with biggest scale and the best preservation in the world, Mogao Caves wins a fame of “the pearls of oriental art”. It keeps 735verns, about45,000 square kilometers frescoes, 2,415 painted sculpture, more than 4,000 flying Apsaras (the beautiful Bodhisattva in the 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.
In the afternoon, you will be dropped off at Dunhuang airport / train station for departure.