Dunhuang, well-connected with Urumqi by 4.5-hour high-speed train, is an artery city along Hexi Corridor on Silk Road. This 4 days Urumqi & Dunhuang tour departing from Urumqi, ending in Dunhuang, will bring you an in-depth exploration of the holy Heavenly Lake of Tianshan Mountain, the splendid Echo Sand Mountain and Crescent Spring as well as the brilliant Mogao Grottoes. Strolling down the bustling Xinjiang Bazaar and Shazhou Night Market, you definitely will have a lot of fun!
*Trace Xinjiang’s history and culture in Xinjiang Regional Museum.
*Discover some interesting things or local souvenirs in Xinjiang International Bazaar.
*Visit one of the five most beautiful deserts in China-Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain.
*Appreciate the brilliant Buddhist art in Mogao Grottoes.
*Feel the local lifestyle and unique culture in Shazhou Night Market.
- Day 1: Urumqi Arrival (No meal)
Upon your arrival at Urumqi airport / train station, the local driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name and transfer to local hotel for check-in. Free and easy on your own for rest of the day.
Accommodation: Overnight in Urumqi
- Day 2: Urumqi Classic Tour (B, L)Heavenly Lake, Xinjiang Regional Museum, Xinjiang International Bazaar
After hotel breakfast, meet your guide at hotel lobby and your exploration begins! The first site will be 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 in 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, Xinjiang Regional 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.
Then, come to Xinjiang International Bazaar for further sightseeing. It’s one of the bazaars with largest scale in the world with strong Islam flavor in its buildings. You should not miss this site during your tour to Urumqi, even if you are not going for shopping, you would favor the experience for the strong ethnic flavor here. Eyes are dazzled by an overwhelming of goods in the stalls while ears are excited by the hawking, bewildering you if you are travel through space and time to the ancient silk road to glimpse the prosperous trades between different nations.
Accommodation: Overnight in Urumqi
- Day 3: Urumqi-Dunhuang by High-speed Train (L)Echo Sand Mountain and Crescent Spring, Shazhou Night Market
At around 06:00, the local driver will pick you up from Urumqi downtown hotel and transfer to train station for your morning high-speed train to Dunhuang. The train rides around 4.5 hours, which would be a good chance for you to enjoy the scenery of Northwest China on the way.
When you arrive at Dunhuang Liuyuan Train Station, the local English speaking tour guide and driver will be waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name. After lunch in a local restaurant, your Dunhuang tour starts!
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.
Afterwards, move on to Shazhou Night Market. 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 4: Dunhuang Tour & Dunhuang Departure (B, L)Mogao Grottoes
Today will be the highlight of your Dunhuang tour as 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.
Friendly tip: You are suggested to depart after 15:00 to ensure no rush for the tour.