Have you ever been attracted by the charming Rainbow Mountains and the incredible Mogao Grottoes? You must see Zhangye’s miraculous hills in bright colors and hear the mysterious tales of those Flying Apsaras in Duhuang’s wall piantings on the internet when searching your China Silk Road travel information. This 4-day Zhangye and Dunhuang tour will take you to explore the not-to-miss attractions along the ancient Silk Road including Zhangye Giant Buddhist Temple, Mati Temple, The Rainbow Mountain, Mogao Grottoes, Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain, Shazhou Night Market at a very reasonable price! Just pick it, you won’t be regret.
- Day 1: Zhangye Arrival & Zhangye Tour (L)Zhangye Giant Buddhist Temple, Mati Temple
Upon your arrival at Zhangye 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!
The first site will be Zhangye Giant Buddha Temple. Built in Western Xia Dynasty, the Giant Buddha 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.
After that, continue your visit to Mati Temple. Mati Temple in Zhangye, joined with Mogao Caves and Yulin Grottoes in Dunhuang, is famed as “Three Artistic Grottoes of Hexi Corridor”. You will amaze at the incredible combination of Buddhist temple and mountain grottoes here: the large elegant temple stands against the hill where plenty of grottoes were engraved. Another luminous point of Mati Temple is that it embraces both Han Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism at meantime which you will discover in the visit here.
Last, transfer to local hotel for accommodation.
Accommodation: Overnight in Zhangye
- Day 2: Zhangye-Dunhuang Tour by High-speed Train (B, L)The Rainbow Mountain Scenic Area
Get up early to enjoy the highlight of Zhangye -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.
Finishing the sightseeing, you will head to Zhangye train station to catch afternoon high-speed train to Dunhuang. The train rides around 4.5 hours, you can take this chance to rest on the train or enjoy the outside scenery. Upon arrival at Dunhuang station, there will be our local driver to pick you up from the exit gate by holding a board with your name and send you to local hotel.
Accommodation: Overnight in Dunhuang
- Day 3: Dunhuang Classic Tour (B, L)Mogao Grottoes, Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain, Shazhou Night Market
Today you will explore the best of Dunhuang! No doubt the first site will be 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 late afternoon when it is not too hot, continue your visit 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 yout tour guide will help to purchase tickets.
Last, come to Shazhou Night Market for further food 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 4: Dunhuang Departure (B)
Free and easy on your own until the pickup time for departure. Our driver will meet you at the hotel lobby and transfer to Dunhuang airport / train station to see you off.