The Silk Road was one of the most important arteries of trade and culture in world history that connected the East and West. China’s silk, tea and porcelain were brought to Middle Asia and Europe by the caravans and traders. In exchange, China got glasses, horse, fruits, jades, etc. from Middle Asia and Europe. The Silk Road also played a significant role in the cultural exchange between the East and West. This 5-day tour departs from Xian, the starting point of China Silk Road, ends in Dunhuang, a pearl city along ancient Silk Route, will take you to explore the must-see sights including Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, Ghost City, Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain, as well as the amazing Mogao Grottoes within the limited time. Plus, the bustling Muslim Quarter and Shazhou Night Market definitely will whit your taste bud!
* Experience the unique folklore of Yuanjiacun Village and the flavor of the Muslim Quarter and taste a variety of delicious local snacks.
* Explore the Dunhuang ruins of Jade Gate Pass, overlooking the spectacular Gobi desert, and learn the story of Jade Gate Pass as a military defensive position.
* Gain an insight into the story behind the exquisite murals in the Mogao Grottoes, which is known as the “Pearl of Oriental Art”.
* Get mouth watering by the strong scents of some delicious food at the Shazhou Night Market.
- Day 1: Xian Tour (Lunch)Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Bell Tower & Drum Tower Square, Muslim Quarter
In the morning, meet your guide and driver at the hotel lobby, drive around 1 hour to Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Known as “the Eighth Wonders of the World”, the museum shows a surprisingly high level in sculpture, which is listed in the most significant discoveries of the 20th century.
After lunch, continue your visit to Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Also known as Da Ci’en Pagoda, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built in 652 for keeping the Buss-hist Scriptures which were taken back from India by Master Xuanzang. Till today the pagoda has been standing here for over 1,350 years.
Later, move to Bell Tower & Drum Tower Square which is a strategically important building that marks the geographical center of the ancient capital of Xian, have some relaxing walk here would be very worthwhile to experience local people’s life. Last, go to Muslim Quarter, the most famous food street in Xian. It consists of Islamic food area, ethnic group shopping center, Great Mosque and living area of Hui people, with a history of more than 1,000 years.
Accommodation: Overnight in Xian
- Day 2: Xian Local Culture Tour (Lunch)Ancient City Wall, Yuanjiacun Village
In the morning, come to the exciting Ancient City Wall. It is the most completely preserved and the largest city wall in China, which was built for the military defense in the ancient time. Since it is cycling the city, visitors can ride a bike around the city wall(optional).
Later, drive around 1 hour to Yuanjiacun Village - one of ten most beautiful villages in Shannxi Province. It is a best place to feel the history of Guanzhong area and the idyllic life of local people that is akin to the 1950s and 1960s. Here, you would have chance to watch Qin Opera Show, taste authentic local food, and try milling flour, waving cloth, making vinegar, and grinding soybean to make Tofu (Bean Curd). That surely will be an interesting and much more impressive experience.
Accommodation: Overnight in Xian
- Day 3: Xian-Dunhuang by Flight (Lunch)Jade Gate Pass, Ghost City
Today you will take morning flight to Dunhuang.
When you arrive at Dunhuang airport, the local English speaking tour guide and driver to pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name. After short rest, you will explore the 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.
Later, head 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!
Accommodation: Overnight in Dunhuang
- Day 4: Dunhuang Tour (Lunch)Mogao Grottoes, Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain, Shazhou Night Market
In the morning 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 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 your tour guide will help to purchase tickets.
Later, move on 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 5: Dunhuang Departure (No meal)
Enjoy your free time till hotel pickup. At the confirmed time, the driver will meet you at the hotel lobby and transfer to Dunhuang train station or airport to see you off. Wish you a pleasant trip!
- Xian-Dunhuang flight (economic class)
- 4 Chinese style lunch as mentioned in itinerary
- 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
- China Visas/trains
- Any dinner
- Any optional activity/camel ride/battery car/shuttle bus/horse rides inside the attractions
- Any item beyond “Price Includes”
- Our package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase commercial travel insurance before your trip for any unforeseen circumstance.
- Gratuities to guide and driver (recommended if you are satisfied with their services)