Dunhuang, well-linked with Zhangye by a 4-hour high-speed train, is the first choice with Mogao Grottoes after your Zhangye Rainbow Mountain tour if you have limited time. Through this 5-day tour, travelers will not only admire all the worth-to-visit sights including Giant Buddhist Temple and Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye, Mogao Grottoes, Crescent Spring as well as Echo Sand Mountain in Dunhuang, but also enjoy a pleasant train trip with reasonable cost. Just try it!
The Rainbow Mountain, Zhangye Giant Buddhist Temple, Mati Temple, Jade Gate Pass, Great Wall of the Han Dynasty, Ghost City, Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain, Mogao Grottoes
Upon your arrival at Zhangye airport / train station, our 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.
Today you will fully 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.
Firstly, come to visitThe Rainbow Mountain Scenic Area which locates in Linze County, 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.
In the afternoon, move on toThe Ice Valley Mountain Scenic Area, read Binggou Mountain in Chinese, earns its fame mainly with its graceful shapes. Usually, people come here for sunrise scenery. Although the color of hills here are not as bright as Rainbow Mountain, the unique form here easily excites people’s imagination to enjoy the natural masterpiece in another way.
After breakfast, you will further explore Zhangye by visiting two of the most important temples. The first one is Zhangye Giant Buddhist Temple. Built in Western Xia Dynasty, the Giant Buddhist 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.
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.
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, 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!
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.
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.
4 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels with daily breakfast
Zhangye-Dunhuang high-speed train (second class seat)
4 Chinese style lunches
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
Any optional activity/camel ride/battery car/shuttle bus/horse rides inside the attractions
Our package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase commercial travel insurance before your trip for any unforeseen circumstance
Any item beyond "Price Includes"
Gratuities to guide and driver (recommended if you are satisfied with their services)
The core of our service is excellent travel guides. Over 20 years, we have built up a considerable professional guide team that is knowledgeable, attentive and flexible. The most experienced and reliable guides will be arranged for your unique China tour. Our passionate guide team is full of contagious enthusiasm and keen interest to share culture and history in a pleasant manner. We are always glad at your service to lead you to explore a real China and experience authentic local life in China.
Our Driver and Vehicle
The first mission of our service is to ensure you feel safe and comfortable during your travel. The vehicles we use are air-conditioned, clean and well-maintained. Our drivers are all licensed drivers with many years of driving experience. Moreover, we offer free baby seats for families with little kids.
Food is a very important part of Chinese culture. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to taste the real local Chinese food!
Buffet breakfast will be included in the hotel if you would like accommodation to be arranged by us. Having lunch at local restaurants close and convenient to the attractions you will visit, you would enjoy the local dishes in each city. Chinese style, Vegetarian or Muslim meals are all available. If you have any other diet requirements or allergies, please feel free to let us know, we will try our best to organize it.
For daily dinner, you are suggested to have it on your own when you are exploring each city in your own time, this way would be more flexible for you to choose food as per your interest and preference.