As two of the most important Chinese relics on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, Xian Terracotta Warriors & Horses as well as Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes are the first selections for most travelers. This tour departing from the splendid Dunhung which is reputed as the symbol of Silk Road culture, ending in Xian, the capital of 13 Dynasties in Chinese ancient times, will bring you a true adventure of both cultural relics and natural landscapes. You can not only experience camel riding in the boundless dessert, but also enjoy a leisurely bike riding on the Ancient City Wall. Isn’t it exciting?
Upon your arrival at Dunhuang 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 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.
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!
The last stop will be Suoyangcheng. In the lengthy past, about 1380 years, Suoyangcheng had been a stage where the ethnic minorities of generations played the historic comedies and tragedies. The scenic area is a complex of historic relics and natural views, including ancient city relics, ancient temples, ancient tomb groups, ancient riverways and so on, gaining great fame with its diversified historic looks and rich content underneath.
Later, our driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and drop you off at Dunhuang airport for noon flight to Xian. Arrival in Xian, you will find the local English speaking guide and driver picking you up at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name.
Duly refreshed in the local hotel, your visit begins with a leisurely evening tour. Firstly, go to Muslim quarter to have relaxing sightseeing and enjoy the local food/ snacks. Muslin Quarter is 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. The tour guide will give recommendations for you to have the best local food experience.
After that, 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, drive around 25 minutes to the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda to enjoy the famous Music Fountain Show which is the largest music fountain show in Asia. Walking around the square would be a perfect chance to fully enjoy local people’s life and culture.
After breakfast, you will head to the must-see 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. The splendid scene and format will leave you an impressive memory. You can spend 2.5-3 hours there.
After lunch, continue to visit 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, take a nice stroll down Shuyuanmen Ancient Culture Street. This quaint street lined with many shops selling the four basic items for Chinese calligraphy (writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper) is different from any other streets in Xian. The structures built in the style of the Ming and Qing dynasties add the place more charm. If you are interested in Chinese arts and crafts, you can pick some souvenirs here. Don’t forget to bargain.
Last, go on to check out Yongxingfang Food & Culture Quarter. The street is an amazing place to sample some delicious local food and see how the local people relax themselves. There are plenty of food options. If you are that kind of person who like to try all kinds of new food, this street will not disappoint you, and remember to visit it on an empty stomach.
As one of the most famous historical cities, Xian has lots of interesting places to go! Today you will explore the must-see sights in Xian downtown area.
Firstly, come to the Shaanxi History Museum( closed on every Monday),which is one of the biggest and most famous museums in China. The museum houses the cultural heritage unearthed in Shaanxi Province. Although it’s a provincial Museum, the collection of relics here is at national level from both quantity and quality as Xian had been Capitals for more than 13 dynasties in ancient China. Following the tour guide, walk and stop at those priceless exhibits to learn the hidden history and splendid civilization of China.
After that, move on to Big Wild Goose Pagoda which was originally built to hold Buddhist sutra and figurines of the Buddha that Xuanzang brought back from India in Tang Dyansty, 652 A.D. Now there is a big square divided into North Square and South Square, surrounding the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The design of the buildings and statues is in Tang style, showing people the ever glory of that great time. It’s busier in the evening when many activities with Tang elements held by local amateur.
After lunch, you will be dropped off at Xian airport / train station for departure.
5 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels with daily breakfast
Dunhuang-Xian flight (economic class)
5 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.