Are you looking for a China tour satisfying your dream for visiting pandas and meanwhile exploring its history and civilization? Look at here, this 8-day tour perfectly combines Chengdu and Silk Road together to bring you a real adventure for Chengdu pandas, Xian Terracotta Warriors, Zhangye Rainbow Mountains and Dunhuang Mogao Caves. Follow the expert guide to discover the splendid history and culture of this noble nation!
Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, Terracotta Warriors and Horses, The Rainbow Mountain, Jiayuguan Pass, Crescent Spring and Echo Sand Mountain, Mogao Grottoes
Upon your arrival at Chengdu 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 downtown hotel for check-in. Free and easy on your arrangement for rest of the day.
The first scenic site will be the exciting Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, which is well known for the protection and breeding of the endangered giant pandas which are unique to China. The base is definitely a highlight for most visitors to Chengdu. There are adorable pandas everywhere. You can watch them eating bamboo, playing with each other, and of course sleeping. Your tour guide will navigate you through the huge area, share some information about the pandas, and help you take amazing photos.
After lunch, continue your visit to Wenshu Temple which was built in the Sui Dynasty with a long history. The temple is still operating and frequented by local people who come to pray and relax themselves. It is a good place to come to know Buddhism. You can have a nice stroll around the pleasant garden and take photos of the wonderful ancient architecture.
Later,come to enjoy some relaxing tea time in Renmin Park. Renmin Park is a perfect place to do people watching. Here you can enjoy a cup of tea in a nice tea house and watch local people while away the time with various activities such as playing cards, doing tai chi, playing mahjong, dancing, and napping.
Last, follow your guide to explore the bustling Jinli Pedestrian Street, a must see place in Chengdu. You can see that the buildings here are built in Qing Dynasty style, and meandering through the street gives people the feeling of traveling back in time. You can enjoy shopping, do people watching, and taste some yummy food that you never saw before.
In the morning, the driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and transfer to Chengdu East Train Station for your morning high-speed train to Xian. The train rides around 3.5 hours, you can have a nap on the train.
When you arrive at Xian North Train Station, the local English speaking tour guide and driver will be meeting you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name.Your exploration begins with world’s heritage Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Known as “the Eighth Wonders of the World”, it was found by four local farmers while drilling a well in 1974. Now it has turned into one of the most important attractions in China and the No.1 attractive site in Xi’an. The museum includes Pit 1(the largest pit), Pit 2, Pit 3, and the exhibition hall of the chariots and horses. You will stay in the museum for 2-3 hours. Listening to the explanation from the expert tour guide, you will learn the hidden story of those live-sized sculptures and history of their owner: First Emperor of Qin who is also the first emperor of China.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then head back to Xian downtown area for another historical highlight- Ancient City Wall. It is the most complete 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, move on to Muslim Quarter where you will find many special local products and authentic local snacks. You can enjoy preserved meat, casserole, various noodles, and purchase some Terracotta Warriors imitation as souvenirs.
This morning you will visit the 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 that, transfer to Xian airport to catch the afternoon flight to Zhangye. When you arrive at Zhangye airport, there will be the local driver picking you up and transfer to local hotel.
Get up early to enjoy the highlight of 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.
In the afternoon, you will head back to Zhangye city and continue your visit to 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.
Taking morning high-speed train which rides around 1.5 hours from Zhangye to Jiayuguan ( D2743 / 10:43-11:55 ). Upon your arrival, you will find the local English-speaking tour guide and driver waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name.
After driving through the yellow sand of desert, you will come to Jiayuguan Pass, also known as the “First and Greatest Pass Under Heaven”, “the Throat of Hexi Corridor”. As the western end of Great Wall of Ming Dynasty, Jiayuguan Pass, being constructed for hundreds of years, not only occupied a vital position in military defense but also exerted importance influence in trade & culture exchange as a key waypoint of ancient Silk Road.
Next, continue your visit toJiayuguan Great Wall Museum. Inside the Jiayuguan Pass Scenic Area, there is the first Great Wall themed museum with 7 major exhibition halls to show you more detailed knowledge about this great constructional engineering in Chinese history. The oil painting of Great Wall exhibited here with large scale, about 220.5 m2 is a highlight deserving longer stop.
Afterwards, move on to Weijin Tombs. Driving through the wilder Gobi about 20km from Jiayuguan City, you will come to the famous “underground gallery”, Weijin Tombs. In accordance with the title, wall paints dominate the theme of the visit to this site. Underneath the yellow sand, were about 1,400 ancient tombs buried in the obscure desert and only 6 tombs are open to public today. It’s definitely a surprise discovery process when beholding the paints with bright colors vividly depicting the scholars and official life in Weijin Time.
At around 05:00, the driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and transfer to train station for your high-speed train to Dunhuang ( reference train number: D8931 / 06:45-09:17 ).
Friendly tip: there is ONLY one trip of high-speed train from Jiayuguan to Dunhuang in the morning. Thus, you will get up early in this morning to catch the train. You are suggested to take-away breakfast.
The train rides around 2.5 hours. Upon your arrival, you will find the local English-speaking tour guide and driver waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name. When it is not too hot, you will stat your visit with 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.
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.
Last, come to Shazhou Night Market for further exploration. Though you might have visited many night markets or food streets during your weeks of vacation, Shazhou Night Market still brings you something different. You will find the special vitality of this northwest city remoting from the country center during your leisure strolling.
This 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 afternoon, you will be dropped off at Dunhuang airport for departure flight.
Friendly tip: you are suggested to depart after 3pm to ensure no rush for the tour.
7 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels with daily breakfast
Chengdu-Xian, Zhangye-Jiayuguan, Jiayuguan-Dunhuang high-speed train (second class seat)
Xian-Zhangye flight (economic class)
7 Chinese style lunch as listed in itinerary
Entrance tickets as listed in itinerary
Excellent English-speaking tour guide
Private transfers in air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver
Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour
China Visas/international flights
Any optional activity/battery car/shuttle bus/boat cruise/camel ride/horse ride 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.