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Home China Tour China Natural Adventure Tours 8 Days Qinghai Zhangye Badain Jaran Desert Tour

Tour Overview

Take the 8-day journey through Northwestern China, immersing yourself in the region’s diverse cultural and natural wonders. Explore the spiritual Ta’er Temple and Dongguan Mosque in Xining, witness the awe-inspiring beauty of Qinghai Lake, and marvel at the vibrant Danxia landforms in Binggou and Zhangye. Discover the enchanting Chaka Salt Lake, delve into the historical treasures of Zhangye, and embark on a thrilling desert Jeep Safari in the remote Badain Jaran Desert. This itinerary promises a truly remarkable and immersive travel experience.

Highlights of this tour:

1. Explore the serene Ta’er Temple and absorb the spiritual atmosphere in Xining, immersing yourself in the rich Tibetan Buddhist heritage.
2. Witness the breathtaking beauty of Qinghai Lake, surrounded by majestic mountains and lush grasslands in Erlangjian Scenic Area.
3. Experience the awe-inspiring sunrise and the surreal landscapes of Chaka Salt Lake, a hidden gem in the heart of the desert.
4. Marvel at the vibrant colors and intricate formations of the Danxia landforms in Binggou and Zhangye, a photographer’s paradise.
5. Embark on a scenic excursion to Pingshan Grand Canyon, where rugged cliffs, serene lakes, and picturesque landscapes create a natural masterpiece that will leave you in awe.
6. Embark on an exhilarating Jeep Safari adventure in the remote Badain Jaran Desert, exploring pristine lakes, towering sand dunes, and oases.
7. Immerse yourself in the desert’s tranquility, spending a night in a Mongol yurt camp, and witnessing the mesmerizing starry sky above.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Upon your arrival at Xining Airport, your friendly guide and experienced driver will be waiting to greet you. They will assist you with your luggage and escort you to the first destination of your itinerary, Ta'er Temple. Situated on the sacred Huangshui Mountain, Ta'er Temple is a prominent Tibetan Buddhist monastery with a rich history and beautiful architecture. You will have the opportunity to explore the temple complex, admire the intricate artwork, and learn about Tibetan Buddhism.

    Xining Ta'er Monastery
    Ta'er Monastery

    Afterwards, you will be driven to Xining downtown to visit Dongguan Mosque, a significant religious site for the local Muslim community. The mosque showcases a blend of Chinese and Islamic architectural styles and provides a glimpse into the cultural diversity of Xining. Following the mosque visit, you will be accompanied to your hotel in downtown Xining, where you can relax and settle in for the night.

  2. Today, you will embark on a scenic journey to Qinghai Lake, the largest saltwater lake in China and a breathtaking natural gem. The drive will take you through picturesque landscapes, passing by stunning lakeside roads, and surrounded by lofty mountains and vast grasslands. Once you arrive at the Erlangjian Scenic Area, you will be captivated by the serene beauty of Qinghai Lake.

    Qinghai Lake Boat Trip
    Qinghai Lake Boat Trip

    Here, you can take a leisurely walk along the shores, breathing in the fresh air and soaking in the tranquil atmosphere. If you choose the optional Qinghai Lake cruise (at additional cost), you will board a boat and venture onto the calm waters, reveling in panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings. The cruise is only available from May to October when the weather permits.

    After enjoying the beauty of Qinghai Lake, you will embark on a scenic three-hour drive to Chaka Town, where you will spend the night. Along the way, you can continue to marvel at the natural wonders, including pristine lakeside vistas and picturesque mountains and grasslands. Upon arrival in Chaka Town, you can relax and unwind, preparing for the adventures of the following day.

  3. Get up early to witness the awe-inspiring sunrise at Chaka Salt Lake. As the sun's rays paint the sky with a warm palette of colors, the vast expanse of the salt lake transforms into a mesmerizing landscape. You will have the opportunity to capture this magical moment with your camera or simply immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

    To explore the heart of Chaka Salt Lake, you will board a sightseeing train that will take you directly into the hinterland of the lake. As the train glides smoothly, you can enjoy unobstructed views of the salt formations and the sparkling surface of the lake. Once you reach the hinterland, you can disembark and begin a leisurely exploration on foot. Feel free to wander around, marvel at the unique salt formations, and capture stunning photographs.

    Chaka Lake
    Chaka Salt Lake

    During your exploration, there are optional activities available at an additional cost. You can take a relaxing boat trip on the lake, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of Chaka Salt Lake from a different perspective. Additionally, you can ascend the Sightseeing Tower to enjoy a panoramic view of the lake and its surrounding landscapes.

    After a fulfilling day of exploration, you will return to the entrance of Chaka Salt Lake and then continue your journey to Xining for an overnight stay.

  4. Today, you will embark on a scenic six-hour drive to Zhangye, a city renowned for its historical and cultural significance. Upon arrival, you will have the remainder of the day free to relax and explore the city at your leisure. You may choose to stroll through the vibrant streets, visit local markets, or indulge in delicious regional cuisine. Take this opportunity to immerse yourself in the charm of Zhangye and get a taste of its unique atmosphere.

  5. Prepare to be amazed as you embark on a journey to witness the captivating beauty of the Danxia landforms. These geological wonders feature colorful rock formations shaped by millions of years of natural processes, resulting in a stunning display of vibrant hues and intricate patterns.

    In Binggou Danxia Scenic Area, you will have the opportunity to explore the striking landscape and appreciate the unique formations up close. Capture memorable photos and immerse yourself in the extraordinary surroundings.

    From there, you will proceed to Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, which offers a wider expanse of the breathtaking Danxia landforms. Visit No. 4 Viewing Deck, renowned as the best spot to witness the mesmerizing sunset over the Danxia Landform. As the sun descends, casting a warm glow over the landscape, you will be treated to a truly awe-inspiring sight.

    After the tour, you will return to the downtown area for an overnight stay. You can relax, savor a delicious dinner, and reflect on the natural wonders you have experienced throughout the day.

    Danxia Geological National Park Rainbow Mountain
    Rainbow Mountain, Danxia Geological National Park

  6. Embark on a cultural and natural exploration as you visit the Giant Buddha Temple, home to an impressive reclining Buddha statue. Marvel at the grandeur of the sculpture and delve into the rich history and symbolism behind it.

    Zhangye Giant Buddha Temple
    Giant Buddha Temple

    Afterwards, embark on a drive of approximately 160 kilometers to Badain Jaran Town. Along the way, you will be taken to the Pingshan Lake Grand Canyon, where you will be treated to picturesque landscapes, rugged cliffs, and serene lakes. Take your time to absorb the natural beauty of the area before reaching Badain Jaran Town, where you will spend the night.

  7. Start your day with a visit to the Badain Jaran Geo-park Museum, where you can delve into the geological wonders of the region. Learn about the unique formation of the Badain Jaran Desert and gain insights into its ecological significance.

    Next, get ready for an exciting adventure as you jump on a desert Jeep and venture into the heart of the Badain Jaran Desert. As you traverse the vast sandy expanse, your knowledgeable guide will take you to various points of interest. Explore the enchanting Badain Lake, renowned for its surreal beauty, and witness the impressive Genghis Khan Sand Carving, an artistic tribute to the legendary conqueror.

    Badain Jaran Desert
    Badain Jaran Desert

    Continuing your Jeep Safari, you will visit the Yinderitu Spring, a natural oasis surrounded by towering sand dunes. Take a moment to appreciate the serenity and tranquility of this remarkable location. The adventure will also take you to the scenic viewpoint of Bilutu, offering panoramic vistas of the desert landscape.

    In the evening, you will reach Badain Jaran Temple, deep within the desert. Here, a Mongol yurt camp will be set up on the side of a lake, providing a unique and authentic experience of staying overnight in the desert. The Mongol yurt camp offers basic shower facilities, allowing you to refresh after a day of exploration. However, please note that the toilet facilities are basic and located outside the camp.

  8. Awaken early to witness the enchanting sunrise over the vast expanse of the Badain Jaran Desert. As the first rays of light paint the sand dunes in golden hues, the desert comes alive with a magical ambiance. Capture the beauty of the sunrise and savor the tranquility of the desert surroundings.

    Badain Jaran Desert Sunrise
    Sunrise over Badain Jaran Desert

    After a satisfying breakfast, your Jeep Safari adventure continues. Make a stop at Barun Jaran Lake, a picturesque oasis nestled amidst the dunes. Take a moment to soak in the serene atmosphere and appreciate the harmonious blend of water and desert.

    Next, you will have the opportunity to visit Barunyikeri and Heavenly Lake (Tianchi), two additional natural marvels within the Badain Jaran Desert. Marvel at the pristine beauty of these remote locations and enjoy the unique landscapes they offer.

    After the tour, you will be escorted to Jinchang Airport for your onward flight to your next destination, marking the end of your unforgettable journey through the stunning landscapes and cultural treasures of Northwestern China.

Tour Price ($=USD)

From $1659 P.P, which is based on a private tour for 2 people. The price varies depending on the activity, number of people, travel date, and selected hotel.


Price Includes

  • 7 nights' accommodation in well-selected hotels;
  • Meals listed in the itinerary (B=breakfast / L=lunch);
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle with licensed drivers;
  • Excellent local English-speaking tour guides services as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Entrance tickets as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day;
  • China Travel Insurance.

Price Excludes

  • Flight tickets to Xining /off Badain Jaran Desert;
  • Any optional activities inside the attractions;
  • Any item not mentioned in the itinerary;
  • Single Room Supplement;
  • All kinds of gratuities for guides, drivers & others.
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