Day 1 Xining Arrival
When you arrive in Xining, our local driver will meet you at airport and transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is free at your disposal.
Day 2 Xining- Lanzhou by Soft Seat Train
Attractions: Ta’er Monastery, Gansu Provincial Museum (Breakfast+Lunch)
After hotel breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel lobby and go to visit the Ta’er Monastery. Which was built in the Ming Dynasty in memory of Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After lunch, transfer to train station for soft seat train to Lanzhou. The train to Lanzhou will take about 4 hours. Upon arrival in Lanzhou, your local guide will meet you at the railway station and transfer to visit the Gansu Provincial Museum. About 350,000 pieces of ancient cultural relics, contemporary and modern cultural relics, as well as ethnic cultural relics will enable tourists know this important city on the Silk Road from various aspects. At last back to hotel.
Day 3 Lanzhou – Xiahe by Car
Attractions: Binglingsi Grottoes (Breakfast+Lunch)
In the morning, pick up from your hotel and drive to visit Binglingsi Grottoes by boat to visit this completely preserved grottoes. There are776 Buddha statues, over 1,076 square yards murals and 6 stones sculptures from 1,600 years ago waiting for your exploring. Then continue driving to Xiahe and check in at local hotel.
Day 4 Xiahe
Attractions: Sangke Prairie(Breakfast+Lunch)
After a short rest in hotel we will travel to Sangke Prairie to witness the typical plateau grassland which is famous for the excellent pasture and frequent Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies. After that you will pay a visit to a local Tibetan family to learn about the nomadic life of local people.
Day 5 Xiahe- Lanzhou by Car
Attractions: Labrang Monastery(Breakfast+Lunch)
In the morning we will first go to visit the Labrang Monastery, the largest Buddhist Institute of Tibetan Buddhism. Where tourists will also appreciate thousands of statues of Buddha made of various materials. Tourists may have the chance to watch the morning devotion here. After the visit there, transfer back to your hotel in Lanzhou.
Day 6 Lanzhou- Wuwei by Train
Attractions: Leitai Han Tomb, Confucius Temple (Breakfast+Lunch)
In the morning, pick up from your hotel and drive about 4 hours to Wuwei to visit the Leitai Han Tomb about 1,800 years ago. From where the tourism symbol of China Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow was unearthed. After that, go to the Confucius Temple, the largest and best-preserved Confucius Temple in northwest China. The Confucius Temple here was originally built in the Ming Dynasty in memory of Confucius, the greatest educator in ancient China. Then back to your hotel.
Day 7 Wuwei- Zhangye
Attractions: Giant Buddha Temple, Wooden Pagoda, Bell and Drum Tower(Breakfast+Lunch)
Pick up from your hotel and drive westwards for 3 hours we will arrive at Zhangye. We will firstly visit the Giant Buddha Temple which is said to be the birthplace of Kublai Khan. Here tourists will witness the largest indoor clay reclined Buddha in Asia. Afterwards we will pay a visit to the Wooden Pagoda Temple to see the famous Wooden Pagoda which was built about 1500 years ago, and now it locates in the campus of Zhangye High School. Finally go to the city center and see the Bell and Drum Tower in which are similar to the Bell Tower and Drum Tower in Xian. Back to hotel.
Day 8 Zhangye-Jiayuguan by Car
Attractions: Jiayuanguan Pass, Wei-Jin Art Gallery (Breakfast+Lunch)
Checking out the hotel in Zhangye and continue travel westward you will arrive in Jiangyuguan City and visit the famous Jiayuanguan Pass, the utmost west part of China Great Wall. Your next stop is the First Fire Tower of Great Wall of Jiayuguan Pass, the exact western starting point of the Ming-dynasty Great Wall. Then continue to the Wei-Jin Art Gallery, a huge tomb group of more than 1,400 tombs built between the 3rd and 5th century during the Wei and Jin dynasties.
Weijin Art Gallery
Day 9 Jiayuguan- Dunhuang by Car
Attractions: Echoing-Sand Mountain, Crescent Lake(Breakfast+Lunch)
After hotel breakfast, check out hotel and head for Dunhuang. Upon arrival in Dunhuang, we will check in the hotel first. Then go to visit the Echoing-Sand Mountain and you will experience a short Camel-ride here. Among the endless sands there is the Crescent Lake which looks like a crescent fallen down in the dessert. Then back to hotel.
Day 10 Dunhuang- Turpan by Overnight Train
Attractions: Mogao Caves, Dunhuang Museum (Breakfast+Lunch)
Today we will firstly go to visit the Mogao Caves, one of the four most famous caves in China and a rare pearl on the Silk Road. Afterwards we will continue to visit Dunhuang Museum where the numerous exhibits will explain the story of Dunhuang City and the development of the ancient Silk Road in every details. After the whole day’s tour, transfer to train station to take the overnight soft-sleeper train to Turpan.
Accommodation: Soft Sleeper Train
Day 11 Turpan
Attractions: Ancient City of Jiaohe, Karez Well, Sugong Pagoda (Lunch)
Upon your arrival in Turpan, the local guide will meet you at train station and transfer to the hotel to check in. Then we will start today’s tour with Ancient City of Jiaohe, one of the most important towns along the ancient Silk Road and the largest, oldest and best-preserved earth construction in the world. Then go to visit the Karez Well— an amazing irrigation system which made Turpan a rich oasis. The last stop will be Sugong Pagoda, the largest existed ancient Islamic pagoda in Xinjiang. Then back to hotel.
Day 12 Turpan- Urumqi by Car
Attractions: Gaochang Ruins, Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Cave, Flaming Hill(Breakfast+Lunch)
Today you will visit three famous sites all together. The first stop will be Gaochang Ruins, the ruins of capital of ancient Gaochang Kingdom which existed from 500AD to 700AD. Then you will go to the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Cave, a series of caves with thousands of Buddhism murals that show many Buddhism figures, stories, and the social life about 1,500 years ago in Ancient Gaochang Kingdom. The last stop will be the hottest place along Silk Road in China– the Flaming Hill. The temperature in summer could reach 47.8 ℃. After the full day sightseeing, you will head to Urumqi by car and check in the hotel.
Day 13 Urumqi Departure
Our driver will meet you at hotel lobby at confirmed time and escort you to the airport to catch the flight home. Hope the 13 Days Silk Road Tour leaves you an impressive and pleasant memory.