Day 1 Xining Arrival
Our guide will be waiting for you at the exit, holding a welcome sign with your name on it. Then our guide and driver will transfer you to the hotel where we have booked for you and check in. In the rest of the day, take the time to relax yourself and prepare for the coming Silk Road adventure tour.
Day 2 Xining – Lanzhou
Attractions: Ta’er Monastery (Breakfast+Lunch)
In the morning, you will have a fantastic visit at the Ta’er Monastery. It was constructed in commemoration of Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gulug sect of Tibetan Buddhism in 1577 during the Ming Dynasty. The Monastery is famous for the three treasures, including delicate murals, the Butter Sculpture and the barbola. Then take a soft seat train to Lanzhou which will take three to four hours. Your local guide will meet you at the Gansu railway station and escort you to the hotel.
Day 3 Lanzhou
Attractions: Binglingsi Grottoes (Breakfast+Lunch)
You will get to the Binglingsi Grottoes by boat and spend a whole day in there. Thanks to the good natural conditions and little man-made damages, the Grottoes have been well- protected comparatively. About 776 Buddha statues, over 1,076 square yards murals and 6 stones sculptures are remained here after a long history of 1,600 years.
Day 4 Lanzhou – Xiahe
Attractions: Sangke Prairie, local Tibetan family (Breakfast+Lunch)
Today you will enjoy a trip to picturesque Xiahe( 4 hours driving from Lanzhou). After a short break in the hotel, you will explore Sangke Prairie. It is a typical plateau grassland, covering a vast area of 27 square miles and being embraced by mountains, Sangke Prairie is a fantastic place to appreciate the magnificent pastoral scenery: the river is slipping slowly northwards and sheep and cattle are freely wandering about on it. Then, you will have a chance to call on a local Tibetan family to experience the local life.
Day 5 Xiahe – Lanzhou
Attractions: Labrang Monastery, Gansu Provincial Museum(Breakfast+Lunch)
Turn back to Lanzhou, you will have a visit to the well-known Labrang Monastery. What makes it so famous is that it is one of the six most renowned monasteries as well as the largest Buddhist Institute of Tibetan Buddhism. This monastery boasts tens of thousands of statues of Buddha made of various materials. It must be a special experience to watch the morning devotion there. Then, you will travel back to Lanzhou and check in the hotel again. After a short rest, you will proceed to Gansu Provincial Museum. It is the largest comprehensive museum in Gansu Province which holds about 350,000 pieces of ancient cultural relics, including contemporary and modern cultural relics, ethnic cultural relics and fossil specimens.
Day 6 Lanzhou – Wuwei
Attractions: Leitai Han Tomb (Breakfast+Lunch)
Today we will leave for Wuwei by car which is located about 300 kilometers from Lanzhou and check in the hotel. After a short rest, you will have a tour in the Leitai Han Tomb with a history of 1,800 years. It is famous for the bronze statue Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow. After that, continue your tour to the Confucius Temple which is the largest and best-preserved Confucius Temples in northwest China.
Leitai Han Tomb
Day 7 Wuwei – Zhangye
Attractions: Giant Buddha Temple, Wooden Pagoda Temple(Breakfast+Lunch)
After the breakfast, we will drive you to Zhangye. You can visit two famous sites in Zhangye: the Giant Buddha Temple and the Wooden Pagoda Temple. Built in 1098, Giant Buddha Temple is said to be Kublai Khan’ birthplace. Here you can appreciate the largest indoor clay reclined Buddha in Asia, the rare hand-written classics of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) and thousands of cultural relics. Then head for visiting the Wooden Pagoda Temple. It has been recorded that it was a 15-story wooden pagoda when original being built about 1,500 years ago, but only a rebuilt 9-story brick and wooden tower exist at present. Finally we will drive you back to the city center and have a sightseeing of the Bell and Drum Tower.
Giant Buddha Temple
Day 8 Zhangye – Jiayuguan
Attractions: Jiayuanguan Pass, Wei-Jin Mural Brick Tomb(Breakfast+Lunch)
Driving westward, we will arrive in Jiangyuguan City and visit the well-known Jiayuanguan Pass. As one of the most grandiose ancient forts on the Silk Road, JIayuguan was named the First Pass under Heaven. Then you will proceed to the First Fire Tower of Great Wall, known as the west end of the Ming-dynasty Great Wall. The 56-meter-high (184 feet) tower stands on the cliff of the Gobi desert, with the Talai River flowing by and the majestic Jiayuguan Pass at a distance. Then the next stop is the Wei-Jin Art Gallery. Named Wei-Jin Mural Brick Tomb, it is a huge tomb group with more than 1,400 tombs. What is the most amazing is that they all were constructed in the 3rd and 5th century during the Wei and Jin dynasties. Regarded as the largest underground gallery in the world, it houses a huge collection of murals, bringing you back to the Wei and Jin dynasties about 1,500 years ago.
Day 9 Jiayuguan – Dunhuang
Attractions: Echoing-Sand Mountain, Crescent Lake(Breakfast+Lunch)
After breakfast, you will head for Dunhuang by bus and we will check in the hotel for you. Then you will visit one of the most famous attractions along the Silk Road- the Echoing-Sand Mountain. When you slide down the slope, you can hear the roaring echo of sands, hence the name. A short camel ride will leave you a unforgettable memory. Riding along the mountain to reach the Crescent Lake, your eyes will be feasted on the crescent-shaped spring surrounded by the endless Gobi desert. It has not dried up over the past one thousand years and still gushes with fresh current.
Accommodation: Soft-sleeper overnight train
Day 10 Dunhuang-Turapn
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, you will be transferred to train station to take the overnight soft-sleeper train to Turpan
Accommodation: Overnight train
Day 11 Dunhuang-Turpan
Attractions: Karez Wells, Jiaohe Ruins, Sugong Pagoda(Breakfast+Lunch)
Upon your arrival, our guide will meet you at the Turpan Railway Station and escort you to the hotel in downtown city. Today we are going to visit three famous places. In the morning, you will have an exploration of Jiaohe Ruins, which is one of the most important towns along the ancient Silk Road. It is also the largest, oldest and best-preserved earth construction in the world. Although 2,000 years have passed, the former brilliants of Jiaohe can still be found from the ruins. Then you will visit the well-known Karez Well, the gigantic underground irrigation system created by ancient Xinjiang people. There are over 1,100 Karez Wells in Turpan, providing precious water source to this dry and hot area during the past 400 years. The last stop of today will be the existed largest ancient pagoda in Xinjiang, Sugong Pagoda. The pagoda is a 44-meter-high (144 feet) Islamic pagoda, which bears a history of over 200 years.
Day 12 Turpan – Urumqi
Attractions: Gaochang Ruins, Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Cave, Flaming Hill(Breakfast+Lunch)
Today you will visit three famous sites all together. First is another famous ruin in Turpan, Gaochang Ruins, which used to be the capital of ancient Gaochang Kingdom. Then you will go to the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Cave, a series of caves with thousands of Buddhism murals. The vivid murals show many Buddhism figures, stories, and the social life about 1,000 years ago in Ancient Gaochang Kingdom. The last stop will be the hottest place in China– the Flaming Hill, situated at the north of ancient Silk Road. The temperature is so high that nothing grows on the hill. The record highest temperature of summer could reach 47.8 ℃ (118 ℉). After finished the trip in Turpan, you will board a soft seat train to Urumqi.
Day 13 Urumqi Departure
After breakfast, our guide will see you off at the airport for your homeward flight. Hope our dedicated service leaves you a pleasant memory for this comprehensive Silk Road tour.