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Home China Silk Road Tour Silk Road Group Tours 10 Days China Silk Road Tour from Lanzhou to Urumqi

Tour Overview

The Silk Road (generally the Land Silk Road), which began in Chang’an (today’s Xi’an) in ancient China, was an important route for transportation, trade and cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries. This 10-day Silk Road group tour invites you to visit the historic cities along the ancient Silk Road and explore their unique cultures.

The journey starts from Lanzhou and travels through Zhangye, Jiayuguan and Dunhuang to Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang. The Silk Road tour of China is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for travelers who want to explore the historical trail.

Along the way, you will admire many attractions including Buddhist carvings, beautiful murals, regional museums, Islamic temples, and busy bazaars…

Travel destinations: Lanzhou, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Urumqi, Turpan
Suitable for: Culture & History Lovers
Tour type: Group Tour

Highlights of this tour:

  • Take a leisure stroll along the Huanghe River Custom Tourist Line to enjoy the beautiful scenic spots along the way.
  • Have desert fun in Dunhuang and unveil Buddhist art at Mogao Grottoes.
  • Marvel at the splendid Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye Danxia National Geo-park.
  • Explore the Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Moon Lake, ride a camel to enjoy the stunning desert scenery.
  • Gain an insight into the Silk Road history and Uighur culture when visiting ancient Jiaohe ruins & vibrant bazaars.
  • Walk serene lakeside trails of Heavenly Lake to discover diverse natural beauty.

Day-by-day Itinerary

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  1. Welcome to our 10-day China Silk Road tour package! Upon your arrival at Lanzhou airport, the English-speaking tour guide and driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name.

    At around 5 pm, follow your guide to visit Huanghe River Custom Tourist Line, which is considered as "the Bund of Lanzhou City", taking Zhongshan Bridge as the axis to stretch out along the Yellow River. The sites to visit of the Tourist Line are distributed on the Road River, including Yellow River Mother Sculpture, Zhongshan Iron Bridge, White Pagoda Hill Park, Waterwheel Park and so on. A leisure strolling bathed in rosy light of dusk on the River Road is a top thing to do in Lanzhou.

    After that, the tour guide takes you to one of the must-see local food streets for authentic Lanzhou food.

    Meal: N/A

    Accommodation: in Lanzhou

    Lanzhou Waterwheel Park
    Waterwheel Park in Huanghe River Custom Tourist Line

  2. After breakfast at hotel, the driver will pick you up and then escort you to Lanzhou railway station for your morning train to Zhangye.

    Upon the arrival in Zhangye, the local tour guide will lead you to visit Matisi Grottoes. Joined with Mogao Caves and Yulin Grottoes in Dunhuang, Matisi Temple is famed as "Three Artistic Grottoes of Hexi Corridor". You will marvel at the incredible combination of Buddhist temple and mountain grottoes here: the large elegant temple stands against the hill where plenty of grottoes were engraved. Another highlight of Matisi Temple is that it embraces both Han Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism at meantime.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Zhangye

    Mati Temple
    Mati Temple

  3. Today, your Silk Road tour in China takes you to Zhangye Giant Buddhist Temple. Built in the Western Xia Dynasty (1308-1227), the Giant Buddhist Temple survived from the vicissitudes and stood on the Silk Road for 900 years. There is a gigantic sleeping Buddha statue of Sakyamuni, the largest scale in Asia inside the temple, hence the name. The beautiful woodcarving, paintings, and statues as well as the underlying culture and history impress travelers a lot.

    In the afternoon, we will transfer you to Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park. The Danxia landform earns the most spotlight for Zhangye City. Rated as one of the "10 Wonders of Nature in the World" in 2011 by National Geographic News, it does deserve the reputation. There are two main scenic areas of the Zhangye Danxia with different features.

    You will visit the Rainbow Mountain Scenic Area, featuring its bright color, and is better to enjoy the sunset view which is chosen by most travelers. Seen from the high platform, the rising layers of mountains in beautiful red with different saturation are bathed in rosy sunlight, depicting a gorgeous picture for the visitors who trudged a lot to here.

    Rainbow Mountain in Zhangye
    Rainbow Mountain, Danxia Geological National Park

    At the end of the tour, we drive to Kaoshan Tent, near Rainbow Mountain for an overnight stay. Important Note: NO private bathroom in the tent, only public baths and toilets.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Kaoshan Tent

  4. After breakfast, continue to visit Danxia National Geological Park with Ice Valley Mountain Scenic Area, called Binggou Mountain in Chinese. It earns its fame mainly with its graceful shapes. Usually, tourists come here for sunrise scenery. Although the color of the hills here is not as bright as Rainbow Mountain, the unique form here easily excites people's imagination to enjoy the natural masterpiece in another way.

    After driving through the yellow sand of the desert, you will come to Jiayuguan Pass, also known as the "First and Greatest Pass Under Heaven" and "the Throat of Hexi Corridor". As the western end of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Jiayuguan Pass, being constructed for hundreds of years, not only occupied a vital position in military defense but also exerted an important influence in trade & culture exchange as a key waypoint of the ancient Silk Road.

    Jiayuguan Pass
    Jiayuguan Pass

    Located 11 kilometers away from downtown Jiayuguan, the Overhanging Great Wall is named for its position on the mountain ridge of 45 degrees, resembling hanging upside down in the sky. As the northern extension of Jiayuguan Fort, it is an important part of the ancient military defense system of Jiayuguan.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Jiayuguan

  5. After breakfast, drive around 4-5 hours to Dunhuang. You will enjoy the Gobi scapes on the way.

    In the afternoon, go to visit the Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake. When you slide down the slope, you can hear the roaring echo of sands, hence the name Echoing-Sand Mountain. A short Camel Ride (optional) will leave you an 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.

    Friendly tip: There are many entertainment activities available in the desert, like camel rides, and sand buggy etc., if you are interested in trying, please pay on your own at the spot.

    Dunhuang Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Spring
    Experience riding a camel

    After that, transfer you to the Shazhou Night Market. Though you might have visited many night markets or food streets, 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. Last, drive to Dunhuang city for the night.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Dunhuang

  6. In the morning, we will head to Mogao Grottoes. As the existing anthology of Buddhist art with the biggest scale and the best preservation in the world, Mogao Caves wins the fame of "the pearls of oriental art". It keeps about 45,000 square kilometers of frescoes, 2,415 painted sculptures, more than 4,000 flying Apsaras (the beautiful Bodhisattva in Buddhism who does well in dancing and music), and 5 wooden constructions of the Tang and Song Dynasty as well as thousands of stone pillars and flagstones with a lotus carving on them.

    Buddha Statues in Mogao Grottoes
    Buddha Statues in Mogao Grottoes

    In the afternoon, your China Silk Road tour in Dunhuang ends here. You will be escorted to the Dunhuang Train Station for a 4.5-hour high-speed train to Urumqi. Upon arrival, the local driver will pick you up and transfer you to the local hotel. Free on your own in the evening time.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Urumqi

  7. After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will take you to visit the beautiful Tianchi, also known as the Heavenly Lake, which in ancient Chinese mythology was the place where the Queen Mother of the West bathed.

    At an altitude of 1,910 meters and a depth of 105 meters, the Heavenly Lake mirrors the Mount Bogda and is surrounded by spruce, making it look like a fairyland. Strolling in this scenic spot, you will enjoy the natural landscape of alpine lakes, wetland meadows and forest canyons.

    Optional Activities:You can take a boat tour on the lake for an additional fee to get a unique perspective.

    Xinjiang Heavenly Lake
    Heavenly Lake in Summer

    Afterwards, move on to Xinjiang Regional Museum. As the only autonomous region class museum in Xinjiang, the museum houses over 40,000 collections including all kinds of relics and specimens, exhibited in five separate halls. You can find many treasures ever glittering on the famous Silk Road. The No.1 star exhibition in the museum is the unprecedented ancient corpse with even tiny fingernails well preserved.

    Last, let's go to explore Xinjiang International Bazaar to further enjoy the local culture. It's one of the bazaars with largest scale in the world with strong Islam flavor in its buildings. You should not miss this site during your tour to Urumqi, even if you are not going for shopping, you would favor the experience for the strong ethnic flavor here. Eyes are dazzled by an overwhelming of goods in the stalls while ears are excited by the hawking, bewildering you if you are travel through space and time to the ancient silk road to glimpse the prosperous trades between different nations.

    At the end of the visit, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Urumqi

    Erdaoqiao International Bazaar Xinjiang
    Chinaxiantour's customers in Erdaoqiao International Bazaar

  8. This morning, we will drive to Turpan. Upon arrival, start your visit with Jiaohe Ruins, which was very prosperous during the South and North Dynasties (420-589) and the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Later, due to years of war, the city was abandoned and became a ruin.

    Xinjiang Jiaohe Ruins
    Well-planned Jiao he Ruins

    Afterwards, discover the brilliant project of Karez Well, which is a special Irrigation System distributed in the Turpan area, sharing the same fame with the Great Wall as "Great Human Engineering". With a little rainfall volume yearly, it's almost impossible for Turpan to use water on the surface to irrigate farmland. However, Turpan is located in a basin embraced by the snowy mountains around, so, fortunately, it is rich in water resources underground. Local people brought into full play the tilted terrain of the basin, dug many Karez, and connected them together into a subterranean irrigation system.

    Last, visit the Sugong Pagoda, also known as the Emin Pagoda, an Islamic pagoda with a novel and chic shape.

    After all visits, drive you to the hotel in Turpan for the night.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Turpan

    Xinjiang Sugong Pagoda
    Sugong Pagoda

  9. In the morning, pay a visit to Tuyugou Valley, an over 1,700-year-old Uyghur village that still preserves the most time-honored Uyghur traditions and folk customs. Along the way, we will have a stop at Flaming Mountains, which is a striking geological wonder known for its intense heat and vibrant red hues. You will witness a surreal landscape, characterized by red sandstone formations that appear to glow in the sunlight.

    Next, visit Gaochang Ruins, the ruins of the capital of the ancient Gaochang Kingdom which existed from 500 to 700. Then, transfer to the Astana Tombs. Originating from the 3rd century to the 8th century, about 1,700 years ago, it was the public graveyard of the ancient Gaochang people. There are over 500 tombs in total with owners varying from the nobility, officials and civilians, gaining a high reputation in archeology.

    At end of your China Silk Road group tour, we drive back to Urumqi for the night.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: in Urumqi

    south xinjiang Tuyuq
    Tuyugou Valley

  10. Enjoy your leisurely morning until your driver escorts you to the airport for your flight to your next destination or home. Your 10-day Silk Road group tour in China ends here. Hope you had a good time with China Xian Tour and wish you all the best in the future.

    Meal: Breakfast

    Accommodation: N/A

Price Includes

  • 9 nights' well-selected hotels, 2 people share one room, with daily breakfasts
  • Lanzhou - Zhangye, Dunhuang - Urumqi high speed train tickets (second class seat)
  • Private land transportation in air-conditioned tourist van
  • Experienced Chinese-speaking drivers
  • Excellent local English speaking tour guides services as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Main entrance tickets to the scenic spots as mentioned in itinerary
  • Government taxes and service charges
  • 1 bottle of mineral waters per person per day
  • Road toll

Price Excludes

  • Airfare costs
  • Lunch or dinner (the local tour guide will recommend local restaurants for you to order and pay by yourself)
  • Any optional golf car/battery car/bike ride/camel ride/horse ride/boat cruise etc. inside attractions
  • Tips to guide and driver if you're satisfied with their services
  • China Visa or any personal expense
  • Any item that is not mentioned in the itinerary
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