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Silk Road Adventure

15 days  |  Urumqi to Beijing  |  from USD $5,699

Taking in Urumqi, Kashgar & Turpan in China's far west before heading east to the dunes at Dunhuang, the UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves, Yellow River & the Terracotta Warriors. Our Silk Road Adventure is a road less travelled.

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Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Inclusions
Day 1

Welcome to Urumqi, in Xianjiang, a massive province which shares borders with eight countries! A number airlines service Urumqi and our tour starts at this point. Arrival transfer from airport to hotel.
Overnight: Urumqi

Day 2

Urumqi - Kashgar. Capital of Xinjiang, a largely desert and grassland province fringed by some of the highest mountains in the world, Urumqi sits amidst beautiful scenery, with the snow-clad Tian Shan range to the city’s east. Two thousand years ago a string of oasis towns were developed along the Silk Road that skirted the surrounding deserts. Trade attracted merchants from Europe and India and Xinjiang became a meeting point between east and west. Christianity and Buddhism existed side by side until the steady rise of Islam in the 15th century. By the time of the Ming Dynasty, Muslims had flourished and integrated into Han society without loss of customs or dress. Today, there is a significant Muslim population. We enjoy an excursion to Tian Chi (Heaven Lake), located at an altitude of 2,000m among the Tian Shan Mountains, which rise to nearly 6,000m. Also visit the local Xinjiang Museum. Later, fly west to Kashgar.
Overnight: Kashgar  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 3-4

Kashgar - Urumqi. Lying at the foot of the Pamir mountains in the far west of Xinjiang, Kashgar’s importance grew from its location as an oasis at the point where the northern and southern routes of the ancient Silk Road converged, forming a gateway to the mountains leading to India and Russia. From the 10th - 18th centuries Kashgar was part of the Islamic world, until the Chinese reconquered the region. See the Id Kah Mosque, Aba Khoja Mausoleum - where the local cemetery filled with distinctive mud and brick tombs is still used by the local Uighur peoples and the colourful Old Town. A visit is made to Kashgar’s local market with free time to explore. Later, catch a flight to Urumqi.
Overnight: Kashgar (1) Urumqi (1)  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 5

Urumqi - Turpan. Enjoy an excursion to the southern mountain pastures before continuing by road to Turpan. Located on the northern Silk Road, Turpan is a rural Uighur settlement. The Uighur descended from nomadic Siberian and Central Asian tribes who settled the region in the 9th century. Renowned for its grape production, you’ll visit Putao Gou (Grape Valley), heart of the region’s massive grape production.
Overnight: Turpan  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Today, enjoy some sightseeing beyond Turpan. Driving to Bezeklik past the Flaming Mountains which due to sun and shadow at certain times of the day seeming to flicker as though glowing poker-hot. You’ll also visit the Bezeklik Caves which are situated in a desert gorge high above the Sengim River and once formed part of a Buddhist monastery between the 6th and 14th centuries. Beyond here are the Astana tombs and the impressive ruins of Gaochang city, founded as a garrison city in the 1st century AD. Tonight, enjoy a traditional show of song and dance.
Overnight: Turpan  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Turpan - Liuyuan. Visit to Imin Ta (Imin Minaret) constructed in 1778, before heading beyond Turpan to the Jiaohe Ruins. Occupying a spectacular position on a steep plateau, the ancient street plan, thanks to the many ruins of this former garrison town, is still evident. A stop is also made at some 2,000-year-old Karez water channels, an irrigation system that many Silk Road cities and towns relied upon; the idea for which came from ancient Persia. Tonight take an overnight sleeper train to Liuyuan.
Overnight: Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Liuyuan - Dunhuang. Arrive Liuyuan, and continue to remote Dunhuang, a small and strategically important desert oasis town on the Silk Road, a stone’s throw from the end of the Great Wall. Visit Yueya Quan (Crescent Moon Lake), a small spring-fed lake surrounded by gigantic sand dunes, that has been a vital source of water here for millennia. If feeling energetic, the giant dunes can be climbed if inclined!
Overnight: Dunhuang  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Visit perhaps Dunhuang’s most famous attraction, the UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves. The colourful cave paintings which were the legacy of travelling pilgrim monks, merchants and nobles form the most fascinating repository of Buddhist art in China.
Overnight: Dunhuang  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 10-11

Dunhuang - Jiayuguan - Lanzhou. Day 10, enjoy a visit to the awesome Jiayuguan Fort at Jiayuguan Pass - the farthest outpost of the Great Wall which was built here by the Ming in 1372, over 5,000km from the wall’s easternmost point at Shanhaiguan. This was literally the final defence of the Chinese empire, the spot where China ended and beyond which lay an uncharted, terrifying wilderness. Situated between striking mountain ranges, everything that travelled between the deserts of central Asia and the fertile lands of China, be it goods traders or armies had to file through the Jiayuguan Pass.

Day 11 - flight from Jiayuguan to Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province and a former staging post on the Silk Road. Enjoy a boat ride on the 5,487 km long Yellow River (2nd longest in China after the Yangtze) and a visit to Bingling Temple.
Overnight: Jiayuguan (1) Lanzhou (1)  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 12

Lanzhou - Xi'an. Flight from Lanzhou to Xi’an. Today enjoy a city tour, taking in the highlights of Xi'an, including the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Muslim Quarter, the Great Mosque and the medieval City Wall, which can take a bike ride along.
Overnight: Xi'an  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13

Xi’an in Shaanxi Province is perhaps most famous for the discovery of Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors. Discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging a well, the 2,200 year old terracotta warriors comprise more than 7,000 life-sized soldiers which stand battle-ready in excavated pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. Made of local clay, no two faces are alike – each is said to be an individual portrait. Today, visit Huanqing Hot Springs, a scenic spot in the shadow of Li Mountain, before continuing to a workshop where crafts people make replicas of the terracotta warriors. Then visit the archaeological site of the Terracotta Warriors.
Overnight: Xi'an  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14

Xi’an - Beijing. This morning fly from Xi’an to Beijing, China's bustling capital city. Enjoy an excursion beyond Beijing to the legendary UNESCO-listed Great Wall at Badaling. Spanning rugged mountain ranges, lush green valleys and barren plains, it stretches as far as the eye can see - at least 6,700 kms. Continuing on, visit the tombs of the Ming emperors, where some 13 emperors were interred and a cloisonne workshop of decorative metal and enamel sculpture.
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15

Hotel check-out and included onward transfer to airport.
Breakfast

Extend your stay!

Fancy staying longer? Heading to Hong Kong? Take a look at our Guangzhou For Hong Kong bolt-on. Not only will it get you to Hong Kong, you can check out Canton too!

See our full range of exciting bolt-ons!

Trip Highlights

Urumqi - Tian Chi (Heaven Lake), Xinjiang Museum
Turpan - Grape Valley, Flaming Mountain, Gaochang city, Bezeklik Caves, Astana tombs, Imin Minaret, ruined Jiaohe, Karez water channels
Jiayuguan - Jiayuguan Pass and Fort
Xi’an - UNESCO-listed Terracotta Warriors, clay warrior workshop, Huaqing Hot Springs, Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall, Muslim Quarter
Kashgar - Id Kah Mosque, Aba Khoja Mausoleum
Dunhuang - Crescent Moon Lake, UNESCO-listed Mogao Grottoes
Lanzhou - Yellow River, Binling Temple
Beijing - UNESCO-listed Great Wall

Included

14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 12 dinners
1 overnight train (soft sleeper cabin)
Turpan - song and dance show
Xi'an - bike ride on medieval City Wall
Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 & day 15
Local English speaking specialist guides at local sights
13 nights Standard hotels (Superior and Deluxe available on request).
Kashgar - Grand Bazaar, kindergarten visit
Lanzhou - Yellow River boat ride
Economy class flights - Urumqi - Kashgar, Kashgar - Urumqi, Jiayuguan - Lanzhou and Xi’an - Beijing
Touring and excursions as per itinerary
Entrance fees to all included sites

Not Included

International flights and visa
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
Laundry, drinks, items of a personal nature

Prices shown are ‘per person’, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. The single supplement price needs to be added to the twin/double price if single rooms are required. If travelling solo, an additional ‘1-person’ supplement will apply.

Departs any day of the year except 01 - 07 May, 01 - 07 October and Chinese New Year.

 
Price/Person
Single Supp.
Silk Road Adventure - 15 days
USD $5699
USD $989

Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Beijing - Pre-tour accom.
USD $80
USD $70
Shanghai - Post-tour accom.
USD $80
USD $70

Prices are indicative and will vary depending on your chosen hotels, room availability as well as time of travel. Please bear this in mind if comparing prices as we always aim to deliver exceptional value.

Please note that discounts will apply if there are more 4 our more people in your travelling party, since fixed costs like transportation and guiding are shared across the group.

Tour Details
Starts
Urumqi
Ends
Beijing
Departs
Most days of the year
Hotel Rating
Standard, Superior or Deluxe
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - for all included sightseeing
Meals
Breakfast: 14, Lunch: 13, Dinner: 12
Tour Bolt-ons
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons
Hong Kong Express
USD $479 / 1 day
Guilin & Yangshuo
USD $799 / 3 days
Datong
USD $799 / 4 days
Yellow Mountain
USD $1,269 / 5 days
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