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Welcome to Urumqi, in Xianjiang, a massive province which shares borders with eight countries! We will be there to meet you and transfer you from the airport to the hotel.
Urumqi sits amidst beautiful scenery, with the snow-clad Tian Shan range to the city’s east. Christianity and Buddhism existed side by side until the steady rise of Islam in the 15th century. Today 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 we fly west to Kashgar.
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. Today we visit 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 or Grand Bazaar with free time to explore. Later we will transfer you to the Airport in time for your flight to Urumqi. Arrive Urumqi and transfer you to your hotel for the night.
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 will visit Putao Gou (Grape Valley), heart of the region’s massive grape production.
Today we drive 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. We also visit the Bezeklik Caves which are situated in a desert gorge high above the Sengim River. 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.
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. We then transfer you for the overnight sleeper train to Dunhuang(Liuyuan).
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.
Today we visit 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.
Today we will transfer you to the Airport in time for your flight to Beijing. Arrive Beijing and you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Transfer you to the Airport in Beijing in time for your flight back home. End of our services
The discovery of despotic Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi’s army of 2,200-year-old terracotta warriors occurred in 1974 when local farmers digging...