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Silk Road conjures the images of colourful bazaars, priceless jewels and fabrics, exotic perfumes and spices. This remarkably exotic journey takes you along the Chinese part of this ancient route. First you arrive at Lanzhou to admire Binglinsi. Then you will reach Jiayuguan where the first pass of west end of the Great Wall is located. In Dunhuang you will see the magnificent Buddhist grottos before skirting the Gobi Desert to the oasis town of Turpan and continuing on to the frenetic and unique market town of Kashgar.

    Tour description
    Silk Road conjures the images of colourful bazaars, priceless jewels and fabrics, exotic perfumes and spices. This remarkably exotic journey takes you along the Chinese part of this ancient route. First you arrive at Lanzhou to admire Binglinsi. Then you will reach Jiayuguan where the first pass of west end of the Great Wall is located. In Dunhuang you will see the magnificent Buddhist grottos before skirting the Gobi Desert to the oasis town of Turpan and continuing on to the frenetic and unique market town of Kashgar.

    Brief itinerary
    Day 1 Lanzhou arrival (no meal incl.)
    Day 2 Lanzhou, take an overnight train to Jiayuguan (Breakfast)
    Day 3 Jiayuguan arrival (Breakfast)
    Day 4 Morning train ride to Dunhuang (Breakfast)
    Day 5 Dunhuang, take an overnight train to Turpan (Breakfast)
    Day 6 Turpan arrival (no meals incl.)
    Day 7 Turpan, take an overnight train to Kashgar (Breakfast)
    Day 8 Kashgar arrival (no meals incl.)
    Day 9 Kashgar (Breakfast)
    Day 10 Kashgar (Breakfast)
    Day 11 Kashgar departure, trip ends (Breakfast)

    Duration: 11 days
    Tour valid: 01/05-31/12/2017
    Activities level: Moderate to difficult
    Hotel Accommodation: Tourist (3*/4*) hotels
    Transport: Private air-conditioned vehicle, overnight train with soft sleeper class (4 persons in 1 compartment), standard seats compartment
    Meals: 8 hotel breakfasts
    Price:CNY 4950 per person double occupancy, single room supplement: CNY 1740 p. person
    Size of group: min. 4 persons
    Day 1 Lanzhou arrival (no meal incl.)
    Private pick up, transfer to hotel

    Day 2 Lanzhou, take an overnight train to Jiayuguan (Breakfast)
    Own arrangement or optional tour:
    Today you will go to Liujiaxia Dam. It is a major hydroelectric dam on the upper Yellow River.Liujiaxia Dam is a concrete gravity dam 147 m high and 16 metres wide on top. The main section of the dam is 204 m long; including auxiliary sections on both sides, the length totals 840 m. The power plant has 5 generators with the total installed capacity of 1,225 MW. When it became fully operational in 1974, it became the country's largest hydroelectric power plant, and remained so until the 1980s.
    Then you will go to Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves. Bingling means 'ten thousand Buddha' in the Tibetan language. The starting construction time of Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves dates back to the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). Famous for its stone sculptures, Bingling Thousand Temple Caves stretches about 200 meters on the west cliff in Dasi Gully. Among the caves, the main characters are Sakyamuni, Kwan-yin, Amitayus Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, and other Buddha. With elegant postures, flying robes and ribbons, the statues are life-like. Among the caves, Cave No.169 is worthy of a particular mention. Made in the Northern Dynasties (386-581), it is the most imposing and delicate one which holds the clay sculptures of Kwan-yin, Dali Buddha (Dali means powerful strength in Chinese), etc. Dali Buddha has a round face, sitting with legs crossed. When we see this sculpture we will feel its expression as being very solemn. On its two sides stands Bodhisattvas with their hair bound, waving bare arms. The colours present us vivid Bodhisattvas and Buddha.
    Private transfer to the railway station and take an overnight train with soft sleeper compartment to Jiayuguan

    Day 3 Jiayuguan arrival (Breakfast)
    Upon arrival at Jianyuguan station, meet your driver and transfer to the hotel. Check in if hotel available, breakfast.
    Own arrangement or optional tour:
    You will go to Jiayuguan. It is the first pass at the west end of the Great Wall of China, near the city of Jiayuguan in Gansu province. It has also been called "Jiayuguan Pass"; however, this form is redundant since "guan" means "pass" in Chinese. Along with Juyongguan and Shanhaiguan, it is one of the main passes of the Great Wall. There are two gates: one on the east side of the pass, and the other on the west side. On each gate there is a building. An inscription of "Jiayuguan" in Chinese is written on a tablet at the building at the west gate. The south and north sides of the pass are connected to the Great Wall. There is a turret on each corner of the pass. On the north side, inside the two gates, there are wide roads leading to the top of the pass.Jiayuguan consist of three defence lines: an inner city, an outer city and a moat.

    Day 4 Morning train ride to Dunhuang (Breakfast)
    Hotel pick up, private transfer to Jiayuguan railway station and then take train to Dunhuang (standard seats compartment). Upon arrival at Dunhuang railway station, meet your driver and transfer to the hotel, Check in.
    Own arrangement or optional tour:
    Yumen Pass excursion
    Originally known as Small Square City, the Great Wall Yumenguan Pass, together with Yangguan Pass, is one of the two important passes on the western frontier of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220) lands. It is located 56 miles northwest to Dunhuang City, Gansu Province, at the western end of Hexi Corridor. In ancient times, it was the crucial gateway from central China to the western regions.

    Day 5 Dunhuang, take an overnight train to Turpan (Breakfast)
    Own arrangement or optional tour:
    Today you will go to The Mogao Caves. The caves contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art spanning a period of 1,000 years. The first caves were dug out 366 AD as places of Buddhist meditation and worship. The Mogao Caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes and, along with Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes, are one of the three famous ancient sculptural sites of China. The caves also have famous wall paintings.
    Then you will go to Mingsha Sand Dune and Crescent Moon Lake. Mingsha San Dune is named after the sound of the wind whipping off the dunes. You can ride camels, guided by a local camel guide, to reach the sand dunes. Once at the top of the dunes, visitors can ride sleds down the sand slopes, much like snow-sledding during winter season in skiing area. There is a legend that says how, in ancient times, a general with many soldiers came here to fight in a war with their enemies. While they were engaged in a fierce battle, a great gust of wind buried all the warriors in the sand and the sand mountain was formed. As the battle was at its height, the soldiers continued to fight beneath the sand. Thus, the sound you hear is said to be the roar of the soldiers. However, the real cause is the friction and static created as the wind shifts the sand or you slip down the mountainside.
    Crescent Moon Lake The crescent moon lake is a lake that lies in the centre of the desert. In the south bank of crescent moon lake a pavilion stands tall and erect. It has empress palace, dragon royal palace, Bodhisattva palace, god of medicine cave, scripture hall, thunder spirit table and so forth. They are surrounded by Mingsha Sand Dune. Though the crescent moon lake is located in the desert, it never dries up. Most people consider it a wonder.
    In the evening, private transfer to Liuyuan railway station and take overnight train with soft sleeper compartment to Turpan

    Day 6 Turpan arrival (No meals incl.)
    Meet upon arrival at Turpan railway station. You may have your breakfast on train before arrival or restaurant near the railway station. Then you will be transferred to Turpan. It is about 1.5 hours' duration.
    Own arrangement or optional tour:
    Today you will go to Jiaohe Ruins. Jiaohe Ruins was uniquely arranged, containing an above part and an underground part. The ruins, very rare in the world, are extremely valuable for studying ancient cities.
    Then you will go to Flaming Mountain. As one of the hottest places on earth, Flaming Mountain has always been a famous attraction, with its harsh yet unique natural conditions, as well as abundant cultural heritage. The mountain's average altitude is about 500 meters, with the highest peak, Shengjinkou, towering 831 meters above sea level. Known as Red Rock Mountain in ancient Chinese classics, or Keziletage in Uygur, Flaming Mountain is largely made up of bare rock. Not a single blade of grass grows on the hills of Flaming Mountain and there are no traces of birds or animals there. When the July sun heats the bare rocks, the blazing air current rolls up like burning flames.
    In the afternoon, you will go to The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves. There are 77 rock-cut caves at the site. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch ceilings often divided into four sections, each with a mural of Buddha. The effect is of entire ceiling covers with hundreds of Buddha murals. Some ceilings are painted with a large Buddha surrounded by other figures, including Indians, Persians and Europeans. The qualities of the murals vary with some being artistically naive while others are masterpieces of religious art.
    Then you will go to The karez system.Karez systems are the crystallization of ancient people's diligence and intelligence. At its peak, the karez irrigation system exceeded 5,000km and was also referred to as 'the underground Great Wall'. It is among the three ancient major irrigation projects with the other two being Ling Canal and Dujiangyan Irrigation Project. Karez systems are the life source of Turpan. In a sense, without the karez, there would be no Turpan culture. According to records, the history of the karez in Xinjiang dates back to 103B.C.
    At last you will go to Emin Minaret. Emin Minaret is the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang; it is the only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China. Standing 2 km east of Turpan, Emin Minaret was built in 1777 in honor of the heroic Turpan general, Emin Khoja. He was an outstanding patriot who defended the unification of China throughout his life. He had eight sons but the eldest son died of illness at a young age. Influenced by Emin, all his remaining sons made contributions during the war against Jungar rebellions. It was Suleman, Emin's second son, that built this minaret with his own money. This is the reason why the minaret is also named Su Gong Ta. Upon Emin's death, Suleman inherited his father's rank and became the second Turpan ruler.

    Day 7 Turpan, take an overnight train to Kashgar (Breakfast)
    Own arrangement or optional tour:
    Today you will go to Gaochang. Less well-preserved than silk road sister city Jiaohe Ruins, Gaochang Ancient City is still a humbling and pleasant experience to wander the ruins beneath the clear desert sky, contemplating the transitory nature of being, the rise and fall of civilizations, and the nature of the tourism industry in the 21st century. Gaochang was built in the 1st century BC, it was an important site along the Silk Road. It played a key role as a transportation hub in western China. There is some documented history surviving today, perhaps stories passed on through oral tradition exist to detail the history. It was burnt down in wars in the 14th century. Old palace ruins and inside and outside cities can still be seen today.
    Hotel pick up, private transfer to Turpan railway station and take overnight train with soft sleeper compartment to Kashgar.

    Day 8 Kashgar arrival (no meals incl.)
    Arrive in Kashgar at noon. Meet and greet upon arrival at Kashgar railway station, private transfer to the hotel, check in. Rest on your own afterwards.

    Day 9 Kashgar (Breakfast)
    Own arrangement or optional tour:
    Visit Id Kah Mosque, which is also renowned for its long and glorious history. The building complex comprises the Hall of Prayer, the Doctrine-Teaching Hall, the gate tower, a pond and some other auxiliary structures. It ranges the largest mosque in China with an area of 16,800 square meters, and could hold 10,000 prayers at the same time.
    Then Move on to visit the Tomb of Xiangfei, also called Apak Hoja Tomb. Xiangfei (Fragrant Imperial Concubine) is one of the concubines of the Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong. It was said that her body send forth the rich delicate fragrance of flower, so called Xiangfei. After she died, her remains were escorted back to Kashgar and were buried in the Apak Hoja Tomb, the tomb of the descendants of an Islamic sage.

    Day 10 Kashgar (Breakfast)
    Own arrangement or optional tour:
    Kashgar has always been about trade, and there's no place better to witness the essential experience of browsing, haggling, buying and selling than at the city's renowned Sunday Market.
    Though it's not as wild as it was before the weekend livestock market was moved to a new space a bit further outside of town, the Sunday Market remains a quintessential Central Asian experience. Xinjiang residents from far and wide converge on Kashgar on market day, as do traders from distant points, all together re-enacting a ritual that hasn't changed much since the first days of the Silk Road. It's a delightful place to take in the region's diversity, as representatives of various ethnic groups and subgroups show up, often in distinctive costume. Everything from fresh melons and cabbages to bolts of local silk and hand-woven rugs shows up, along with animals, clothing, hats, knives, jewelry and pretty much anything else you might imagine, and much that you never would.

    Day 11 Kashgar departure, trip ends (Breakfast)
    Check out, private transfer to the airport, depart for your next destination. Trip ended.
    City: Lanzhou
    BeijingHotel Name: Lanzhou Golden Wheel Hotel
    Information: The hotel has several function rooms and a business center, and amenities and staff are in place to make the customers' stay a carefree and relaxing experience. Guests looking to keep in shape can hit the gym for a workout, or simply relax with the sauna facilities. Check out the games room for some table tennis or billiards before heading to the nightclub to dance the night away.
    Location: The hotel located in central Lanzhou, less than 2 km (1 mi) from Lanzhou Railway station. It will take around an hour to reach Lanzhou Zhongchuan airport by car.

    City: Jiayuguan
    BeijingHotel Name: Jiayuguan Hotel
    Information: The hotel also offers its own shopping center, business center, foreign currency exchange, sauna, dance hall, KTV center and chess/card rooms. 175 guestrooms. Offers lcoal cuisine
    Location: Is a blend of European and Asian styles. The hotel is in the center of Jiayuguan, convenient to many shops and restaurants. The hotel also offers its own shopping center

    City: Dunhuang
    BeijingHotel Name: Grand Sun Hotel
    Information: Grand Sun Hotel is in Dunhuang's city center nearby the shopping area. Although the Grand Sun Hotel is in a slightly remote part of town, it is a quiet and comfortable place to relax.
    Location: Near the City Center; To Railway Station: 130km; To Airport: 20km Surrounding Landscape: Shazhou Market, Business Street, Museum

    City: Turpan
    BeijingHotel Name: Turpan Huozhou hotel
    Information: This Turpan hotel features deluxe rooms and executive suites, all of which are equipped with TVs having channels speaking minority language, air conditioners and in-room safes. When it comes time to relax, guests can unwind in the sauna, sing their heart out in the karaoke rooms or just play a game in the chess and cards rooms.
    Location: Located at the south side of Shuiyun Square in downtown Turpan, Hotel is close to museum and surrounded by an artificial lake. About a 45-minute drive will see guests at the Tulufan Railway Station.

    City: Kashgar
    BeijingHotel Name: Kashi Tianyuan International Hotel
    Information: The hotel's offers 168 rooms and suites, restaurant, coffee house, bar, sauna center, chess & mahjong rooms, multi-function meeting room and a business center.
    Location: Is located in the center of Kshi, to the west of People Square. It also takes about 15 minutes to Railway Station and 20 minutes to Airpor. close to supermarket and shopping street.

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