Travel on the ancient Silk Road and enjoy the oriental atmosphere in Kashgar. Visit the famous Sunday market, where merchants bargain over camels and carpets. Eat with a local family and get to know Muslim traditions. Marvel at the beautiful mosques and take a boat tour on the Heavenly Lake close to Urumqi. Visit the remains of the ancient city Jiaohe, cross the Gobi Desert and try riding on a camel. At the end of your journey drive to Lanzhou and Linxia, take a speed boat and visit the famous Binling Thousand Buddha Caves, with their beautiful frescos.
Day 1 Arrive in Kashgar, city tour incl. walking through the old town (no meal incl.)
Day 2 Kashgar Sunday Market incl. the animal market, visit the Ugyur family (Breakfast)
Day 3 Kashgar Karakul Lake expedition, overnight train ride to Turpan (Breakfast)
Day 4 Turpan exploration (Breakfast)
Day 5 Take a morning express D train to Dunhuang (Breakfast)
Day 6 Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, drive across the Gobi Desert to Jiayuguan (Breakfast)
Day 7 Jiayuguan exploration, drive to Zhangye (Breakfast)
Day 8 Discover the Rainbow Mountains, take an express D train to Lanzhou (Breakfast)
Day 9 Excursion tour to Bingling Caves, Lanzhou departure (Breakfast)
Duration: 9 days
Activities level: Moderate
Kashgar: Radisson Blu Kashgar | Turpan: Turpan Silk Road Lodges – The Vines | Dunhuang: Silk Road Hotel | Jiayuguan: Jiayuguan JiuGang Hotel | Zhangye: Zhangye Hotel | Lanzhou: Hampton Hilton Hotel
Transport: Private air-conditioned vehicle, overnight train with soft sleeper class (4 persons in 1 compartment), 1st class express D train
Meals: 8 hotel breakfasts
Price: CNY 9950 per person double occupancy, single room supplement: CNY 2670 p. person
Size of group: min. 6 persons
Day 1 Sat Arrive in Kashgar (no meal incl.)
Arrive in Kashgar on your own. Meet on arrival at Kashgar airport and transfer to hotel, check in. City tour incl. walking through the old town.
Kashgar seems more a part of Central Asia than of the People’s Republic of China. The majority of the population here is Uygur, intermixed with Tadzhiks, Uzbeks, and Han Chinese. The fabled city of Kashgar hosted Marco Polo and countless Silk Road traders upon their entry to the Middle Kingdom. While its previous glory as a trading capital has disappeared, Kashgar retains the exotic air and immense appeal of medieval Asia.
Day 2 Sun Kashgar city exploration (Breakfast）
Visit the famous Sunday Market, thousands of merchants haggle for camels, carpets and other goods, imams on donkeys and veiled woman in their dark robes.
City tours include visiting the Old town of Kashgar, Abakh Hoja Tomb, Id Kah Great Mosque and its Bazaar. Abakh Hoja Tomb began as a family mausoleum in the seventeen century.
Day 3 Mon Kashgar Karakul Lake expedition, overnight train ride to Turpan (Breakfast)
Take the Karakoram Highway to go to the Karakul Lake. You will pass the Ghez River on the way. Karakul Lake is one of the most scenic spots on the Chinese side of the highway. Located between Kongur Mountain (7719 m) and Muztagh-Ata Mountain (7546 m) Visit also the nomads near the Lake. Return to Kashgar in the late afternoon, and take an overnight train to Turpan
Day 4 Tue Turpan exploration (Breakfast)
Visit the Gaochang ruins, Thousand Buddha Caves, also Karez Irrigation Well and Emin Minaret, one of the architectural gems of the Silk Road. The ancient Karez Irrigation System was comprised of a series of wells and linking underground channel that use gravity to bring ground water to the surface.
Day 5 Wed Take a morning express D train to Dunhuang (Breakfas)
Afternoon: Minsha Sand Hill and Crescent Moon Lake, this is the place where the oasis meets the desert. Minsha Sand Dunes and Crescent Moon Lake form an interesting sight in Dunhuang with huge rolling sand dunes surrounding a pretty lake. Cable and French report that “The skill of man made the caves of the thousand Buddha, but the hand of God fashioned the lake of the crescent Moon,” which forms a wonder of desert. It’s great fun to climb the singing sand. It’s a bit as this is hard but well worth the effort. It is also a good place just to relax and explore slowly.
Day 6 Thu Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, drive across the Gobi Desert to Jiayuguan (Breakfas)
Visit the Mogao Grottoes–Buddhist art dated from AD 386. The Mogao cave complex are comprised of 492 caves, containing 450,000 square feet of murals dating from the fourth to the fourteenth centuries – a period which corresponds to an immense growth in international commerce along the nearby Silk Road.
You will then drive across the Gobi desert. The journey is about 4 to 5 hours.
Day 7 Fri Jiayuguan exploration, drive to Zhangye (Breakfast)
Today you will visit the Jiayuguan Pass (Great Wall Tower) which known as the first pass of Hexi. And visit the Hanging Great Wall. Then drive to Zhangye, about 2.5- 3 hours. Visit the Horse Hoe Temple & Grottoes upon arrival, which is famous of its Buddhist grotto art, Qilian Mountain Landscape and Yugu minority folklore.
Day 8 Sat Rainbow Mountains, take an express D train to Lanzhou (Breakfast)
Discover the Rainbow Mountains, also called Zhangye Danxia Landform. It is both the largest and the most typical of China’s arid area danxia landforms. Because of aridity, the Zhangye Danxia Landform differs from that of south China. It is very dry and desolate, without any vegetation, so geologists call this “window lattice and palace-shaped Danxia topography”.
After the visit, take an express D train to Lanzhou. Railway station pick up and then transfer to hotel.
Day 9 Sun Excursion tour to Bingling Caves, Lanzhou departure (Breakfast)
Check out in the morning, depart for Linxia. In Linxia, you will take a speed boat (approx. 30 min) passing Liujiaxia Dam to visit an another cultural heritage Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves. The Thousand Buddha Caves of Bingling Temple is a series of natural caves in a canyon along the Yellow River, packed with engraved Buddhist sculptures. This is one of the most important sets of caves in China. After the excurstion, transfer to the airport and depart for your next destination. END
• 7 nights hotel accommodation with twin or double standard room
• 8 hotel breakfasts
• Soft sleeper class overnight train Kashgar-Turpan (4 persons in 1 compartment)
• First class D train Turpan-Dunhuang, Zhangye-Lanzhou
• All private transfers with air-conditional vehicle as indicated in the itinerary
• Sightseeing tour with entrance ticket as indicated in the itinerary
• Local licensed English speaking guide as indicated in the itinerary
What’s not included
• In & out air tickets
• Travel Insurances
• Airport taxes
• Visa if required
• Meals & program that are not listed in itinerary
• Personal expense, beverages and meals, and highlights or sightseeing’s which are not indicated in the itinerary
• Tips to guides, porterage’s & drivers if service is satisfied
Hotel Name: Radisson Blu Hotel
Information: Decorated in a rich and classic tone, all guestrooms provide you with air conditioning and a seating area. There is also an electric kettle. The private bathrooms attached come with a hairdryer and bathrobes. Some rooms have mountain view and city view. Extras include a sofa, a desk and a safety deposit box. Location:It takes 10 minutes by car to the famous Xiangfei Family’s Tomb, the Etigal Mosque, the famous Grand Bazaar and the biggest international market . Kashi Airport is 15 km away.
Hotel Name: Turpan Silk Road Lodges – The Vines
Information: It is situated in the tranquil Muna’er Cun, a historic Uyghur village just outside the centre of Turpan. Surrounded by grapevines, it features traditional Uyghur architecture and decoration, as well as a sun terrace and classy rooms with free wired internet. Location: Silk Road Lodges is 200 m from Emin Minaret and a 3-minute drive from Turpan’s city centre. It takes 15 minutes to drive to the property from Turpan North Fast Train Station.
Hotel Name: Silk Road Hotel
Information: The Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel is the most luxurious accommodation option in town, this hotel has a large range of rooms from standard to suites and villas. Location: Located just outside of town, Situated against the backdrop of the picturesque Mingsha Sand Dunes in Dunhuang, is located 3 kilometres south of Dunhuang’s city centre, a convenient 20 minutes’ drive from the airport, and 30 minutes to the stunning Mogao Grottoes by car.
Hotel Name: Jiayuguan JiuGang Hotel
Information: The ambiance of Jiayuguan Jiugang Hotel is reflected in every guestroom. television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non smoking rooms, air conditioning, heating are just some of the facilities that can be found throughout the property. The hotel’s fitness center, massage are ideal places to relax and unwind after a busy day. Location:It is about 7 km (4 mi) from the railway station and 13 km (8 mi) from the airport.
Name: Zhangye Hotel
Information: Opened in 2015, the Zhangye Hotel is a great accommodation choice in Zhangye. With both Chinese and Western cuisines available, there are plenty of options for guests wanting to dine on site. The café provides a casual space for those looking for somewhere convenient to relax. Location: The hotel is centrally located, about 8 KM to the railway station.
Hotel Name: Lanzhou Hampton Hilton Hotel
Information: Hampton is the largest hotel chain brand of Hilton Worldwide. Hampton by Hilton Lanzhou Qilihe Bridge aim to bring a comfortable stay for business elites and families with kids. Even on a busy trip, you can also enjoy yourself very much at Hampton. Most rooms have a great view of Yellow River. Every dawn and sunset, the Yellow River looks really charming with waves sparkling and surging, like a song coming from the ancient days, deep and long.
Location:The hotel is just 5 km from Lanzhou West Railway Station and 59 km from Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport.