SILK ROAD TOUR
Beijing / Kashgar / Urumqi / Turpan / Dunhuang / Xian / China
14 days Discover The Silk Road: (Beijing-Kashgar-Urumqi-Turpan-Dunhuang- Xian)
DAY 1 Arrival in Beijing and pick up airport to hotel O/N Hotel in Beijing
DAY 2 (B) Beijing In the morning, Visit the famous Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. After a short stroll around the world’s largest city square, Tiananmen Square, you will walk across the Golden Water Bridge and come to the splendid Forbidden City built 600 years ago, where you will be impressed by the gorgeous imperial palaces and vast storage of historical relics. Your visit continues to the Temple of Heaven in the afternoon. Being a royal temple from the 17th to early 20th century in the Qing Dynasty, it will fascinate you with the unique architecture like Hall of Prayer of Good Harvest and Echo Wall. O/N Hotel
DAY 3 Beijing (B /L) Morning pick up (lunch include) to tour 8:30 AM. Your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. We will drive by a private van to the Jiankou section of the Great Wall and start hiking to Mutianyu. The Great Wall at Jiankou is located in the district of Huairou, about 80km/50miles northeast of Beijing. Jiankou Great Wall was an important section of the wall in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Before climbing the mountain, we’ll first take a brief visit to a local village called Xizaizhi at the bottom of Jiankou Great Wall. We’ll have the unique opportunity to see this typical village where Chinese farmers have been living for hundreds of years, using the same farming methods and inhabiting the same traditions and folk customs that have been passed down for generations upon generations. In order to hike on Jiankou, first we have to climb up this path for about 40-60 minutes to reach it. Our hike today will take about 4 hours and will cover 10km/ 6 miles. The Jiankou section is known for its ruggedness and wild beauty, and you will be in awe of the marvelous views it affords.
We’ll start from Zhengbeilou (see photo above) where is the best place to take photos. This part of the wall is often empty, so you will have some peace and serenity on your hike today. Another highlight of Jiankou is the enemy observation tower known as, “Ying Fei Dao Yang”, so named because this watchtower was erected on the highest peak in the area, and eagles and hawks often perch on it. From Jiankou we will cross over onto Mutianyu, a section of the wall that has been largely restored. Although it has gotten a face-lift, it avoids the army of tourists that plague Badaling. Mutianyu offers some breathtaking views of the valley and wall below, and if you look to your right you’ll see a large sign engraved in the side of the mountain encouraging you to “Cherish the teachings of Chairman Mao”. Mutianyu has also become popular for visiting foreign leaders and celebrities (former U.S. President Clinton and UK Prime Minister John Major visited Mutianyu on one of their trips to China). You can hike down to the parking lot, take a cable car, or take a toboggan ride (highly recommended, and lots of fun!) down to meet our driver. We will then drive back to Beijing and drop you off at your hotel. This trip can be taken at any point in the year. Even in winter the snow-covered wall makes for perfect scenery.It takes about 2 hours to drive back to Beijing from Mutianyu. Before that, we’ll stop by a Chinese restaurant to treat you a lunch with traditional stir fries and rice. If you are vegetarian, there is no problem. We’ll order special dishes for you.Finally, your guide will you send you back to your hotel by 5 pm or earlier depending on the traffic. O/N same hotel
DAY 4 (B/D)Beijing – Kashgar via Urumqi on a connected flight (Beijing – Umumqi) then connect to Urumqi to Kashgar: . Our guide in Beijing will take you to the airport and help you to check in for your connected flight to Kashgar, then our guide will be waiting for you outside the Arrival Hall of the airport and escort you to the hotel in downtown. After fleshing up, you will be taken to an Uyghur restaurant for dinner. O/N Hotel
DAY 5: Kashgar Region (B/L/D) (Best to do on Sunday)
We will begin our tour of Kashgar City by visiting the Apak Hoja tomb, also called fragrant concubine tomb (Xiangfei in Chinese) . This is a very tranquil place and a beautiful example of Uyghur Islamic architecture. Next we will head to the Infamous lively Sunday market, renowned as the biggest market in Central Asia. It is said you can buy anything you want from the Sunday market except chicken milk and cow eggs (local inside joke). We will then enjoy lunch in a typical Uyghur restaurant.
After lunch we will wander through the narrow winding streets of the historic Old town brushing shoulders with the friendly Uyghur residents. Located at the spiritual heart of old town is Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China. We will go inside and have the chance to understand a bit more about the Islamic life of the Uyghur people. We will pass down Handicraft Street where we can view pots being hammered, wood craftsmen at work and traditional musical instrument workshops.
Note: For entering the Mosque visitors should dress respectfully: no shorts or short sleeved shirts and women should cover their heads with a scarf. O/N same hotel
DAY 6 Mon. Urumqi – Turpan(B/L/D) Morning visit Kashgar old own
This morning , you will visit the old town of Kashgar, the Areya Street, which has nice, Uyghur styled architecture, handcrafts are being made by the local uyhgur who have been living in this historical area for over the centuries . You can also go inside the very small streets inside the old town to enjoy the daily life of Uyghurs. You will then have your lunch in an Uyghur restaurant before leaving for the afternoon flight Kashgar to Urumqi . Our guide will meet you at Urumqi Airport and he will arrange your lunch before leaving for Turpan by car. You will arrive in Turpan in the time by dinner and check in hotel, dinner after that. O/N
DAY 7 Tue. Turpan(B/L/D) In the morning, you will visit Jiaohe Ruins, which is one of the most important towns along the ancient Silk Road. It is also the largest, oldest and best-preserved earth construction in the world. Although 2,000 years have passed, the former glory of Jiaohe can still be found from the ruins. Then you will visit the famous Karez Well, the gigantic underground irrigation system created by ancient Xinjiang people. Over 1,100 Karez Wells in Turpan have provided precious water source to this dry and hot area during the past 400 years. The next stop will be the existing largest ancient pagoda in Xinjiang, Sugong Pagoda. The pagoda is a 44-meter-high (144 feet) Islamic pagoda, which bears a history of over 200 years. O/N same hotel
DAY 8 Turpan – Dunhuang(B/L/D)TRAIN
Today you will visit another famous ruin in Turpan, Gaochang Ruins, which used to be the capital of ancient Gaochang Kingdom. From the outline of the ruins, you can still find the trace of many former buildings, like temples, markets and palace. Then you will go to the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Cave, a cluster of caves with thousands of Buddhism murals. The vivid murals show many Buddhism figures, stories, and the social life about 1,000 years ago in Ancient Gaochang Kingdom. The last stop will be the hottest place in China, the Flaming Hill, which is located at the north of ancient Silk Road. Nothing grows on the hill and the highest temperature of summer could reach 47.8 ℃ (118 ℉). Seen from afar, the Flaming Hill resembles a red fire dragon flying upward. Afterwards, you will board an overnight (private cabins) soft sleeper train to Dunhuang.
DAY 9 Dunhuang(B/L/D)
Upon your arrival, our guide will meet you at Liuyuan railway station and escort you to the hotel in Dunhuang. It will take about two hours’ drive from Liuyuan Station to Dunhuang. After a short rest in the hotel, visit the famous Mogao Caves, which is one of the four most famous caves in China. Known as the “Oriental Louvre”, the Mogao Caves not only boasts a large number of vivid Buddhism murals, statues and architecture, but also is renowned as the treasure house of Buddhism culture. Then continue your trip to Dunhuang Museum, where you will get a better understanding of the Silk Road from the exhibited historical relics. O/N Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel
DAY 10 Dunhuang – Xian(B/L) Afternoon flight
Today you will visit one of the most famous attractions along the Silk Road, the Echoing-Sand Mountain. It is so named because when you slide down the slope, you can hear the roaring echo of sands. You will experience a short camel ride along the mountain to reach the Crescent Lake. It is really a natural wonder that the crescent-shaped spring surrounded by the endless Gobi desert has not dried up over the past one thousand years and still gushes with fresh current. Then you will board a flight to Xian. Our guide will meet you and escort you to the hotel in downtown. O/N Hotel-
DAY11 Xian (B/L/D)
In the morning, you will visit the world’s eighth wonder, theTerracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. In the afternoon, continue your visit to one of the symbolic attraction of Xian, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Initially built in the Tang Dynasty to collect sutra from India, the seven-story pagoda witnessed much changes and development of Xian in the past 1,300 years. Then you will visit the City Wall, which is the best-preserved city wall in China and regarded as another symbol of Xian. In the evening, you will have the local specialty, the Dumpling Dinner, which comprises many different kinds of Chinese dumplings, and enjoy the Tang Dynasty Dance and Music Show at Shaanxi Opera Theater (Addr: No. 165, Wenyi Road, Xian). O/N same hotel
DAY 12 Xian (B/L)
In the morning, you will visit the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum. The gallery of this Museum wins high reputation for its superior advantages in quantity, species of relic and quality. Bronze wares, potter a figurine, gold and silver objects as well as Tang tomb painting are all wonderful rarities. You will make a family visit get a better understanding with the local people’s life and taste the home-cooked a la carte lunch in the home of the family you visit. Continue to the Xian Muslim Quarters is just located behind ( north of ) the Drum Tower. The Xian muslim quarters is a delightful place you will never miss! The famous Great Mosque is located in the Muslim Area. For the tourists coming here, the bazaar in the Muslim area is most attractive with a wide area of stalls selling everything. The streets and walkways are full of life. The shopping is great, very cheap and some unusual items we will seldom see anywhere else in China. The Great Mosque in Xian is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosques in China. Unlike most mosques in Middle Eastern or Arab countries, the Great Mosque of Xian is completely Chinese in its construction and architectural style, except for some Arabic lettering and decorations. Return to your hotel O/N same hotel
DAY13 (B) Xian- onwards Depart Xian transfer to airport to fly to Beijing (air tickets provided by Ann Tours) to airport for your Xian – Beijing on. O/N Hotel in Beijing.
DAY 14 (B) Morning transfer to the airport.