A tour of the Silk Road is truly a journey into the ancient history and diverse culture of China quite unlike any other. The range of attractions is quite unsurpassed.
It’s a journey of contrasts: Han and Uyghur ethnicity, Buddhism and Islam religion, desert and mountain scenery, East and West (Central Asian) culture.
Travel from the Han culture of the ancient capitals of Xi’an and Luoyang, with the First Emperor’s magnificent Terracotta Army, crossing the Yellow River (China’s mother river) at Lanzhou, to the extreme Western end of the Great Wall and its desert forts at Jiayuguan, to the best-preserved evidence of the development of Chinese Buddhism at the Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang.
Also at Dunhuang, see the beautiful Mingsha sand dunes and ride a camel like in times of old. Further west experience the minarets, dancing, roast mutton and grapes of the Muslim Uyghur people, the ancient ruins of Jiaohe in Turpan, the third deepest land on the planet, and Heavenly Lake nestling in the snow-capped Heavenly Mountains near Urumqi.
Journey from scorching desert austerity to cool, watery mountain beauty and lush green upland pasture, and, if you have time, cross the Taklamakan Desert to the frontier outpost of Kashgar, which has a market as fragrant and bustling as in ancient days.
The Silk Road has everything you need for a rich cultural journey into the heart of China’s past.
The Silk Road was opened up around 130 BC when the Han Government dispatched General Zhang Qian as an envoy to build good relationships with small nomadic states west of China.