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 Terracotta Warriors: History is standing still! Appreciate the marvelous Terracotta warriors in full battle array of Emperor Qin's tomb.
The City Wall: See the architecture of the gates and watchtowers on the largest and best-preserved ancient City Wall in China. Biking is a good way to experience the ancient site.
Labrang Monastery: Get close to the Buddhist cultural relics and 10,000 books of Tibetan scripture in the second largest of China's six great lamaseries, which practices the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Jiayuguan Pass: Witness the First Pass under the Heaven. The Jiayuguan Pass is a great strategic importance and a best-preserved pass among the over thousand passes along the Ming Great Wall.
Mogao Grottos: A renowned world cultural heritage, the caves hold the world's richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.
Jiaohe Ruin: Imagine the hustle and bustle of a once busy city. Jiaohe Ruin is the biggest, oldest and best preserved construction city in the world, which was first built in Qin dynasty.
Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves: Enjoy fantastic caves and frescos at Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves. The caves passed the long period of over 1,500 years, and only 83 of them are still in preservation.
Heavenly Lake: Travel to the Heavenly Lake regarded as jewel in the crown admire the marvelous glacier and snow mountain to the east.
Mt Nan Pastures: A very big attractive mountain valley with grassland and pastures surrounded by forested hills and mountains. Rent a horse to ride and to visit a local yurt to sample Kazakh food and drink.
Kashgar Old Town: Explore the oldest residential area in Kashgar Old Town. Houses were originally built in an ancient style of over hundred years. Traditional Uighur life continues here in time-honored fashion.
Desert Highway: The two ways across the Tarim Desert in Xinjiang are one of the longest Highways in the world. Each has a length of about 560km-600km from north to south. The highway plays a very important role to enhance the convenience of transportation in Xinjiang.
Xi'an is one of China's eight ancient national capitals and the home of the famous Terracotta Army.
Dunhuang is the best stop of the Silk Road in Gansu and is the gateway to Xinjiang, with pristine desert and the Mogao Grottoes .
Jiayuguan, the best preserved of all the Great Wall passes, is in the west of Jiayuguan City, Gansu Province. It was known in ancient times as the first pass of Hexi and a strategic fort on the Silk Road.
Urumqiis the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest of China.
Turpanis located in the Turpan Depression in the center of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The Terracotta Warriors Museum(Location: Xi'an)lies 1.5 km east of the Tomb of Qin Shihuang, known as the First Emperor, who unified China 2,200 years ago. Emperor Qin, from whom China gets its name, ordered the creation of this model army.
White Horse Temple(Location: Luoyang) Located 12 kilometers east of Luoyang City, White Horse Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China and is renowned as the cradle of Chinese Buddhism.
The Mogao Grottoes (Location: Dunhuang), commonly called the "Thousand-Buddha Caves", and praised as "a glittering pearl that adorns the Silk Road", are the most famous grottoes in China.
What are the cultural issues on the Silk Road? Please do not talk about sensitive issues such as religions and politics when in Xinjiang. 60% of the total population of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region belong to non-Han minorities.
How are the road conditions on the Silk Road? Xinjiang is 1/6 of the area of China, so there are long distances between cities. If you travel to the south of Xinjiang...