Tour Itinerary of Silk Route Adventure
11-Day Xian, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi and Kashgar Tour (CHT-SL-03)
This tour will take you to the mysterious and attractive historical Silk Route in old China, where you will visit many historical wonders, Buddhism temples and beautiful ancient Chinese architectures and historical ruins.
- Tour Summary
- Full Itinerary
Place & Transport: Arrive in Xian, Flight not included
Today's Activities: Airport Transfer (Xian), A Free CH cell phone package (one cell phone for one group)
- A Free CH cell phone package (one cell phone for one group):
A Free CH cell phone package (one cell phone for one group) includes free rental for the cell phone and SIM card (Includes prepaid value of CNY 50), delivery and collection in China. Return the phone to your guide when you depart. For more about the cell phone rental service, please click cell phone rental information.China Highlights also provides a Wi-Fi package so that you can connect to the internet in China anytime and anywhere. Our 3G service provides speeds of up to 21Mbps on your smart phone, pad or laptop, so you can stay in contact. For more detail please visit Wi-Fi rental information .
Place & Transport: Xian
Today's Activities: The Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch at Reallove Restaurant
- The Terracotta Warriors and Horses (2 hours): Discovered accidentally in 1974, this incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin's tomb since 210BC. Each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits which are protected inside huge hangars. 1.5 hours from Xian, there is also an excellent museum and film about the history of the vaults. Photos (no flash) are allowed. Wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Big Wild Goose Pagoda (1 hour): A major Buddhist site, the simple, elegant brick Pagoda stands in the grounds of the attractive Da Ci'en Temple. The Pagoda was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic journey to India. The Temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals.
- Reallove Restaurant : Real Love Restaurant is located opposite the east gate of Small Wild Goose Pagoda and is one of the finest restaurants specializing in Shaanxi cuisine. It has become popular for its elegant environment and excellent service.
Place & Transport: Xian
Today's Activities: Shaanxi History Museum, Ancient City Wall, Forest of Stele Museum
Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch
- Shaanxi History Museum (1.5 hours): The history of Shaanxi is said to be the history of China, and this museum is quite simply one of the nation's best. Four major galleries in large, Tang-style buildings house a vast and impressive collection, beautifully displayed. Most of the item labels are in English, although some other information on the exhibitions is not, but your guide can help here. Wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Ancient City Wall (30 minutes): The walls, ramparts, gates and watchtowers form one of the oldest and most complete city defenses still around. Built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City, it s surrounding the city centre. You can walk or pay extra cost to rent a bike (CNY40 per person), rickshaw (CNY45 per person for 45 minutes) or an electric cart (CNY40 per person) around the full 14km circuit, with great views of the city on either side. If the weather is not good for biking on the city wall, we will substitute a visit to the Bell Tower. Your guide will be very glad to take you the Bell Tower after you have been to look at the city wall.
- Forest of Stele Museum (1 hour): Forest of Steles in Xi'an was originally built in Northern Song Dynasty (1090 A.D.) when a large Confucian collection of steles cut in A.D. 837 - the oldest existing texts of the Confucian classics - was moved to it for safekeeping. All kinds of calligraphy and scripts tell stories, poems and reports from around the Empire. Other exhibits include early sculptures and objects from Imperial tombs.
- A Wa Shan Zhai Restaurant(Qinling Branch): A Wa Shan Zhai Restaurant was established in 2004, mainly specializes in Hunan and Sichuan cuisine. It provides delicacy by using the material from Shanxi, obtaining a nationwide reputation from customers. It would be a nice choice to dine while traveling the nearby Terra cotta Warriors and Horses.
Place & Transport: Xian to Dunhuang, Flight No. TBA
Today's Activities: Muslim Quarters, Hotel to airport Transfer (Xian), Airport Transfer (Dunhuang)
Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch at Qianzhou Restaurant (Xiao Yanta Branch)
- Muslim Quarters (1 hour): The Muslim quarters lies 100 meters west of the Bell tower in downtown Xi'an. The 500 meters long avenue paved by bluestones are dotted with many unique stall, souvenir shop, café and bars which are mostly run by Muslim people. Tourists, especially from overseas come and shop here.
- Qianzhou Restaurant (Xiao Yanta Branch): Qianzhou Restaurant is well-known for its local flavors and ingredients originating from Qian County. The style, Qianzhou Four Treasures is considered to be famous nationally. The specialties are of ancient origin from the Tang Dynasty and leave customers with great culinary memories.
Place & Transport: Dunhuang
Today's Activities: Mogao caves, The Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Spring, Riding on a Camel
Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch at Fengqingyuan Restaurant
- Mogao caves (3.5 hours): Tours of Mogao caves are conducted by a guide (English, German, French and Japanese speaking guides are available) who you will share with other tourists. There are about 30 caves open to the public, but usually the tour consists of 10 which provide a representation of the total. The selection is at the discretion of the guide.
- The Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Spring (2 hours): Crescent Spring (Yueya Quan) is in the Singing Sand Mountains (Mingsha Shan), 6 km (4 mi) south of Dunhuang. It is an oasis in the desert. The spring's name derives from the crescent-shaped lake formed by the spring water between two huge sand dunes. Although the area is very dry, the pool doesn't dry up as one might expect.
- Riding on a Camel: Riding a camel on the desert of the Singing Sand Mountains is a great experience. You can enjoy the beautiful wavy shapes of the smooth yellow dunes against the deep blue sky, and imagine you are traveling the ancient Silk Road. Step off the camel and listen for the singing of the sand.
- Fengqingyuan Restaurant: The restaurant is near the Moon Spring in Dunhuang. It is courtyard-style and the cuisine is based on local flavors. It is very popular with the locals.
Place & Transport: Dunhuang to Overnight train, Train No. 1043 (Liuyuan Railway Station - Turfan Railway Station) Dep 20:15 - Arr 04:46
Today's Activities: Yumenguan Pass, The Great Wall of the Han Dynasty, Desert Discovery at Yadan Landform Park, Hotel to Train station Transfer (Dunhuang)
Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch
- Yumenguan Pass (30 minutes): Once as one of the west gates out of the country of the Han Dynasty (206 B. C. -220 A. D.), it is quite ruined by the shifting sands but still shows the ever splendor.
Yumeng Town: The site of China’s first oil field
- The Great Wall of the Han Dynasty (30 minutes): Great wall of the Han dynasty was build for defending the nomadic Xiongnu during the Han Dynasty (206 BC--220 AD).
- Desert Discovery at Yadan Landform Park (2.5 hours): The Evil City:It locates the south to the Wubao town in Hami and 20kms far from Wubao while 100kms far from Hami city. The Evil city is famous for its night sound and vivid rocks in various shapes those look like animals or other world famous attractions in the world.
- Caigenxiang Restaurant: The Caigenxiang is near Moon Spring in Dunhuang. It is well known for its Sichuan dishes, mutton roll and hotpots.
Place & Transport: Overnight train to Turpan
Today's Activities: Train station Transfer (Turpan), Suleiman Minaret, The Karez Wells, The Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaohe, Local vineyard visit, Turpan Minority Souvenir and Carpet Shop
Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch at Red Rose Restaurant
- Suleiman Minaret (40 minutes): Also known as Sugong Tower, it is the biggest ancient tower existing in Xinjiang and the only ancient Islamic minaret in the country. It is located 2 kilometers southeast of Turpan's center.
- The Karez Wells (40 minutes): This irrigation system of wells connected by underground channels is considered to be one of the three great ancient projects in China. The Karez Wells Folk Garden and Museum is located adjacent to Turpan, 3 kilometers west of the city center. The famous fruit and vineyards of these hot, dry desert communities owe their existence to the Karez wells, ancient underground irrigation channels fed by wells that tap into the snowmelt from surrounding mountains. These systems are still maintained and functioning today. A small museum provides an insight into their intriguing history and construction, and takes you below ground for a first-hand view.
- The Ruins of the Ancient City of Jiaohe (2 hours): Jiaohe was built by the ancient Cheshi people in the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC) and the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). Located in the Yarnaz Valley, 8 km (5 mi) west of Turpan, it was dug out of and constructed from the yellow-gray parched ground of a narrow 30-meter-high, 1.5-km-long vertical sided island in a river. It is a good vantage point for seeing the surrounding landscape of vineyards and orchards followed by desert and mountains.
- Local vineyard visit (40 minutes): Turpan is famous for growing grapes. The Grape Valley is very touristy so we'll arrange a visit to a local family run vineyard so that you get a real experience. They plant their grapes at the back of their house. It is a major source of income for local people. You will be able to walk around the farm and talk to local people to learn about their daily life.
- Turpan Minority Souvenir and Carpet Shop : Located at the suburb of Turpan, mainly manages the Xinjiang carpet, the Hetian jade, some Xinjiang famous raw material for medicine as well as introduces Xinjiang's traveling class books
Address: Welcome Pavilion Trufan ,Xinjiang
- Red Rose Restaurant: Red Rose Restaurant is located near the Turpan Museum. It is an authentic Uygur restaurant mainly providing Uygur cuisine in local. Dishes like Xinjiang rice and lamb chop are recommended.
Place & Transport: Turpan to Urumqi
Today's Activities: Our guide and driver will escort you from Turpan to Urumqi, Boat for Cruise on the Heavenly Lake, Heavenly Lake
Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch
- Boat for Cruise on the Heavenly Lake (40 minutes): It is a different way to visit Heavenly Lake by boat.
- Heavenly Lake: Heavenly Lake (Tian Chi) is a beautiful blue mountain lake. The blue lake water is finely contrasted with steep forested hills, high meadows and snowy Heavenly Mountain peaks behind. There you can walk, take electric carts, cable cars and a boat cruise on the lake.
Place & Transport: Urumqi to Kashgar, Flight No. TBA
Today's Activities: Hotel to airport Transfer (Urumqi), Airport Transfer (Kashgar), Id Kah Mosque, Bazaar, Zhiren Street, Xinjiang Minority Handicraft Center
Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch
- Id Kah Mosque (40 minutes): This 15th century mosque is one of the largest and busiest in China. At midday on Fridays around 10,000 people will gather to pray and study the Koran, and prayer 5 times/day on other days. You'll be asked to remove your shoes before entering the Main Hall, which has traditional Islamic pillars, carvings and rugs strewn over the floors. Women are adviced to cover upper arms and legs, a scarf is not compulsory, but is seen as a mark of respect. This is a must visit place for tourist in Kashgar .
- Bazaar (2 hours): Famous throughout Asia, this ancient market attracts locals and merchants from all over Xinjiang and nearby countries such as Pakistan and Kirghizstan. There are numerous commodities, like dried fruit and delicacies, clothes, shoes, leather, textiles, rugs and carpets as well as scarves, souvenirs and other goods in an eclectic mix that appeals to traveler and native alike. Open all week, Sunday's the big day when the farmers come to town, and those who still prefer to shop at the market rather than city shops. Bazaar especially Sunday Bazaar is a very interesting place so many foreigners'main purpose in Kashgar is to visit the Bazaar.
- Zhiren Street (1 hour): It is close to Id Kah Mosque, an old street with an amazing range of goods being crafted for sale by hand , from strictly utilitarian cookware to exotic musical instruments. There's not much light industry in Kashgar, so everything is hand-made or imported from a very distant place. Copper, metal, porcelain, woodwork, jewellery and other goods are seen to be made and you will marvel at incredible devices like the wooden objects that prevent babies from wetting the bed.
- Xinjiang Minority Handicraft Center : mainly the national handicraft, the characteristic commodity is the Hetian jade,and pure silk carpet
Address: 143# Minzu District Xiyu Anvenue,Kashgar,Xinjiang
- Orida Culture Restaurant : The restaurant is located near the Id Kah Mosque. It specializes in Moslem food. It is well decorated in a Uygur' style. Wine is not provided here.
Place & Transport: Kashgar
Today's Activities: Lake Karakuli
Meals: Breakfast, Chinese Lunch
- Lake Karakuli (2 hours): Karakuli Lake is a sparking glacial lake located at the foot of "the Father of Glaciers" – Muztagata Mountains. A railway connnecting China with Pakistan goes by the lake. The lake is famous for its beautiful scenery and clarity. Colors of its water range from light to dark under reflection.
Place & Transport: Kashgar to Urumqi, Flight No. TBA
Today's Activities: Hotel to airport Transfer (Kashgar), Airport Transfer (Urumqi)
Excellent Local Guides
We selected the most experienced tour guides in each city. They are all very professional and flexible during the tour with oustanding knowledge of all the sites and history.
Our Luxury Car for Families
We use the modern air-conditioned luxury cars for families or 2-3 persons. The comfort and safety of our customers is of utmost importance, so we ensure that all of the vehicles that we use are well-maintained and always very clean.
Comfortable People Carrier for Small Groups
We use only air-conditioned small buses for small groups of 4-7 persons. Our drivers are very nice and careful with over 5-year drive experience.
- Entrance Fees:
To scenic spots as listed in the itinerary.
- Phone Rental Package:
Rental cost for the cell phone and SIM card for use in mainland China, and at least 30 mins of FREE international calls.
All meals as specified in the itinerary.
If the restaurant indicated is not available on the day, your guide will arrange another restaurant from our list of approved restaurants. Breakfast is usually a western style buffet. We endeavor to ensure that a choice of western and Chinese breakfasts is supplied, however there may be occasions when only a Chinese breakfast is available in some remote locations.
- Private Transfers:
Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in Xian, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Kashgar by private air conditioned vehicle with a driver and English-speaking guide (as listed above).
Your comfort is our priority! Click here to get a description of the vehicles that we use for our tours.
As outlined in the itinerary an English-speaking guide and driver will be provided in each city, who will remain with you throughout your time in that city. A new guide and a new driver will meet you at each city on your tour, to provide you with the best local knowledge available.
Hotel fees are based on two people sharing one room with twin beds.
All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified.
Xian To Dunhuang Transfer via: Flight, TBA (Our arrangements)
Liuyuan To Turfan Transfer via: Train, 1043 (Our arrangements)
Urumqi To Kashgar Transfer via: Flight, TBA (Our arrangements)
Kashgar To Urumqi Transfer via: Flight, TBA (Our arrangements)
- Airport Tax and Fuel Fee
- Service Charge & Government Taxes:
The insurance is China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance.
Click here to learn more about the insurance coverage and the sum insured.
- Luggage Transfers:
Between airports/railway stations and hotels.
The tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges.
- International Airfare or Train Tickets to enter or leave China.
USA-CHINA/CHINA-USA: China Highlights has negotiated special discount fares (restrictions apply) for selected flights operated by Air China from major US and China gateways. We are able to offer these special deals to confirmed customers. Discount US to China Flights
- China Entry Visa Fees.
- Excess Baggage Charges.
Passengers holding an adult fare or half fare ticket are entitled to a free baggage allowance of 20kg, for economy class. Total weight of carryon baggage for each passenger may not exceed 5kg. The size may not exceed 20x40x 55cm. More
- Personal Expenses:
Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone calls, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the tour itinerary.
Any meals which are not specified in the tour itinerary.
- Single Room Supplement.