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17-Day Guangzhou, Zhangjiajie, Xian, Silk Road and Beijing Tour

China Silk Road and Zhangjiajie Tour

Explore the modern metropolis of Guangzhou before delving into the stunning natural beauty of Zhangjiajie, home to the towering sandstone pillars. Uncover the ancient wonders of Xian, from the Terracotta Army to the majestic city walls. Traverse the historical cities of Lanzhou, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, and Dunhuang, experiencing the rich cultural heritage preserved along the Silk Road. Discover the unique landscapes of Turpan and Urumqi before concluding your journey in the imperial grandeur of Beijing.

The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Send us details of your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.

Tour 'Wow' Points

Marvel at the Famous Hallelujah Mountain in the Movie "Avatar"

Hallelujah Mountain

Experience the Thrill of Riding a Camel Across the Singing Sand Mountains

Riding a Camel

Witness the Famous Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye

Rainbow Mountains

Witness the Famous Great Wall on the Cliff of Jiayuguan

Great Wall on the Cliff

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Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.

DAY 1 Guangzhou Arrival

Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at the arrival hall in Guangzhou. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.

DAY 2 Guangzhou to Zhangjiajie| The National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, known for its unique pillar-like formations and lush forests. Discover the cultural richness of nearby villages inhabited by Tujia, Bai, Miao, and Hui people.

Mount Tianzishan: Marvel at Mount Tianzishan's four natural spectacles, including misty clouds, stunning sunrises, moonlit nights, and snow-capped peaks. Take a cable car to Tianzi Mountain and enjoy panoramic views. Avoid rush hours for shorter waiting times.

Bailong Sightseeing Elevator: Ascend the world's highest and fastest sightseeing elevator to witness the breathtaking Sandstone Peak Forest. Enjoy a two-minute ride with transparent cabins. Time your visit outside of rush hours to avoid long queues.

Yuanjiajie including Hallelujah Mountains: Visit Yuanjiajie, the northern corner of Zhangjiajie National Park. Discover attractions like Ecstasy Spot, Backyard, and First Bridge. Capture photos of the Hallelujah Mountain and "First Bridge in the World" from the Viewing Bridge Platform. Plan your visit around 5:00 p.m. for the best photography opportunities and fewer crowds.

DAY 3 Zhangjiajie| Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon with Glass Bridge

Baofeng Lake: Discover the tranquil beauty of Baofeng Lake nestled in the midst of the mountainous terrain. A convenient shuttle bus will take you to the pier, from where you'll embark on a 30-minute boat ride across the crystal-clear waters. Relax as you glide past hills of diverse shapes and enjoy enchanting performances by local minority people, showcasing their traditional songs and culture.

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon with Glass Bridge: Experience the breathtaking Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, a recently-developed natural wonderland that combines mountains, streams, caves, cliffs, and forests. Be sure to walk on the world's longest and highest glass bridge, suspended 300 meters above the ground, for an exhilarating sensation like no other. If you prefer, an alternative route is available for those who wish to avoid walking on the glass bridge. Please note that cameras are not permitted on the bridge for safety reasons, but cellphones and GoPros are allowed.

DAY 4 Zhangjiajie to Xi'an | The Tujia Customs Park

Tujia Customs Park: Experience the vibrant Tujia culture at Tujia Customs Park. Explore exhibits showcasing Tujia customs, including unique stones, intricate root carvings, precious relics, and captivating folk performances like the Maogusi Dance and Copper Bells Dance. Immerse yourself in the rich lifestyle of the Tujia minority people, gaining a firsthand understanding of their traditions.

Tianmen Mountain (Tianmen Cave): Considered the soul of Zhangjiajie, Tianmen Mountain stands as the highest peak in the area. The mountain offers breathtaking views of ancient trees, karst hillocks, and scenic roads carved into the cliffsides. Embark on an awe-inspiring 30-minute cable car ride, which holds the record for being the world's longest, taking you from the city center to the mountain summit.

DAY 5 Xi'an to Lanzhou | The White Pagoda Hill

White Pagoda Hill: Situated on the north bank of the Yellow River in Lanzhou, White Pagoda Hill is named after the iconic white pagoda standing atop it. Originally constructed during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), this hill offers a panoramic view of Lanzhou and the surrounding mountains. You can reach the top either by climbing for approximately 30 minutes or taking a cable car ride, which provides a convenient option.

Yellow River Iron Bridge: The Yellow River Iron Bridge is an architectural marvel that spans the Yellow River. The bridge, first built in 1372 and later reconstructed with iron in 1909, measures around 200 meters in length. Known as Zhongshan Bridge, it stands at the foot of White Pagoda Hill, showcasing impressive technological achievements of its time. Take a moment to marvel at this engineering masterpiece and capture its magnificence in a video.

DAY 6 Lanzhou to Zhangye | Mati Temple Grotto

Mati Temple Grotto: Discover the enchanting Mati Temple Grotto located in Su'nan, Gu Minority Autonomous County, just 65 kilometers north of Zhangye City. This scenic spot beautifully showcases the art of grottoes, the panoramic views of Qilian Mountain, and the rich culture of the Yugu minority. Immerse yourself in the renowned grottoes, explore small monasteries, and experience the authentic villages and folk customs of the Yugu minority group. Mati Temple Grotto is a must-visit destination, offering a captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

DAY 7 Zhangye to Jiayuguan | Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park

Giant Buddha Temple: Explore the Giant Buddha Temple (Dafo Si), located in the southwest corner of Zhangye city. This temple houses China's largest indoor reclining Buddha, a true marvel to behold. Take your time to admire the grandeur of this religious site and appreciate the spiritual significance it holds.

Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park (Rainbow Mountains): Venture to the stunning Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, also known as the Rainbow Mountains. Located approximately 40 kilometers from Zhangye, this park showcases the remarkable Danxia landforms, which are unique to the arid areas of Gansu and Qinghai provinces. Enjoy the captivating beauty of Qicai Danxia Landforms, featuring colorful hills that resemble undulating waves. Marvel at the spectacular rock strata, beautifully blending various hues in a magnificent display. This geopark has become a beloved destination for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

DAY 8 Jiayuguan | The Great Wall on the Cliff

The Great Wall on the Cliff: Located 11 km northwest of Jiayuguan city center and 7 km north of Jiayu Pass Fort, the Suspended Wall is an impressive section of the Great Wall. Perched on a ridge with a steep 45-degree gradient, it appears to defy gravity as it clings to the side of the mountain range. Marvel at this remarkable engineering feat and its breathtaking location.

The Fresco Tombs of Wei and Jing Dynasty: Journey to the remote Gobi Desert, approximately 20 km from Jiayuguan City, to explore the ancient Fresco Tombs of the Wei and Jing Dynasty. Discover over 1,400 tombs scattered across the desert, providing a fascinating glimpse into the rich history of the region.

The Jiayuguan Pass: Experience the "First Pass Under Heaven," an imposing fortress located at the western end of the Ming Dynasty's Great Wall. Regarded as the most magnificent and well-preserved pass among over a thousand, Jiayuguan Pass commands a strategic position between two mountain ranges in the Gansu corridor. Visit the adjacent Great Wall Museum, which showcases artifacts tracing the history of this awe-inspiring structure.

DAY 9 Jiayuguan to Dunhuang | The Singing Sand Mountains

The Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Spring: Venture to the Singing Sand Mountains (Mingsha Shan), located 6 km (4 mi) south of Dunhuang, and discover the enchanting Crescent Spring (Yueya Quan). This oasis in the desert showcases a crescent-shaped lake formed by natural spring water nestled between towering sand dunes. Surprisingly, despite the arid surroundings, the pool remains filled with water. Capture the awe-inspiring beauty of this unique sight in a captivating video.

Camel Ride: Embark on a camel ride through the desert of the Singing Sand Mountains for a truly memorable experience. Marvel at the mesmerizing wavy patterns of the golden dunes against the backdrop of the deep blue sky. Transport yourself back in time to the days of the ancient Silk Road, imagining the journeys of traders and explorers. As you dismount from the camel, listen closely for the magical singing sound produced by the shifting sand.

DAY 10 Dunhuang to Liuyuan | Mogao Caves

Mogao Caves: Prepare for a mesmerizing journey through the renowned Mogao Caves. Guided tours of the caves are available, with English, German, French, and Japanese-speaking guides at your service. During the tour, you will join other travelers and have the opportunity to explore approximately 30 caves, though the selection shown typically consists of 10 caves that provide a representative glimpse of the entire collection. The specific caves visited will be determined by the knowledgeable guide.

DAY 11 Turpan | The Ruins of the Jiaohe Ancient City

The Ruins of the Jiaohe Ancient City: Explore the captivating ruins of Jiaohe, originally constructed by the ancient Cheshi people during the Qin Dynasty and the Han Dynasty. Located in the Yarnaz Valley, just 8 km (5 mi) west of Turpan, this ancient city was carved and built from the yellow-gray parched earth of a narrow, vertical-sided island in a river. From this vantage point, you'll enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, encompassing vineyards, orchards, desert, and mountains.

The Karez Wells: Discover the remarkable Karez Wells, an ancient irrigation system consisting of interconnected wells and underground channels. Considered one of China's great ancient engineering projects, these wells have played a vital role in sustaining the fruit and vineyards of the hot and dry desert communities near Turpan. Visit the Karez Wells Folk Garden and Museum located 3 kilometers west of the city center for an intriguing insight into the history and construction of these wells. Take the opportunity to descend below ground for a firsthand view of this impressive irrigation system.

Suleiman Minaret: Marvel at the majestic Suleiman Minaret, also known as Sugong Tower, Xinjiang's largest ancient tower and the country's sole surviving Islamic minaret. Located 2 kilometers southeast of Turpan's city center, this architectural gem is a testament to the region's rich cultural heritage.

Visit a Local Vineyard: Delve into Turpan's fame as a grape-growing region with a visit to a local family-run vineyard. While the Grape Valley can be touristy, we're committed to providing an authentic experience. Explore the vineyard planted behind the family's house, gaining insights into the daily lives of the locals who rely on grape cultivation as a significant source of income. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the farm, engage in conversations with the friendly locals, and immerse yourself in the charm of rural life.

DAY 12 Turpan to Urumqi | The Red Hill

Red Hill: Red Hill, known as "the eyes of Urumqi," stands as a prominent symbol of the city. Composed of aubergine rock, this 1.5-kilometer-long, one-kilometer-wide hill rises 910 meters above sea level. When the sunlight bathes the hills of Hongshan, the rocks reflect a vibrant red color, giving the mountain its name. Explore the natural beauty and cultural significance of this iconic landmark.

Erdaoqiao Market: Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Erdaoqiao Bazaar, the largest market in Urumqi. This bustling market offers a wide range of goods, including fruits, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets, and much more. Sundays are particularly lively, with additional stalls and an abundance of items to browse and purchase. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the charming old streets surrounding the bazaar, offering a glimpse into the local culture. For the ladies, this market is especially popular as a place to find traditional Yugu makeup and cosmetics.

DAY 13 Urumqi to Kashgar | Xinjiang Museum

Xinjiang Museum: Explore the fascinating Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum, featuring a diverse collection of art, artifacts, and historical items, including a well-preserved collection of 4,000-year-old corpses along the Silk Road.

Id Kah Mosque - Video: Experience the iconic 15th-century Id Kah Mosque, one of China's largest and busiest mosques. Witness the devotion of worshippers during the midday Friday prayers and admire the beautiful Islamic architecture.

Abakh Khoja Tomb: Step into history at the Abakh Khoja Tomb, a tiled mausoleum holding the tomb of revered Sufi preacher Abakh Khoja. Visit the resting place of 'the Fragrant Concubine' and explore the preserved tombs, providing insight into Kashgar's intriguing past.

DAY 14 Kashgar | Karakuli Lake

Karakuli Lake: Experience the breathtaking beauty of Karakuli Lake, a glimmering glacial lake nestled at the base of the majestic Muztagata Mountains, known as "the Father of Glaciers." As you approach, you'll catch sight of the lake's crystal-clear waters reflecting a range of captivating hues, from light to dark. A railway connecting China with Pakistan runs alongside, adding to the allure of this stunning location.

Bazaar: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the renowned Kashgar Bazaar, attracting locals and merchants from across Xinjiang and nearby countries like Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan. This ancient market is a treasure trove of diverse commodities, including dried fruits, delicacies, clothing, shoes, leather goods, textiles, rugs, carpets, scarves, souvenirs, and much more.

DAY 15 Kashgar to Beijing | Kashgar Old Town

Kashgar Old Town: Step back in time as you explore the ancient streets of Kashgar's Old Town. Experience the ambiance of this legendary Central Asian hub during the peak of the Silk Road era. Marvel at the 500-year-old remnants of the city wall, wander through narrow lanes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant multi-ethnic atmosphere that makes Kashgar's historic district a captivating highlight of your visit.

Handicraft Street: Located near the Id Kah Mosque, Handicraft Street offers a glimpse into the artistry and craftsmanship of local artisans. Explore this charming old street where a wide range of handmade goods are crafted, from traditional cookware to exotic musical instruments. Marvel at the intricate copper, metal, porcelain, and wooden creations, as well as stunning jewelry. You'll be fascinated by unique items like wooden devices designed to prevent bedwetting. Everything you encounter is either meticulously handmade or imported from distant places, showcasing the rich artistic traditions of Kashgar.

Kashgar Old City Opening Ceremonies (20 minutes): Start your day immersed in the cultural festivities of Kashgar Old City. Witness the captivating opening ceremonies each morning, featuring performers dressed in traditional Uyghur costumes, warmly welcoming tourists from all around the world. Take in this cultural spectacle, lasting approximately 20 minutes, before continuing your exploration of Kashgar.

DAY 16 Beijing to Guangzhou | Evening Cruise on the Pearl River

Evening Cruise on the Pearl River: Embark on a memorable evening cruise along the enchanting Pearl River, one of the must-see attractions in Guangzhou. The beauty of the Pearl River at night rivals Hong Kong's renowned Victoria Park. The highlight of the Pearl River cruise is the picturesque stretch from the White Goose Pool to the Guangzhou Bridge. Experience the captivating scenery as you glide through the jade-colored waters, surrounded by the mesmerizing glow of colored lights along the shoreline.

DAY 17 Guangzhou Departure

Our guide will help you transfer from your hotel to Guangzhou Airport for departure with independentcar/van and guide.

Tour Price

FromUS4,000 p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling

Tour code: cht-cx-39

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