Silk Road Explorers, Xinjiang China


Overview


Tour operates:  April until October
No of days: 19 nights 20 days
Route: : Xian-Tianshui- Lanzhuo-Xiahe-Labrang-Zhangye-Jiyuguan-Dunhuang-Urumqi-Heavenly Lake-Turfan-Korla-Kuqa- Hotan- Yarkand – Kashgar-Karakul Lake- Tashkurgan-Karakorum Highway
Transport: Air conditioned transport, Bullet trains 
Accommodations: All comfortable accommodations with private facilities
Guide: English speaking Guides
Tour starting point: Xian
Ending point: Kashgar
Guaranteed departure: Every Monday- Minimum 2 people required

Itinerary

Day by day itinerary
Day 01: Xian 
On arrival at Xian airport you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure on your own. Overnight at hotel in Xian (D)
Day 02: Xian
Today we visit the exquisite Terracotta Warriors, considered the greatest archaeological discovery of the last century. The figures vary in height from 182cm to 195cm, according to their role; the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. It is estimated that 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses exist in the 3 pits of the excavation site, with the majority still buried in the pit 1. We return to the city and visit big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian Great Mosque and Muslim quarter. Overnight at hotel in Xian. (BLD)
Day 03: Xian – Tianshui
In the morning transfer to the train station for bullet seat train D2671(0742-0924) to Tianshui. On arrival you will be met by our local guide and transferred to your hotel. After lunch, visit Maiji shan grottoes. The Maiji shan grottoes are a series of 194 caves cut in the side of the hill of Maiji shan in Tianshui. This example of rock cut architecture contains over 7,200 Buddhist sculptures and over 1,000 square meters of murals. Construction began in the Qin era (384-417 CE). The mountain, which is shaped like a haystack, gets its name from the Chinese for haystack, Although the area has experienced many earthquakes, it still contiains194 caves, 7200 sculptures and 1000 square M frescos which are excavated on the cliff at 30-80m above ground level. Then visit Fuxi Temple. The temple was initially built in the year 1483 to commemorate Fuxi, who was the earliest ancestors of ancient China. In particular, he first used Ba-gua in divination, a great contribution to human civilization. Overnight at hotel in Tianshui (BLD)
Day 04: Tianshui – Lanzhou
In the morning we take bullet seat train D8961 0822-0959 to Lanzhou. After lunch city tour of Lanzhou includes visit to the water wheel, Yellow River, Mother Statue and White Pagoda Hill. Overnight at hotel in Lanzhou (BLD)
Day 05: Bing Ling Grottoes – Xiahe
In the morning we drive to Linxia country to visit Bing Ling Cave which is located on the north bank of the Yellow River, Binglingsi Grottoes is one of the six famous Buddhist Caves started by some Buddhist monks from as early as the year of 265-316. After many years’ work, there are 183 caves with 694 stone statues, 82 earth statues and 900 square meters of murals. Later we drive to Xiahe. Xiahe is referred to a “Little Tibet”, a stunning town surrounded by mountains and bustling with pilgrims. It is a key passage on the ancient Silk Road between East and West.Overnight at hotel in Xiahe (BLD)
Day 06: Xiahe visit – Lanzhou 
In the morning visit Labrang monastery-built in 1709, it now has 1000 monks. It is one of the six most important Gelukpa (Yellow Sect) monasteries in all of Tibet. You will also able to see many Tibetan nomads who come here on pilgrimage. Later return to Lanzhou city. Overnight at hotel in Lanzhou (BLD)
Day 07: Lanzhou – Zhangye Danxia Landforms
In the morning transfer to train station for bullet seat train D2701(0750-0755) to Zhangye.  Afternoon visit Giant Buddha Temple Built in 1098 AD, and extended and renovated during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Zhangye’s Giant Buddha Temple houses the largest indoor reclining Buddha in China—nearly 35 metres from head to toe. The reclining pose signifies entry into nirvana. We’ll also see a variety of architectural styles in the temple, with the Ming and Qing Dynasties represented, amongst others. Later visit Horse Hoof Temple and Caves.
The site of the Horse Hoof Temple has been in use since at least the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317–420 AD), and the snowy Qilian Mountain range makes a beautiful backdrop. It’s best known for its Hanging Temple and grottoes, and is a little similar to the famous Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, although less-visited. Some caves and relics were damaged by treasure-hunters, and damage was also done during the Cultural Revolution.
Later in the evening before sunset we visit the Danxia landforms which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Danxia landforms are sandstone formations, known for being very dramatic and colorful. The landform near Zhangye City has colourful and magnificent cliffs in a hilly and mountainous land. Danxia refers to isolated peaks, steep pillars, ravines, mountains and hills that have formed after a long period of erosion by wind and running water. Unlike limestone karst, Danxia landforms are composed of red sandstone, which gives them their characteristic crimson colouration. Several Danxia Landforms are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites because of their profound natural and aesthetic value. The area we’re visiting boasts majestic, multi-coloured slopes that give you the sensation of walking into a painting.
The Zhangye Danxia Landform is characterized by magnificently multi-coloured sandstone hills and mountains that ripple away towards the horizon. Overnight at hotel in Zhangye. (BLD)
 Day 8: Jiayuguan In the morning we take bullet seat train D2741 1038-1200 to Jiayuguan. Jiayuguan is the westernmost end of the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. Later, we visit Jiayuguan Fortress, set between snow-capped Mountains of Qilian in south and the Mazong Mountain in North. Take a short climb on the western end of the Great Wall for some spectacular views over this wild and magnificent region. Overnight in hotel (BLD)
Day 09: Dunhuang
In the morning drive to the oasis town of Dunhuang surrounded by rolling sand dunes and home to countless camels. Overnight at hotel (BLD)
Day 10: Dunhuang
Today we visit the spectacular Mogao Grottos-home to the world acclaimed Buddhist murals and sculptures dating back to 386AD. In the afternoon visit Crescent Moon Spring and camel ride or climb one of the sand dunes to enjoy the sunset. Overnight at hotel in Dunhuang. (BLD)
Day 11: Dunhuang high speed train to Urumqi
Morning in Dunhuang,transfer by high speed bullet train D2701(1433-1911) to  Urumqi (in summer time there is train from Dunhuang to Urumqi but in other seasons we will have to take train from Liuyuan Station). Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and transfer to your hotel. (BLD)
Day 12: Urumqi – Tianche Lake
In the morning drive to Tianchi. Tianchi (Heavenly lake in english) is a high-mountain (1980m above sea level) lake located in the central part of Tianshan Mountains, which was inscribed on the list of World Heritage by UNESCO in 2013. Optional boat trip on the lake. There is a picturesque Lesser Tianchi hidden in the forest, where there is waterfall running from the mountain with a fantastic scenery. Moreover, there are plenty of Kazakh yurts on the bank of the Tianchi, where is the home for the nomad Kazakhs.  After lunch return to Urumqi, visit Xinjiang Ethnic museum and Grand Bazar. Overnight at hotel in Urumqi. (BLD)
Day 13: Urumqi – Turfan
Morning drive to Turfan the oasis city in the province of Xinjiang. Turfan is inhabited mainly by Uighur people. We visit the ancient ruined city of Jiaohe, richly coloured Flaming Mountains and Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves and grape Valley. In the evening, enjoy the local Uyghur dance. Overnight at hotel in Turfan. (BLD)
Day 14: Turfan – Korla
In the morning, we drive to Korla, an oasis town on Peacock River, at the northern edge on the Taklamakan Desert. En-route we stop to visit the Iron Tianmen Pass (Iron Gate pass) It used to be the most important strategic pass from southern to northern parts of Xinjiang along the ancient Silk Road. Later continue driving to Korla upon arrival short boat trip on the Bosten Lake. Overnight at hotel in Korla. (BLD)
Day 15: Korla – Kuqa
Today we drive to Kuqa, Later visit the Grand Kuqa Mosque: It is the second biggest mosque in Xinjiang, first built in the 17th century, but after it was burnt down it was rebuilt in 1931. The great praying hall, which can accommodate 1000 prayers, is supported by 88 pillars, embellished with carved designs and in many colors, a fine example of Uygur architecture. Later we visit Subashi ruins which reflects the temple’s brilliance in the past. We also visit Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves is situated at the Kizil Township which is 67 kilometers southeast of Baicheng County and 73 kilometers west of Kuqa city. It has the most grottoes located in the west part of China. Overnight at hotel in Kuqa. (BLD)
Day 16: Kuqa- Hotan (Hetian)
A long but rewarding full day’s drive (700km) across the Taklamakan desert and along the Hotan River to the oasis town of Hotan Overnight in Hotel (BLD)
Day 17: Hotan Visit
Visit the local museum, the jade carving factory, the ruins of the old town and stroll along the Hotan River, where jade was found on the river bed. Today the locals are still trying their luck there! Overnight at hotel in Hotan. (BLD)
Day 18: Hotan-Kashgar
Today we drive to Kashgar, en-route we stop in Yarkent. During Han Dynasty, Yarkand had been one of the key positions in the Western Regions (a Han Dynasty term for the area west of Yumenguan, including what is now Xinjiang and parts of Central Asia) with the opening up of the Silk Road. In Tang Dynasty, the famous Italian traveller and merchant Marco Polo (1254-1324) made light of traveling thousands of kilometers to Yarkand, taking notes on what he had experienced and enjoyed there. We visit the ancient tombs of Yarkand Kings and the tomb of the originator of the Uigur classical opera “The Twelve Muqams”. Along the way we also stop at knife town Yingisar see the Yingisar Uighur Knife Making. Overnight at hotel in Kashgar (BLD)
Day 19: Tashkurgan
Today we drive to Karakul Lake along the famous Karakorum highway. The scenery along the way is breath-taking. We will be stopping at the lake where you can enjoy the view of Muztagh-ata Mountains. Optional camel ride or walk around the lake. Later we continue to Tashkurgan the last Tajik Chinese town between China and Pakistan. Overnight at hotel in Tashkurgan. (BLD)
Day 20: Tashkurgan – Kashgar
In the morning explore around Tashkurgan, an important hub on the ancient Silk Road. The name Tashkurgan means ‘Stone Fort.’ This whole area around this Tajik town borders Pakistan and Afghanistan and is connected to them via the Khunjerab Pass. On the way into Tashkurgan there are many Tajik villages and nomadic herdsman. In Tashkurgan, we explore the town’s ancient stone fort – still standing after 1800 years! We also visit the Tashkurgan Historical and Cultural Museum and walk around this historic town. Later return to Kashgar.
Overnight at hotel in Kashgar. (BLD)
Day 21: Kashgar Sunday market
This day is planned to coincide with the famous Sunday market in Kashgar where everything from carpets, blankets, foods, horses, donkeys, sheep and even camels are for sale! Wonderful assortments of people come from all over the region, and the population of the town swells by 100,000! This is truly one of the most incredible bazaars in Asia, and a photographer’s paradise. Later visit Ed-Gah Mosque, and Apak Khoja’s tomb.
Overnight at hotel in Kashgar (BLD)
Day 22: Depart Kashgar
Our service will end with airport transfer (B)
 

Notes

coming soon

Map



Coming soon

Dates/Prices

Tour costs and Dates

We guarantee all tour departures for a minimum of 2 passengers. In order to confirm your booking we will need a non-refundable deposit of 400 USD per person. The final invoice will be sent to you 4 weeks before the tour departure, the final cost dependent on the final group size. If the following dates or the described itinerary does not meet your travel needs, please write to us, we can arrange a customized tour for you.

 Tour cost comfort class hotels

No of Pax. 2 3-5 6-9 10 Above Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar per person $5600 $5100 $4100 $3120 $1050

 

Tour cost tourists class hotels

No of Pax. 2 3-5 6-9 10-14 Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar per person $5150 $4800 $3575 $2800  $595

 

Hotels

Places Premium class hotels Tourist Class hotels
Xian Sofitel On Renmin Square Xian Forest City Hotel 
Tianshui Huatian Hotel Huatian Hotel
Lanzhou Sunshine Plaza Hotel International Hotel
Xiahe Aviation hotel  Royal Hotel
Zhangye Huachen Jiaheng hotel 
Jiyayuguan Jiyayuguan Hotel Gotai Hotel
Dunhuang Silk Road Hotel Dunhuang Hotel
Urumqi Universal Hotel Hoitak Hotel
Turfan Shuancheng Hotel Mexilap Hotel
Korla Garden Hotel Tianhong Hotel
Kuqa International Hotel Kuqa Hotel
Hotan Hua Yue Hotel Muztagata Hotel
Kashgar Radisson Blu Hotel Qini Bagh 5* Building or Sultan Hotel
Tashkurgan Crown Hotel Grassland hotel 

*** Please note that all above hotels are subject to availability or we will arrange alternative hotels of a similar standard.

Tour departures 2019

Starting Date Ending Date Availability  
01-April  22-April  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
13- May  03-Jun  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
20-May 10- Jun  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
27-May  17-Jun  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
03-Jun  24-Jun  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
17-June  08-Jul  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
01-Jul  22-Jul AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-Jul  05-Aug  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
05-Aug  26-Aug  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
19-Aug  09-Sep  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
26-Aug  16-Sep  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
02-Sep  23- Sep AVAILABLE Enquire Now
09-Sep  30-Sep AVAILABLE Enquire Now
7-Oct  28-Oct  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
14-Oct 2018 4-Nov  AVAILABLE Enquire Now

 

TOUR COST INCLUDES

All private transfers in air-conditioned cars bus depends on the group size,
High speed bullet trains
Twin sharing standard room at hotels mentioned above with private facilities
Meals full board: Key (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
English speaking guides

TOUR COST EXCLUDES

Visa Fees.
Expenses in hotels such as laundry, telephone and room service, etc.
Optional activities
Meals not mention above
Personal expenses
Single supplements
Tips for Guides and drivers
Early check in hotels and late checkout

***If you would like to customize this trip please write to us we are more than happy to arrange your trip according to your request, onward trip from Kashgar can be arranged on request

About Tour operators Silk Road and Himalayas

We are a small, highly experienced “boutique” travel company operating unique tours thoughout Central Asia, Far East, and Indian Subcontinent.