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In this 12 days tour, you will start your tour from the starting point of ancient silk road - Xi'an and keep going west to the terminal point of the road in China - Kashgar. You will be amazed by the marvelous historic relics and grottoes on the road. Then you will understand why there are so many poems singing for the unique scenery in northwestern China have been created by the numerous talented poets in Chinese history. All the essencial sights on the ancient silk road in Xi'an, Dunhuang and Xinjiang have been included.
Visit the lively Sunday Market in Kashgar where to see the transaction ways practiced thousands of years.
Drive through the magnificent Pamir Plateau and enjoy the gentle wave and breeze on Karakul Lake.
Walk around the oldest Uygur village - Tuyoq Village to feel the rich history of the ancient silk road.
Immerse yourself in the Heavenly Lake where to see the majestic snow mountains reflected on the mirror-like lake surface and the nomadic life of Kazakh people.
Appreciate the magic frescos in the UNESCO world heritage site – Mogao Grottoes in DunhuangVisit the well-known world wonder - Terracotta Warriors and learn about the authentic ancient China inShaanxi History Museum in Xi'an
Appreciate the magic frescos in the UNESCO world heritage site – Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang
Visit the well-known world wonder - Terracotta Warriors and learn about the authentic ancient China inShaanxi History Museum in Xi'an
Upon arrival at Guangzhou meet our tour guide and be transferred to your hotel for rest.
After early breakfast transfer to airport. Take the flight to Kashgar, check into the hotel start the tour.
After breakfast visit the Sunday Bazaar and then take the drive on the China and Pakistan highway to visit the Karakul Lake. Back to Kashgar in the afternoon.
Sunday Bazaar: Streets near this big market are choked on Sundays with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, ute, motorbike or on foot, with their animals. It's loud, lively and cheerful as they arrive, eat breakfast, set up their animals and check out the action. Cattle, sheep (they definitely look different), goats, donkeys, horses have their own sections; sellers show their animals are "good eaters"(most go as livestock not meat) and the entire experience is fascinating and fun.
Karakul Lake : At an altitude of 3,600 m. it is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau, near the junction of the Pamir, Tianshan and Kunlun Mountain ranges. Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake are the Muztag Ata (7546m), Kongur Tagh (7,649m) and Kongur Tiube (7,530 m). The lake is popular among travelers for its beautiful scenery and the clarity of its reflection in the water, whose color ranges from a dark green to azure and light blue.
After the breakfast visit the Idigar Mosque, Apak Hoja Tomb, Handicraft Street, Old Town. Afternoon take the flight to Urumqi, and be transfer to hotel for dinner.
Idigar Mosque: It is the large Mosque in China and most famous one in Xinjiang. The Mosque started to build in the mid of fifteenth century, and has gradually developed to the present size. Id K ah Mosque, with about 16800 square meters in area, consisting of Pray Hall, the Koran teaching Hall, The Corridor, the Arches and other buildings attaching to it.The buildings of Id Kah Mosque look magnificent and solemn , and display the artistic styles of Islamic mosque architectures.
Apak Hoja Tomb: This Mazar is the holiest place in Xinjiang and an architectural treasure.Built in 1640,it is reminiscent of the Central Asian artistic style of Samarkand or Isfahan.It most complete Islamic tomb of the Qing Dynasty up-to-now in China.
Handicraft Street: Handicraft street,Streets near this big market are choked on Sundays with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, Ute, motorbike or on foot, with their animals. It's loud, lively and cheerful as they arrive, eat breakfast, set up their animals and check out the action.
Old Town:Old town Kashgar is an ancient city, and in walking the streets of its Old Town, will provide a sense of what this legendary Central Asian hub was like in the days when the Silk Road was at its zenith. 500-year old remnants of the city wall, narrow lanes and colorful multi-ethnic crowds combine to make Kashgar's historic district a highlight of any visit to the city.
After breakfast drive 120kms to Heavenly lake which is in the deep of Tianshan Mountain. Back to Urumqi in the afternoon and visit the Xinjiang Regional Museum, and Xinjiang International bazaar.
Heavenly Lake: 110 kilometers from Urumqi, the Heavenly Lake is a long and narrow gourd-shaped moraine lake, 3400 meters long, about 1500 meters wide, 105 meters at the deepest point, with an average depth of 40 meters, covering an area of about 5.9 square kilometers. There are eight beautiful scenic spots in the lake scenic area, they are “A Ray of Stone Gate”, “Dragon's Pool and Green Moon”, “Magic Needle for Guarding the See”, “Three Stones Bearing the Sky”, “the Snowcapped Southern Mountain”, “Pine Billows in Western Mountain”, “the Hanging Waterfall”, and the “Sea Peak's Sunrise”.
Xinjiang Museum: the museum is the main institution to collect and investigate the unearthed cultural relics and specimens in Xinjiang. There are more than 50 thousand pieces of various kinds of cultural relics stored in the museum, among them, the ancient mummies represented by ‘the Loulan Beauty', manuscripts in Chinese, Uigurian and other characters prevailed in ancient Western Regions, the silk ,wool, cotton and hemp fabrics and folk rainment, etc., are unusual tidbits in the world.
Xinjiang International bazaar: Erdaoqiao Market & International is the largest in Urumqi. You'll find a bustling market filled with fruit, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets and almost anything that you can imagine. On Sunday, there are more stalls and more goods to buy than any other day. The old streets around the bazaar are really worth seeing.Here is the most welcomed place by tourist especially by ladies where they can buy some traditional Uygur make up cosmetic.
After breakfast head to Turpan, one of the most important town in ancient silk road, visit the Tuyoq village, Flaming mountain (see afar), Karez well. have rest in the hotel and in the afternoon visit the Sugong Minaret. And Jiaohe ruins in the sunset.
Tuyoq village: constructed in eastern and western cliffs in Tuyoq valley . more than 40 caves, there are 10 preserving murals. They are considered to be the earliest caves in Turpan, Murals are mostly damaged, but unique in style.
Flaming mountain (see afar): The Flaming Mountain is a legendary mountain, running from Shanshan County on west, 98 kilometers in length and 9 kilometers across, with a relative height of 500 meters and the highest peak 831.7 meters. The mountain is a branch range of the Bogda Mountain , formed in the orogenic movements of the Himalayas .
Karez well: The Karez System is a unique irrigation system in Turpan, which, taking advantage of the slopes, draws the underground water to flow by itself to irrigate farmland. It consists of four parts: vertical wells, underground channels, ground canals and small reservoirs.
Sugong Minaret: Located in Mura Village 2 kilometers to the east of the city of Turpan ,the Tower was built in the 41st year of the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty,It is an embodiment of the ancient architectural arts of the Uygur nationality. The tower is 37 meters high and 10 meters in diameter at the base. The body of the tower is cylindroid in shape, built with bricks arranged in various symmetrical patterns on the outer wall. The tower has 14 windows and a spiral stairs inside it leading to the top.
Jiaohe ruins: Jiaohe Ruins is located on a mesa in willow leaf shape between the Yarnaz River valleys 10 kilometers to the west of Turpan City. running from northwest to southeast, 1760 meters long and 300 meters across at the widest part. The city includes city gates, streets and lanes, government office, temples, domestic houses, cave houses, wells, and an underground temple.
After breakfast, take the express train to Liuyuan, met up with Dunhuang guide and then drive about 2hrs to Dunhuang. Check into the hotel and visit Cresent lake and Sand Dune. After dinner enjoy the walking in the Shazhou Night Market.
Cresent lake and Sand Dune: the Echoing-Sand Mountain, for many Chinese well known as Mingsha Mountain, is celebrated for the sound of the moving sand. In 1994 it was acclaimed as the national key scenic spot. Together with the Crescent Springand the Mogao Caves, the Echoing-Sand Mountain is most popular sitein Dunhuang travel.You may wonder why the sand makes these different sounds.
Today you will visit the Mogao Caves listed in UNESCO, Yumen pass and the Great Wall of Han Dynasty.
The Mogao Caves: The traveler finds the Mogao Caves, a shrine of Buddhist art treasures, on the eastern slope of Mingsha Shan (Mount Echoing Sand). A network of plank reinforced roads plying north to south 1600 meters (5, 249 feet) long lead to the cave openings, which are stacked five stories high some reaching up to 50 meters (164 feet). By the way, Mogao means high up in the desert.
The Great Wall of Han Dynasty: The history of the Great Wall is said to start when seven powerful states appeared at the same time. In order to defend themselves, they all built walls and stationed troops on the borders. At that time, the total length of the wall had already reached 3,107 miles, belonging to different states.
After breakfast drive about 4 hrs to Jiayuguan. Visit the Yulin Grottoes en route and visit the Weijin Tombs in the afternoon upon arrival in Jiayuguan.
Yulin Grottoes: The Yulin Grottoes, a brunch of the Dunhuang art complex and another name Ten-Thousand-Buddha Valley, are located in Qilian Mountain, southeast of the Mogao Grottoes. View from the mountain, a river flows and red-colored willows, elms grow luxuriantly on the both banks, a beautiful frontier scenery shows here.
Weijin Tombs: Renowned as the largest subterranean art gallery in the world, housing a great deal of colorful murals, the gallery has attracted tourists from both home and abroad Most tombs are of families, housing bodies of three or four generations, and now only Grave 6 and Grave 7 are open for tourism.
After breakfast visit the Jiayuguan Fort, Great Wall Museum, in the afternoon take the flight to Xi’an.
Jiayuguan Fort: Jiayuguan Pass stands in the southwest part of Jiayuguan City, about 6 km away from downtown. The castle was begun in 1372 in the Ming Dynasty and located in the Jiayu Highland, hence its name Jiayuguan Pass. It is situated between the Wenshu and Heishan Mountains at the foot of Jiayuguan Hill of Qilian Mountain.
Great Wall Museum: The Great Wall museum opened to visitor in October 1989 and it is the first one to exhibit the Great Wall culture in a comprehensive and systematic way. The Museum covers an area of 12,312 square meters with an exhibition area of about 1,766 square meters. Its main building takes a shape of a typical signal fire tower on the Great Wall.
After breakfast you will visit Terracotta warriors and Ancient City Wall, in the afternoon enjoy the free walking in Muslim street.
Terracotta warriors: are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum in Lintong, Xian, Shanxi Province. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China.Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum.
Ancient City Wall: which was initially built as a military defense system over 600 years ago. Nowadays, it is a popular travel destination. Ascending the City Wall, you could appreciate the magnificent ancient constructions, admire the surrounding urban landscape and watch the locals doing exercises or entertaining themselves at its foot.
We will arrange the Airport/Train Transfer based on your time. Thanks for taking the Silk Road Tour with us.
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Reviewed on Jul 24, 2023
It was a great experience and all in all everything went well.
* Super 8 Hotel in Kashi is okay and clean, but breakfast is so so
* The Sunday animal (life stock) market was outstanding and an absolute must to go. Amazing.
* The tour guide took me to the house of his family situated in the real old town of Kasi. That was a very kind gesture and a very special experience that I appreciated a lot.
* Heavenly lake and overnight stay in a Yurt was extremely nice. I enjoyed it a lot as this was a very unique experience. A highlight of my trip.
* The Lodge in Turpan was very nice.
* The temperature with 46 degrees was hot of course. But as the air is dry and there is no humidity it was easy to stand.
* Tour guide was good.
* Hotel in Urumuqi was okay. Nothing special.
* Urumuqi itself is not really worth being visited. The Uigur part of the city is more special and of interest.
* The Hotel was outstandingly nice. A real good tip. Don't stay anywhere else in Dunhuang! This is a must.
* The Mogao Buddha caves are packed with people but nevertheless very good. The introduction movies are extremely interesting and nicely done.
* As I never went to a desert before, the trip to the sand dunes impressed me a lot. A good experience.
I wished I had more time for Dunhuang. In this case I would have done a guided camel trip into the desert for a day or two.
* Tour guide and driver were both very good and experienced.
All in all it was a fascinating trip
Reviewed on Jun 30, 2023
Back in Austria we would like to send to you our best wishes. We had a very interesting time on the silk road:
Your guides and drivers have been really competent and friendly. Therefore we can really recommend your agency. This I have done now in Oslo. I hope we will have the chance to use your offers for the "southern part of the silk road"! Walter and Heidrun P.S. (personal info) Just one remark: The beds are generally quite hard in the Northern part of China - unusual for many Europeans. This is not only our experience but of other friends we met in Shanghai, too: Therefore I would recommend to you to inform the Western tourists about it. I will take in the future a small pillow with me which I can blow up .
Reviewed on May 21, 2015
I have returned home after a very long trip on the silk road. All of us are very happy indeed with your kind services. The hotels and guides are excellent as well as delicious meals. The trip was well planned with your advice.
I will finish the book on Tang Xuan Zhang soon and hope it to be published soon. Of course I will mention your services in the book.
I received the DVD on the journey to the west with many thanks.
I do hope you will stopover Bangkok on your way to Melbourne,so that I will be able to return hospitality.
Reviewed on Oct 08, 2010
We have just returned to Australia and would like to thak you for the wonderful tour we had. We thoroughly enjoyed it and must compliment you on your tour guides, all of whom went out of their way to help us.
In September 2010 my wife and I took a 21 day customized Silk Road tour from Sian to Kashgar, organised by Citic Travel Trust Tour in Urumchi. Lesley, who organised the tour provided a very prompt response to all our initial queries and went to great pains to ensure that the tour arrangements and hotels were exactly what we wanted. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. All hotels were very comfortable with great service. Food was excellent, and the only complaint we could make was that the guides provided more food than we could eat. The guides all ensured that we got to try the local cuisine in all citles we visited.
The guides (five in all) went out of their way to help us at all times. We enjoyed their company and learnt a lot about China past and present, which was our goal.
In short, we can offer an unqualified recommendation to anyone who might be considering using Lesley's sevices. We can also recommenf the Silk Road tour to anyone who might have an interest in seeing Nothwest China.