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9 Days Classic Silk Road Xi'an-Gansu-Xinjiang

Trip Length
9 Days
Route
Xi'an-Lanzhou-Jiayuguan-Dunhuang-Turpan-Urumqi
Attractions
Terra Cotta Warriors, Greater Wild Goose Pagoda, Jiayuguan, Xuanbi Great Wall, Mogao Grottoes, Mingsha Mountain (Echoing-Sand Mountain), Yueya Spring (Crescent Lake), Karez Well, Grape Valley, Tianchi (Heavenly Lake)

Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1: Arrive in Xi'an

Today's highlights:

Airport/Train Station transfer to hotel

Details:

Arrive in Xi'an Xianyang Airport by air or Xi'an Railway Station by train.

Tips:

Xi'an is one of the Grand Four Ancient Capitals. The other three are Athens, Rome and Cairo. From 11th century B.C to 10th century A.D, 13 Dynasties had established the capitals in the area.

Day 2: Xi'an Sightseeing

Terra Cotta Warriors, the 8th miracles in the worldToday's highlights:

Terra Cotta Warriors, Huaqing Chi

Details:

Visit Terra Cotta Warriors which rank among the world's top archaeological finds and the eighth miracles in the world. This incredible collection of well over 6,000 figures was accidentally unearthed by a group of peasants trying to dig a well in 1974. Instead of water, they found a 2,000-year-old statue of a warrior made to protect the tomb of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the founder of the Qin Dynasty and the first man to rule over a unified China. Fast-forward thirty-some years and the emperor's underground army has become an enormously popular tourist destination, even as archaeologists continue to painstakingly excavate and preserve the fragile statues.

Huaqing Chi hot springs situated at the foot of Lishan (Mount Li) have been in use for around 2,500 years; the mineral-rich waters bubbling up from the earth have soothed emperors dating back to the notorious Qin Shihuang, and during the Tang Dynasty they became a primary imperial summer residence

Day 3: Xi'an-Lanzhou

Xi'an Ancient City Walls still preserved very well todayToday's highlights:

Greater Wild Goose Pagoda (Da Yan Ta), Temple of Great Maternal Grace (Daci'en Si), Ancient City Walls, Transfer to Xi'an Train Station for the train K199 to Lanzhou

Details:

Visit Greater Wild Goose Pagoda (Da Yan Ta) located in the Temple of Great Maternal Grace (Daci'en Si) complex. It's the number one tourist attraction in Xi'an before the Terracotta Warriors were unearthed.

Ancient City Walls could be dated back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), though they attained their present brick-faced form in 1568 and several sections have been recently rebuilt.

At night, take the train K199 at 22:36 to Lanzhou.

Day 4: Lanzhou-Jiayuguan

Today's highlights:

Pick you up at Lanzhou Railway Station, Ancient Water Mill, Zhongshan Bridge on Yellow River, Lanzhou Museum, Transfer to Lanzhou Railway Station for the train N851 to Jiayuguan.

Details:

Arrive in Lanzhou at 06:38 a.m.

We will visit the Ancient Water Mill, a kind of ancient implement for irrigating at past, Zhongshan Bridge on the Yellow River, and Lanzhou Provincial Museum has an excellent selection of exhibits relating to Gansu and the Silk Road. 75,000 cultural relics including natural resources and historical exhibits are exhibited here. In the city, you can try the local snack Lanzhou Noodles.

In the evening, take the train N851 at 20:50 to Jianyuguan.

Day 5: Jiayuguan-Dunhuang

Jiayuguan Pass, where the Little Badaling-Xuanbi Great Wall located Today's highlights:

Pick you up at Dunhuang Train Station, Jiayuguan-Xuanbi Great Wall

Details:

Arrive in Dunhuang Railway Station at 07:36 a.m. Visit Jiayuguan Pass, the western end of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty as well as the most magnificent and best-preserved pass among the over thousand passes along the Ming Great Wall, known as "Impregnable Pass Under Heaven". Here, you can overlook the "little Badaling" -Xuanbi Great Wall, also called Overhanging Great Wall which means the wall hanging on the cliff. It's a rather ancient portion of the famous China Great Wall.

Day 6: Dunhuang-Turpan

Mingsha Mountain and Yueya SpringToday's highlights:

Mogao Grottoes, Mingsha Mountain-Yueya Spring, Transfer to Dunhuang Train Station for the train T217 to Turpan

Details:

Early morning, we visit the Mogao Grottoes also known as Thousand Buddha Cave is one of three noted grottoes in China and also the largest, best preserved and richest treasure house of Buddhist art in the world. Despite years of erosion, the murals are still brightly colored, with clear lines. Through pictures of different styles and schools drawn in different historical periods, they tell Buddhist stories and ways as well as life in the secular world.

Then, we go to Mingsha Mountain and Yueya Spring. The sand storms at Mingsha Mountain are said to create almost melodic sounds as millions of minute particles bounce and rub. Countless Silk Road travelers, nomads, merchants and tourists today have quenched their thirsts at Yueya Spring or called Crescent Lake.

At night, we take the train T217 at 20:16 to Turpan.

Day 7: Turpan-Urumqi

The old village in TurpanToday's highlights:

Pick you up at Turpan Railway Station, Flaming Mountains, Karez Well, Gaochang Ruin

Details:

We arrive in Turpan Railway Station at 08:22 a.m.

Visit the Flaming Mountains named of the red clay mountains reflect the heat and glow of the desert in the evenings and seem to burn. It is an intensely hot part of the desert without a single blade of grass to be seen for miles. In July, the mountains seem to be on fire in the burning sun and become a purplish-brown colour.

Only in Turpan, you can find the Karez Well, the underground canal. It is one of the three greatest irrigation systems in ancient China together with the Jinghang Manmade Cannel, and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System.

Gaochang Ruin, the Uygur city-state around the 9th century to the 13th, which was founded a few hundred years earlier than that, and gradually became known as a trading post on the Silk Road. On the way to Urumqi, you can see the Dead Sea of China-Salt Lake and the largest wind power plant in Asia.

Day 8: Urumqi-Tianchi (Heavenly Lake)-Urumqi

Tiachi-Heavenly Lake surrounded by Tianshan MountainToday's highlights:

Tianchi-Heavenly Lake, Tianshan Mountain

Details:

Drive to Tianchi (Heavenly Lake), a marvelous view of mountain lake formed more than million years ago in the 4th glacial epoch. It is famed as the "Jewel in the Crown". The pine trees covering the hillsides and the snow capped mountains in the background make the huge clear water spectacular sight-reminiscent of Switzerland or the Rocky mountains but somehow with more vibrancy and color. Bogda Peak-the highest peak stands to the east of the lake in the east part of Tianshan Mountain which is capped by glacier and snow glistening in the sun, finely contrasted with blue lake water, forming fabulous scenery.

Day 9: Leave Xinjiang

Today's highlights:

Erdaoqiao Bazaar, Transfer to airport or train station

Details:

After breakfast ramble around the Erdaoqiao Bazaar, the largest Uigur bazaar in Urumqi, where you'll find a bustling market filled with kinds of fruit, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets and more things with local colour.

Transfer to airport to railway station to leave Xinjiang for next destination.

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What Our Customers Say

"A very pleasant experience. We saw many things and tried various amazing things. Ryan was extremely knowledgeable and very engaging with our children. I would highly recommend him. We felt safe and comfortable with the driver. He was always closeby when sightseeing. Terracotta Soldiers very impressive. The silk road tour is too short to us but we had a great time."

Jeffrey Corin

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