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13-day Silk Road Tour including Xiahe

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13-day Silk Road Tour including Xiahe

Day1  Home   

Taking international flight arrive in Xi’an, pick up at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Feel free to explore the city at your leisure for the rest of the day.
Overnight:  Xi’an    Meals: No

Day 2  Xi‘an

Visiting items:  Shanxi Provincial Museumthe Ancient City Wallthe Grand Mosque, Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Morning visiting: Visit the Shanxi Provincial MuseumThis provincial museum is one of the major museums in China, and it holds numerous unearthed cultural artifacts from within the Shanxi province as well as the rest of China.

Afternoon visiting: Visit The Ancient City Wallthis is an extension of the old Tang Dynasty structure boasting the most complete city wall that has survived through the long Chinese history. The City Wall has corner towers, ramparts, sentry towers, gate towers, battlements and a number of city defensive fortifications with very strong defense capability. You can spend a few hours strolling around the city wall or experiencing the cycling if you are interested in. Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, built more than a thousand years ago to house Buddhist scriptures collected by the known monk Xuan Zang. It is the one of the oldest structures in China.
Last, explore the Grand MosqueThe Grand Mosque is a Chinese traditional Alhambresque architecture with a long history and grand scale, and is a great combination of Islamic and Chinese culture. You can do a cuisine exploration at the Muslim Street.
Overnight:  Xi‘an     Meals: B L D

Day3   Xi‘an  Lanzhou

Visiting items:  Terra-Cotta Warriors

Morning visiting: The key of today is the city tour. First, visit the amazing  Terra-cotta Warriors, where 7000 individually crafted clay soldiers stand on guard. This is one of the greatest archaeological findings of the 20th century - the army of terra-cotta warriors and the bronze chariots entombed in vast underground vaults at emperor Qin Shi Huang‘s tomb from two thousand years ago. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China.

Afternoon visiting: Take flight to Lanzhou. Pick up then transfer to the hotel.

Overnight :  Lanzhou     Meals : B L D

Day 4  Lanzhou / Xiahe
Visiting items: Labrang Monastery, Songke Grassland
Morning visiting: Drive to Xiahe, sightseeing on the way. Songke Grassland, at an average altitude of over 3,000m above sea level, is situated a short 14km from Xiahe. This vast expanse of grassy plains, covering an area of around 70 square kilometers, is a lonely, beautiful place that is a nice change for those from bustling Chengdu or Lanzhou. There are only 4,000 Tibetan nomads on the grasslands, all wrapped up in their many, dirty layers, who graze yak herds and offer tourists the chance of a ride upon their horses. Entertainment here varies according to your preference. 
Afternoon visiting: Xiahe often referred to as "Little Tibet", it is famous for Labrang Monastery, as one of the six leading Buddhist lamaseries in China. The lamasery houses thousands of cultural relics including 60,000 volumes of Tibetan scriptures which have been well preserved. There will also be an opportunity to meet the semi-nomadic herdsmen of the surrounding grasslands.
Overnight : Xiahe    Meals : B L D

Day 5 Xiahe/Lanzhou/Zhangye
Visiting items: Gansu Provincial Museum or White Pagoda Hill
Morning visiting: Drive back to Lanzhou (4 hours drive), sightseeing on the way.

 Afternoon visiting: Visit Gansu Provincial Museum, this Museum houses a superb collection of the Neolithic pottery for which Gansu is famed.The display includes  primitive agricultural stone tools and red-grey bowls and vessels from the rich Dadiwan site in central Gansu.Or  visit White Pagoda Hill. Then you will be transferred to the railway station for evening bullet train (3 hours) to Zhangye.
Overnigh :  Zhangye     Meals : B L D

 Day 6  Zhangye/Jiayuguan
Visiting items: Danxia National Geological Park, Zhangye Grand Buddha Temple

Morning visiting: Visit the Grand Buddha Temple, which is the important place of the Silk Road. The Giant Buddha Temple is the largest architectural relic in Gansu Province of the Western Xia (1038-1227) period. China‘s largest reclining Buddha is well preserved in this temple.

Afternoon visiting: Visit the Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, which is 510 square kilometers in total, it located in the north of Qilian Mountain, SuNa County territory. It includes the colorful hills in Linze county , ice hills, Danxia and GanZhou District and PingShan lake. The scenic Danxia, is a distance of 40 km from east Zhang Ye city, north from Linze county town by 20 kilometers, this is the most typical arid area of northern China. Last, take the bullet train to Jiayuguan (1.5 hours). Met and be transferred to the hotel for rest.
Overnigh :  Jiayuguan     Meals : B L D

 Day 7  Jiayuguan  Dunhuang

Visiting items: Jiayuguan Pass, Great Wall Museum, the Great Wall on the Cliff

Morning visiting: Visit Jiayuguan Passabout 6 km away from downtown. The Ming Dynasty fort here guards the strategic pass, at the western end of the Great Wall – this was the last section built by the Ming Dynasty. Construction of the fort was started in 1372 in the Ming Dynasty, and subsequently enlarged and strengthened, and was known as ‘the strongest pass under heaven‘. and you can learn more history and culture from the Great Wall Museum, it is the first museum to exhibit the Great Wall culture in a comprehensive and systematic way.

Afternoon visiting: Visit the Great Wall on the Cliff, the wall here was built on the ridge with a gradient of 45 degrees. It is high in the air and it looks as if it fell down from the top of the hill. So people refer to this section of the Great Wall as the "Suspended Wall". The Suspended Wall, the extension of the walls at the Jiayuguan Pass towards the north, was an integral part of the ancient defense system at the Jiayuguan Pass. After that we will proceed to Dunhuang by bus.
Overnight:  Dunhuang     Meal: B L D

Day8  Dunhuang  Turpan

Visiting items: Mogao Grottoes,Echoing-Sand Crescent Lake and Mountain

Morning visiting: First visit the famous Mogao Grottoesa shrine of Buddhist art treasures, enjoy the Silk Road Movies in Mogao Grottoes Visitor Center, then we will start to explore the Grottoes, Please note that cameras are not allowed inside the grottoes.

Afternoon visiting: Visit the Echoing-Sand Crescent Lake and Mountainthe most popular tourist site in Dunhuang. Echoing-Sand Mountain, known as Mingsha Mountain to the Chinese, is 5 km to the south of Dunhuang and is famous for the constant sound of the moving sand. The Crescent Moon Lake is literally an oasis in the desert. The lake’s name derives from the crescent moon shape taken by the pool of spring water between two large sand dunes. you can enjoy the oasis in the desert and experience a camel-riding. Take a 3 hours ride to Dunhuang Liuyuan Station and catch your bullet train to the next destination Turpan.
Overnigh:  Turpan     Meal: B L D

Day9   Turpan

Visiting items: Bezeklik Grottoes,Astana Tombs,Tuyoq Valley

Morning visiting: Visit Bezeklik Grottoeswhich is a complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to 14th century between the cities of Turpan and Shanshan at the north-east of the Taklamakan Desert near the ancient ruins of Gaochang in the Mutou Valley. It has always been the Buddhist Center of Gaochang Area, there are 57 existing caves and murals for you to visit. Then transfer to visit the Astana TombsThis is the graveyard of the residents who lived in the Gaochang City in the Jin-Tang period. Between 1959 and 1975, a great number of cultural relics had been unearthed, including Chinese documents, textiles, epitaphs, coins, clay sculptures, pottery, wooden wares, silk-paintings, crops and foods, etc. The site is known as the Underground Museum.

Afternoon visiting: Visit Tuyoq Valley, the oldest surviving Uygur village in Xinjiang. About a kilometer from the cave shrine is a group of grottoes that have some Buddhist and Nestorian artwork. These grottoes are said to date from the West Jin Dynasty (265AD-316AD), and are considered to be the earliest in Turpan. Most of the murals are damaged. Fortunately, 10 of the grottoes still have some of the preserved murals. These precious murals are very unique in style.
Overnight:  Turpan     Meals: B L D

Day 10   Turpan  Urumqi  Kashgar

Visiting Items: Karez Irrigation system,Sugong Minaret,Jiaohe Ruins

Morning visiting: City tour, first visit Jiaohe Ruins with a long history over 2,000 years, the name of the ruins means ‘confluence of two rivers by the two sides of the city on the cliff‘. You can spend couple hours wandering around this ancient city and pursue the past civilization along the ancient Silk Road.Then visit the Sugong Minaretthe minaret tower was built in the 41st year of the long reign of Qianlong Emperor during the Qing Dynasty. It is the embodiment of the ancient architectural arts of the Uighur people. The body of the tower is cylindrical shape, built with bricks arranged in various symmetrical patterns on the outer wall. The tower has 14 windows and a spiral staircase inside going to the top.

Afternoon visiting:  Karez Irrigation systemancient Irrigation System, which is still used today, is a unique irrigation system in Turpan. It takes 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. After the visit, drive to Urumqi and take the flight to Kashgar. Pick up at the airport and then transfer to the hotel and check in.
Overnight:  Kashgar     Meals: B L D

Day 11  Kashgar 

Visiting Items: Apak Khoja Tomb,Sunday Bazaar,Kashgar Old Town,Handicraft streetIdigar Mosque

Morning visiting: City tour. Drive to the Apak Khoja TombThis Mazar is the holiest place in Xinjiang for the Muslims, and an architectural treasure. Built in 1640, it is reminiscent of the Central Asian artistic style of Samarkand or Isfahan. The site is also known as the Xiang Fei (Fragrant Concubine) Tomb in memory of Abakh Khoja‘s granddaughter, Iparhan, who was the Fragrant Concubine of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty. A handsome blue-and-white tiled gate leads into the compound, which includes a small religious school and the Apak Khoja family tomb. 
Visit the Sunday BazaarThis is called “Sunday” bazaar, but it is open daily, even though it is busiest on Sundays. Streets near this big market are jammed with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horse, mule, motobike, or on foot, with their animals. It is 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 off their animals as “good eaters” (most go as livestock, not meat). The entire experience is fascinating and fun.
Afternoon visiting: Kashgar Old Town, you will see the cabaret performance in the old town around 10:00am every morning and in walking the streets of its Old Town, one gets the sense of what this legendary Central Asian hub was like in the days when the Silk Road was at its zenith. Visit the small alleys to look at the characteristic Uygur residences. You will experience and enjoy the culture and history that has been retained in the small alleys and deep courtyards. In the alleys on platforms beside the residence you could marvel at the even more ancient primitive workshops for hand-made earthenware. Some 17 or 18 antique workshops have been restored. Afterward, stroll around the Old Town, to explore the local lifestyle and unique architecture, most of the folk houses here all have a hundred years of history. then we will take you to visit the Handicraft street, it gathered hundreds of handicraft workshops, Uygur hats, pottery, musical instrument, you can find everything what you want, which has become a boutique exhibition for handicraft in Kashgar and Central Asia. We are going to Idigar Mosque, the largest Mosque in China and the most famous one in Xinjiang. It has a history of about 500 years. The mosque itself is a magnificent Islamic architecture. During the Islamic festivals, thousands of Uygur people gather in the mosque and pray. After pray, it becomes a sea of joy and celebration.

Overnight:  Kashgar     Meal: B L D

Day 12 Kashgar /Karakul Lake/ Kashgar

Visiting items: Karakul Lake

Morning visiting: Driving on the China and Pakistan highway about 4hrs to enjoy the landscape of Pamir Plateau.40mins driving. We stop in the Opal village to visit the traditional bustling bazaar. The following day will be spent exploring the stunning landscape surrounding the Karakul Lake, where the herds of livestock around the lakeside are reflected in lake and is extraordinarily graceful, where Kirghiz herdsmen usually settle down and graze their herds. You will have ample opportunity for leisure walking and enjoy the Magnificent Muztagh Peak. It is highly recommended to visit the local Kirgiz family in their yurt.

Afternoon visiting:We take car along the Karakoram highway back to Kashgar in the late afternoon.

Night market suggested today for the food and experience the real life of the locals.
Overnight:  Kashgar     Meals: B L D

Day 13   Kashgar  Torugart / Any city of China and exit

 Early in the morning, drive to the Pass and exit,back to your warm home and finish the tour in China.

13-day Silk Road Tour including Xiahe