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12-day Silk Road Travel from Xinjiang via Qinhai to Xi’an

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12-day Silk Road Travel from Xinjiang via Qinhai to Xi’a

Day 1   Urumqi 

International flight on your own arrangement, we will arrange the airport transfer based on your flight time. Meet guide & take the sightseeing of Urumqi which means the beautiful pastureland in Mongolian Language. It is the largest city in China‘s western interior. Check in at the hotel upon arrival. 
Overnight :  Urumqi     Meals :No

Day 2   Urumqi  Heavenly Lake (120kms, 1.5hrs driving)

Visiting items: the Heavenly Lake, Xinjiang International Bazaar or Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum

Morning visiting: Visit the Heavenly Lake, a picturesque Alpine lake, 2000m up in the Tianshan mountain range. Heavenly Lake is a long and narrow gourd-shape 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.

Afternoon visiting:

Option 1: Visit the Xinjiang International Bazaar, the largest bazaar in Urumqi. You‘ll find a bustling market filled with fruit, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets and almost anything that you can imagine.

Option 2: Visiting the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum would be the best way to get all of the information in a short time. Xinjiang ,  known as ”Western  Region”, an important section of the ancient Silk Road in history, endowed with large quantities of cultural relics and historical sites underground as well as above ground. The basic exhibits of the Museum consist of four sections. They are: Xinjiang Ancient Historical and Cultural Relics Exhibition, Xinjiang Minority Folkloristic Exhibition, Xinjiang Ancient Corpses Exhibition and Xinjiang Revolutionary Cultural Relics and Historical Materials Exhibition.. The display and exhibition represent the histories of the people of various nationalities in Xinjiang living and multiplying and creating their splendid cultures and show the world’s economies and cultures exchange between the east and west along the ancient Silk Road.

Overnight :  Urumqi     Meals : B L D

Day 3   Urumqi  Turpan (200kms,3hrs driving)

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

Morning visiting: Drive to Turpan sightseeing on the way. Arrive in Turpan, first visit 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.

Afternoon visiting: 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.

 Overnight:  Turpan    Meals: B L D

Day 4   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 5   Turpan  Dunhuang   (D56 09:36-13:05)

Visiting items: Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake

Morning visiting: Transfer to the train station and take the express train to Dunhuang (Liuyuan Station).Pick up then transfer to Dunhuang City.

Afternoon visiting: visit the Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake, the most popular site in Dunhuang travel, 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. you can walk in the desert or experience a camle riding if you are interested, and take a photo at the Crescent Lake, which is an oasis in the desert. After dinner, you can walk around the Shazhou Night market, taste the local cuisine, buy some souvenirs. this is the largest night market in Dunhuang, you will find everything you want.

Overnight:  Dunhuang     Meals: B L D

Day 6   Dunhuang  Jiayuguan (350kms, 4.5hrs driving)

Visiting items: Mogao Grottoes

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: Drive about 4-5 hours to Jiayuguan, the next stop of our Silk Road tour. After arrival, our guide will escort you to the hotel check in and Have a good rest.
Overnight:  Jiayuguan     Meals: B L D

Day 7   Jiayuguan  Zhangye (223kms, 3hrs driving)

Visiting Items: Jiayuguan Pass, Great Wall Museum,  Weijin Tombs

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: Drive to Zhangye by bus, enjoy the sunset of Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, which is 510 square kilometres in total, it located in the north of Qilian mountains, SuNa County territory. 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.
Overnight:  Zhangye     Meal: B L D

Day 8   Zhangye  Xining  D56(16:17-18:11)

Visiting Items: the Grand Buddha Temple

Morning visiting: Visit the Grand Buddha Temple, which is the important place of the Silk Road. Midway in the Hexi Corridor along the Silk Road lies the historic city of Zhangye, the centerpiece of which is the mysterious Giant Buddha Temple. Located in the southwest corner of Zhangye in Gansu Province, the Giant Buddha Temple is the largest architectural relic in Gansu Province of the Western Xia (1038-1227) period. you will see the largest  and well-preserved reclining Buddha in this temple.  

Afternoon visiting: Transfer to the train station to take the bullet train to Xining. Have a good rest upon arrival.
Overnight:  Zhangye     Meal: B L D

Day 9   XiningLanzhou   D2750(20:14-21:39)

Visiting Items:  Qinghai Lake, Ta‘er Monastery

Morning visiting: Visit the Qinghai Lake, the largest inland saltwater lake in China, the spectacular high-mountain scenery, and the cultural mix of Tibetan, Mongolian, and Muslim people. Qinghai Lake has become a popular tourist attraction due to the perfect combination of all these natural attractions. you can stroll on the grass or ride on a yak, and the hospitable local people will welcome you to visit their home. Say farewell to the beautiful Qinghai Lake.

Afternoon visiting: Visit the Ta‘er Monastery which is the center of Tibetan Buddhism in Northwest China, and enjoys a high reputation in China and Southeast Asia. Thereafter, transfer to the station and take the express train to Lanzhou, the capital city in Gansu.
Overnight:  Lanzhou   Meal: B L D

Day 10   Lanzhou 

Visiting Items: Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves

Morning visiting: Drive you to Liujiaxia Reservoir, take a speedboat to Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves, On the way, you will see the green water connects to the yellow water while the blue sky connects to the yellow earth. Perhaps this can only be experienced in Liujiaxia. Upon arrival, head to visit the Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves  which is close to Liujiaxia Reservoir, These caves stretch for 200 meters, were built during the Western Qin, North Wei, Sui, Tang, and Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing dynasties (between the 3rd and 18th centuries).

Afternoon visiting: Back to the downtown and take a Lanzhou city tour, visit the The first bridge Of the Yellow RiverYellow River‘s Mother Statue, and the waterwheel park.
Overnight:  Lanzhou   Meal: B L D

Day 11   Lanzhou  Xi’an D2566 (08:40-11:45)

Visiting Items: Ancient City Wall, Muslim Street

Morning visiting:Take the bullet train to Xi‘an in the morning, you can take a break on the train or enjoy the scenery along the way. Arrive in Xi‘an, check in and have a lunch.

Afternoon visiting: First 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. Then to visit the Ancient City Wall, which is the most complete city wall that has survived in China as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. 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 walk, even cycle on the wall. Last to go to the Muslim Street, you can do an exploration of local cuisine. 
Overnight: Xi’an   Meal: B L D

Day 12   Xi‘an

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:  Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda built to house Buddhist scriptures collected by a Chinese Monk, where you can see variety of Buddha statues. 
Overnight: Xi’an   Meal: B L D

Day 13   Xi‘an

Take flight back to your sweet home.

12-day Silk Road Travel from Xinjiang via Qinhai to Xi’a