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12-day Essence of the Silk Road Tour

Tour code: ETC-Q37   

This is a real Silk Road discovery deep into Gobi desert and amazing landscapes; it also includes the ancient capital Xian, then the Mogao grottoes in Dunhuang, amazing attractions in Turpan & famous Sunday Bazaar in Kashgar…

Tour Date City Tour Brief
1 Xi'an
Arrival in Xi'an
2 Xi'an
Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, Bell Tower
3 Xi'an
Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian Museum, Ancient City Wall, Forest of Stele
4 Xi'an / Dunhuang
Fly to Dunhuang
5 Dunhuang
Yadan Geo Park, Yumen Pass
6 Dunhuang / Turpan
Mogao Caves, Singging Sand Mountains and Crescent Moon Lake, to Turpan
7 Turpan
Karez Underground Irrigation System, Jiaohe Ruins, Emin Minaret, Desert Botanical Garden
8 Turpan / Urumqi
Drive to Urumqi, Heavenly Lake
9 Urumqi / Kashgar
Fly to Kashgar, Id Kah Mosque, local bazaar and old quarters of Karshgar
10 Kashgar
Karakul Lake
Kashgar / Urumqi Fly to Urumqi, Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum and Red Hill Park
12 Urumqi
Day 01 Arrival in Xian (no meal)
Arrival in Xian, you will be met at the airport or train station, and transferred to the hotel.
Day 02 Xian (B, L)
Drive to the most famous Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, which is one of the top attractions in China and famous for its historical significance and uniqueness. Then proceed to Bell Tower, which originally built in Ming Dynasty and used to house the bells that were sounded every morning to announce the time to the ancient capital’s inhabitants. Later, enjoy a walk at the old quarters of the city.

Day 03 Xian (B, L)

A visit to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda which is a less visit spot but with its own unique designs. Then pay a visit to Xian Museum, as many as 130, 000 fine cultural relics are preserved here, most of which were unearthed in the ancient tombs from different dynasties before Tang Dynasty (618-907). Then proceed to the Ancient City Wall, the most intact ancient Chinese wall in existence. It encircles and protects the ancient part of Xian City. At last, go to the Forest of Stele Museum, there are 3,000 steles in the museum, which is divided into seven exhibitions halls, which mainly display works of calligraphy, painting and historical records.

Day 04 Xian – Dunhuang (B, L)
Transfer to the airport and fly to Dunhuang. Be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel.

Day 05 Dunhuang (B, L)
Drive 180km to Yadan Geo Park to see the spectacular landform, then on the way to see the Yumen Pass, which was originally built more than 2000 year ago. You can also have the chance to see the ruined Great Wall of Han Dynasty.

Day 06 Dunhuang - Turpan (B, L, D)
Visit the world famous Mogao Grottoes, the 492 cells and cave sanctuaries are famous for their statues and wall paintings, spanning 1,000 years of Buddhist art. Then proceed to the Singing Sand Mountains and Crescent Moon Lake, try a short camel ride in the desert. Transfer to take an overnight train to Turpan.

Day 07 Turpan (B, L)
Arrival in Turpan in the early morning. After breakfast, pay a visit to Karez Irrigation System, which was created by ancient Uygur people at the second half of 18th century. It can mainly be found in the area of Turpan, Hami and Helei. It is regarded as one of ancient China's greatest public projects. Then visit Jiaohe Ruins to know the history there. Emin Minaret is the next spot, an existing largest minaret in Xinjiang with a circular shape, It is 44 meters high with a diameter of 10 meters. The huge structure was built of grey bricks and earth in 15 different decorative patterns such as waves, flowers or rhombuses. At last, go to the Desert Botanical Garden and gain the knowledge of desert plants.
Day 08 Turpan – Urumqi (B, L)
Drive from Turpan to Urumqi, proceed to Heavenly Lake, labeled as a Chinese version of Swiss lakes. The crystal water reflecting the snow-topped peaks, fluffy white clouds and blue sky create a breathtaking view. Overnight at Urumqi.

Day 09 Urumqi –Karshgar (B, L)
Transfer to fly to Karshgar. After arrival, visit Id Kah Mosque to appreciate the unique architecture style of it. Later, wander around local bazaar and old quarters of Karshgar to get close to local people’s life.

Day 10 Karshgar (B, L)
One full day tour to Karakul Lake, 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. On the way you will visit a local village and see snow-capped mountains. Enjoy picnic lunch at the lake side.
Day 11 Karshgar – Urumqi (B, L)
Transfer to fly to Urumqi. Be met and transferred to visit Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum and Red Hill Park, the Red Hill in it is a symbol of Urumqi which has a reddish brown color with 1.5km long and 1km wide from east to west. Afterwards, hotel check in. Free at the rest of the day.

Day 12 Urumqi departure (B)
Transfer to the airport and fly to your next destination.

End of service


As all of our holidays are tailor-made it isn’t possible to give anexact price on the web-site as the final cost is dependant on a number of factors. These include the number of people in your party, the season you travel, the standard of hotel (we offer a variety of standards from three-star to super-luxurious) and duration of your trip. However, as aguideline you should expect to pay from US$ for the opposite itinerary.

Included Services

Private transfers airport/hotel/airport;
Private tours escorted by an English-speaking guide;
Accommodations with daily breakfast;
Meals specified in itinerary as B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner;
Domestic flights and trains listed;
Admission fees.

Non-included Services,
Visa arrangement;
Excess luggage charge(the luggage allowance at economy class is 20kg);
Personal expense;
Any meals not specified as "B, L or D";
Gratuities to guides and drivers.

Tailor-made Suggestions

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Beijing is absolutely the No.1 destination in China! If you can pick up some readings about its history, maybe you will better understand the place after arrival.


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