China travel map - Essence of Gansu Tour: Zhangye Jiayuguan Dunhuang

Gansu is a historical and amazing destination in China which is rarely visited by foreigners. Take the 7-day Silk Road Gansu Tours to visit the capital city Lanzhou, grand Jiayuguan Fort and ancient stops of Silk Road – Dunhuang to explore the historical sites along the legendary Hexi Corridor in Northwest China. You will visit other highlights like Bingling Temple, Dafo Temple, Jiayuguan Fort, Great Wall Museum, Overhanging Great Wall, Mingsha Sand Dunes, Crescent Lake, Mogao caves.

Best for: History lovers, Family, Wemen traveller,

Duration: 7 days & 6 nights

Destinations: Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang

Travel Type: Private tour - FlexibleFree to customize

• Best grottoes in China: Mogao Caves and Bingling Temple Grottoes
• Most important ancient fort on Silk Road:Jiayuguan Fort
• Incredible desert views and colorful rainbow mountains

Customize Your Tour:
☑  Travel Dates  ☑ Your Interests  ☑ Your Travel Style


Upon arrival, our local guide will pick you up at the airport or train station and transfer to the hotel. If time permits, go and visit White Pagoda Hill for a panoramic view of the city and Iron Bridge over the Yellow River. It’s also suggested to take a free walk along the Yellow River where Mother of Huanghe sculpture can be seen.

Lanzhou, named Jincheng before Sui Dynasty, is one of the important cities along ancient Silk Road. In Han Dynasty (202BC-202AD), it was the main market to sell good horses from the area west to the Yellow River. Since North Song Dynasty, Lanzhou became one of the important Tea-Horse Trade Market. Located on the entrance of Hexi Corridor, Lanzhou is also an important military city in the history apart from economic and culture exchange with the west areas.

Today, we will make a full day excursion to Bingling Temple at Linxia profecture. Drive around 1.5hrs to Liujiaxia Reservoir and then take speed-boat to cross the upper stream of the Yellow River. Enjoy the beautiful sceneries on both sides of the river and after around one hour’s ride, you will get to Bingling Temple Grottoes at the north bank of the Yellow River. The grottoes were first built in 420AD with a history of over 1600 years. There are 183 caves on the cliff of the mountain, in which No. 169 and No. 172 grottoes are the biggest ones. The frescos in the Bingling Temple are of great value, reflecting the social situation, music and dancing, arts of ornamenting and architecture in the Period of Sixteen States (304-439) in northwest China. After the visit, take the speed-boat back. On the way back to Lanzhou, you will visit a Tibetan Monastery built in Ming Dynasty on the cliff of the red mountain, a little bit similar to Hanging Monastery in Datong.

Meal: B, L

Bingling Temple

Take high speed train to Zhangye (3.5hrs) this morning. Located at the middle of Hexi Corridor and with plenty of water from Qilian Mt. to the south, Zhangye owns large amount of oasis and wetlands to make it an important grain production base since ancient time. After check in hotel and take a short rest, you will be transferred to Danxia Landform Geopark, which is famous for its colorful mountain like rainbow. Due to the unique scenery, Rainbow Mountain attracts photographers from all over the world. Transfer back to hotel after the visit.

Meal: B, L

In the morning, you will visit the Giant Buddha Temple (Dafo Temple) to see the notable gigantic reclining Buddha statue with a length of 35 meters (115ft) made around 1100 in Western Xia period. And then go for a relax trip in Zhangye National Wetland Park. If you travel with kid, you can rent a tri-cycle to ride in the park to see flowers, birds and lovely lakes. Transfer to Jiayuguan by private car in the afternoon.

Meal: B, L

Wooden Pagoda Temple

Visit Jiayuguan Fort, which is the west end of the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty. Located at the narrowest point of the valley, it is one of the most magnificent ancient military fort in ancient China. You can also visit the Great Wall Museum at the gate tower. Afternoon visit Overhanging Great Wall, which connects to the wall from Jiayuguan For and extends to the mountains. Take high speed train to Dunhuang in late afternoon.

Meal: B, L

Dunhuang is located on the most west of Hexi Corridor and is the strategic position at the crossroads of the ancient Southern Silk Route. This morning, you will visit Mogao Caves, one of the three best known Chinese Buddhist grottoes, along with Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang and Yungang Grottoes in Datong. For regular visit, you will see 10 caves. If you want see more, some special caves can be visited at extra cost. Please let our travel consultant know. Visit Dunhuang Museum or take a rest in hotel before taking the visit to Crescent Lake and Mingsha Sand Dunes for sunset on the desert. You will also experience a camel ride, and Children friendly activities like sand sliding is available at extra expense.

Meal: B, L

Mogao Caves

Transfer to the airport and fly to your next destination.

Meal: B

What's included

  • 1-on-1 Travel Consultant

    Your China based expert listens to your wishes carefully, provides professional advice, ensures unlimited itinerary revisions before done and 24/7 helpline service while traveling.

  • Private Local Guide and Driver

    Your guides are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and your drivers are professional, polite and patient. They are very flexible to accommodate your personal needs and happy to show you the local attractions, history, culture, foods and real life. 
    Private transfers from hotel to attractions, airport or train station are also included.

  • Accommodation to Suit Your Preference

    In each place, we hand pick hotels ranging from luxury 5 star, superior 4 star to comfortable 3 star. Luxury or cozy boutique hotels and budget guesthouses are also among your choices. You could decide where to stay to meet your taste and budget.

  • Gourmet Meals

    Most of the hotels we select offer both Western and Chinese buffet breakfast. Lunch and dinner included are arranged in selected restaurants to taste authentic Chinese cuisine and local specialties. Thus you may also have a unique food tour.
    Meals specified in itinerary as B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner.

  • Attractions and Activities Listed on the Itinerary

    Our China tour packages have included the (first/main) entry to all attractions and the expenses of activities on the itinerary (except the optional activities).

  • Internal Transportation

    Based on your needs, we could make bookings of internal transportation, including domestic flights, inter-city trains, long-distance bus, etc.

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