China travel map - Silk Road & Badain Jaran Desert Tour

Gansu in Northwest China is an important part of ancient Silk Road, and famous for its fabulous desert scenery. This 10 day trip includes the important ancient towns along Silk Road, like Lanzhou, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, as well as the highlight attractions in Gansu Province. You will see the greatest artistic accomplishment of Buddhist grottoes art of ancient China, and explore Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park and Badain Jaran Desert with breathtaking natural landscape of high Sand Dunes and hundreds lakes.

Duration: 10 days & 9 nights

Destinations: Lanzhou - Alxa Youqi - Bandain Jaran Desert - Alxa Youqi - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang

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Upon arrival, our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer to the hotel for check in. If time permits, go and visit White Pagoda Hill for a panoramic view of the city.

Drive to visit Binglingsi Caves. Built in 420AD of Western Qin Dynasty, with its 1600+ years old history, it is one of 10 greatest Grottoes of China and a rare treasure house of Buddhist art along Ancient Silk Road. Bingling in Tibetan means thousand-Buddha. There are still 183 grottoes, along with 694 stone statues, 82 clay statues and 900-sq-m murals. Drive back to city after the tour, overnight in Lanzhou.

Meal: B, L

Binglingsi Caves

After breakfast, transfer to visit the Gansu provincial Museum. This museum boasts nearly 100,000 pieces of relics, specimens and historical finds of the province. Afterwards, transfer to Alxa Youqi (500km). Located in the west of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Alxa Youqi is a multi-ethnic frontier, dominated by Mongols. Alxa Youqi features exotic landscape of wide desert, numerous lakes, towering peaks, grand canyon, geological relics like ancient rock paintings and places of historical interest. Overnight at local hotel.

Meal: B, L, D

Breakfast at hotel, and then transfer to Bandain Jaran Desert. Badain Jaran desert in Alxa Youqi is the third largest desert in China, and honored as "The Everest of desert" with the relative altitude level of the sand reaching 500 meters or more. The famous “five wonders” are abrupt rare peaks, singing sand, lakes, magical springs, and temples. Today we will explore the Bandain Jaran Lakes, Bilutu Peak, Xiannv (fairy) Peak and the Badain Jaran Temple. With the vicissitudes of 200 years history, the Badain Jaran Temple reveals the mystery of the religion and the unvarnished simplicity of Mongolian. Tent camping overnight.

Meal: B, L

Bandain Jaran Desert

After breakfast, we will enjoy an oasis tour in the desert -- Nuo'ertu Lake. Integrated majesty, magnificence and elegance into one, dominates the desert skyline. Urban dwellers can feel the harmony between man and nature here, where is the destination of the soul. Then, we will drive to Baoritaolegai, the sand hills are approaching 200 meters high, when you slide down from the sand hill ridge, the resonance of the sand will make sounds like thunders and the roars of fighter jets, echoing miles away. Even a slight touch can make the sand buzz. At the foot of the mountains, there is a fresh water lake with its calm surface, rippled spring and pleasant gentle breeze made the place a mecca for tourists. After the tour, transfer back to Alxa Youqi.

Meal: B, L

This morning, we will drive to Zhangye and visit the Dafo Temple (Giant Buddha Temple). This 900-year-old temple is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in China. China's largest reclining Buddha is well preserved in this temple. The Zhangye Museum is also located here. The Italian traveler Marco Polo, impressed by the magnificent architecture of the Giant Buddha Temple and by the prosperity of Zhangye city, lived here for more than a year. Magnificent, mysterious, and unique, the Giant Buddha Temple belongs on every visitor's itinerary. Arrive in Zhangye, the rest of time is free for your own exploration.

Meal: B, L

After breakfast, drive to the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park. Marvel at its majestic table mountain terrain, odd-shaped Danxia cliffs, and dynamic, dramatic colors. Get ready for taking some breathtaking photos. Then proceed to Jiayuguan. After arrival, visit Jiayuguan fortress in the afternoon. The fortress is the west end of the Great Wall of Ming Dynasty, and a magnificent, well-preserved military fort of ancient China.

Meal: B, L

Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park

Transfer to Dunhuang in the morning, and visit Yulin Grottoes in Anxi. Yulin Grottoes is the sister grottoes of Mogao grottoes and an important part of Buddhist grottoes art in Dunhuang. You can see stunning flying Apsaras on the wall painting. It has 42 caves, mostly of Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) style. Arrive in Dunhuang and check in your hotel. The rest of time is for your own exploration in the city.

Meal: B, L

Start today’s trip from Singing Sand Dunes & Crescent Moon Lake. Do a light hiking in the desert, and climb up to the top of the dunes. You will be rewarded with the breathtaking view back across the rolling desert sands towards the oasis. After lunch, transfer to visit another highlight of Dunhuang, the Mogao Caves. Mogao Caves are the best known Chinese Buddhist grottoes. You will appreciate a train of exquisite murals inside the caves and understand what they've been through, how they've been preserved and restored. In the evening, have a leisure visit to the Shazhou Night Market and enjoy your dinner here, where is popular among tourists because of its local features.

Meal: B, L, D

Mogao Grottoes

Free time in the morning, you can explore the city by yourself. Pick up from hotel at the appropriated time and transfer to airport or rail station for your next destination. End of your 10-day Silk Road & Badain Jaran Desert Tour.

Meal: B

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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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