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10-Day Silk Road Experience Tour

 Route: Xi’an – Dunhuang – Turpan -Tashkurgan – Kashgar – Urumqi

Activities: This 10 days Silk Road Experience Tour designed to help you to get most out of your short visit to the ancient Silk Road. 10 days is fairly short for learning and exploring the Silk Road of China but this tour helps you to make most out of your short visit to the ancient Silk Road of China.

Day 1

Place & Transport:Flight from Beijing to Xi’an then Xi’an Tour

Today’s Activities: Take a morning flight From Beijing to Xi’an, Muslim quarter, Ancient Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall

  • City Wall

Place to stay: Xi’an

We will take a morning flight From Beijing to Xi’an.

On arrival we will visit the Muslim quarter of the city. It is a 500 meters long avenue paved by bluestones are dotted with many unique stall, souvenir shop, café and bars which are mostly run by Muslim people. After lunch we will visit the Ancient Wild Goose Pagoda built in 648A.D. It is A major Buddhist site, the simple, elegant brick Pagoda stands in the grounds of the attractive Temple. To finish the day we will visit the City Wall of Xi’an. Is one of the oldest and most complete city defenses still around. You can walk, rent a bike, rickshaw or take an electric cart around the full 14km circuit, with great views of the city on either side.

Day 02

Place & Transport:Xi’an Tour

Today’s Activities: Terracotta Army, Shanxi Regional Museum

  • Terracotta Army
  • Terracotta Army

Place to stay: Xi’an

After Breakfast we will take an hour drive out to visit the amazing Terracotta Army. Here we will have the chance to see 8,000 life sized terracotta warriors and horses that were unearthed in 1974. The Terracotta Warriors and Horses isincredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin’s tomb since 210BC. Each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits which are protected inside huge hangars. There is also an excellent museum and film about the history of the vaults.

On returning to Xi’an city we will visit the Shanxi regional Museum which includes four major galleries in large, Tang-style buildings house a vast and impressive collection, beautifully displayed.

Day 03

Place & Transport:Flight from Xi’an to DunHuang then DunHunag Tour

Today’s Activities: Morning flight from Xi’an to Dunhuang, Crescent Moon Lake, singing sand dunes

  • Echoing sand dunes
  • Crescent Moon Spring

Place to stay: Dunhuang

After Breakfast we will take a morning flight from Xi’an to Dunhuang.After lunch we will take a trip to the Crescent Moon Lake, it is 6km south of Dunhuang in the Singing Sands Mountains and is quite literally an oasis in the desert. The spring’s name derives from the crescent moon shape taken by the small pool of spring water between two large sand dunes. Although the area is very dry, the pool doesn’t dry up as one might expect. You will have the opportunity to sledge down the dunes, to ride a camel, or walk around at your will.

Day 04

Place & Transport:Dunhuang Tour, Overnight  train to Turpan

Today’s Activities: Mogao Grotto’s, Han Dynasty Great Wall

  • Mogao Caves
  • Han Dynasty Great Wall

Place to stay: On Train (soft sleeper)

We will spend the morning visiting the impressive cave system of the Mogao Grotto’s. These are the most famous caves in China containing thousands of drawings and statues from the Tang Dynasty and sheltering one of the most significant treasures of early Buddhist art in China. In the afternoon we will visit the Great wall of the Han dynasty which was build for defending the nomadic Xiongnu during the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD).

After that we will head to the Dunhuang (LiuYuan) railway station and take the night express, comfortable air conditioned sleeper train to Turpan.

Day 05

Place & Transport:Turpan Railway Station Transfer to Turpan then Turpan Tour

Today’s Activities: Ancient city of Gaochang, Astana Ancient Tombs, Tuyuk Valley

  • Gaochang Ancient City
  • Astana Ancient Tombs
  • Tuyuk Village

Place to stay: Turpan

We will arrive to Turpan in the morning and transfer to your hotel where we will have breakfast waiting for us. In the morning we will visit the ancient city of Gaochang, ancient City dating from the 1st Century AD. Following this we will see the Astana Ancient Tombs, also known as capital tombs and underground museum of Xinjiang where many important writings, paintings and mummies have been discovered. We will have lunch in the beautiful Tuyuk Valley.  Here the most traditional Uyghur life can be seen with the people living in traditional homes made of mud.

Day 06

Place & Transport:Turpan Tour, Drive from Turpan to Urumqi, Flight from Urumqi to Kashgar

Today’s Activities: Jiao he City, Kariz Underground Water System, Emin Minaret

  • Kariz Underground Water System
  • Jiaohe Ancient City
  • Emin Minaret

Place to stay: Kashgar

In the morning we will visit China’s third most important ancient engineering feat the Kariz underground water system, with a total length of 3100 miles and dating back more than 2000 years. Following this we will visit Jiao he City, the oldest, largest, highest ancient city built of mud in the World. Emin Minaret was built in 1777, it is the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang and it is the   only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China).

We will then drive to Urumqi where we will take a evening flight to Kashgar.

Day 07

Place & Transport:Kashgar to Karakul Lake

Today’s Activities:  Karakoram Highway,Oytagh colorful mountain,Corner lake,Mt. Muztagh Ata (7546m) Mt. Konger  (7719), Kyrgyz Family

  • Karakoram Highway
  • Corner Lake
  • Mt. Muztagh Ata
  • Karakul Lake

Place to stay: Karakul Lake

We will leave Kashgar in the morning and travel down the infamous “Karakoram Highway” one of these most beautiful roads in the World.  We will make stops at Opal village, Red Mountain, Corner LakeKarakul Lake is a breathtaking high altitude lake at 3600 meters above sea level. It is located between the towering Muztagh and Konger Mountains, both rising over 7000 meters and permanently snowcapped.  The lake is inhabited during the summer months by nomadic Kyrgyz people who live inside Yurts.  We will visit the Yurts going inside one to drink some local yak milk tea whilst listening to stories about traditional ways of nomadic mountain life. We will enjoy a picnic lunch beside the lake. In the afternoon there will be time to walk around the lake or ride horses, donkeys or camels along its shores.

We will overnight at Karakul Lake in one of the traditional Yurts (best to come well prepared with warm clothes).

Day 08

Place & Transport: Karakul Lake to Tashkurgan then back to Kashgar

Today’s Activities: Tashkorgan, Stone Fort, Tashkorgan Grassland, Tajik Family

  • Tashkorgan Stone City
  • Tashkorgan Grassland

Place to stay: Kashgar

After breakfast we will leave the lake and drive for around an hour and a half to reach Tashkorgan.This is an interesting small Tajik town located on the Pamir Plateau. This area was extremely isolated until the rebuilding of the Karakoram highway in 1987 and even today it retains certain uniqueness with the local community still living in a very traditional fashion. We will take a walk through Tashkurgan Grassland where you will encounter local Tajik people going about their daily herding lives. From the Grasslands we can take great photographs of the ancient 1400 year old “Stone Fort”, a central palace of the Tajik kingdom, set in the scenic backdrop of the Pamir Mountains. We have an early lunch in downtown Tashkorgan and then drive back to Kashgar by dinner time.

Day 09

Place & Transport:Kashgar City tour

Today’s Activities: Apak Hoja tomb, Sunday market, Old Town, Id Kah Mosque, Handicraft Street

  • Kashgar Apak Hoja Tomb
  • Kashgar Sunday Market
  • Kashgar Old Town
  • Kashgar Id Kah Mosque
  • Kashgar Handicraft Street

Place to stay: Kashgar

We will begin our tour of Kashgar City by visiting the Apak Hoja Tomb. This is a very tranquil place and a beautiful example of Uyghur Islamic architecture.Next we will head to the Infamous lively Sunday marketrenowned as the biggest market in Central Asia. It is said you can buy anything you want from the Sunday market except chicken milk and Cow eggs.We will then enjoy lunch in a typical Uyghur restaurant. After lunch we will wander through the narrow winding streets of the historic old town brushing shoulders with the friendly Uyghur residents. Located at the spiritual heart of Old town is Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China.  We will go inside and have the chance to understand a bit more about the Islamic life of the Uyghur people. We will pass down Handicraft Street where we can view pots being hammered, wood craftsmen at work and traditional musical instrument workshops.

Note: For entering the Mosque visitors should dress respectfully, no shorts or short sleeved shirts and women should cover their heads with a scarf.

After dinner we will take an evening flight to Urumqi.

Day 10

Place & Transport: Urumqi sight seeing and onward flights

Today’s Activities: Xinjiang Museum

After breakfast we will visit the extensive Xinjiang Museum. It is a large integrated museum, holding all key artifacts and cultural relics central to Xinjiang region and the Silk Road. The museum is famous for its rich collections of silk artifacts dating from many periods throughout history. The museum also contains several mummies some of them dating back 4000 years, which can easily rival those found in Egypt.  After lunch we will take you to the airport for your respective onward journeys.

Note: Guests will need to carry their passports on this tour as they will be required to show these at the Gaz check point on days 07 and 08.