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11-Day Essence of China Silk Road Tour

Route: Xi’an – Dunhuang – Turpan – Urumqi – Kashgar – Karakorum Highway – Tashkurgan – Kashgar

Activities: Mystery awaits those who want to uncover it. Our 11 days Essence of China Silk Road Tour designed to help you experience the culture and custom of ancient civilization by visiting the major towns on the China Silk Road by following the trails of the ancient caravans.

Day 01

Place & Transport: Arrival to Xian

Today’s Activities: Airport to Hotel Transfer

Place to Stay: Xi’an

Day 02

Place & Transport: Xi’an Tour

Today’s Activities: Terracotta Army, Ancient Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi’an City Wall

  • Terracotta Army
  • Terracotta Army
  • City Wall

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. On returning to Xi’an city, we will visit the Ancient Wild Goose Pagoda built in 648A.D. To finish the day we will visit the City wall of Xi’an .

Day 03

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

Today’s Activities: 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, a small oasis found on the edge of the city surrounded by Taklimakan Desert and high sand dunes. We will visit the singing sand dunes and 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, Evening 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 Han Dynasty Great Wall dating from the from the 1st Century BC

Following dinner 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 Tour

Today’s Activities: Gaochang Ancient City, Astana Ancient Tombs, Tuyuk Village

  • 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 Village. 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 then Drive Back to Urumqi

Today’s Activities: Jiaohe Ancient City, Karez 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 Karez underground water system, with a total length of 3100 miles and dating back more than 2000 years. Following this we will visit Jiaohe ancient 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).

Day 07

Place & Transport: Urumqi Tour & Flight to Kashgar

Today’s Activities: Xinjiang Museum

Place to Stay: Kashgar

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 that we will visit the Erdaoqiao grand Bazaar which can be the symble of Xinjiang area. We will then take an afternoon flight to Kashgar.

Day 08

Place & Transport: Kashgar to Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan

Today’s Activities: Karakoram Highway, Opal Village, Red Mountain, Corner Lake & Sand Mountain,Mt. Muztagh Ata & Mt.Konger, Karakul Lake

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

Place to Stay: Tashkorgan.

Drive on Karakoram Highway (An epic road to travel.) Karakul Lake is located southwest of Kashgar, and 200km from Kashgar. You will have chance to do some trekking around the lake which is 3600ms above sea level. Karakul Lake is located at the foot of Muztag Ata (7546m). The people living around the lake are Kyrgyz people, will have chance to visit the Kyrgyz yurts and learn about the nomadic mountain life of Kyrgyz people. In the afternoon drive to Taskorgan.


Day 09

Place & Transport: Tashkorgan to Kashgar

Today’s Activities: Stone City, Tajik Family Visiting

  • Tashkorgan Stone City
  • Tashkorgan Stone City

Place to Stay: Urumqi

Visit the Stone city in Tashkorgan. It was once the palace of the Tajik kingdom. You will have a chance to look around the town and visit Tajik family to see the Traditional life of the Tajik people on the Pamir Plateau and the beautiful scenery of the Pamir Mountains. Drive back to Kashgar in the afternoon

Day 10

Place & Transport: Kashgar City Tour

Today’s Activities: Sunday Market, Id Kah Mosque, Apak Hoja Tomb, Old Town, Handcraft Street.

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

Place to stay: Urumqi

We will begin our tour of Kashgar City by visiting the Apak Hoja tomb which is a very tranquil place and a beautiful example of Uyghur Islamic architecture.

Next we will head to the Infamous lively Sunday market renowned 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.

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. Take an evening flight to Urumqi.


Day 11

Place & Transport: Kashgar Fly Out

Today’s Activities: Kashgar Airport Transfer

After breakfast we will take you to the airport for your respective onward journeys.