11-Day Sensational Lanzhou Xiahe Zhangye Badain Jaran Desert Jiayuguan Dunhuang Tour

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11-Day Sensational Lanzhou Xiahe Zhangye Badain Jaran Desert Jiayuguan Dunhuang Tour Highlights

  • Visit Binglingsi Grottoes, Labrang Monastery, Zhangye Rainbow Mountains, Badain Jaran Desert, Jiayuguan Pass and Mogao Caves.

Price Per Person: available upon request

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Services Included:

  • Entrance fees to tourist sites as specified in the itinerary
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (B=Buffet breakfast at the hotel, L=Chinese lunch, D=Chinese dinner)
  • Experienced English-speaking guide
  • Private car and driver for transfers
  • Bullet train from Lanzhou to Zhangye
  • Hotel accommodations (double occupancy basis)

Services Not Included:

  • International transportation to Lanzhou and out of Dunhuang
  • China visa
  • Personal expenses such as excess luggage charge (please verify your flight documentation), beverages, laundry services, etc.
  • Tips or gratuities to local driver and guide

Book Now!

Interested in booking this tour or customizing it to fit your needs? Fill out this quick form!


100% privacy -- we will never spam you.

BOOK BY PHONE:

1-888-373-6882

  • Groups allowed
  • Tour guides

Tour Schedule by Day


Day 1 Arrive in Lanzhou

Meals: N/A

Accommodation: Legend Hotel Lanzhou 4stars or similar

Upon arrival in Lanzhou, the capital city of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, transfer to hotel.

Day 2 Lanzhou-Binglingsi Grottoes-Xiahe by private car

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Tianzhu International Hotel 4stars or similar

After breakfast, head for Liujiaxia for 1.5 hours. There you will take a cruise to Binglingsi Grottoes. This is one of the important historical relics left on the Silk Road.

Created in 3 A.D. on the north cliff of the Yellow River, the grottoes are now a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Silk Road, applied by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in 2014. The grottoes have four levels and 183 caves, 694 stone statues and 82 mud statues and 900 sqm murals. All extend on the 200 meters long and 60 meters high cliff. Among them, the No. 169 cave is a natural cave and also the most important one.

After visiting the grottoes, you will continue to travel to Xiahe, a small town whose residents are mostly Tibetans.

Day 3 Xiahe 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Tianzhu International Hotel 4stars or similar

After breakfast, you will explore the Labrang Monastery. This is one of the main temples of Tibetan Buddhism. It belongs to the Gelug Sect. It’s also a famous school of Tibetan Buddhism with the most complete Tibetan Buddhist teaching system. The monastery is located at the bank of the Xiahe River. The outer wall is  3.5 km long. and consists of more than 2000 prayer wheels. It is the longest prayer wheel corridor. The Gongtang Pagoda next to it has the Wuliangguang Buddha invited from Nepal. Here we can have the whole panoramic view of the Labrang Monastery. Outside the pagoda, walk by the wooden bridge on Xiahe River. This is also a good spot to view the monastery.

There are grand chanting ceremonies at 6:30 and 11:00 every day in Labrang monastery. Every lunar month Jan 3rd to 17th, Jun 29th, Jul 15th, we can participate in or watch the big events.

After that, you will go to the Sangke Prairie to visit a local Tibetan family, where you will have Tibetan yogurt and other local food. You can also enjoy horseback riding.

Day 4 Xiahe-Lanzhou-Zhangye by bullet train

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Zhangye 4stars or similar

Return to Lanzhou. And you will take a bullet train to Zhangye. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.

Day 5 Zhangye-Alxa Right Banner by private car 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Shangshiyuan Hotel or similar

Today you will visit the Giant Buddha Temple which houses a 35-meter-long reclining Buddha statue made around 1100 during the Western Xia and Song dynasty. After that, you will visit the Wooden Pagoda which was built in early 557-588 A.D. of the Northern Zhou Dynasty. After that, you will be driven to Alxa Right Banner.

Day 6 Alxa Right Banner-Badain Jaran Desert-Zhangye by private car

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Zhangye 4stars or similar

We will drive you to the desert which is about 1.5 hours drive. Badain Jaran Desert is known as the most beautiful desert in China, also the third largest desert in the world with an area of over 49,000 square kilometers. Badain Jaran literally means "mysterious lakes" in Mongolian. As the name suggests, there are around 140 lakes of different sizes dotting in the desert among the gigantic sand dunes.

At the entrance of the desert, you will change into a land cruiser which will take you into the desert to visit famous spots such as the Sacred Temple, Birutu Sand Dune which is the highest sand dune on earth, and desert lakes, etc.

Finally, drive back to Zhangye.

Day 7 Zhangye - Jiayuguan by private car

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Plaza Holiday Inn 4stars or similar

Today you will explore the Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye Danxia Geopark, known for its unusual colorful rock formations. You will also visit the Danxia landform in Binggou Park.

Then drive to Jiayuguan.

Day 8 Jiayuguan 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Plaza Holiday Inn 4stars or similar

This morning, you will travel to Jiayuguan Pass, one of the best-preserved passes in China as well as the largest pass on the ancient Great Wall. It is the western end of the Ming Dynasty portion of the Great Wall of China. Then you will visit the Overhanging Great Wall and the Tombs of Wei and Jin Dynasties with murals.

Day 9 Jiayuguan-Dunhuang by private car

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: The Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel 4stars or similar

Drive to Dunhuang. In the afternoon, you will explore the Dunhuang Museum and the famous Shazhou Night Market.

Day 10 Dunhuang

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: The Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel 4stars or similar

Today, you explore the fascinating Buddhist art at the Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, carved into cliffs facing the desert. For well over one thousand years from the Wei to Ming dynasties, Buddhist monks and devotees poured tremendous amounts of money and effort into creating this treasure-house of fascinating Buddhist art with thousands of murals, sculptures, carvings, and reliefs. Unfortunately, many of these treasures were looted and taken away by European “explorers” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A research institute was set up on-site in the 1970s to catalog, study, and protect these precious ancient artworks.

In the afternoon, visit the incongruous Crescent Spring Lake, a spring-fed pool situated within the huge Singing Sand Dunes of the Gobi Desert. You have the opportunity to enjoy a camel ride up the sand dunes.

Day 11 Depart from Dunhuang

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Grand Noble Hotel Xian 4stars or similar

Enjoy free time before being transferred to the airport and fly to your next destination. Thus, the end of this spectacular tour.