18-Day Outstanding Lanzhou Xiahe Xining Zhangye Jiayuguan Dunhuang Turpan Urumqi Kashgar Tour

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18-Day Outstanding Lanzhou Xiahe Xining Zhangye Jiayuguan Dunhuang Turpan Urumqi Kashgar Tour Highlights

  • Explore the important and extraordinary cities along the ancient Silk Road.

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
  • Hotel accommodations (double occupancy basis)
  • Bullet trains from Lanzhou to Xining, Xining to Zhangye, Dunhuang to Turpan (second class)
  • Flight from Urumqi to Kashgar including airport and fuel taxes (economy class)

Services Not Included:

  • International transportation to Lanzhou and out of Kashgar
  • 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 the 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 of 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 sq meter murals. All extended along 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 Xiahe River. The outer wall is as long as 3.5km 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 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 and we will get to the Buddha basking podium on the slope. 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 these amazing 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 delicious food. You can also enjoy horseback riding.

Day 4 Xiahe-Lanzhou-Xining by bullet train

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Enraton International Hotel 4stars or similar

Return to Lanzhou. You will then take a bullet train from Lanzhou to Xining. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel.

Day 5 Xining - Qinghai Lake - Xining by private car

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Enraton International Hotel 4stars or similar

In the morning, you will travel to one of China's largest inland plateau lakes – Qinghai Lake. Move forward along the lake, you will be amazed by the marvelous views of the lake. Drive over the 3000-meter-high Riyue Mountain and pass the road that Wencheng Princess of Tang Dynasty used to come to Tibet. Lastly, reach the Erlang Sword Scenic Area. This is the main scenic area around Qinghai Lake. You will walk along the peninsula and enjoy the views of the lake, or take a boat on the lake. After lunch, drive to the Caka Salt Lake which known as Heavenly Mirror. It is a paradise for photographers. Return to Xining.

Day 6 Xining - Zhangye by bullet train

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Zhangye 4stars or similar

Today, you will travel to Kumbum Monastery. This is one of the six monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, also the birth-place of world's second Buddha of master Caba. This monastery has 640 years of history and is the treasure of Tibetan religion and culture. The architecture mixes Han and Tibetan styles with majestic layout, and magnificent colors. The butter sculptures, murals, and embroidery are considered to be the three main Buddhist skills.

Then you will visit Dongguan Great Mosque. It is now the biggest mosque in Qinghai Province, also one of the biggest in the northwest of China. Its main hall can hold 3000 people. Every Friday is the big day for Xining Muslim. By then, all Muslims in the city will get to the mosque for prayers.

After that, drive to the railway station and take a bullet train to Zhangye. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.

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 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 Dunhuang - Turpan by bullet train

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Turpan Silk Road Lodges 4stars or similar

Head to the railway station and travel for 3.5-4 hours by bullet train to Turpan, a Uygur town in an oasis surrounded by searing desert and towering mountains. The Turpan depression is the second-lowest spot on Earth (only the Dead Sea is lower) at 154 meters (505 feet) below sea level. The Uygur people are a distinctive Turkish-speaking ethnic minority in northwestern China. Islam is the dominant religion for the Uygurs and many other minorities in the region. Upon your arrival, travel to the hotel and settle in.

Day 12 Turpan

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Turpan Silk Road Lodges 4stars or similar

Begin today’s sightseeing at the Gaochang Ruins, which reveals traces of a prosperous ancient Silk Road trading center and Chinese military stronghold dating from 100 B.C. Take an excursion to the Beziklik Caves, which attest to the flourishing of Buddhism in western China before Islam became the dominant religion in the 15th century. Stop at the Flaming Mountains, a fascinating and colorful geological phenomenon. Turpan is famous throughout China for its large sweet grapes. A visit to the Grape Valley gives you the opportunity to walk through the shady vineyards, stop by homes of Uygur farmers, and go down into Karez Wells, an ingenious underground irrigation system that has been efficiently keeping all the crops alive with snow melt water in the scorching summer heat for millennia.

Day 13 Turpan - Urumqi by private car

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, you will visit the site of the ancient Jiaohe City built on a strategic high ground over 2,000 years ago; the remains of some structures are still standing, and the iconic Emin Minaret, the tallest Islamic structure in China. Then you will be driven to Urumqi. A geographic superlative, Urumqi is the most inland city on earth. It lies 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) from the nearest ocean.

Day 14 Urumqi

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Oasis Grand Hotel  4stars or similar

Today’s excursion will take you out of the city of Urumqi to the beautiful Heavenly Lake set among the alpine peaks of Tianshan Mountain. The snowcapped Mount Bogda (5,445 meters or 17,900 feet) is reflected in the clear water of the lake. You have the opportunity to take a pleasant hike along the trails and visit a yurt home of the local Kazakh herdsmen. There are about one and a half million ethnic Kazakh people living in northwestern China. Return to Urumqi for the night.

Day 15 Urumqi-Kashgar by plane

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Tianyuan International Hotel Kashgar 4stars or similar

Today you will visit the Erdaoqiao Muslim Market for true enjoyment of the senses, and then the Xinjiang Museum to view the famous Caucasian featured “Loulan Mummies”, buried and preserved over 2000 years ago. Then you will be driven to the airport and fly to Kashgar.

Day 16 Kashgar 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Tianyuan International Hotel Kashgar 4stars or similar

Kashgar is home to one of the world’s largest and oldest outdoor markets, the Kashgar Sunday Bazaar. Thousands of donkey carts, tractors, trucks, horses, sheep, and people from around the region congregate each Sunday to trade in Kashgar’s fairground. Uygur, Hui, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Tajik, Han, and Pakistani merchants all ply their unique cultural wares. After your exploration in the market, go to visit the Id Kah Mosque, largest in Xinjiang, and the Old Town Area, where small alleys run through traditional neighborhoods and streets are lined with vendor stands, craft shops, and small restaurants. Next, visit the Cemetery of Abakh Hoja, the richest and most influential man in the region in the late 17th century, and whose great-granddaughter was believed to be the “Fragrant Concubine” of Emperor Qianlong. Later, visit the Tomb of Yusup Hazi Hajup, an accomplished Uygur poet and philosopher in the 11th century.

Day 17 Kashgar 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Tianyuan International Hotel Kashgar 4stars or similar

Today’s excursion takes you into the lofty Pamir Mountains, some of the world’s highest. First, stop by the small town of Upal for a tour of its active market. Then visit the Tomb of Mahmud Kashgari (1008-1105 A.D.) a prominent Uygur scholar and creator of the first comprehensive dictionary of the Turkic language. Continue driving up along the fabled Karakorum Highway passing stunning views of high mountains and deep canyons. Arrive at the Karakuri Lake for a breathtaking walk along the shore and behold the extraordinary glacier peaks of Muztagh Ata and Kongur which soar over 24,000 feet into the sky. Return to Kashgar by the evening and spend the third night in this most exotic Silk Road city.

Day 18 Depart from Kashgar 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: NA

Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. Thus, the end of your spectacular tour