the tour from the north China - Beijing with its cultural
treasuries to the inland Xi’an with the Army of Terracotta
Warriors of the first emperor of China to the far north
east of the country. The Silk Road has been more than a
sandy route, on which the caravans hauled from Turkey through
Central Asia to China in the past. It is a symbol for exotic
treasuries and exchange with foreign cultures. On the Silk
Road, the Buddhism and the Islam with their cultural relicts
came to China. You will see these cultural relics on your
journey from the starting point of the Silk Road - Xi’an
to the old, deserted, yet still existing Buddhist monasteries,
to oases, ruins and to flowering gardens, to oriental bazaars,
mosques and to the snow covered Pamir and Tianshan mountains.
Arrival in Beijing. Greetings
by your tour guide and transfer to the hotel. The rest of
the day is at your disposal.
2: Beijing / Xi'an
at the historic Tian'anmen Square (Tian’anmen
Guangchang), the world-famous largest square in Beijing
in the morning. Walk through the Tian’anmen Square Gate
to the palace of the emperor (Gugong), which the Chinese
officials call the Palace Museum (better known as the
Forbidden City) This palace is of the Ming
and Qing time and it is on the UNESCO's World Heritage List.
It is a masterpiece of Chinese palace architecture and it
demonstrates the integration of traditional architecture
in ancient northern China into the art of palace building.
Fly to Xi’an in the afternoon. Transfer to the hotel after
|| Jianguo Hotel****
Make a trip to the
Army of TerraCotta Warriors. The excavations are
located close to the subsurface tomb system of the first
emperor of China. Besides thousands of life-size TerraCotta
Warriors and Horses watching over the Tomb, you can see
especially two bronze models of horse carriage and warrior
(Tong Che Ma) from that epoch. The TerraCotta Warriors,
the bronze models and the tombs are on the UNESCO’s World
Heritage List. Afterwards visit the Big Wild Goose
Pagoda (Da Yan Ta) in the Dacien temple built in
652 A.D., which is considered as Xi'an’s landmark.
4: Xi'an / Lanzhou
History Museum (Shaanxi Lishi Bowuguan), one of
the most beautiful museums in China in the morning,. You
can get the best overview of Chinese history, starting from
Palaeolithic era to the end of the Emperor Era. Take a walk
at the Xi’an City Walls, or you can ride
a bike there. Transfer to the train station and go to Lanzhou
by train in a first class sleeping wagon.
5: Lanzhou / Xiahe
Arrival in Lanzhou in
the morning. Have a short break and breakfast. Enjoy the
beautiful landscape and old villages on the way to Xiahe
by minibus. Xiahe is a Tibetan enclave at a height of 3,000
m, which lies at the border to Tibet.
6: Xiahe / Lanzhou / Dunhuang
||International Hotel ***
Visit the Labrang Monastery, one of the
6 ample monasteries of the Gelukpa (Yellow caps) Sect of
the Tibetan Buddhism, which houses 6 large Buddhist colleges.
The monastery was constructed in 1709, the 48th year under
the Qing Emperor Kangxi at the behest of Ganden Erdene Junang,
the Mongolian King of Kokonor. It was built in a mixture
of Tibetan and Han Chinese architecture elements and it
provides accommodation for more than 3,000 monks. Furthermore,
you could get the opportunity to stroll up the numerous
small lanes of the monastery complex, through the pilgrim
path or the neighbouring city Xiahe with the pilgrims. Return
to Lanzhou at noon. And fly to Dunhuang.
||International Hotel ***
Dunhuang, an oasis between
the Gobi and the Taklamakan Desert, was founded in 117 BC
during the Han Dynasty as a military post in the war to
control the Silk Road. Thanks to the Dang River, which is
fed by the glaciers of the Qilian Mountains in Dunhang,
wheat, cotton, sweet corns, fruits and vegetables can be
cultivated. Go for a ramble through the centre of the city,
the bazaar and the museum, you can get
the first impression of Dunhuang. In the late afternoon,
when the sunlight is particularly delightful, travel to
Singing Sand mountains (Mingsha Shan) at
the border of the desert. The name comes from the sound,
produced when the wind moves the sand. Close to the dunes
is a wellspring, which generates the half-moon shaped
Crescent Moon Lake (Yueyaquan).
8: Dunhuang / Turfan
Visit the Mogao
Grottos (4th - 9th AD). They were carved on different
levels in the cliffy waterside of the Dachuan river, about
25 km south east of the city. There are more than 2000 figures,
which were hewn from the cliff, covered with clay and painted.
Moreover, about 45,000 ㎡ of mural paintings and thousands
of manuscripts in numerous languages were found there. They
are the proofs of peaceful cultural exchange with other
countries over the centuries. Unfortunately, they are now
distributed in several museums all over the world. Among
the former 1000 grottos, 482 are preserved today. Every
year only 30 are authorized for visits. The Mogao Grottos
are not only the largest, but also the best preserved Buddhist
cave temples in the world. They are on the UNESCO’s World
Heritage List since 1987. In the evening go to Turfan by
train in a first class sleeping wagon.
||Oasis Hotel ***
in Turfan in the early morning. Transfer to the hotel. The
Turfan oasis is at the base of the Tianshan Mountain in
the east of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The oasis
is at the middle of the Turfan Basin, 154 m below sea level.
The depression was the centre of a flourishing civilization,
in which Indian and Persian cultural elements blended and
were later absorbed by the Uigurs. After breakfast, visit
the Jiaohe Ruins, the capital of a kingdom
during the Han Dynasty. The city was built of clay bricks
on a loam plateau. There you will be surprised by the ingenious
and still working Karez Water Supply System
(also known as the "Ganats system"), which was
developed in the arid regions of Middle Asia and spread
along the Silk Road and it is the basis for the famous grape
valley. It consists of more than one thousand canals, which
lead the water from the 40 km distant Bogda Mountain to
the fields of the Turfan oasis. At last, you will visit
the Emin Minaret (Sugong Ta), a part of
the Sulaiman Mosque. This 44 m high tower is made of clay
bricks and is in geometric and plant patterns. It was built
in 1777 under Emperor Qianlong and it is an excellent example
of Uigur architecture. At last, go for a ramble at the bazaar.
10: Turfan / Kucha
to the legendary Flaming Mountains, red sandstone rocks
at the northern corner of the Turfan basin. The mountains
were made famous by the classic novel Journey to the West.
The ascending hot air above the red rocks in contrast to
the blue sky generates the appearance of mountains on fire.
Afterwards visit the Bezeklik Grottos.
In this region, the first Buddhist Caves in China are situated.
The cave art (e.g. mural paintings) began in the Southern
and Northern Dynasty and ended in the 13th century with
the ingress of Islam. The remains that still exsit today
provide a very interesting insight into the worldwide trade
and cultural exchange of that time. Visit the Gaochang
Ruins near the Flaming Mountains. The city was
founded by the Han Emperor Wudi (141 – 87 BC) and it became
an important center of the Uigur Realm later, but it was
destroyed in the 14th century in the war. In the afternoon
transfer to the train station. Go to Kucha through the Tianshan
Mountain by train in a first class sleeping wagon.
11: Kucha / Kizil / Kucha
Arrival in Kucha, the
political and cultural centre of western China in the period
of prosperity of the Silk Road. After breakfast in the hotel,
visit the Ruins of a large monastery city situated at an
impressing river landscape at the foot of Tianshan Mountain.
Then you will see the highest Beacon Tower along
the Silk Road and the Kizil Thousand
Buddha Cave. Go there through a marvellous canyon
landscape of Tianshan Mountain. The grottos are carved into
an about 1 km long scarp along the Muzati River. The oldest
of the former over 200 grottos were formed in the third
century. Therefore, they are the oldest Buddhist Cave Temples
in China. Return to Kucha afterwards.
12: Kucha / Taklamakan / Minfeng (Niya)
A long and exciting journey
awaits you today. Go from North to South across the Taklamakan
Desert on the Oil Road - the Taklamakan Desert Highway,
which was built to open up crude oil sources. The Taklamakan
Desert is the largest cohesive sandy desert (By comparison,
only 20 % of the Sahara Desert is covered by sand). Cross
the Tarim River through its famous gallery forests in the
midst of the desert and enter the more than 400 km wide
“ocean” of sand dunes, which towers up to 200 m. You will
be charmed by the undescribable beauty of the dune landscape,
which changes its formation again and again, the lines of
light and shadow narrowed to the simplest and the particularly
enchanting sentiment of the desert. In the evening, reach
the Minfeng (Niva) oasis at the southern boarder of the
13: Minfeng / Yutian / Hotan
Go to Yutian (Keriya)
by bus. You can see restaurants, cookshops, bakeries, dentists,
mills, lanes of the Old Town and houses made of clay and
boughs at the main street there, where time seems to stand
still. After having enjoyed the atmosphere, travel forward
to Hotan (Hetian).
The old kingdom Hotan
at the southern route of the Silk Road was a symbol for
the wealthiness in the ancient period. It was the most important
distributor and emporium for jade, silk and carpets. Visit
the Old Town and the bazaar with oriental mediaeval appearing
hurly-burly of life and homesteads, where silk fabrics and
mulberry paper are produced in the same practices as 2,000
years ago. Then you can go for a Jade Search in the “ White
Jade River” and visit a jade carving establishment.
15: Hotan / Yarkant / Kashgar
||Qinibak Friendship Hotel
Go to Kashgar by bus in the morning. You can enjoy the the
Pamir Plateau and the high Kunlun Mountain with the apparently
endless rocky desert in the background on the way. About
noon, you will reach Yarkant, an old Oasis Kingdom between
Kashgar and Hotan. Visit the Mausoleum of the old Yarkant
Kings and the ancient Bazaar all around the Mosque. Arrival
in Kashgar in the late afternoon.
16: Kashgar / Karakorum / Kashgar
||Qinibak Friendship Hotel ***
Make a day trip on the
Pamir Mountains today. Go there through the Karakorum
Highway, which goes from Kashgar to Islamabad. As soon as
you leave Kashgar, you will see the impressing scenery of
the snow covered mountains with the double peaks of the
Kongur Mountain (7719m) and the
Muztagh-Ata Mountain (7546m). And then you will
reach the Karakul Lake at an altitude of
3,600 m. Enjoy the life of the nomads around the lake.
17: Kashgar / Urumqi
||Xinjiang Hotel ****
A city sightseeing with
the Bazaar, the mediaeval appearing craftsmen street and
the Old Town awaits you today. Visit the more than 400 years
old Id Kah Mosque, the largest Mosque in
China today. It is said that there is place for about 10.000
believers. And you will see the Abakh Hoja Tomb,
a masterpiece of Uigur architecture. From the year 1640
on, 72 members of the Abakh hoja Family were buried in 58
graves there. In China, the tomb is also known as that of
the "Fragrant Concubine". In fact, this Uigur
concubine of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty was buried
in the Eastern Qing Tombs close to Beijing, archaeological
research found out. Fly to Urumqi in the evening.
|| Xinjiang Hotel ****
Urumqi is a modern and
lively city. It is the centre of Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous
Region at the northern mountainside of Tianshan Mountain.
After breakfast, visit the Red Mountain,
and from its peak you will get a view of the beautiful city
and the 5445 m high Bogda Mountain in the distance. Then
make a trip to the Heaven Lake, which is
situated at a 1,900 m height, and is surrounded by the snow
covered Tianshan mountain. Enjoy a farewell dinner with
delicacies from the region in the evening.
19: Urumqi / Beijing
Fly to Beijing in the
morning. Transfer to the hotel after the arrival. The afternoon
is at your disposal. Enjoy a traditional Peking Opera in
|Day 20: Beijing
||Best Western ****
Visit the Badaling
Great Wall in the morning. You can climb up to
the wall at a scarped staircase and enjoy the scenery from
above. After lunch, make a walk at the
Summer Palace (Yi He Yuan), the famous
imperial garden, where the Chinese gardening is perfectly
reflected. It is on the UNESCO's World Heritage List. Enjoy
a special meal with Peking duck in the evening.
Transfer to the airport in the morning and fly back home.
End of the travel
L: Lunch D:
|Tour No.: CSR
the Complete Silk Road
For individual groups
room extra charge
room extra charge
If you are a group with more than 5 persons,
you can get more favourable prices. Please note that the
prices may vary due to exchange rate fluctuations (RMB to
USD) slightly. The prices above were computed by the rates
as 1 USD= 7.9 RMB.
Peak season: July, August, September and October
Shoulder season: March, April, May, June, November
Beijing Best Western****
Xi'an Jianguo Hotel****
Labrang Gengzang Hotel***
Dunhuang International Hotel***
Turpan Oasis Hotel***
Minfeng Niya Hotel
Hotan Zhejiang Hotel***
Kashgar Qinibak Friendship Hotel ***
Urumqi Xinjiang Hotel****
-- All overnight accommodation in double rooms shared by
two adults with breakfast.
-- Meals as listed in the itinerary.
-- All transfers and entrance tickets as listed in the itinerary.
-- Inland flight tickets including all fees.
-- Local English-speaking tour guide.
Price does not include:
-- International flight tickets
-- Visa for China
-- Personal expenditures, tips etc.
-- Children less than 12 years old can be given discounts.
-- The hotels, trains and flights listed in the itinerary
may be changed into the ones of similar category if necessary.
-- If you need more information, please contact