the tour along the Silk Road from the inland China - Beijing
and Xi’an with their cultural treasuries to the deserts
and the snow-covered mountains in the north west 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,
through the Gansu (Hexi) passage to the Buddhist grottos
in Dunhuang and to the oasis and the modern city in the
desert - Urumqi. Besides Buddhist and Islamic arts and culture,
you will get to know the ancient Karez water supply system
at the oasis as well as the amazing landscape.
Arrival in Beijing. Greetings
by the tour guide and transfer to the hotel. After lunch,
visit Beijing’s landmark - the Temple of Heaven.
It is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, since it
is a unique expression of the Chinese concept of the relationship
between heaven and earth.
Go to the Badaling Great Wall by minibus in the
morning. You can climb it and enjoy the scenery from above.
After lunch, visit the Summer Palace (Yi
He Yuan), which was the residence park of the emperor, where
the art of Chinese gardening is perfectly reflected. It
is on the UNESCO's World Heritage List.
3: Beijing / Xi’an
Take a walk at the historic
Tian'anmen Square (Tian'anmen Guangchang),
the biggest 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, too. 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. Afterwards you will visit
the Lama Temple (Yong He gong), one of the largest
and most beautiful temples in Beijing. It is a successful
mixture of Han, Man, Mongolian and Tibetan culture and architecture.
In the late afternoon, transfer to the train station and
go to Xi'an by train in a first class sleeping wagon.
Arrival in Xi’an in the morning. Transfer to the hotel and
breakfast. Visit the Army of TerraCotta Warriors,
which is on the UNESCO's world heritage list. The excavations
are located close to the subsurface tomb system of the first
emperor of China. Beside thousands of life-size Terra-Cotta
Warriors and Horses watching over the Tomb, you can see
especially two bronze models of horse carriage and warrior
(Tong Che Ma). Afterwards return to the city and 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
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
Paleolithic era to the end of the Emperor Era. Afterwards
visit the Muslim old town with numerous markets and
the Great Mosque (Qingzhen SI), which is built
in the typical Chinese temple architectural style. You can
go for a walk along the Xi’an City Wall,
if time permits. In the evening, transfer to the train station
and go to Dunhuang by train in a first class sleeping wagon.
|| International Hotel***
Enjoy the amazing desert landscape along
the Hexi Passage, an about 1000 km long
valley at the northern border of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
on the way. In the late afternoon, arrival in Dunhuang.
Greetings by the local tour guide and transfer to the hotel.
Dunhuang is one of the most important stations of the ancient
Silk Road. It is a more than 2000 years old oasis between
the Gobi desert and the Taklamakan desert and it enables
the cultivation of wheat, sweet corns, cotton, fruits and
vegetables, thanks to the melted water of the distant glaciers.
Travel to Singing Sand mountains (Mingsha Shan)
at the border of the desert today. 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). Because
of the geological features and the wind circulation, the
lake is never buried by sand.
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.
That's why Dunhuang is called “The pearl of the Buddhist
cave temples”. 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.
Arrival 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. 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.
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.
At the Astana Graves (Astana: Uigur for capital), which
is close to the ruins, the tombs from the western Jin to
the Tang era are situated. You would see mummies (due to
the dry and hot climate) and well preserved mural paintings
there. 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. Go to Urumqi by bus
and then fly to Kashgar. Greetings by the tour guide and
transfer to the hotel after the arrival.
Make a day trip on
the Pamir Plateau 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.
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. A very interesting part
of our program is the visit of Sunday Market
(Actually, it takes place at almost every day), a meeting
point for salesmen and purchasers from the near and wider
surroundings, which is deemed to be one of the largest markets
of the Orient. There are more than 1,000 sales booths, where
you can find nearly everything that is connected to the
Uigur everyday life: Handiwork, clothing, agricultural products
as well as animals like horses, camels and sheep…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.
|| Qianmen Hotel***(*)
In the morning, transfer
to the airport and fly to Beijing. After the arrival, greetings
by your tour guide and transfer to the hotel. The rest of
the day is at your disposal.
Transfer to the airport
in the morning and fly back home.
End of the travel.
B: Breakfast L: Lunch
Beautiful 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
Peak season: July, August, September and October
Shoulder season: March, April, May, June, November
Beijing Qianmen Hotel***(*)
Xi'an Jianguo Hotel****
Dunhuang International Hotel***
Turpan Oasis 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.
-- The prices do not apply to the Spring Festival, the Labors’
Day Holiday (30th April. –7th May) and the National
Day Holiday (30th Sep.–7th Oct.).
-- If you want to change the itinerary, please contact