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Beautiful Silk Road: Beijing-Xi'an-Dunhuang-Turfan-Urumqi-Kashgar-
Urumqi-Beijing (15 days)

Enjoy 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.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Beijing L Qianmen Hotel***(*)

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.

Day 2: Beijing B/L Qianmen Hotel***(*)

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.

Day 3: Beijing / Xi’an B/L Train

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.

Day 4: Xi'an B/L Jianguo Hotel****

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 landmark.

Day 5: Xi'an/Dunhuang B/L Train

Visit Shaanxi 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.

Day 6: Dunhuang   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.

Day 7: Dunhuang B/L International Hotel***

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.

Day 8: Dunhuang/Turfan B/L Train

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.

Day 9: Turfan B/L Oasis Hotel***

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.

Day 10: Turfan/Urumqi/Kashgar B/L Qinibak Hotel***

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.

Day 11: Kashgar B/L Qinibak Hotel***

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.

Day 12: Kashgar/Urumqi B/L Xinjiang Hotel****

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.

Day 13: Urumqi B/L 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.

Day 14: Urumqi/Beijing B 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.

Day 15 : Beijing B  

Transfer to the airport in the morning and fly back home.
End of the travel.


B: Breakfast        L: Lunch         D: Dinner

Tour No.: BSR
Beautiful Silk Road

For individual groups

Number of participants

Peak season

Single room extra charge
Shoulder season
Single room extra charge
book
2-5 Pers.
1925 USD
290 USD
1865 USD
250 USD


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


The Hotels:
Beijing Qianmen Hotel***(*)
Xi'an Jianguo Hotel****
Dunhuang International Hotel***
Turpan Oasis Hotel***
Kashgar Qinibak Friendship Hotel ***
Urumqi Xinjiang Hotel****


Price includes:
-- 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.

Note:
-- 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 us.

 

 

 

China Intensive

•Scenery and Culture
•China Panorama
•South China and the   Yangtze
•China Highlights
•China Discovery
•Trekking tour
•Biking tour
•Beautiful Silk Road
•the Complete Silk   Road
•Camel Ride across the   Taklamakan Desert
•Tibet and the Yangtze
•Budget Tour 1
•Budget Tour 2
•Budget Tour 3
•Learning Kong Fu in   Shaolin Temple
•China with Taijiquan
•Taijiquan and Sunbath   Vacation
•Tibet Discovery
•Shangri La Adventure
•F1 Shanghai

 
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