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Silk Road

Silk Road

8 Days Silk Road

Price: From 925 $

Tour Code: GGT0054

Briefing
Silk Road tours were designed by follow the ancient trade route linking east and west since the first millennium. From its starting point in Xian, the ancient capital, the Silk Road tracks west through Gansu province and Xinjiang province. Along the way you can visit the trading centers of Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan and Urumqi and witness the bazaars and culture of the Uighur minority. This Silk Road travel takes you through rugged landscapes to distant cities that are quite different from the eastern metropolises. You will catch a glimpse how east and west met hundreds of years ago.

Service
Private English-speaking Guide. Private Car / Van service along the trip

Itinerary

Day 01 Lan Zhou Arrival – Overnight train to Jiayuguan Pass (L)
The guide and the driver will meet you at the airport/train station then enjoy a short city tour including the Bridge of the Yellow River. Enjoy a local favor – Lanzhou Noodles

Transfer to the railway station and board on the overnight train to the Jiayuguan Pass.

Day 02 Jiayuguan Pass (B)
The Jiayuguan Great Wall PassBreakfast

The guide will meet you at the railway station then drive to visit the Jiayuguan Great Wall Pass zone.

The Jiayuguan Great Wall Pass was one of great strategic importance. The existing Jiayuguan Pass walls were built in the time of Ming Dynasty. The construction of these walls began in 1372. It was not until 1539 that they became a complete defense system, which had three defense lines, the entrenchment, the outer wall, and the inner wall

Overhanging Great Wall was built as an extension of Jiayuguan Fortress and its original length used to be 1.5 kilometers, while width is around five meters. Made out of local gravel and yellow dirt and being built layer over layer, it consisted of the main path, the battlements and three watchtowers and was paved with three layers of brick. Unfortunately this material was weak against extreme weather conditions, as well as enemy attacks, so a big part of the wall has been damaged with only 750 meters surviving up to date.

The Fresco Tombs of Wei and Jin Dynasty is only 20 kilometers away from the city of Jiayuguan, precisely between Xincheng (Jiayuguan’s suburbs) and Dingjazha (Jiuquan’s suburbs). First discovered in 1972, the tombs’ site covers an area of more than 30 square kilometers and is believed to hold around 1600 tombs.

Overnight at Jiayuguan Pass

Day 03 Jiayuguan Pass - Dunhuang (B)
Breakfast

On the morning the guide will meet you at the hotel then drive to Dunhuang. It takes about 4 hours to reach the destination.

The Mingsha Sand Dune is 5 kilometers south of the Dunhuang city. The sand mountain is famous for its flute-like sounds in the gale, thus its name Mingsha as "Loud Sand" in English. Accumulated by quicksand, it lies along the south of Dunhuang City like a sleeping dragon. Looking from further away, the mountain is full of rolling braes as if being carved delicately forming such breathtaking scenery.

Overnight at Dunhuang

Day 04 Dunhuang – Mogao Grottoes - Turpan (B)
Mogao GrottoesBreakfast
Morning visit to the well-known Mogao Grottoes

Mogao Grottoes, inarguably the greatest treasure-trove of Buddhist art found in a single locality anywhere in the world, comprises numerous temples and shrines containing countless sculptures, murals and manuscripts. Dunhuang, initially only a stopover point - albeit, an important one - on the Silk Road, quickly became  a Buddhist learning center, where Buddhist sutras and other Buddhist texts were translated into Mandarin, to be spread from there to other cities throughout China.

The grottoes are carved out of the sandstone cliffs of Mingsha Mountain, and extend some 1600 meters from north to south. These grottoes were constructed over a period of a thousand years, from the 4th to the 14th century CE. The remaining Mogao Grottoes (only a little more than half of them are still intact) contain some 45,000 square meters of mural paintings, and more than 2000 painted sculptures.

Transfer to the railway station and take the overnight train to Turpan.

Day 05 Turpan (B)
Breakfast
The guide will meet you at the train station and transfer to the hotel.

The Grapes Valley is located in the Flaming Mountain, 13 kilometers (8 miles) northeast of Turpan. The valley runs 8 kilometers (5 miles) from north to south with a width of 0.5 kilometers (0.3 miles). This green paradise of 400 hectares (988 acres) is filled with intertwined grape vines that sport layer after layer of luscious grapes.

The Karez Water System is a unique water system in Xinjiang region which is still in good operable service. This long-lasting Water System not only solves the drinking water problem of the local people and provides water for wild animals, but it also prevents the Aiding Lake, located in the lowest point of Turpan basin, from drying up and becoming a desert. It also provides a balance for the local fauna, a benefit of economic and zoological value.

The Emin Pagoda or Su Gong Ta is located some 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) to the east of Turpan. It is an elegant-shaped Muslim minaret built in 1778 in honor of a great Turpan general, Emin Khoja, and his great contribution to the unification of China. It is very popular among local Muslims and visitors alike, throngs of whom come to visit it all year around.

Day 06 Turpan – Urumqi (B)
The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha CavesHotel Breakfast

Moring drive to Urumqi. There are many important sightseeing spots on the way.

The Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves are a collection of retreats once inhabited by Buddhist monks dating from the 5th to the 9th centuries between the cities of Turpan and Shanshan (Loulan) to the north-east of the Taklamakan Desert of Xinjiang Province. These caves are found high on the cliffs of the west Mutou Valley under the Flaming Mountains.

Gaochang Ancient Ruins: Gaochang is the site of an ancient oasis city built on the northern rim of the inhospitable Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang. A busy trading center, it was a stopping point for merchant traders traveling on the Silk Road. The ruins are located 30 km (18.6 miles) southeast of modern Turpan.

The Flame Mountain is located in the middle of the Turpan Basin with a length of 98 kilometers in the east and west direction and a width of nine kilometers in the north and south direction. In the Uighur language, the Flame Mountain is called "Kezletage" which means "Red Mountain" in Chinese.

Arrive in Urumqi and check into the hotel

Day 07 Urumqi (B)
Hotel Breakfast

Xinjiang International Grand BazaarThe Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar was completed in 2003. "Bazaar" means market in the Uygur language. It plays the role of main channel of communication and commercial trading in people-to-people trading activity in Xinjiang. With a total area of 100,000 square meters, it is the largest bazaar in the world. The International Grand Bazaar focuses on peculiar features, transcendental posture and stands proudly in people-to-people trading activities. It is a window leading Xinjiang to the world and a door towards tourism and trade. Of traditional Muslim style, it always hangs thick ethical elegance.

Xinjiang Regional Museum is a comprehensive historical museum in China. Xinjiang Regional Museum was originally established in 1953 as part of nearby People's Park, but was rebuilt and greatly enlarged at its current location in 1962. The current museum, which is built in a semi-modern style that compounds traditional architecture borrowed from the region's ethnic minorities, especially the ethnic Uyghur. It is a very solid structure with a dome that stands 30 meters (33 yards) high and which offers one of the best views of the city of Urumqi.

Southern Pasture is a natural paradise, with scenery and surroundings such as natural spruce forest on Snow Mountain and wild animals. It is 75km south of Urumqi city and is the base of the Tian Shan mountain range. The visitors can go hiking on the great land around gushing valleys and hillside waterfalls falling for ginseng herb. The local people like to spend their summers here.

Day 08 Urumqi Departure (B)
Breakfast
Transfer to the airport and services ended

Price in USD and based on Per Person

Pax 01 02 03-04 05-09 >10
Price  3107  1770  1507  1179  925
Currency USD

Price inclusion
1. Private English-speaking guide
2. Transfer service with guide and private van
3. Entrance fee for the sightseeing spots listed
4. Overnight train tickets: Lanzhou – Jiayuguan Pass; Dunhuang - Turpan
5. Traditional style Guesthouse or 3 star hotels twin-sharing with daily breakfast

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