Arrive in Beijing, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel.
Stroll on Tian’anmen Square.
Discover the Forbidden City.
Visit the Jingshan Mountain. It is very pleasant to climb it to enjoy an extraordinary view of the Forbidden City and the whole of the capital.
Walk in the Hutongs of Beijing.
DAY 3: THE GREAT WALL
Drive to Mutianyu (2hrs/2h30), visit Mutianyu Great Wall.
Discover the Summer Palace.
DAY 4: BEIJING, HIGH-SPEED TRAIN TO XI’AN
Exploring the Temple of Heaven, which was an important place of worship for the emperors.
Transfer to the Beijing Train Station, take the high-speed train to Xi’an. You will be met by your new guide.
DAY 5: XI’AN
Visit the Terracotta Army Museum of the First Qin Emperor.
Walk on the imposing city wall which is the best preserved in China.
Visit the Muslim Quarter and the Great Mosque, the hub of the Muslim community in Xi’an City.
DAY 6: XI’AN, HIGH-SPEED TRAIN TO XINING
Transfer to Xi’an Train Station and take the high-speed train to Xining.
Arrive in Xining, you will be met by your new guide.
Visit the Kunbum (Ta’ersi) Monastery.According to legend, Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa school, was born there. It’s a good chance to discover the authentic Tibetan Buddhist religious tradition and is still home to thousands of monks. Don’t miss the exhibition of yak butter sculptures in the Hall. It’s a unique Tibetan art that exists in very few places in the region.
DAY 7: XINING, HIGH-SPEED TO ZHANGYE
Transfer to Xining Train Station and take the high-speed train to Zhangye.
Arrive in Zhangye, you will be met by your new guide.
Discover the Muta Temple.
Visit Zhangye Big Buddhist Temple. It is the longest reclining Buddha in China.
DAY 8: ZHANGYE
You will visit the spectacular Mati Temple, home to many Buddhist sculptures embedded in the cliff.
Visit Binggou Danxia Scenic Area. You can see huge rocks with strange shapes and various rocks formation.
Go to the Zhangye Danxia Geopark viewpoints to watch the sunset over the mountain.
DAY 9: ZHANGYE – JIAYUGUAN
Visit Pingshanhu Park. Listed as the world’s top 5 canyons, as equally famous as Colorado Canyon. You can take a nice walk in this park.
Head to Jiayuguan (3h30), a very important town on the Ancient Silk Road.
DAY 10: JIAYUGUAN – DUNHUANG
Discover Jiayuguan Fort. This is a beautifully maintained fortress that is located at a strategic location. it served as an important location along the Silk Road.
You also visit the Great Hanging Wall. Built in 1539 under the Ming dynasty, is considered to be the start of the Great Wall and is located along the Silk Road.
Drive to Dunhuang (307km/5-6hrs).
DAY 11: DUNHUANG
Visit the famous Buddhist Caves of Mogao which were built over a period ranging from the Sixteen Kingdoms (304-439) to the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
Walk to the Singing Sands Dune (Mingsha Shan). At the foot of the immense dunes lies a famous pond, Crescent Moon Lake.
In the evening, hang out at the Shazhou Night Market.
DAY 12: DUNHUANG – LIUYUAN, HIGH-SPEED TRAIN TO TURPAN
Visit the Dunhuang Museum, head to an artifact-rich and historical journey.
Explore the White Horse Pagoda, this 9-floor Tibetan tower is one of the tourist centers in the region.
Transfer to Liuyuan Train Station and take the high-speed train to Turfan (2h30/3hrs).
Arrive in Turpan, you will be met by a new guide and transferred to your hotel.
DAY 13: TURPAN
An excursion to the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, which dates from the 6th to 14th centuries.
Discover Tuyoq Valley. Located in a green valley surrounded by the Flaming Mountains, you can catch an attractive glimpse of traditional Uyghur life and architecture.
Visit the Jiaohe Ruins, which is considered the oldest, largest, and best-preserved earthen city and was listed as the World Heritage by UNESCO.
Head to Sugongta, which is the largest old tower in Xinjiang. Then visit Karez (Kanerjing), a famous underground irrigation system.
Transfer to Turpan Train Station and take the night train to Kashgar in the evening (about 15h30).
Arrive in Kashgar at 10:38, you will be met by your new guide, and transferred to your hotel.
Explore the charming Kashgar city in the afternoon.
Stroll in Handicraft Street, there are kinds of local specialties like potters, bakers, cutlers, fabrics, and embroidery, etc.
Visit the Id Kah Mosque, which is the largest mosque in China. It is located in the central square of Kashgar and covers an area of 16,800 m², allowing 10,000 devotees to perform prayers on Friday.
DAY 15: KASHGAR – LAKE KARAKUL – KASHGAR
Drive to Karakul Lake (193 km/about 5-6hrs for a round trip).
A stopover at Upal, you can buy some local fruit in the small market.
Explore the Bulunkul lake and enjoy the majestic scenery of mountains along the way.
Arrive at Karakul, which is the highest lake in the Chinese Pamir Mountain. You can stroll around the lake at your leisure.
Optional tour: You can take a camel ride around Karakul Lake if you want to.
DAY 16: DEPARTURE FROM KASHGAR
Visit the traditional Grand Bazaar (Kashgar Livestock Market). You can observe how the locals negotiate for the bought and sold of sheep, cows, yaks, horses, and cows. It’s a good opportunity to experience authentic Kashgar.
Night train ticket: Turpan/Kashgar (first class, soft sleeper).
Entrance tickets for tours and activities motivated in the itinerary except for optional tours.
24 hours a day, seven days a week, our English-speaking advisor provides an online assistance service for the duration of your stay.
Free credit card payment or bank transfer, bank charges will be borne by our company. This allows you to avoid bank transfer fees to China. Payment by credit card is free and at no extra cost, so you don’t have to add additional travel insurance.
The price does not include
International and domestic flights (Kashgar/Chengdu or Beijing).
Meals are not mentioned in the itinerary.
Tips for guides and drivers.
Accident, repatriation, and health insurance.
The visa fees.
The Silk Road
Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel or similar
Manxin Hotel (located not far from the Bell Tower)
Manxin Hotel (located not far from the Bell Tower)
Zhangye Runhu Hotel
Jiayuguan Hotel 4*
Silk Road Hotel (5*, charming hotel on the edge of the desert)
If you have several extra days for your trip, it is possible to add a choice of extensions/excursions associated with this trip.
Option to extend your stay to North and East China on a new small-group tour. You can discover the must-see sites: Beijing and its Forbidden City, Datong and its formidable Yungang Caves, Xi’an and the Terracotta Army, the Bund in Shanghai, and Suzhou.
The best seasons for this tour are spring (May and June) and autumn (September and October). It is cold between November and April, so it is not recommended to travel during this period.
Beijing The best season to visit Beijing: summer (June to August) is considered the high season. The weather in Autumn (between September and November) is the best and there are fewer tourists.
Spring is not that suitable – there are not many tourists but it’s windy and dusty. In winter, many hotels offer good prices – remember it might be snowing at that time. It’s crowded during Chinese New Year in Beijing (usually in January or February).
Xi’an The best times to visit Xian are between April and May, September and October. The weather is mild and there is not much rain. It is very hot in summer, not very rainy, but there are showers. Temperatures can reach 38 degrees.
It is cold and dry in this region in winter between December and February, it snows a lot and temperatures drop below zero degrees. Don’t forget packaging warm clothes.
Gansu There are two kinds of climate in Gansu. Gansu generally has a semi-arid to arid continental climate. The average annual temperature for Gansu is 14 degrees and only 119 mm of rainfall per year. It is dry for an average of 275 days a year with an estimated humidity of 47%.
The best time to visit Gansu is from May to September when temperatures are more pleasant. The highest average temperature in Gansu is 28°C in July and the lowest is 1°C in January.
Xinjiang Xinjiang is characterized by a temperate continental climate with plenty of sunshine, low rainfall, and dry air. In most parts of the province, there is a large temperature difference between day and night in spring and summer, and a marked difference between autumn and winter.
If you travel here, it is best to avoid winter, especially January, which is the coldest month with temperatures dropping to minus 20 degrees in the Dzungarian basin. July is the hottest month of the year, with the average temperature in Turpan, known as “the land of fire”, being 33 degrees.
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YUNNAN TRAVEL WITH LOCAL AGENCY
Ciel Yunnan is a local travel agency of Yunnan and specializes in tailor-made tours for travelers seeking authentic experiences in Yunnan.