10 days China Silk Road from Urumqi to Xining Qinghai Lake
From the massive Xinjiang Grand Bazaar, to the revered Kumbum monastery, this 10 day Silk Road Tour is one you won't soon forget! Visit the healing waters of Heavenly Lake and Oasis cities of Turpan and Dunhuang to the Tibetan city of Xining; where you'll visit the Mogao Grottoes, Echoing Sand Mountains, the Great Wall of China and the largest salk highland lake Qinghai lake!
You'll Arrive at the city of Urumqi, which happens to be the world's most inland city. You'll be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel. From there you'll have the chance rest up and refresh in the comfort of your lodging accommodations.
Once settled, feel free to take a walk into the mind-boggling Xinjiang Grand Bazaar, where you'll find everything from entertainment to local fare and unique goods from different cultures in and around the region.
You'll begin with a morning drive to visit the aptly named Heavenly Lake. This beautiful and serene body of crystal water has the ability to bring renewed energy to even the weariest of travelers. In the afternoon, you'll enjoy a drive to the oasis city of Turpan for the night. In this region of the China Silk Road, you will find a sparse population, fertile soil that boasts one of the countries greatest grape growing abilities and plenty of ancient ruins and relics to gaze upon.
You'll receive a full day tour of Turpan. Morning drive to visit the Gaochang Ruins, was once an important stop along the ancient Silk Road. Because of the war and water shortage, it was finally abandoned, but the remaining city walls, temples, houses still indicates the past glory of this city and the culture of ancient Gaochang people. Then continue the visiting to the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves situated on the west cliffs of the Wood Valley of the Flaming Mountains. Learn about the development and history of the Buddhism in this region from the colorful murals and other precious art works. Afterwards, have a traditional Uyghur lunch in a local village of Tuyuk Valley. On the way back to Turpan, stop to visit the Flaming Mountain, where the temperature on the surface reaches 47.8 C (118.04 F) in the hottest summer, hence the name. Follow the last visit today will be the Jiaohe Ruins, which is currently the largest and oldest earth city in the world. The remains you see today was descended from the Tang Dynasty. Most of them are well preserved due to the high location and dry climate. Overnight at Turpan.
Your morning begins with visiting the intricate Karez underground irrigation system. An important source of life to all of Turpan, this system of caves, reservoirs, canals and wells is an impressive 5,000 km (3100 miles) in total length. From there, you'll head to the train station drop off and take the train to Dunhuang (D2708, 12:46-16:41, around 4 hours). Upon arrival at Dunhuang, you'll be taken to your hotel. In another beautiful oasis surrounded by soul soothing sand dunes, and one of the most important cities on the China Silk Road, you can rest up and enjoy the Shazhou Nightly Market or some traditional Chinese performance art at the Dunhuang Theater.
You'll enjoy a morning visit to the breathtaking Mogao Grottoes, including a visit to the Dunhuang Grotto protection and Exhibition center. Here you will witness the awe of ancient Chinese cave paintings and artwork, and also learn some history about the region.
Later you will visit the beautiful Crescent Lake and Echoing Sand Mountains, where even a breeze in the air causes the dunes of multi-colored sand to echo with a magical, musical tune. A camel riding will be included.
In the morning you'll drive to Jiayuguan, which takes about 5.5 hours.. On the way you'll stop to visit network of caves called the Yulin Grottoes.
From there you'll visit Jiayuguan Pass- the first pass at the west end of the Great Wall in China and a key point on the China Silk Road, this defense station is still complete with ramparts, turrets and eaves. You'll also see the Overhanging Great Wall, called the Xuanbi Great Wall in Chinese- a place with one of the most spectacular views along the Great Wall, and a lesson in the tactical ingenuity of ancient Chinese builders. In the afternoon you'll drive to visit the beautiful Zhangye Danxia Landform for some hiking and a breathtaking sunset over the multi-colored rocks. You'll then stay overnight in Zhangye.
In the morning you'll visit the Giant Buddha Temple in Zhangye, where you'll witness some of the most intriguing ancient artwork on the China Silk Road, including the Giant Buddha itself, lying inside the temple at 34.5 meters (about 113 feet) long and 7.5 meters (about 25 feet) wide. You'll then board the train to Xining. And have the chance to freely explore the largest city on the Tibetan Plateau.
Take a morning drive to visit Kumbum monastery, one of the most revered monasteries in all of Tibet. then continue to Qinghai Lake, the largest salt lake in China.
This is where we say goodbye. You'll be transported and on your way back home with memories to last a lifetime!