6 days Silk Road tour from Urumqi to Dunhuang
This 6 day short tour will bring you a great deal on the ancient China Silk Road, visit the three of the most important stops of this ancient trading route - Urumqi, Turpan and Dunhuang. You will travel from the stunning Heavenly lake to the historical relics of green oasis city of Turpan, then to the magnificent treasure trove of Buddhist art - Mogao Grottoes caves.
You'll arrive in 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.
Our 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. Enjoy a camel riding.
You'll begin the flight home and end your travels with WindhorseTour, though the memories will last a lifetime!