Silk Road Explorer
|Resort:||Silk Road Explorer Tour|
|Operator:||Wendy Wu Tours|
|Destination:||Asia, China, Far East Asia|
Follow in the footsteps of intrepid adventurers by journeying along one of the world’s most famous trading routes, the Silk Road. Beginning in ancient Xian, venture across this vast land to reach the fascinating outpost of Kashgar.
26-Day Silk Road Explorer Tour Tour Itinerary
DAYS 1-2 FLY TO XIAN
Fly overnight to Xian, the ancient former capital. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
DAY 3 TERRACOTTA WARRIORS
Gaze over the ranks of warriors and horses, each one unique, whilst your guide introduces you to these life-like soldiers fascinating story. Later, enjoy a gentle cycle ride that will take you the nine miles around the ancient city wall and take a walking tour of the narrow and winding streets of the Muslim Quarter. Tonight, enjoy a traditional dumpling dinner and take an optional fountain and light show.
DAY 4 TRAIN TO LANZHOU
Start the day with a visit to the Little Wild Goose Pagoda and Xian Museum, home to a number of relics and artefacts. Later, board the bullet train to Lanzhou.
DAYS 5-6 EXPLORE LANZHOU
Enjoy a moment of tranquility at the hilltop Baita Temple and tuck into some delicious Lanzhou-style noodles made with handstretched dough. The next day, cross Liujiaxia Lake by speed boat and head into the green hills around Liujiaxia to explore the extraordinary Thousand Buddha Caves of Bingling Temple and their wealth of Buddhist murals, statues and sculptures. Also visit the statue of Maitreya.
DAY 7 TIBETAN XIAHE
Conquer the scenic Jishi Mountain Pass to arrive at Tibetan Xiahe and spend time acclimatising to the altitude.
DAY 8 LABRANG MONASTERY
Giving a taste of the mysteries of Tibet, Labrang Monastery is a fascinating maze of prayer wheels, chapels and chortens. Dine on traditional Tibetan food for lunch, including Tibetan dumplings, known as momos.
DAY 9 TRAVEL TO ZHANGYE
Return to Lanzhou and take the speedy bullet train to Zhangye, once an important commercial town along the Silk Road.
DAY 10 RAINBOW MOUNTAINS
Rise early this morning to witness the sunrise over the kaleidoscopic mountains in Danxia National Park. Return to Zhangye and visit the Giant Buddha Temple before boarding your bullet train to Jiayuguan.
DAY 11 GREAT WALL AT JIAYUGUAN
Seen as China’s western gateway, Jiayuguan is the perfect place to get to grips with your Silk Road history. Visit the Jiayu Fortress and take a walk on the western extremes of the magnificent Great Wall for panoramic views over the starkly beautiful Gobi Desert.
DAY 12 CITY OF SANDS
Drive to Dunhuang. Located on a major trade and cultural crossroads, Dunhuang, known as the ‘City of the Sands’, sits in a verdant oasis on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert. Visit the Shazhou Night Market, where you can wander amongst the stalls.
DAY 13 MOGAO GROTTOES
A system of temples and sanctuaries, visit the Mogao Grottoes that exhibit wonderful examples of Buddhist paintings and statues that span thousands of years.
DAY 14 SINGING SAND DUNES
Visit Crescent Moon Spring, nestled amongst rolling sand dunes and the famous Singing Sand Dunes, a phenomena produced by the wind blowing through the grains.
DAY 15 TURPAN
Take the bullet train to Turpan, a lush green oasis set in a barren landscape. An easy-going town famed for its grapes, its pleasant streets are lined with lush vine trellises.
DAY 16-17 EXPLORE TURPAN
Visit the ruins of ancient Jiaohe and the striking red sandstone Flaming Mountains before seeing the elegant Emin Minaret. The next day, learn about the fascinating 2000 year old Kerez Irrigation canals and drive to Kurla.
DAYS 18-20 THE SILK ROAD
Over the next three days travel along the original Silk Road through the Xinjiang Region, viewing ruins and sights largely unvisited by tourists. Start with a visit to see the ruins of Subashi, arriving in Kuqa to visit the old city wall and see the Kyzil Thousand Buddha Caves. Continue travelling to Aksu, eventually leading to fabled Kashgar.
DAY 21 EXPLORE KASHGAR
Its skyline punctured by minarets, Kashgar feels a million miles from China in fact, it feels a million miles from anywhere! Although now a modern city, the sights and sounds of Kashgars bazaar have remained unchanged for millennia. Sightseeing today includes a visit to Abakh Hoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque and a stroll around the atmospheric alleyways around Id Kah Square.
DAY 22 KASHGAR
Today, visit Old Street, Craftsmen Street and a local bazaar, experiencing the riot of textures, vivid colours and local flavour. Later, fly to Urumqi.
DAYS 23-24 HEAVENLY LAKE
Escape to the tranquility of Tianchi (Heavenly Lake), formed in a crater. Pay a visit to a Kazakh minority family in their yurt and spend some time with them, learning their way of life. Tonight, enjoy local Uyghur lamb skewers for dinner. The following day, visit the Xinjiang Museum briefly before flying to Beijing, China’s historic capital.
DAY 25 THE GREAT WALL
This morning is dedicated to China’s most iconic sight the Great Wall. In the afternoon, enjoy the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace as you wander through traditional Chinese gardens and see the exquisite architecture.
DAY 26 IMPERIAL BEIJING
Head to Beijing’s symbolic heart, Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City where you will find a complex full of imperial treasures. Soak up the ambience of the Temple of Heaven before visiting Yandaixiejie, where you will have some free time to wander the hutongs. This evening, dine on Peking duck and enjoy a Chinese acrobatic show.
DAY 27 FLY BEIJING TO UK
Fly to the UK arriving the same or following day.