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14 Days Silk Road Discovery Tour Enquiry

The Silk Road evokes images of long camel trains and exotic locations. Come and explore this ancient route for yourself.

Shanghai – Xi’an – Dunhuang – Turpan – Urumqi – Beijing

Yuyuan Gardens, Jin Mao Tower, The Bund, Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Xi’an City Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum, Mogao Grottoes, Singing Sand Dunes, Dunhuang Museum, Jiaohe Ancient City, Emin Minaret, Bezeklik Caves, Flaming Mountain, Heavenly Lake, Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar, Mutianyu Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Peking Roast Duck Dinner, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Beihei Park, Peking Opera

Itinerary Day By Day

Day 1 – Arrival in Shanghai

Our guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area at Shanghai Pudong Airport and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Meals: No meals provided.

Day 2 – Shanghai

Attractions: Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Gardens, Jin Mao Tower, The Bund, Evening Cruise

Today will be a busy day as you tour the highlights of Shanghai beginning at the Jade Buddha Temple and the exquisite classic Yuyuan Gardens. Ascend the Jin Mao Tower for a bird’s eye view of Shanghai then stroll along the Bund past the colonial buildings. Finish the day with a cruise on the Huangpu River to view the city by night.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 3 – Shanghai to Xi’an

Attractions: Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Great Mosque, Muslim Quarter, Musical Fountain

Today you will fly to Xi’an where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Later you can visit the Bell Tower, a stately traditional building that marked the geographical center of the ancient capital. It is the largest and best-preserved of its kind in China. Nearby is the Drum Tower with its impressive array of drums. When you have finished visiting the towers you may round off your trip by exploring the adjacent Great Mosque and the Muslim Quarter with its myriad of interesting handicraft and snack shops.

In the evening you will see the biggest musical fountain in Asia.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 4 – Xi’an

Attractions: Xi’an City Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Dumpling Banquet

Today’s Xi’an tour begins with a visit to the City Wall which was initially built as a military defense system over 600 years ago. From the wall you can appreciate magnificent ancient constructions and admire the surrounding urban landscape.

Next you will head for Xi’an’s most famous attraction, the Terracotta Warriors. Discovered accidentally in 1974, this incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin’s tomb since 210BC. Prepare to be impressed.

Afterwards you will visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang brought back from his epic journey to India. The pagoda is one of the most distinctive and outstanding landmarks of Xi’an.

This evening you will feast on a traditional Dumpling Banquet, a specialty of the region, afterwards enjoying a performance of music and dance from the Tang Dynasty.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, Dinner – Dumpling Banquet

Day 5 – Xi’an to Dunhuang

Attractions: Shaanxi History Museum

Spend the morning at the Shaanxi History Museum. As part of the Silk Road route Xi’an has a well documented history and here you can admire the enormous collection of historic and cultural relics.

In the afternoon you will fly to Dunhuang and be transferred to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 6 – Dunhuang

Attractions: Mogao Grottoes, Singing Sand Dunes, Camel Ride to Crescent Spring

Today we visit the Mogao Grottoes which is a treasure house of Buddhist culture with more than 700 caves, 2,000 painted sculptures and 45,000 square metres of murals. Not far from the Grottoes are the Singing Sand Dunes so named because of the sound made when people slide down the slopes. You will feel part of the Silk Road experience as you ride on a camel to Crescent Lake. Although the lake is surrounded by the shifting sands amazingly it has never dried up

Meals: Breakfast in your hotel

Day 7 – Dunhuang to Turpan

Attractions: Dunhuang Museum, Jade Gate, Overnight train to Turpan

The day begins with a visit to the Dunhuang Museum to put the Silk Road into perspective before driving to Yumen Pass or Jade Gate. This was the pass through which the Silk Road passed bringing jade from Xinjiang to Central China. From the top of the pass you can see relics of the Great Wall and beacon towers in the distance.

You will then drive to Liuyuan railway station to board your overnight train to Turpan.

Meals: Breakfast in your hotel

Day 8 – Turpan

Attractions: Jiaohe Ancient City, Emin Minaret, Karez Well

Turpan is located 154 metres below sea level making it the lowest place in China and the second lowest in the world behind the Dead Sea. It is also China’s hottest place making the climate ideal for grape and melon growing. Historically it was a major stopping place on the Silk Road route.

You will have a chance to rest after your train journey before visiting Jiaohe Ancient City. It was a prosperous trading and military stronghold 1,600 years ago. It is the largest, oldest and best-preserved earthen city in the world.

Emin Minaret was built in 1777 to honor a Turpan general named Emin Khoja and it is the tallest Islam minaret in China. Also of interest is the Karez Well, an underground irrigation system which collected the melting snow and kept it from evaporating in the heat.

Day 9 – Turpan to Urumqi

Attractions: Bezeklik Caves, Flaming Mountain, Gaocheng Ancient City, Grape Valley

Your day begins with a tour to the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves which were carved by Buddhist monks over a 900 year period between about 400 and 1300AD. They are near the Flaming Mountains where some of China’s highest temperatures have been recorded. Gaochang Ancient City is another ruin from the days of the Silk Road. Finish your Turpan experience at Grape Valley where you can sample some fresh fruit in the cool arbors.

Later in the afternoon you will be driven back to Urumqi. Not far out of the city of Urumqi you will begin to notice lots of wind turbines. These are part of the Urumqi Wind Power Mill project and are a stunning sight against the mountain backdrop.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 10 – Urumqi

Attractions: Heavenly Lake, Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar

One hundred and twenty kilometres northeast of Urumqi is Heavenly Lake (Tianchi) and our destination for today. The clear waters of the lake are surrounded by snow capped peaks and forested hills, a stunning sight. After a boat ride on the lake you can enjoy lunch in a Kazakh yurt. Then you can hike down the valley following a rushing stream past waterfalls and peaceful pools. Back in downtown Urumuqi you can browse in the bustling Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar for handicraft souvenirs like rugs, Uygur style hats, embroideries and jade carvings.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, Lunch in a Kazazk yurt

Day 11 – Urumqi to Beijing

Attractions: Hutong Tour

Today you will fly from Urumqi to Beijing. After checking in at your hotel you will take a pedicab tour through the narrow streets of old Beijing which are known as Hutongs. Here you can get a glimpse of how Beijing used to be.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 12 – Beijing

Attractions: Mutianyu Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Bird’s Nest, Water Cube, Peking Roast Duck Dinner

Today you will have the opportunity to climb the ancient steps at Mutianyu Great Wall which is one of the best preserved sections of the wall and less crowded than Badaling. If you wish you can avoid the steep climb by riding a cable car up. On the way back to Beijing you will visit the Ming Tombs and the magnificent Lingsi Palace. You will also stop by the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube Cube for an outside view of the unique constructions built for the 2008 Olympic Games.

For dinner, you will have a chance to taste the famous Peking Roast Duck.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, Dinner – Peking Roast Duck

Day 13 – Beijing

Attractions: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Beihei Park, Peking Opera

You will start today’s tour with a visit to Tiananmen Square, which is the largest city-central square in the world. To the north is the magnificent Tiananmen Gate with its five openings. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the passage in the middle leading to the Forbidden City was reserved for the emperor himself.  Now you can walk through it to explore the largest and best-preserved imperial palace in China.

Just west of the Forbidden City is Beihei Park which is one of the oldest, largest and best preserved ancient imperial gardens in China. There you can see the Nine Dragon Screen. Finally visit the Temple of Heaven where the Emperors once worshiped heaven and prayed for good harvests.

In the evening we offer you the opportunity to enjoy some Peking Opera featuring exquisite costumes and the skilled use of body language.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 14 – Depart Beijing

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to your next destination.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel