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CHINA -  The Silk Road Highlights 8 Days

 

 

 

SILK ROAD

 

 

 

ITINERARY

 

 

Day 1     Arrive Xian     

 

                 Met on arrival and transfer to hotel.

                                               

Xian – capital of 11 dynasties in Chinese history and the starting point for the great trade caravans of the ancient Silk Road.  The importance and prosperity of this ancient capital left behind a wealth of valuable historical sites and fabulous archaeological discoveries. 

 

 

Day 2     Xian - Dunhuang  

 

The morning highlight will be a visit to the amazing Terracotta Warrior Museum, a world-famous archaeological site, followed by the remarkable Shaanxi History Museum, the ancient Bell Tower and City Wall.

 

In the evening, depart by air for Dunhuang.

 

Dunhuang is a desert treasure trove, famed for its historical cave paintings. 

 

Met on arrival and transfer to the unique Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel – set against a backdrop of towering rolling sand dunes.

 

Accommodation at the Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel.                          

 

 

Day 3         Dunhuang   

              

An inspiring talk on “Dunhuang Studies” will ensure that your visit this morning to the Mogao Caves will be more meaningful and interesting.  The world- renowned Caves are said to the largest and richest ancient art treasure in the world.  They were declared a ‘World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 1987. 

 

After lunch a visit will be made to Yangguan Pass, once an important passageway to Central Asia, India and Europe.

 

After dinner, enjoy a campfire in the Gobi Desert, followed by a visit to the night market.

 

Accommodation at the Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel.                                

 

 

Day 4          Dunhuang - Urumqi  

                                                         

Start the day in style with a camel ride from your courtyard villa to the Mingsha Hill, in time to view the spectacular sunrise over the endless dunes (weather permitting).  Enjoy a full breakfast of eggs, croissants and coffee served against a backdrop of yellow dunes on one side and a green oasis on the other. 

 

Later,  return to the hotel and depart for the County Museum and the White Horse Pagoda .  

 

After lunch, transfer to the airport for the flight Urumqi, capital of  Xinjiang Autonomous Region and home to 47 minority nationalities.

 

Accommodation at the Sheraton Hotel.                                          

 

                    

Day 5         Urumqi

 

Visit Lake Tianchi (“Heavenly Lake”), an azure lake 110 kilometres east of Urumqi. It is located in the “Heavenly Mountains”. 

 

After lunch, visit the Xinjiang Regional Museum and a carpet factory.

 

Accommodation at the Sheraton Hotel.                                          

 

 

Day 6         Urumqi/Turpan

                                                               

Travel  by coach (approx. 2.5 hours) to the famous oasis town of Turpan. 

 

After lunch, visit the Karez Well – an ancient irrigation system which enabled Turpan to become a rich oasis, Emin Minaret – one of the architectural gems of the Silk Road and the Ancient City of Jiaohe – a UNESCO natural heritage site.  After dinner, enjoy a Uygur dance performance.

 

Accommodation at the Turpan Grand Hotel.          

  

                                          

Day 7          Turpan/Urumqi

 

After breakfast, return to Urumqi via the famous Flaming Mountain and through beautiful landscapes and gorges to the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves.  Continue to the impressive ancient ruins of Gaochang which contain traces of Nestorian, Christian, Persian and Manichean influence.  Take a donkey cart ride through the remains of the city wall to the partially repaired temple.

 

After lunch, travel back to Urumqi.

 

Visit the International Grand Bazaar where you may find some souvenirs.

 

Accommodation at the Sheraton Hotel                                          

 

 

Day 8               Depart Urumqi    

 

Transfer to the airport

 

This suggested itinerary can be tailored to suit your own requirements. It can also include other destinations in China or elsewhere in Asia.