Overview: This 9 days Silk Road China tour travel thrugh Lanzhou, Xiahe, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Kashgar to view Yellow River Mother Sculpture, the Waterwheel Garden, Labrang Monastery, the Jiayuguan Pass, Mogao Grottoes, Echoing-Sand Mountain, Crescent Lake, Jiaohe Ruins, Astana Tombs, Sunday Bazaar... .
Day 1 Arrival in Lanzhou
Sites visited: Yellow River Mother Sculpture, the Waterwheel Garden
Upon arrival in Lanzhou, you local guide will meet and escort you to check in your hotel. you will take the city tour with Yellow River Mother Sculpture, Water Wheel Park, if there are still some time after the airport transfer.
Yellow River Mother Sculpture is located at the south bank of Yellow River in the city of Lanzhou. It is the regarded as best of its kind in China.
The sculpture has the length of 6 meters and height of 2.6 meters with more than 40 tons. The whole sculpture comprises a mother and a baby. The mother with long hair, slim figure, lying on the undulate water looks happy and kind. On her breast holds a small kid who bears naive smile. Yellow River Mother Sculpture reflects the long history and culture of Gansu Province
The Waterwheel Garden, built in 1994, is located in the Binhe Middle Road (Binhe Zhong Lu) in Lanzhou, Gansu Province. The garden covers an area of 1.45 hectares (3.58 acres) and is comprised of two waterwheels, a cofferdam, the recreation area and a house of water mill
Day 2 Lanzhou/Xiahe
Meals: B, L
Sites visited: Labrang Monastery, Songke Grassland
After breakfast head to Xiahe visit the Labrang Monastery, Songke Grassland.
Labrang Monastery: at the foot of the Phoenix Mountain northwest of Xiahe County in Gannan Tibetan Nationality Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. A propitious place in the hearts of the Tibetan, it stands by the Daxia River and faces the Dragon Mountain.As for the Dragon and Phoenix Mountains, there is a beautiful legend. A long time ago, this place was a boundless sea. After countless changes, mountains and lands appeared.
Songke Grassland: at an average altitude of over 3,000m above sea level, is situated a short 14km from Xiahe. This vast expanse of grassy plains, covering an area of around 70 square kilometers, is a lonely, beautiful place that is a nice change for those from bustling Chengdu or Lanzhou. There are only 4,000 Tibetan nomads on the grasslands, all wrapped up in their many, dirty layers, who graze yak herds and offer tourists the chance of a ride upon their horses. Entertainment here varies according to your preference. Botanists and hikers will be happy to just set off into the rolling hills, but for those after a little more exciting the horse rides, costing around RMB25, are good fun.
Day 3 Xiahe/Lanzhou/Jiayuguan
Meals: B, L
Sites visited: Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves
In the morning you will be transferred back to Lanzhou Visit Cruise from Liujiaxia Gorge to Binglingsi( fast boat), Binglingsi Thousand Buddha Caves.Then be transferred to the railway station to catch the train to Jiayuguan.
Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves lies on the cliff of Xiaojishi Hill. Located on a branch of Gansu part of the Silk Road, the Bingling Caves were started by some Buddhist monks from as early as the West Jin Dynasty (265-316) though the official carving began in 420. After many years' work, there are 183 caves existing with 694 stone statues, 82 earth statues and murals of 900 square meters (9, 688 square feet). Another pleasant surprise on your way to Bingling Caves is the beautiful Liujiaxia Reservoir. The crystal water lying among the yellow earth mountains is quite a sight. At the end of the Reservoir, the green water connects to the yellow water while the blue sky connects to the yellow earth. Perhaps this can only be experienced in Liujiaxia.
Day 4 Jiayuguan/Dunhuang
Meals: B, L
Sites visited: the Jiayuguan Pass, the Great Wall on the Cliff, Great Walls Museum
Morning head to visit The Jiayuguan Pass, The Great Wall on the Cliff, Great Walls Museum and Yulin Grattoes.Then head to Dunhuang.
The Jiayuguan Pass: Jiayuguan Pass stands in the southwest part of Jiayuguan City, about 6 km away from downtown. The castle was begun in 1372 in the Ming Dynasty and located in the Jiayu Highland, hence its name Jiayuguan Pass. It is situated between the Wenshu and Heishan Mountains at the foot of Jiayuguan Hill of Qilian Mountain.
The Great Wall on the Cliff: The Suspended Wall is a part of the Great Wall. The wall here was built on the ridge with the gradient of 45 degrees. It is high in the air and it looks as if it fell down from the top of the hill. So people refer to this section of the Great Wall as the "Suspended Wall". The Suspended Wall, the extension of the walls at the Jiayuguan Pass towards the north, was an integral part of the ancient defense system at the Jiayuguan Pass.
Great Walls Museum: The Great Wall museum opened to visitor in October 1989 and it is the first one to exhibit the Great Wall culture in a comprehensive and systematic way.The Museum covers an area of 12,312 square meters with an exhibition area of about 1,766 square meters. Its main building takes a shape of a typical signal fire tower on the Great Wall.
Day 5 Dunhuang/Turpan
Meals: B, L
Sites visited: Mogao Grottoes, Echoing-Sand Mountain, Crescent Lake
After breakfast visit the Mogao Grottoes , Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake.then be transferred to the railway station to catch the train to Turpan.
Mogao Grottoes: The traveler finds the Mogao Caves, a shrine of Buddhist art treasures, 25 km (15.5miles) from downtown Dunhuang on the eastern slope of Mingsha Shan (Mount Echoing Sand). A network of plank reinforced roads plying north to south 1600 meters (5, 249 feet) long lead to the cave openings, which are stacked five stories high some reaching up to 50 meters (164 feet). By the way, Mogao means high up in the desert.According to Tang Dynasty records, a monk had witnessed onside a vision of thousand Buddhas under showers of golden rays. Thus inspired, he started the caves construction work that spanned ten dynasties.
Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake: Located 5 km (about three miles) south of Dunhuang City, the Echoing-Sand Mountain, for many Chinese well known as Mingsha Mountain, is celebrated for the sound of the moving sand. In 1994 it was acclaimed as the national key scenic spot. Together with the Crescent Springand the Mogao Caves, the Echoing-Sand Mountain is most popular sitein Dunhuang travel.You may wonder why the sand makes these different sounds. There is a legend that says how, in ancient times, a general with many soldiers came here to fight in a war with their enemies.
Day 6 Turpan
Meals: B, L
Sites visited: Jiaohe Ruins, Astana Tombs, Tuyoq Village, Flaming Mountain.
After checking in the hotel you will visit Jiaohe Ancient City, Astana Tombs, Tuyoq Village and The Flaming Mountain. Jiaohe Ruins is located on a mesa in willow leaf shape between the Yarnaz River valleys 10 kilometers to the west of Turpan City. running from northwest to southeast, 1760 meters long and 300 meters across at the widest part. The city includes city gates, streets and lanes, government office, temples, domestic houses, cave houses, wells, and an underground temple.
Astana Tombs are the graveyard of the residents lived in the Gaochang City in the Jin-Tang times.. Between 1959 and 1975, a great number of cultural relics have been unearthed, including Chinese documents, textiles, epitaphs, coins, clay sculptures, pottery, wooden wares, silk-paintings, crops and foods ,etc Known as “the Underground Museum.
Tuyoq Valley, constructed in eastern and western cliffs in Tuyoq valley . more than 40 caves, there are 10 preserving murals. They are considered to be the earliest caves in Turpan, Murals are mostly damaged, but unique in style.
The Flaming Mountain: The Flaming Mountain is a legendary mountain, running from Shanshan County on west, 98 kilometers in length and 9 kilometers across, with a relative height of 500 meters and the highest peak 831.7 meters. The mountain is a branch range of the Bogda Mountain , formed in the orogenic movements of the Himalayas . Its highest air temperature in summer is 47.8 degrees centigrade, and the ground is over 70 degrees centigrade in summer. For this reason and its natural geographical features, people vividly call it "Flaming Mountain ".
Day 7 Turpan/Urumqi/Kashgar
Meals: B, L
Sites visited: Karez Irrigation System, Sugong Minaret
After breakfast, you will pay a mornign visit to Karez Well, Sugong Minaret, then back to Urumqi to take the afternoon flight to Kashgar. You local guide will meet and escort you to check in the hotel upon your arrival.
Karez Irrigation System: The Karez System is a unique irrigation system in Turpan, which, taking advantage of the slopes, draws the underground water to flow by itself to irrigate farmland. It consists of four parts: vertical wells, underground channels, ground canals and small reservoirs.
Sugong Minaret was built in the 41st year of the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty,It is an embodiment of the ancient architectural arts of the Uygur nationality. The tower is 37 meters high and 10 meters in diameter at the base. The body of the tower is cylindroid in shape, built with bricks arranged in various symmetrical patterns.
Day 8 Kashgar/Karakul Lake
Meals: B, L
Sites visited: Sunday Bazaar, Karakul Lake, Apak Hoja Tomb, Old town
Karakul Lake: At an altitude of 3,600 m. it is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau, near the junction of the Pamir, Tianshan and Kunlun Mountain ranges. Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake are the Muztag Ata (7546m), Kongur Tagh (7,649m) and Kongur Tiube (7,530 m). The lake is popular among travelers for its beautiful scenery and the clarity of its reflection in the water, whose color ranges from a dark green to azure and light blue.
Apak Hoja Tomb: This Mazar is the holiest place in Xinjiang and an architectural treasure Built in 1640 ,it is reminiscent of the Central Asian artistic style of Samarkand or Isfahan. A handsome blue-and-white tiled gate leads into the compound, which includes a small religious school and the Abakh Khoja family tomb. The latter is domed and faced with muti - colored tiles. I t most complete Islamic tomb of the Qing Dynasty up-to-now in China.
Kashgar Old town is an ancient city, and in walking the streets of its Old Town, will provide a sense of what this legendary Central Asian hub was like in the days when the Silk Road was at its zenith. 500-year old remnants of the city wall, narrow lanes and colorful muti-ethnic crowds combine to make Kashgar' historic district a highlight of any visit to the city.
Day 9 Kashgar Departure
Sites visited: Id Kah Mosque
After a morning visit the Idigar Mosque, you will be transfered to the airport and take the flight to your next destination.
Id Kah Mosque It is the large Mosque in China and most famous one in Xinjiang. The Mosque started to build in the mid of fifteenth century, and has gradually developed to the present size. Id K ah Mosque, with about 16800 square meters in area, consisting of Pray Hall, the Koran teaching Hall, The Corridor, the Arches and other buildings attaching to it.The buildings of Id Kah Mosque look magnificent and solemn , and display the artistic styles of Islamic mosque architectures.
Transportation cost covers all the domestic airfare of economy class with airport tax, train tickets between the cities as the itinerary specified.
Transfer between airports, railway station, hotels and scenic spots for sightseeing around the cities that are specified by the itinerary with private air conditioned vehicle with driver and English-speaking guide. Separate arrivals and departures will incur extra charges.
All entrance fees to the scenic spots listed in the itinerary. The final arrangement will be determined by private tour guides depends on the real-time local circumstances wheather are beyond the control of Access China Travel. We will adhere to the original itinerary as accurately as possible.
All normal meals as the itinerary specified: B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = dinner in local restaurant. Breakfasts are served in hotel, breakfasts have Chinese or Western style for your option; Lunches are served in carefully selected quality local Chinese restaurants with best service, your lunches will be ordered by your guide catering to your preferences within normal standard. Dinners as the itinerary specified will be also served in local Chinese restaurants. The meal quotation is normalized. If you have any special request about meals, like vegetarian, famous rare dishes, Indian food or more, please inform us in advance. For the unspecified dinners, you will have dinner on your own. Feel free to ask your local guide for suggestions or recommendation.
Normal sightseeing activities as the itinerary listed will be escorted with English-speaking guide. The English-speaking guide and driver in each city are with you throughout the entire itinerary around that city. They do not fly with you from one city to another.
Hotel service criterion: two adults share on one standard twin/double-bed room; solo traveler who want to occupy one twin/double-bed room assigned is required for extra single supplement rate. A single room is available on prior request at an additional cost; if a recommended hotel unavailable, it will be replaced by one of the same class. All hotels as the itinerary listed serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified.
The tour cost includes the planning, handling, booking, operation and communication charges.