Overview: This 14 days Silk Road & Hexi Corridor adventure tour gives an ancient China discovery through Xian, Tiansui, Wuwei, Lanzhou, Xining, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi,Zhongwei, Yichuan to view Heavenly Lake, Xinjiang Museum, Flaming Mountain, Karez Irrigation System, the Sand Dune and Crescent Lake, Mogao Caves, the Jiayuguan Pass, Qinghai Lake ....
Day 1 Arrival in Xian
Upon in Xian airport, you local guide and driver will meet you and transfer to your hotel. Then you will take your own free relax around the city.
Day 2 Xian/Tianshui
Meals: B D
Places to visit: Maijishan Grottoes
After breakfast, you will take 2-hour morning bullet train to Tianshui city to visit the Maiji Shan Grotto Scenic Area. Overnight in Tianshui city.
Day 3 Tianshui/Lanzhou/Xiahe
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Labrang Monastery, Songke Grassland
After breakfast, you will take a morning drive 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 4 Xiahe/Lanzhou/Xining
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Gansu Provincial Museum or White Pagoda Hill
After breakfast, you will be transferred (4 hours drive) back to Lanzhou to for afternoon visit to Gansu Provincial Museum or White Pagoda Hill. Then you will be transferred to the railway station for evening bullet train (1 hours) to Xining.
Day 5 Xining/Qinghai Lake
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Ta'er Lamasery, Sun Moon Mountain, 151 Tourist Area, Black Horse River, Gahai Lake, Sand Island, Gold & Silver Bay Grassland
After breakfast, your local guide will meet and escort you to visit Ta'er Lamasery. It's the birth place of the founder of the Yellow Sect (also called Gelu Sect) Tsong Khapa. In the Tibetan language, Ta'er Monastery is called "gongben" which means 100, 000 figures of Buddha. Ta'er monastery is famous for its butter sculptures, the barbolas, and the murals. In the late afternoon, you will drive (1.5-2 hours) from Xining to Lake Qinghai.
Enjoy a Qinghai Lake tour to visit Sun Moon Mountain, 151 Tourist Area, Black Horse River, Gahai Lake, Sand Island (Shadao), Gold & Silver Bay Grassland (Jinyinwan Grassland) and more tourist spots around the lake and camping at Huyuan Yi for overnight.
Day 6 Qinghai Lake/Xining/Zhangye
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Qinghai Lake
After a morning relax at Qinghai Lake, then you will drive back to Xining for the bullet train (2 hours) to Zhangye. Overnight in Zhangye.
Day 7 Zhangye
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Grand Buddha, Wooden Pagoda Temple, Zhangye Danxia Landform
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Zhangye for 3 hours' drive. On arrival, you will visit the Grand Buddha, Wooden Pagoda Temple, Zhangye Danxia colorful mountains. Overnight in Zhangye.
Day 8 Zhangye/Jiayuguan/Dunhuang
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: 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 9 Dunhuang/Turpan
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: 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 10 Turpan
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Jiaohe Ruins, Astana Tombs, 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.
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 11: Turpan/Urumqi
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Tuyoq Valley, Bezklik Grottoes
After breakfast visit Tuyoq Valley, Bezklik Grottoes and Local Uyger family in the Vineyard and in the afternoon drive to Urumqi.
Tuyoq Valley The caves lies 65 kilometers to the east of the city of Turfan and are constructed or dug in eastern and western cliffs in Tuyoq valley . Among more than 40 caves, there are 10 preserving murals. They are considered to be the earliest caves in Turfan, Murals are mostly damaged, but unique in style.
Bezklik Grottoes It is located 50 kilometers to the east of Turfan City . “Bezeklik”means “a place with beautiful decoration”. There are 83 numbered caves; among them 40 preserved murals totaling 1200 square meters. These caves are first excavated in Qu`s Gaochang period. The exising caves were reconstructed or newly extended by Uighurian people. In some caves one can find that Buddhish murals are painted on Manichean murals. Themes of the murals are mainly the stories about causes.
Local Uyger Family with Vineyard : Turpan is a kingdom of Grapes, all the local uyger families plant the grapes at the back of their house. Local Uyger family visiting is a special experience for you to know their lifestyle in the fireland.
Day 12 Urumqi/Yinchuan
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Xixia King's Tombs
After breakfast, take the morning flight to Yinchuan. Then you will proceed to visit the Helanshan Mural and the Xixia Wangling Tombs. In the afternoon, transfer back to Yinchuan for overnight.
Day 13 Yinchuan/Zhongwei/Yinchuan
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Qingtongxia 108 Pagodas
After breakfast, transfer to Zhongwei city, on the way visit Qingtongxia 108 Pagodas. Arrive Zhongwei transfer to visit the Shapotou Scenic Area. In the afternoon, transfer back to Yinchuan.
Day 14 Yinchuan/Beijing or Shanghai Departure
After breakfast, take the flight for your next destination.
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.