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21-day Ancient Silk Road China to Central Asia Adventure

Day By Day

Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Welcome to China.  Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be met & transferred to check in your hotel. Free leisure for the rest of the day.


Day 2 Beijing
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven

Full day trip to the Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. Enjoy Kungfu Show in the evening- The Tian'anmen Square : The largest city square in the world.

The Forbidden City : The largest imperial palace in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties with a history of around 600 years.

The Temple of Heaven : The place where the ancient emperors used to pray for the God's bless of the whole nation.

Day 3 Beijing
Meals: B, L, D
Places to visit: the Great Wall, Ming Tomb, Sacred road

Full day trip to the Great Wall,Ming Tomb and Sacred road. Enjoy a famous Peking Duck Banquet for dinner. The Great Wall : One of the seven wonders in the world and the symbol of China.

- The Ming Tomb : The only underground tomb of the thirteen tombs of the emperors in the Ming Dynasty.

Day 4 Beijing/Xian
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Summar Palace, Beijing Hutongs

Visit The Summer Palace, Cruise in the Summer Palace, Hutong. You will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight and fly to Xian.

The Summer Palace : The largest and best-preserved royal garden in China with a history of over 800 years.

Hutongs: was near the palace to the east and west and arranged in orderly fashion along the streets. Most of the residents of these hutongs were imperial kinsmen and aristocrats. Another kind, the simple and crude hutong, was mostly located far to the north and south of the palace. The residents were merchants and other ordinary people.

Day 5 Xian
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Terra Cotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Tang Dynasty Song and Dance Show

Full-day visit to the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses (include golf carts), the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In the evening, enjoy a Chinese dumplings feast and the Tang Dynasty Song & Dance Show at Tang Yuegong Theatre.

Day 6 Xian/Lanzhou  
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Xi'an Ancient City Wall

Pay a morning visit to Ancient City Wall where you can enjoy a walk or biking on the top to have a bird view the ancient capital city. Then take an afternoon bullet to Lanzhou.

Day 7 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 8 Xiahe/Lanzhou/Jiayuguan
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 (3 hours) to Zhangye.


Day 9 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 10 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 11 Turpan
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: 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 12 Turpan/Urumqi/Kashgar
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: 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 13 Kashgar
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Sunday Bazaar, Id Kah Mosque, Apak Hoja Tomb, Old town

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.

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.

Day 14 Irkeshtam Pass/Osh
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Osh

A morning Transfer to Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan. It is located in the Fergana Valley in the south of the country and often referred to as the "capital of the south". The city is at least 3,000 years old, and has served as the administrative center of Osh Province since 1939. The city has an ethnically mixed population of about 255,800 (in 2012), comprising Kyrgyz,Uzbeks, Russians, Tajiks, and other smaller ethnic groups.

Day 15 Osh/Ferghana
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: the Oriental Bazaar, the Sulaiman Mountains, Babur Park

The Sulaiman Mountains or the Kesai Mountains form the eastern edge of the Iranian plateau where the Indus River separates it from the Indian Subcontinent.Bordering the Sulaiman Range to the north are the arid highlands of the Hindu Kush, where more than 50 percent of the lands lie 2,000 meter above sea level.

Day 16 Ferghana/Tashkent
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Khastimam Complex, Kukeldash Madrasah, and Chorsu bazar Amir Temur Square, Independence Square, Alisher Navaiy Theatre

Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, the biggest city in Central Asia. It is known all over the world as a city of friendship and harmony. It has a unique mix of ancient history and modern life! The first half of the day you will visit Khastimam Complex, Kukeldash Madrasah, and Chorsu bazar. After lunch you will see the New Part of the city; Independence square, Museum of Applied Arts of Uzbekistan, Alisher Navoi theatre, and Amir Temur square. Night is in a hotel.

Day 17 Tashkent/Bukhara
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Old Bukhara

In the morning you will be transferred to airport for your flight to Bukhara. This city is like a real fairy tale combining the magic lamps and eastern beauties. It is an oasis that Silk Road merchants never missed. Upon arrival you will have some break in a restaurant. After lunch you will have half day city tour. You will visit Old Bukhara: Poi-Kalon ensemble including Minaret, Mosque, functioning Madrassah Miri-Arab, Taqi trading domes, Lyab-i-Hauz Ensemble, Nadir Divanbegi, Magoki Attari, Ulug Beg, Abdul Azizkhan Madrassahs; Registan Ensemble, Ark Fortress and Bolo-Hauz complex. During the lunch you will have national Folklore and Fashion Show at Nodir Devonbegi madrassah.

Day 18 Bukhara/Samarkand
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Ismael Samani mausoleum   

In the morning we will have half day city tour in Bukhara. We will visit Ismael Samani mausoleum, the oldest mausoleum of Bukhara, Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum, local bazaar, and Chor Minor madrasah. After lunch you will be transferred to Samarkand.  It is 268 km between the two cities. On the way we will visit house-museum-workshop of Gijguvan Master of Ceramics Abdulla Narzullaev. Upon arrival you will have free time.  

Day 19 Samarkand
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Mausoleum of Amir Temur

Samarkand is the grandiose capital of the Empire of famous Tamerlane - Amir Temur. It has has the biggest mausoleums, madrasahs and mosques in Central Asia. Full day will be dedicated to sightseeing in Samarkand. Today you will visit Guri Emir, legendary mausoleum of Amir Temur and all his family members, Registan square, world famous complex of 3 Madrasahs and Golden mosque, Mosque Bibi Khanum, Traditional Siyab bazzar, Shahi - Zinda necropolis, a holy place and cemetery with mausoleums of Temurid dynasty and a grave of cousin of Prophet Muhamed, and finally observatory of Ulugbek. After excursion you will have free time. Night is in a hotel.

Day 20 Samarkand/Tashkent
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: "Iron Gates" of Tamerlane

In the morning you will be transferred to Tashkent. The distance is 300 km. On the way we will stop to enjoy the view of mountain pass at legendary "Iron Gates" of Tamerlane. Photo and picnic stop near second largest river of Central Asia - Sirdarya, local fish market and roadside markets where the best melons are sold in the whole region. You can have a quick shopping of water melons and melons (depending on a season). Upon arrival in Tashkent you will have free time for shopping. You will have a farewell dinner with folklore show.  

Day 21 Tashkent Departure
Meals: B
After breakfast, you will have a morning relax until a transfer for the flight to your next destination.



Price Includes:

Transportation & Private Transfers:

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.

Entrance Fees:

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.

Normal Meals:

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.

Private Sightseeing Escort:

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 Accommodation:

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.

Tour Arrangements:

The tour cost includes the planning, handling, booking, operation and communication charges.

Service Charge & Government Taxes

Price Excludes:

International airfare or train tickets for entry or exit China, unless that is noted or required otherwise.

Visa Fees, passport application or renewal fee.

Excess Baggage Charges.
Personal Expenses:
Expenses of a purely personal nature such as excess luggage fees, laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities (shows) and meals, beverages...

Any meal are not specified in the itinerary with "B", "L" or "D".
Any extra cost caused by the changes of natural disasters, fires, weather, government and local authority orders, politics, strikes, war, riots, quarantine, custom regulations; as well as tourist law violation, accident damages or injury incurred out of Access China Travel control.

Tips to guides, escort, drivers bellman, etc.