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18-day Silk Road China Sichuan Panda Tibet Tour

Day By Day

Day 1 Beijing/Urumqi
Sites visited: Xinjiang Museum, Xinjiang International Bazaar

Welcome to Xinjiang! Upon arrival in Urumqi, your local guide will meet and escort you to check in the hotel for a short rest. Then proceed to visit the Xinjiang Museum and Xinjiang International Bazaar.

Xinjiang Museum is the main institution to collect and investigate the unearthed cultural relics and specimens in Xinjiang. There are more than 50 thousand pieces of various kinds of cultural relics stored in the museum, among them, the ancient mummies represented by ‘the Loulan Beauty', manuscripts in Chinese, Kharosthi, Qiuci, Yanji, Tibetan, Uigurian and other characters prevailed in ancient Western Regions, the silk ,wool, cotton and hemp fabrics and folk retainment, etc., are unusual tidbits in the world.

Erdaoqiao Market & International Bazaar is the largest in Urumqi. You'll find a bustling market filled with fruit, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets and almost anything that you can imagine. On Sunday, there are more stalls and more goods to buy than any other day. The old streets around the bazaar are really worth seeing.Here is the most welcomed place by tourist especially by ladies where they can buy some traditional Uygur make up cosmetic.

 

Day 2 Urumqi/Heaven Lake/Turpan   
Meals: B, L
Sites Visited: Heavenly Lake

A delightful day start with a morning visit to the beautiful ‘Heavenly Lake’ which is located about halfway up the 5,000 metres high Bogda Mountain. The drive to this green pine-covered mountain past many Kazakh yurt encampments is as interesting as the lake itself. and an evening transfer to Turpan.



Day 3 Turpan/Dunhuang
Meals: B, L
Siteds visited: Jiaohe Ruins, Karez Irrigation System, Sugong Minaret, Tuyoq Valley, Flaming Mountain

A morning visit to Jiaohe ruins, Karez Irrigation System,Sugong Minaret,Tuyoq Valley and the Flaming Mountain and have the lunch in the local family with vineyard. After dinner transfer to the station and take the overnight train with soft sleeper to Dunhuang.

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.

Karez Irrigation 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.

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.

 

Day 4 Dunhuang
Meals: B, L
Siteds visited: Mogao Caves, Echoing-Sand Mountain, Crescent Lake

Afer breakfast upon your arrival in Dunhuang via Liuyuan, you will start a full day Dunhuang tour to visit Mogao Caves, Echoing-Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake. Mogao Grottoes : Constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to the 14th centuries, the caves hold the world's richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.Cameras are not permitted.

Echoing-Sand Mountain: Crescent Moon Spring is 6km south of Dunhuang in the Singing Sands Mountains and is quite literally an oasis in the desert. The spring's name derives from the crescent moon shape taken by the small pool of spring water between two large sand dunes. Although the area is very dry, the pool doesn't dry up as one might expect.

 

Day 5 Dunhuang/Jiayuguan/Lanzhou
Meals: B, L
Siteds visited: Jiayuguan Pass, The Great Wall on the Cliff, Great Walls Museum

Morning transfer by bus or bullet train to Jiayuguan and visit the Jiayuguan Pass, The Great Wall on the Cliff, Great Walls Museum And take a PM flight or bullet train to Lanzhou .

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 6 Lanzhou/Xi'an
Meals: B, L
Sites Visited:
Gansu Provincial Museum, White Pagoda Hill, Xian Acient City Wall

After breakfast, you will start a morning visit to the Gansu Provincial Museum, White Pagoda Hill. Then take a bullet train (3 hours) in the afternoon to Xi'an, the capital city of Shaaxi Province. Upon arrival, you local guide will meet you and escort you to take a biking or walk along the top of Xian's Ancient City Wall to get a bird’s eye view of this amazing ancient city.

Option: In the evening you will be taken to an amazing Jiaozi (Dumpling) Feast followed by the Tang Dynasty Show, which bring the pageantry and music of the ancient Tang Dynasty to life.



Day 7 Xian/Kunming
Meals: B, L
Sites Visited:
Terracotta Warriors, Small Wild Goose Pagoda

After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will meet you and you will be driven to visit the incredible Terracotta Warriors. After lunch you will be driven to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda Scenic Area, where you will stroll through the gardenlike area around the pagoda. Then take a night flight to Kunming, the capitial of Yunnan province.



Day 8 Kunming/Dali
Meals: B, L
Site Visited:
Stone Forest, Kunming Flowers & Birds Market

After breakfast, today tour start with Kunming Flowers & Birds Market. Then drive 1.5 hours (90 KM) to visit the Stone Forest. The Stone Forest covers 26,000-hectare and from a distance, it does indeed look like a forest of stones with its peaks and odd-shaped rocks standing straight up from the ground. You can walk around the forest on paths that have been built and there is some stair climbing involved if you want to walk around it. Drive back to Kunming for overnight train with sleeper seat to Dali city.


Day 9 Dali
Meals: B, L
Site Visited:
Zhoucheng Village, Chongsheng Monastery Three Pagodas, Ancient Dali Town

Upon arrival in Dali, you will be transfered to visit Zhoucheng Village for local Bai people's traditional Tie-dye cloth art workshop. Then visit Three Pagodas in Chongsheng Monastery which has a history of over 1,800 years located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. In the afternoon, you will visit the Ancient Dali Town, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the relax time with local people. Standing on the city wall of Dali, you will have panoramic view of the Erhai Lake.



Day 10 Dali/Lijiang
Meals: B, L
Site Visited:
Xizhou Town, Lijiang Old Town, Dongba Museum

After a morning visit to local market at Xizhou Town and Yan Family Mansion full Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture. Then drive about 180 km (3 hours) to Lijiang. You'll head for the scenic Black Dragon Pool and the Dongba Museum to explore the rich Naxi minority culture.
             
In the evening, explore Lijiang Old Town. It has a history more than 800 years; it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi ethnic people.



Day 11 Lijiang
Meals: B, L
Site Visited:
Yuhu Village, Baisha Old Town

After breakfast, you will pay a morning visit to Yuhu Village (Jade Lake Village), where you have overlook view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a holy mountain for the Naxi people that is located 15km north of Lijiang city. Then visit Locke's Former Residence.

Stroll through Baisha Old Town, which is an enchanting traditional Naxi style old town, where houses Baisha Murals made in succession from the early Ming dynasty to the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing dynasty. These mural paintings, with their fine and smooth lines, bright colors, vivid pattern and balanced and harmonious composition are a wonderful sight. Today's tour will end with Shuhe Ancient Town.  In the late afternoon, you will drive back to Lijiang.

         


Day 12 Lijiang/Lhasa
Meals: B, L
Sites Visited:

Take a morning flight to Lhasa, your local tour guide and escort you to check in the hotel.  After checking in, the rest of the day is for you to acclimate to the high altitude and weather of Lhasa. Avoid strenuous physical activities during this first day since that may cause high altitude sickness.

Guide Tips:
1) avoid vigorous activities but do take some leisurely walks in the city to acclimatize to the air and high altitude of Lhasa city (altitude of 3600m);
2) do not drink liquor in the arrival day, instead plenty of water and fruits are recommended.



Day 13 Lhasa
Meals: B, L
Sites Visited:
Potala palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street

Pay a morning visit the famous Potala palace and explore the grandest of this myriad chapels. As the symbol of Tibet, it was built in 641 AD and was the winter palace of Dalai Lama who is Tibet's pope. Impressive Tibetan architecture, huge golden Buddha statues, red-robed lamas and devoted pilgrims all make it a must-visit.

In the afternoon, you'll visit the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Every day, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet trek here from long distances to worship. Finally, walk the special circular pilgrimage route as local followers always do at Barkhor Street.

Tips: 1) wear suitable headgear and glasses to protect you from strong sunlight, but do not wear any hat while visiting inside the Tibetan monasteries; 2) photography is not allowed inside the chapels of monasteries; 3) have your passport with you all of the time.



Day 14 Lhasa
Meals: B, L
Sites Visited:
Norbulingka Park, Sera Monastery,Drepung Monastery   

After breakfast, we start today with a morning visit to the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas and also the largest Tibetan garden – Norbulingka Park. The luxuriant trees and flowers, cool ponds and comfortable palaces make Norbulingka the best place for a summer retreat. Then drive about 5km westward to Drepung Monastery, once the largest Monastery housing 10,000 monks in its heyday.

If we are very lucky, we may even come across Sera Monastery’s Monks debiting which was held in the courtyard at around 3;00-5:30 in the afternoon. Your tour ends at Sera Monastery.



Day 15 Lhasa/Chengdu
Meals: B, L
Sites Visited:
Chengdu Big Panda Breeding Center, Kuanzai Alley

After breakfast, you will take a morning flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival, you will be transfered to visit Chengdu Big Panda Breeding Center, to see lovely Panda. Then a walk around  Kuanzai Alley in Chengdu city.



Day 16 Chengdu/Leshan/Mt. Emei
Meals: B, L
Sites Visited:
Huanglongxi Ancient Town, Leshan Giant Buddha

After breakfast, will transfer you to visit Huanglongxi Ancient Town which has 1,700 years of history. Then take bus to Leshan, to see the world's largest stone Giant Buddha. Then visit the Lingyun Temple, the ancient Plank Cliff Path and the Stele Forest. After visiting will take bus to Emeishan, stay overnight at the foot of Mount Emei.



Day 17 Emei Mountain/Chengdu
Meals: B, L
Siteds visited:
Emei Mountain

After breakfast you will take cable car up the Mt. Emei. Visit the Wannian Temple. Then walk through Qingyin Pavilion - the biggest natural ecology reserve area for monkeys. Then take the tourist bus down to the foot of the mountain. To visit the Fuhu Temple, one of famous nuns temple. After visiting will transfer you back to Chengdu for a rest.



Day 18 Chengdu Departure
Meals: B
Today you will be free until your guide meet you and escort you to the airport for the flight to next destination.

 

 

Service Ends

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...

Meals:
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.

Gratuities:
Tips to guides, escort, drivers bellman, etc.