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12-day Silk Road China Buddism & Buddha Caves Tour

Day By Day

Day 1 Arrival in Luoyang
Upon arrival in Luoyang from Shanghai, your local tour guide will meet you and escort you to check in your hotel for a rest. The rest of day for you to explore freely the ancient capital.  

Day 2 Luoyang/Shaolin Temple
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Shaolin Temple, Chinese Kung Fu Show

After breakfast, you will take 2 hours's morning drive to Songshan Mountain where Shaolin Temple is perhaps the most famous Buddhist Temple on earth. It was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2010. The temple is home to the famous Shaolin fighting monks. The temple complex is filled with natural beauty and many ancient relics. Visitors can stroll through the temple complex and watch Shaolin Kung Fu being practiced and taught. Go back to Luoyang for overnight.

Day 3 Luoyang/Tianshui
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Longmen Grottoes, White Horse Temple

After breakfast, you will pay a morning visit to Longmen Grottoes. And then go to see White Horse Temple. After sightseeing, you will be transfered to Luoyang Train Station for late afternoo or evening bullet train (3 hours) to Tainshui city.  

Day 4 Tianshui/Lanzhou
Meals: B, L
Site Visited: Maijishan Grottoes

Arrive in Tianshui in the early morning, tour guide will pick up you at the train station to have breakfast, then visit the Maijishan Grottoes, transfer to Lanzhou in the evening. Stay at Lanzhou

Day 5 Lanzhou/Xiahe
Meals: B, L
Places to visit: Labrang Monastery, Songke Grassland

After breakfast, you will take a morning drive head to Xiahe. Often referred to as "Little Tibet", Xiahe is famous for Labrang Monastery, as one of the six leading Buddhist lamaseries in China. The lamasery houses thousands of cultural relics including 60,000 volumes of Tibetan scriptures which have been well preserved. There will also be an opportunity to meet the semi-nomadic herdsmen of the surrounding grasslands.

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 6 Xiahe/Lanzhou/Zhangye
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  for an 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 7 Zhangye/Jiayuguan
Meals: B L D
Site visited: Danxia Landform, Zhangye Giant Buddha Temple, Wooden Pagoda Temple, Matisi Grottoes
After breakfast, you will visit Danxia Landfrom and Zhangye Giant Buddha Temple, Wooden Pagoda Temple,. After lunch, proceed to visit the Matisi Grottoes. After a day tour in Zhangye, you will be catch a evening bullet train (1.5 hours) to (Jiayuguan)


Day 8 Jiayuguan/Dunhuang
Meals: B, L
Places to visit:  Jiayuguan Pass,  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, 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 11 Turpan/Urumqi  
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 12 Urumqi Departure
Meals: B
After breakfast, you will be transfered to the airport and take 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.