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Golden Route of Silk Road - 17 Days

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Beijing - Urumqi - Turpan - Dunhuang - Lanzhou - Xiahe - Xi’an - Shanghai
This is a comparatively complete Silk Road tour where you can appreciate the profound culture surrounding Buddhism as well as the grand desert scenery. It also combines the modern elements of Shanghai and Beijing with ancient pearls of Xi’an and Dunhuang. Enjoy the all of the splendor this golden route has to offer.
map

Day 1 Beijing

airport-hotel transfer in Beijing

Day 2 Beijing

breakfast, lunch
Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City , Temple of Heaven, a silk gift shop en route
The Tian’anmen Square is the world’s largest and renowned public square where many historical events once took place.
The Forbidden City (UNESCO) is the imperial place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties ruled for nearly 500 years (1420-1911). Experience the architectural splendor of the palaces, ceremonial courtyards, and private quarters.
The Temple of Heaven (UNESCO), where ancient Chinese emperors made sacrifices to Heaven and prayed for bountiful harvests, demonstrates the supreme achievement of traditional Chinese architecture.

Good to know: Usually the guide service for a full day tour is about from 9:00 to 17:00, and the evening time is on your own. If needed, your guide is happy to offer some tips or help you buy tickets for evening entertainment.

Ideas for leisure time: If you are interested in Chinese Kung Fu, the Legend of Kung Fu is a good choice for tonight. It is stunning Kung Fu show with a great story line and martial arts skills.

Day 3 Beijing

breakfast, lunch
Great Wall, Summer Palace , a cloisonné workshop en route
The Great Wall is one of the most spectacular structures ever built by humans and is the only one visible from space.
The Summer Palace (UNESCO) is the largest imperial garden in the world. Emperors of successive dynasties created a summer retreat of Chinese gardens and pavilions, around the tranquil waters of Kunming Lake.

Ideas for leisure time:

1. Enjoy the Peking Duck dinner at time-honored restaurant - Quanjude or Bianyifang. The duck is characteristic with its crispy skin, tender meat and the fragrance from the fruit-wood.

2. Watch a breathtaking acrobatic show at Chaoyang Theater or Tiandi Theater.

Day 4 Beijing – Urumqi (by air)

hotel - airport transfer in Beijing, airport - hotel transfer in Urumqi
breakfast

Day 5 Urumqi

breakfast, lunch
Heavenly Lake, Erdaoqiao Bazaar
The Heavenly Lake is surrounded by the vastness of mountains and alpine meadows with an elevation of 2000 meters above sea level.
If time permits, visit the Erdaoqiao Bazaar, which is believed to be the largest outdoor market in Xinjiang.

Day 6 Urumqi - Turpan (by automobile)

private transfer from Urumqi to Turpan, hotel transfer in Turpan
breakfast, lunch
Jiaohe Ruins , Karez System, Emin Minaret
The Jiaohe Ruins reveals traces of a prosperous ancient trading center and military base 600 years ago.
The Karez System (UNESCO), an underground irrigation system, is considered to be one of the three great ancient projects of China. Its main function is to deliver water from nearby snow capped mountains to Turpan and its agricultural fields.
Emin Minaret, also known as Sugong Tower, is one of the most famous Islamic constructions and the only Islamic tower in China.

Day 7 Turpan

breakfast, lunch
Astana Tombs , Flaming Mountain, Bazelik Thousand Buddha Caves, Grape Valley
The Astana Tombs are known as the 'Underground Museum' and highly regarded by Chinese and foreign archaeologists and historians. More than 400 tombs have been excavated from there since 1950.
Pass by the Flaming Mountain, which is famous in the Chinese classical literature “Journey to the West”.
The Bazelik Thousand Buddha Caves has 77 caves and inside each cave is a rural of the Buddha painted on the ceiling along with hundreds of Buddhist sculptures and figures.
With beautiful and elegant scenery, the Grape Valley is famous for growing all kinds of grapes and other fruits.

Day 8 Turpan - Dunhuang (by bullet train)

hotel-train station transfer in Turpan, train station-hotel transfer in Dunhuang
breakfast

Day 9 Dunhuang

breakfast, lunch
Mogao Grottoes , Crescent Moon Lake & Singing Sand Dunes
The Mogao Grottoes (UNESCO) is one of the world's most important sites of ancient Buddhist Culture. The treasure house contains hundreds of sandstone caves holding more than 2,000 statues and 45,000 brilliantly bright paintings of Buddha and Chinese mythological figures.
The Crescent Moon Lake & Singing Sand Dunes are famous attractions in Dunhuang. From a distance make sure to listen carefully for the whistling tunes among the sand dunes. If you are feeling adventurous, take an optional camel ride (on your own expense).

Day 10 Dunhuang - Lanzhou (by air)

hotel - airport transfer in Dunhuang, airport transfer in Lanzhou
breakfast
Waterwheel Garden
The Waterwheel Garden is a highlight along the Yellow River in Lanzhou. The unique waterwheels will provide you an insight into the irrigation tools of ancient China.

Day 11 Lanzhou - Xiahe (by automobile)

private transfer from Lanzhou to Xiahe
breakfast, lunch

Sangke Grassland

In the morning, take a car ride to Xiahe (about 260 km, 4 hours’ driving), which is known as the Little Tibet of Gansu Province.

Upon arrival, you will explore the Sangke Grassland, a splendid plateau meadow.

Day 12 Xiahe - Lanzhou (by automobile)

private transfer Xiahe to Lanzhou
breakfast, lunch

Labuleng Monastery

Today, you will visit the Labuleng Monastery. Later, take a 4-hour car ride to Lanzhou and transfer to the hotel.

Day 13 Lanzhou - Xi'an (by air)

airport transfer in Lanzhou, airport - hotel transfer in Xi’an
breakfast, lunch
Bingling Temple Grottoes
Pay a visit to the Bingling Temple Grottoes, which can be reached after a 75 km drive from Lanzhou by car and then by boat. The grottoes are cut on steep cliffs along the Yellow River, about 2 km long in a honeycomb pattern. There are now nearly 800 sculptures in stone, clay and clay-covered stone and 900 square meters of murals preserved in 183 cases.

Day 14 Xi’an

breakfast, lunch
Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a ceramic & pottery workshop en route
The Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses (UNESCO) is one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the world. More than 6000 life-sized terra cotta warriors, archers, infantrymen, horses, and bronze chariots have silently guarded the tomb of China's First Emperor for over 2,200 years.
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a Tang Dynasty landmark, is a seven-story pagoda initially constructed in 652 AD. One of the pagoda's many functions is to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler - Xuanzang.

Ideas for leisure time: Enjoy a tasteful Dumpling Banquet followed by an exquisite traditional Tang Dynasty Show.

Good to know: If you have an extra day in Xi’an, you could explore the Mount Hua and get impressed of its unique natural beauty. Or to take a day trip to Luoyang by bullet train and visit the Longmen Grottoes, one of the Three Most Famous Buddhist Grottoes in China.

Day 15 Xi’an – Shanghai (by air)

airport transfer in Xi’an, airport - hotel transfer in Shanghai
breakfast, lunch
Ancient City Wall
The Ancient City Wall is one of the oldest city walls in China and still encompasses the center of Xi'an today.

Day 16 Shanghai

breakfast, lunch
Yu Garden, Jade Budda Temple, Shanghai Museum, Bund, a local gift shop en route
Owing to its ingenious design in Ming and Qing dynasties, the Yu Garden becomes a real museum of Chinese ancient architecture.
The Jade Budda Temple is famous for its two precious jade buddha statues brought from Burma, which are not only rare cultural relics but also exquisite artworks.
The Shanghai Museum has a collection of 120,000 pieces of Chinese ancient treasures.
The Bund,featured outstanding European colonial architectures, is fulled of new skyscrapers and historical buildings in the center of Shanghai.

Ideas for leisure time:

1. Acrobatic Shows in Shanghai are known as the best in China. You can never imagine how exciting the show is.

2. Or you could take a Huangpu River Night Cruise which is the perfect way to enjoy the gorgeous night view of Shanghai.

Day 17 Shanghai

hotel - airport transfer in Shanghai
breakfast

Service ends.

Tour Includes :

-- Private tour guide

-- Private air-conditioned coach

-- Land transfers between airport or railway station and hotel

-- Entrance tickets as listed

-- Chinese Lunch and dinner as listed

-- Centrally located hotels with breakfast

-- Domestic flights with taxes and train ticket (2nd class seat) as listed

-- Service charge & government taxes

Tour Excludes :

-- International flights with taxes

-- Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, phone bills, optional activities

-- Tips for guides and drivers

-- China Visa

-- Travel insurance

About Shopping or No-shopping Tours

Since October, 2013, CITS offers truly alternative prices of tours with or without shopping. Exceptionally, some tours only have one type price, such as seat-in-coach, hiking, self-driving and luxury tours, etc. Click here know more details.
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