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China: Beijing/Urumqi/Korla/Kucha/Aksu/Kashgar/Turpan


Day 01: Arriving Beijing

Arrive at Beijing, Welcome reception and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is free. Overnight at four star hotel.

Day 02: Beijing

Visit to Badaling Great Wall to have a leisurely walk some of its 5000kms. PM visit to Summer palace.

Map of Silk Road China

Day 03:
Beijing / Urumqi by Air

Visit to Forbidden city and Heavenly temple Tiantan, PM drive to airport to take the flight to Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Arrive and transfer to Hotel. Overnight at World Plaza Hotel or similar.

Day 04: Urumqi / Korla by Car

Breakfast at Hotel, visit to Xinjiang museum to see the three thousand years old mummies and its ethnography section to have a deep understanding about ethnic groups living in Xinjiang. Visit to Baiyuyuan silk and souvenir shop. After lunch, drive to Korla (470kms) over the Tianshan mountain.  Overnight at Yin Xing Hotel.

Day 05: korla / Kucha by Car

Visit to the “Iron Gate Pass”. Iron gate pass has nothing interesting but it was an ancient check post that trade Caravans MUST go through and also was a very strategic place for military. It is worth to see the real Caravan route while we are driving all day along the perfect express highway. Drive to Kucha (260kms) takes around 3 hours. After check in and have lunch, PM visit to the ruins of Subash ancient city, downtown of Kucha etc.  Overnight Kucha Int’l Hotel.

Day 06: Kucha / Aksu by Car

Early start today to visit the Kizil Buddha caves (70kms). Canyons after 30kms from Kucha is very picturesque in the early morning and evening. After the tour to caves, lunch at the tour site then further drive to Aksu through Baicheng town.  Overnight at Hongfu Junlan Hotel.

Day 07: Aksu / Kashgar by Car

After breakfast, drive to Kashgar. Main road is 470kms express highway and landscape is quite boring. Hence, we apply special permit to travel through the northern mountain road via Uchturpan and Akchi Kyrgyz town.. This mountain road is a bit longer but very less traffic on the newly paved good road. Arrive at Kashgar, check in to Yambu Hotel or similar.
Day 08: Kashgar

Today our main objective is the legendary Kashgar Sunday Bazaar where each Sunday the country comes to town at the colorful covered Bazaar as villagers and towns people mix to trade, barter and buy. It is said locally that "you can find everything at Kashgar Bazaar but not rooster's milk". This lively tradition is a carry over from ancient times when Silk Road trade goods flooded into Kashgar from the four corners of central Asia. In the afternoon we visit historic Eidkah Mosque, built in 1442 and still China's largest mosque. Mausoleum of Abakhoja, a venerated Sufi leader lived in 17th century. We take lunch in the old city in a local family compound in order to experience contemporary Uyghur
culture and have dinner at a fruit orchard restaurant.

Day 09: kashgar / Karakul lake

Day trip to Karakul lake. The lake is 200kms away from the Kashgar on the road to Pakistan along the Karakurum highway. It is just a destination but our aim today is enjoy the beautiful landscape all along the way up to lake.

Day 10: Yapchan / Turpan by Train

Early breakfast at hotel and check out, drive at 09:00 am to Yapchan Tuesday village Market 45kms on the south of Kashgar. after spending maximum two hours in this real village market, drive back to station to catch up the train to Turpan that departs at 13:46. Snack lunch at station, dinner and overnight on train. (Soft berth)

Day 11: Turpan

Arrive at Turpan at 11:02. Turpan is the 2nd lowest place in the world next to “Death Sea” with its altitude of –154 meter below sea level. Climate here in summer is very hot and called “fire land”, annual rainfall is less than 20ml. The dry climate makes its grapes are the best in the Country and saved many clay made historical ruins as Gaochang and Jiaohe. PM visit to “Karez wells”, the underground irrigation system of Turpan area, then visit the ruins of Jiaohe AC, a well remained complex of mud clay buildings aged almost 2000 years. Now it is also a cultural heritage under the protection of UNESCO. Overnight Tuha Hotel or similar.
Day 12: Turpan / Dunhuang by Train

Today, we start the day with drive to Tuyuq valley (70kms) on the east of Turpan. The landscape of this peaceful village is beautiful and we walk across the village for about 1 km to a cliff to see Buddha caves with broken paintings. On the way back to Turpan, visit to ruins of Gaochang AC, Astana graveyard from Tang dynasty and Bezaklik Buddha caves, then visit the Emin Minaret the only Islamic architecture in Turpan built in 1777. Night train to Dunhuang.
Day 13: Dunhuang

Arrive at Dunhuang at 10:58, check in to hotel and have lunch. PM visit to world heritage site Mogao caves, late afternoon visit to Mingsha sand dunes to have a camel ride to crescent moon lake.  Overnight at Dunhuang Hotel. Dinner at the night food Market.

Day 14: Dunhuang / Xian by Air

Morning flight to Xian (CZ6895 departs at 10:25), arrive at 12:45, transfer to Hotel to
check in. PM visit to Shaanxi history museum. After dinner, enjoy the Tang dynasty show.  Overnight at Garden Hotel or similar.

Day 15: Xian

Breakfast at Hotel then start our program including the spectacular terra cotta warriors World Heritage site (Cultural list) dating from the Qin dynasty (220BC), Muslim bazaar at the surrounding of the Xian Mosque, a masterpiece of the combination of Muslim and traditional Chinese architecture. The last is the Wild Goose Pagoda repository of the scrolls and manuscripts brought to Xian by the explorer monk Xuan Zang following his great epic journey to the Buddhist capitals of South Asia in Tang dynasty. O/n Garden Hotel or similar.

Day 16: departure

Drive to airport to fly to Beijing and take the connect flight back home.
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