Urumqi-Dunhuang-Zhangye Danxia-Qinghai Lake-Xian Silk Road 12 Days Tour
Board an international flight bound for China. Cross the International Date Line.Arrive in Beijing, the capital of China. Our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the luxury hotel for rest and relaxation.
Day2,Beijing - Urumqi
More than 2000 years ago, Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty dispatched an emissary to the west, not for trade, but for securing allies against the hordes intrusion from the north. That was the first time China opened its door to the western world. Since then, camel caravans, carrying spices, fruits and all kinds of goods from the west, continuously crossed the vast deserts and the freezing mountains to come to China for the seek of silk. Today, you can follow the path of those ancient caravans all the way on the silk road. Fly to Urumqi. Of all the cities in the world, Urumqi is the farthest from the sea! You are about to step on that mystical road where East meets West. Upon arrival, enjoy the approximately 70 miles drive to the placid Heavenly Lake (Tianchi), properly named for its steep green pastures, virgin conifer forests, and snowy mountains. The elevation is 6000 feet. Take a cruise on the lake.
Day3,Urumqi - Turpan
In the morning, we proceed to Nanshan Pasture where we enjoy the unique scenery of snowcapped peaks, dragon-spruce tress and wild flowers. Then we drive to Turpan, an oasis amid the desert, and renown for its grapes and honeydew melons. Visit the famous Karez Wells, an underground irrigation system that carries melted snow from Mt. Tianshan to the fields below. You will tour the ruins of the ancient city of Jiaohe and Sugong Minaret. Tonight taste roasted lamb and enjoy the Xingjiang folklore performance.
Day4,Turpan - Urumqi
Turpan is best known for its grapes and honeydew melons, but is also rich in historical links to the Silk Road. Visit to Grape Valley. Return to the city and visit the local free market - Big Bazaar and the Xinjiang Minority People’s Museum. Tonight you are treated with the famous regional cuisine.
Day5,Urumqi - Dunhuang
We board a morning flight bound for Dunhuang, one of China's most historic cities that served as a rest stop for traders and as the gateway through which Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity entered China. Our city tour includes visits to the Yangguan Pass of Great Wall (Yangguan), Singing Hill and Moon Lake. Tonight, we enjoy a colorful Minority Show following dinner.
Today our tour takes us to visit Dunhuang Museum at first, later excursion to Mogao Grottoes, known as "The World Art Treasure House". The cave is the largest, most well preserved treasure house of arts in the world and is listed as one of the World Cultural Heritages. Mogao Grottoes designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO for its l600-year accumulated cultural, architecture, and art treasures. They are China's oldest monumental Buddhist grottoes. The first grotto was constructed in 366 AD. Housed in the remaining 492 cave temples are over 2,400 sculptures and 45,000 square meters of frescoes.
Day7,Dunhuang - Jiayuguan
Drive from Dunhuang to Jiayuguan Pass, the western end of the Great Wall. Visit this vital stronghold of military defense. Lunch in a nearby city followed by a visit to a local vineyard. Visit Jiayuguan Pass Fort. Tonight we stay at Jiayuguan.
Day8,Jiayuguan - Zhangye - Xining
After breakfast, drive to Zhangye. You will tour the Zhangye Geological Park. The landform of Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park is a unique type of petrographic geomorphology which is found only in China which consists of red-colored sandstones and conglomerates of largely Cretaceous age. About 100 million years ago, there used to be a huge inland basin here. Water carried silt from the surrounding mountains to the basin. As the result of global high temperatures the basin dried up and in these arid conditions the sediment oxidized and turned rust color. The area is fast becoming a popular tourist attraction for the sleepy town of Zhangye. The World Heritage Committee decided to include China Danxia Landform in the World Heritage List at its 34th meeting being held in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, on August 1, 2010. In the afternoon, we take the express train to Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province.
Day9,Xining - Qinghai Lake - Xining
Xining, it has been central China's gateway to Tibet since the ancient times. It is also the area fro which the Yangtze and the Yellow Rivers originate. After breakfast, see those majestic temples and golden altatrs. Marvel at the jeweled pagodas of a mosque and visit the Temple of Tar. Later, we drive to Qinghai Lake, the China's largest salt lake. You will have a boat ride tour on the lake. You will never forget the turquoise blue water, the jadegreen pastures, the cleanest azure sky, the reed tents, the black oxen, the yellow blooms and the colorful Tibetan costumes. Experience the unique flavor of this border city where many different ethnic, cultural, and religious groups live in peace and harmony. In spring season (April to May), you can have an optional tour to the Bird Island if time allows. The island is populated by thousands of migratory birds during their breeding season, and it is a wonderful sight. Tonight we enjoy a delicious local hot pot.
Day10,Xining - Xian
Fly to Xian, the cradle of Chinese civilization, was the state capital of 73 emperors spanning 11 dynasties during 1100 years dating from 4,000 B.C. On the way to hotel, you will see the ancient city walls. Visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda Square. This evening after an Imperial Dumpling Banquet Dinner, you will see a wonderful stage opera show of the Tang Dynasty, the one as being a “must see” in Xian.
Day11,Xian - Mt. Huashan - Xian
After breakfast, we drive to Mt. Huashan, one of five holy mountains in China. Ascend by cable to the top of this majestic mountain for a breath-taking view of its five peaks and the Yellow River.
After breakfast, you are transferred to airport for your return flight back to your home, End of tour.