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Tour code-MTP05:19days JOURNEY TO THE SILK ROAD
  • TOUR CODE-MTP05:  19days Beijing-Xi'an-Lanzhou-Dunhuang-Urumqi-Kashgar explore Silk road tour 
     
    The Silk Road is as iconic in world history as the Colossus of Rhodes or the Suez Canal. It is not only an ancient international trade route, but also a splendid cultural bridge linking the cultures of China, India, Persia, Arabia, Greece and Rome. JOURNEY TO THE SILK ROAD will lead you to experience the adventures of this ancient trade road with the fascinating story of archeological discovery and cultural transmission. The trip will start in Beijing and pass to the beginning point of this ancient road at Chang’an (now Xi'an), then to Dunhuang via the Hexi Corridor, where spread all over the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. 
     
    Itinerary
     
    DAY 01 ARRIVE IN BEIJING
     
    Arrive in Beijing, China’s capital city. Welcomed by your local guide at the airport, you will be escorted to your hotel for check-in.
     
    DAY 02 TIANANMEN SQUARE/FORBIDDEN CITY/HUTONG RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT/LUILICHANG CULTURAL STREET/QIANMEN DAJIE (B/L/D)
     
    In the morning, marvel at the vast Tiananmen Square and see the neighboring halls and monuments. Walk through the Gate of Heavenly Peace to the magnificent Forbidden City, which was home to the Ming and Qing dynasties for over 500 years. Then, ride on a pedal-powered cab and tour through Beijing’s traditional courtyard neighborhoods where old traditions remain very much alive. You will have the opportunity to visit the home of a local resident. Afterwards, wander through Luilichang Cultural Street, once a flourishing cultural center during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911) where scholars, painters, and calligraphers gathered to exchange ideas, compose poetry, write books, and paint pictures. Continue to Qianmen Dajie Pedestrian Street, lined with shops, teahouses, and restaurants. Tonight, you will be served one of the most popular dishes in China at the Beijing Duck Dinner Party.
     
    DAY 03 MUTIANYU GREAT WALL/SUMMER PALACE (B/L)
     
    Travel to the northwest of Beijing to visit China’s most famous attraction – the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu. Built over 2,000 years ago, it stretches 4,000 miles across mountains and valleys in the northern part of China. Walk along a well-preserved section of this true wonder of the world and enjoy the panoramic views. Spend the afternoon at the former Imperial Summer Palace – the famous royal garden that was favored by the Empress Cixi in the late 19th century. Stroll through the “Long Corridor” to admire its painting gallery. Tonight, take advantage of your free time to explore Beijing’s bustling night food market.
     
    DAY 04 TEMPLE OF HEAVEN/BEIJING PLANNING EXHIBITION MUSEUM (B)
     
    Continue exploring Beijing’s famous sights with an early morning tour to the Temple of Heaven, a complex of buildings representing the pinnacle of Ming and Qing architecture built in 1420, including the Hall of Prayer for good harvest, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and Circular Altar. The surrounding park areas are also alive with locals practicing tai chi, playing traditional musical instruments, enjoying a game of Chinese chess, or just chatting with friends. Afterwards, visit Beijing’s Planning Exhibition Museum, designed to introduce the long history of the immortal city of Beijing and displays the great achievements of the modern urban planning and development. This afternoon is free for further exploration or to relax
     
    DAY 05 BEIJING/XIAN (B/L) 
     
    Fly to Xi'an, the ancient capital of China and home to the most famous archaeological sites in the world - the Terracotta Warriors. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by your local guide at the airport and escorted to your hotel. In the afternoon, visit the ancient city wall built in the Ming Dynasty, on the original foundations of the Tang Forbidden City Wall.
     
    DAY 06 XIAN (B/L)
     
    Take a short drive east to one of the true wonders of ancient China, the Terracotta Warriors near Xi'an. Housed in numerous underground vaults, some 7,000 figures of warriors and their horses that were originally made more than 2,000 years ago are on display. You will also get a chance to witness the Circle Vision Documentary on the history of the site and to view the bronze chariots and horses sculpture, the most precious centerpiece of the Terracotta Warriors Museum. Visit a number of different vaults before returning to the city to explore the colorful Muslim Quarter, and the Drum and Bell Towers.
     
    DAY 07  XIAN/LANZHOU (B/L)
     
    Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Provice and a major stop on the ancient Silk Road's Hexi Corridor northwest of Xi'an. Spend the afternoon at the Gansu Provincial Museum, which exhibits more than 100,000 historical and cultural relics, which will provide unparalleled insight into the history and routes of the Silk Road. Continue to Lanzhou Waterwheel Garden where you can admire Giant ancient waterwheels used for the irrigation of farming fields along the Yellow River in ancient Lanzhou city. 
     
    DAY 08- LANZHOU/BINGLINGSI GROTTOES (B/L)
     
    Drive to Yongjing Country for a boat ride on the Yellow River to visit the impressive Binglingsi Grottoes. The caves, carved out of the cliff's porous stone, contain over 700 statues, of both clay and porous rock, and hundreds of frescoes. The largest statue is the giant 88 foot-high seated Maitreya, the future Buddha with its upper body carved into the cliff and lower body made of clay. The statue sits cross-legged in meditation on a pedestal with the right hand resting on the lap and the left hand on the abdomen was sculptured in the 19th year of Dezong Reign of the Tang Dynasty.
     
    DAY 09 - LANZHOU/ JIAYUGUAN  (B/L)
     
    Fly to Jiayuguan, a small township located in the Gobi desert, at the middle of Silk Road's Hexi Corridor. Upon arrival, check into your hotel then spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
     
    DAY 10 - JIAYUGUAN/ DUNHUANG (B/L)
     
    Jiayuguan used to be the pass of strategic importance to the ancient Silk Road. After breakfast, tour Jiayuguan Pass, the first pass at the west end of the Great Wall of China and is well-known as "the Impregnable Pass under the Heaven". It is also the most magnificent and best-preserved pass among the more than one thousand passes along the Great Wall of China. After lunch, take a 4 hour scenic drive to the 2,000-year-old oasis town of Dunhuang. Known as the 'City of Sands.'  Dunhuang is located in the western end of the Hexi Corridor near the historic junction of the Northern and Southern Silk Roads. 
     
    DAY 11 - DUNHUANG (B/L)
     
    Today's highlight tour features the Mogao Grottoes, the largest treasure house of stone carvings and mural paintings in China. Popularly known as "Thousand Buddha Caves", Mogao Grottoes is an art gallery in the desert. The walls of the caves are lined with Buddhist frescoes and sculpted figures, which are said to be the finest examples of Buddhist art in the world and a remarkable record of Silk Road civilization.
     
    DAY 12 - DUNHUANG/URUMQI/TURPAN (B/L)
     
    In the morning, visit Dunhuang Museum, which exhibits relics excavated from Dunhuang area that reflect the flourishing social development and cultural exchange between China and the West during the time when Dunhuang was a major center along the Silk Road. In the late afternoon, tour the Crescent Moon Lake in the Singing Sand Dunes, where the oasis meets the desert. Climb up the sand dunes for a panoramic view of the Crescent Lake as well as enjoying a camel ride. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Upon arrival, A short coach journey takes you through the desert to the Oasis town of Turpan, famed for its melons and vineyards. 
     
    DAY 13 - TURPAN (B/L)
     
    Today's tour includes a visit to the ruined city of Gaochang, the site of an ancient oasis city and a stopping point for merchant traders traveling on the Silk Route. Next, tour the underground tombs of Astana to view thousands of well preserved burial objects inside, dating from the early Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD). Drive past the legendary Flaming Hills to Bezeklik (Thousand Buddha) Caves. There are 77 rock-cut caves in rectangular spaces with rounded arch ceilings divided into four sections, each with a mural of Buddha. The entire ceiling is covered with hundreds of Buddha paintings. Continue to the nearby Emin Minaret, one of the finest buildings on the Silk Road. In the afternoon, learn about the Kerez underground irrigation system, a group of underground water canals to collect water from the surrounding mountains for drinking, plant irrigation and livestock needs. End your day with a visit to an authentic grape vineyard.
     
    DAY 14 - TURPAN/URUMQI/KASHGAR (B/L)
     
    Drive to Urumqi and board your flight to Kashgar (also known as Kashi),  a bustling market town in the western extremity of China near the border with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
     
    DAY 15 - KASHGAR (B/L)
     
    Spend the morning at the Sunday Bazaar, the market is renowned as the biggest market in Central Asia. At the Mal Bazaar livestock markets, you will see farmers walking their animals to the market while other animals arrive in the back of small tuk-tuks, vans, large trucks or even motorcycles. Locals from all the surrounding villages come to this open ground market to buy and sell animals. Then, wander through the different sections of the Yengi Bazaar, you can watch traders dressed in their Sunday best selling hats, spices, kitchenware, carpets, clothing, and anything-else-you-can-expect. In the afternoon, walk through the narrow winding streets of the historic old town, one of Central Asia’s best preserved examples of Islamic traditions, where you will meet friendly residents and see traditional Islamic architecture. You will also have the opportunity to visit a local Uygur family and a kindergarden (when in session). In the afternoon, tour the vast Id Kah Mosque and the tomb of Abakh Khoja.
     
    DAY 16 - KASHGAR/URUMQI (B/L)
     
    Fly to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Urumqi means “beautiful pastures land ” in the Mongolian language, with 13 of China's 55 ethnic minorities calling this area home. In the afternoon, visit the Regional Museum with over 50,000 treasures on display, giving a vivid introduction to the customs and cultures of the regions different ethnic groups. Proceed to visit the bustling Erdaoqiao International Grand Bazaar, the largest Uygur market in Urumqi. The rest of the day is free for further exploration or to relax at your leisure.
     
    DAY 17 - URUMQI/SOUTHERN PASTURES (B/L)
     
    Spend the morning at the picturesque Southern Pastures, known as Nanshan or "Southern Mountain Grassland," which spreads across low to medium-sized rolling hills dotted with copses, flowers, yurts and large flocks of yak, sheep, and horses tended by the indigenous but nomadic Kazakh herdsmen. You will have the opportunity to visit a family in their tent for a taste of traditional nomadic hospitality. Return to the city for a free afternoon at your leisure.
     
    DAY 18- URUMQI/BEIJING (B)
     
    Transfer to the airport for your flight to Beijing. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in.
     
    DAY 19- BEIJING DEPARTURE (B)
     
    Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
     
     
    Meals: B= Breakfast  L= Lunch  D=Dinner
     
    From USD3780 
     
    Accommodations:
    Beijing: Beijing: Grand Mercure Hotel Dongcheng http://www.grandmercurehotels.com.cn 
    Xian: Grand Noble Hotel http://www.gnhotel.com
    Lanzhou: Grand Soluxe Hotel Gansu www.sunshineplaza.com.cn
    Jiayuguan: Jiu Gang Hotel
    Dunhuang: Grand Soluxe Hotel Dunhuang www.dhsoluxehotel.com
    Turpan: Tuha Petroleum Hotel www.hoteltuha.com 
    Kashgar: Yin Rui Lin International Hotel www.yrlhotel.com.cn
    Urumqi: Mirage Hotel  www.mirage-hotel.cn
     
    Package includes:
    •Economy class China domestic airfare
    •5 nights 5-star hotel accommodation in Beijing base on twn/dbl share
    •2 nights 5-star hotel accommodation in Xian base on twn/dbl share
    •2 nights 5-star hotel accommodation in Lanzhou base on twn/dbl share
    •1 night 4-star hotel accommodation in Jiayuguan base on twn/dbl share
    •2 nights 5-star hotel accommodation in Dunhuang base on twn/dbl share
    •2 nights 5-star hotel accommodation in Turpan base on twn/dbl share
    •2 nights 5-star hotel accommodation in Kashgar base on twn/dbl share
    •2 nights 5-star hotel accommodation in Urumqi base on twn/dbl share
    •Meals, sightseeing & admissions and cultural performances as specified 
    •Ground transportation specified on the itinerary
    •English speaking guide
     
    Package excludes: 
    •International airfare
    •China visa
    •Cable car or sightseeing car, optional tour or shows
    •Beverages 
    •Tipping & personal expenses
     
    Conditions
    Prices based on group size minimum of 10 people. 
    Price per person and subject to change/availability.
     
     
     

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