Crescent Lake, Dunhuang

Tracks of Silk Road

SG24: 13 Days Small Group Tour of Beijing - Xi'an - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi - Shanghai
Tour Type: Small Group of maximum 6 travelers, guaranteed departures
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 12 nights at good 5-star & 4-star hotels
Meals: 12 western buffet breakfasts, 8 lunches with some being a la carte style, 1 dumpling dinner

Tour Highlights:
  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army
  • Trace back to the Silk Road of 2,000 years ago & learn about the culture and history
  • Marvel at the art treasure - Mogao Caves & enjoy an exciting camel ride in the Gobi Desert
  • Cruise on the Huangpu River to take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai
From $3739 per person Free Inquiry
From US$3739 per person
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Arrive at any time, Airport pick-up & airport-hotel transfer.
Your 13 days China tour package starts with our pick-up service. Upon your arrival at Beijing airport, you will be met outside the customs and then be transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to have a good rest.
Accommodation: The Great Wall Hotel Beijing  - the former Sheraton
Day 2 Beijing
A tour briefing, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, A la carte welcome lunch with Peking Duck, Temple of Heaven, Chinese Kung Fu Show. (B+L)
After the buffet breakfast in the hotel, you will start your trip from Tiananmen Square, the world's largest city square. Then follow your guide to the Forbidden City, which was the imperial palace of the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties. The Forbidden City, officially named the Palace Museum, contains numerous national treasures, cultural relics and exquisite architecture, which may inspire your artistic talent. Lunch will be TCG's special offer - a welcome a la carte meal (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at a good restaurant. You will have a chance to taste the famous Peking Roast Duck.

Your trip continues on to the Temple of Heaven in the afternoon. As a royal shrine, emperors worshiped the god of heaven during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Temple of Heaven is even larger than the Forbidden City. This evening, we invite you to enjoy a fantastic Chinese Kung Fu show at the Red Theatre.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte welcome lunch
Forbidden City, Beijing
Our group at the Forbidden City
Day 3 Beijing
Mutianyu Great Wall with a round-trip cable car, A toast with red wine on the wall. (B)
Visiting the Great Wall is a must for your China trip. The morning sightseeing will take you to Mutianyu section of the world wonder, where you can see the long wall, dotted by beacon towers, stretching for miles along mountain ridges. A round way cable car will be arranged. To avoid using touristy restaurants near the wall, we omit lunch today. We suggest you have a big breakfast and obtain your own fast food for lunch. Your guide is glad to be at your assistance.

Transfer back to the downtown in the afternoon. You will spend your leisure time at a famous local market, where you can seek small gifts or souvenirs.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Great Wall of China
Enjoy a gorgeous view of the Great Wall
Day 4 Beijing to Xi'an by Flight
Summer Palace, Olympic Bird's Nest, A la carte lunch, Hutong Rickshaw Tour, Experience Chinese Paper Cutting, Fly to Xi'an, Airport-hotel transfer. (B+L)
After breakfast in the hotel, visit the Summer Palace, the largest and best preserved royal garden in China, where the Kunming Lake, Wanshou Hill, pavilions and bridges are a harmonious combination. Then, we will have a photo stop at the Olympic National Stadium (Bird's Nest).

Lunch will be an a la carte meal (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at an elegant restaurant. After that, your guide will take you to the Hutongs to see the old courtyards and capture the lifestyles of local residents. It is also a special experience to travel through the old alleys on rickshaws and try your hand at traditional Chinese paper cutting. You will then be taken to the airport for your flight to Xi'an. Upon arrival, you will be picked up and transferred to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel
Summer Palace, Beijing
Admire the pleasant scenery in the Summer Palace
Day 5 Xi'an
Terracotta Army, A local family visit and an authentic home-cooked lunch, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Tang Dynasty Show with dumpling dinner. (B+L+D)
Your first stop in Xi'an will be the 'eighth wonder of the world', the Terracotta Army. Located in the eastern suburb of the city, it definitely warrants the one-hour transfer as the clay soldiers and horses are so vivid with distinct expressions and the bronze chariots and horses were so smartly designed and perfectly made, even compared with modern technology. 

Then return to the city to enjoy an authentic home-made a la carte lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) with a local family. Learn to cook Chinese food at the family house if you are interested.

In the afternoon, visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi'an Museum. The pagoda was built in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) to house the Buddhist scriptures and statues brought from India. Tonight, a wonderful Tang Dynasty Music and Dance show is waiting for you at a fancy theatre, at the same time, you will be served the local featured dumpling dinner.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Home-cooked a la carte lunch, Dumpling dinner
 Friendly Tips

Since the theater is usually not open in Jan, Feb, Mar and Dec, we will not arrange the show and dumpling dinner for tours starting during the periods. Clients will enjoy free time to relax.
Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army
Local famliy visit
Learn to make dumplings at a local home
Day 6 Xi'an
Observe local life in the park, Tai Chi practice, Xi'an City Wall, A la carte lunch, Provincial History Museum, Great Mosque, Muslim Quarter. (B+L)
After breakfast, you will spend some leisure time at the City Wall Park, where many local people are doing their morning exercises. Join them for fun or just observe different cultures. Meanwhile, we arrange a Tai Chi practice for you to get a deeper insight into this traditional Chinese culture. Then go to the City Wall, a landmark site of the city. A bike ride on the wall is suggested; the bike rental fee is at your expense. It is quite a wonderful experience. If you are not skilled in bike riding, the electric car is also available on the City Wall.

Around noon, you will have an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) at a famous local restaurant. Then visit Shaanxi Provincial History Museum, which is one of the best museums in China housing numerous relics excavated in the province. Continue to visit the Great Mosque, which is located on the bustling Muslim Street. After visiting the mosque, you will have some free time to explore the bazaar and have a taste of the delicious local snacks. You should not miss the persimmon cake, kebab, sticky rice cake. You can even have dinner here and try the local noodles.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Xian City Wall
Cycling on the ancient Xi'an City Wall
Day 7 Xi'an to Dunhuang by Flight
Fly to Dunhuang, Airport-hotel transfer, Camel Riding at Echoing-sand Dune, Crescent Lake. (B)
You have the morning free to explore the city on your own. Around noon, see you off to take a flight to Dunhuang, a bright pearl along the ancient Silk Road. Your local guide will pick you up and escort you to the 4-star Dunhuang Hotel.

After a short rest, you will ride a camel in the desert to visit the Echoing-Sand Dune and the beautiful Crescent Lake. The Echoing-Sand Dune is so named because the sand echoes in wind, and the Crescent Lake on account of its shape. You will also have an everlasting memory of when you enjoy the gorgeous sunset over the desert.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Dunhuang Hotel Building No. 8
Camel riding along the Echoing-sand Dune
Camel riding along the Echoing-sand Dune
Day 8 Dunhuang to Turpan by High Speed Train
Mogao Grottoes, A 3.5-hour high speed train to Turpan, Railway station pick-up. (B+L)
In the morning, we will drive you to visit the local highlight - Mogao Grottoes. Located 25 km southeast of Dunhuang City, Mogao Grottoes are carved in the cliffs that stretch for 1,600 meters. The hive-like grottoes house numerous delicate murals and Buddhist statues made during the one thousand years spanning the Five Hus and Sixteen States (304 - 439 AD) and the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368). Marvel at the sculptures and murals. The guide will tell you the history and stories behind, so that you could have a better understanding of them. Also, please keep in mind that the photography is not allowed inside. 

After that, your guide will transfer you to Liuyuan Railway Station for a 3.5-hour high speed train to Turpan. Upon arrival, your guide in Turpan will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Huozhou Hotel
Crescent Lake, Dunhuang
Crescent Lake, Dunhuang
Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Grottoes
Day 9 Turpan
Ancient City of Jiaohe, Karez Well, Sugong Pagoda. (B+L)
Your trip in Turpan starts from the famous Ancient City of Jiaohe, the world's largest, oldest and best preserved city that is built of raw soil. Then continue to visit Karez Well, one of the three greatest projects of ancient China. It is an underground water conservancy project originally created by hard working people in the arid areas. Its function is drawing out the groundwater to turn the desert into an oasis. Today's final destination will be the conical Sugong Pagoda, which has a peculiar internal structure that does not use wooden columns for support. Instead, you can see 72 brick-built stairs spiraling up to the top to support the body of the pagoda. What a marvelous design!

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 10 Turpan - Urumqi
Ancient City of Gaochang, Baizikeli Thousand Buddha Cave, Flaming Hill, Drive to Urumqi. (B+L)
This morning you will pay a visit to another ancient ruin, Ancient City of Gaochang. Originally constructed in the 1st century BC, Gaochang was once the capital of Gaochang Kingdom, but most buildings there were destroyed in wars at the end of 13th century. According to some archaeologists, Gaochang city was like another Chang'an in its heyday (Chang'an, old name for Xi'an, the ancient capital city in northwest region).

We will then drive to visit the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves and the Flaming Hill. They are close to each other. Tonight, your guide will transfer you to Urumqi to check in at the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
Ancient City of Jiaohe
Ancient City of Jiaohe
Ancient City of Gaochang
Our clients visiting Gaochang Ruins
Day 11 Urumqi to Shanghai by Flight
Fly to Shanghai, Airport-hotel transfer, Relax during the rest of the day. (B)
After breakfast, we will see you off to take a morning flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport by your local guide and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is left for you to have a good rest and a chance to relax.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou Hotel
Day 12 Shanghai
Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden and its traditional bazaar, A la carte farewell lunch, Former French Concession, the Bund and Huangpu River cruise. (B+L)
The morning excursion will take you to visit Shanghai Museum and Yu Garden. Yu Garden is an elaborately designed, delicately constructed inimitable garden of the Ming Dynasty. After that, you will spend some leisure time at the nearby bazaar, where you can find some interesting souvenirs at fair prices. 

Lunch will be our special offer - an a la carte meal (valued at CNY120.00 per person and included in our price) at a popular restaurant. In the afternoon, we will guide you to discover the Former French Concession. Then, drive to the Bund area, where you will take a one-hour cruise tour on the Huangpu River. Enjoy some free time to explore the Bund. There you can view Shanghai's colonial architecture and futuristic skyline. Upon returning to the hotel, your guide will see you into the lobby to say bon voyage.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte farewell lunch
Shanghai Bund
Gleaming skyscrapers seen from the Bund
Day 13 Departure from Shanghai
Please check out before 12:00. We recommend the most efficient and money-saving way - taking a taxi by yourself from hotel to the airport, A pleasant trip home! (B)
Your 13-day China itinerary comes to its end today. Please check out of the hotel and make your way to the airport for your homeward flight. We are glad to be at your assistance and wish you a pleasant journey home with memories to last a lifetime!

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
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Prices are per person in US Dollars; departures are guaranteed even with two persons!
Earlier Booking, Bigger Savings
10% off - book 60 days before, 5% off - book 30 days before
Arrival DateDeparture DateDouble OccupancySingle Room Supplement 
Apr 01(Fri)Apr 13(Wed)$3839 $3455$809
Apr 08(Fri)Apr 20(Wed)$3839 $3455$809
Apr 15(Fri)Apr 27(Wed)$3839 $3455$809
Apr 22(Fri)May 04(Wed)$3839 $3455$809
May 06(Fri)May 18(Wed)$3839 $3455$809
May 13(Fri)May 25(Wed)$3839 $3455$809
May 20(Fri)Jun 01(Wed)$3839 $3455$809
May 27(Fri)Jun 08(Wed)$3829 $3446$789
Jun 03(Fri)Jun 15(Wed)$3819 $3437$779
Jun 10(Fri)Jun 22(Wed)$3809 $3428$769
Jun 17(Fri)Jun 29(Wed)$3809 $3428$769
Jun 24(Fri)Jul 06(Wed)$3839 $3455$809
Jul 01(Fri)Jul 13(Wed)$3879 $3491$809
Jul 08(Fri)Jul 20(Wed)$3879 $3491$809
Jul 15(Fri)Jul 27(Wed)$3879 $3491$809
Jul 22(Fri)Aug 03(Wed)$3879 $3491$809
Jul 29(Fri)Aug 10(Wed)$3879 $3491$809
Aug 05(Fri)Aug 17(Wed)$3879 $3491$809
Aug 12(Fri)Aug 24(Wed)$3879 $3491$809
Aug 19(Fri)Aug 31(Wed)$3879 $3491$809
Aug 26(Fri)Sep 07(Wed)$3899 $3509$839
Sep 02(Fri)Sep 14(Wed)$3899 $3509$879
Sep 09(Fri)Sep 21(Wed)$3899 $3509$879
Sep 16(Fri)Sep 28(Wed)$3899 $3509$879
Sep 23(Fri)Oct 05(Wed)$3899 $3509$879
Oct 07(Fri)Oct 19(Wed)$3829 $3446$799
Oct 14(Fri)Oct 26(Wed)$3829 $3446$799
Oct 21(Fri)Nov 02(Wed)$3829 $3446$799
Oct 28(Fri)Nov 09(Wed)$3759 $3383$799
Nov 04(Fri)Nov 16(Wed)$3759 $3383$799
Nov 11(Fri)Nov 23(Wed)$3739 $3365$779
Price Includes
  • Domestic airfares & train fare
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • A la carte lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Professional English-speaking guides
  • Drivers & air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
  • Tips or gratuities for hotel porters
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
Why Travel With Us
  • Customer Reviews
  • Questions & Answers
    4.63 Reviews
    Chester T
    United States
    Posted on January 29, 2019
    We (four persons) took a small group tour from September to October of 2018, which took us to Beijing, Xian, Dunhuang, Turpan, Shanghai. This is the second time I used Travel China Guide, I booked my first trip with them in 2006. The booking is easy, I did them all on line with no problem. They are prompt, reliable, they understand what you like and arranged accordingly. The price they quoted was fair. They are true professionals. The trip was arranged exactly the way we wanted, (so as the last trip in 2006). They sold us the trip and they did oversee and look after us during the trip. It is understandable that they have to use some other agency to conduct the tours in certain cities. But, when we became unhappy, all it took was to send them an email. They corrected the situation in matter of hours at night and we really appreciated that. I would highly recommend this group tour and will use their service again in the future. ... More
    Peter Ashby
    Posted on December 16, 2018
    Here under are the comments on our recent journey:

    1) Our group was a fairly wide age spectrum - mid 20's to mid 70's, and from England, Canada, Australia and USA, therefore very little cultural differences were encountered. The time spent at each sightseeing spot was very useful to get an impression of the country and informative enough to encourage a further visit in the future.

    2) All the meals were served in an authentic Chinese way but with attention paid to Western taste, and were all excellent. The highlight was the Dumpling Banquet in Xian.

    3) All the Guides had an excellent command of the English Language and were very helpful and informative especially Lili in Beijing!

    4) The car and buses used were in excellent condition and the drivers were very professional in getting us from place to place and through sometimes very hectic traffic conditions.

    5) We found our Guide Lily in Beijing particularly helpful and knowledgeable. However, all the other Guides were well informed had a good command of the English language and no problems were encountered.

    6) A very professional organization, to be highly recommended for anyone wanting to experience the real China in comfort.

    Confusion was experienced in giving tips to the Drivers and Guides (should the tips be given to the Guides for distribution between themselves and the driver OR given separately!) Group members had conflicting information and therefore embarrassment was felt by group members.

    Thank you for a wonderful trip to China.
    ... More
    United States
    Posted on November 11, 2018
    We enjoyed Dunhuang and Turpan very much with Adam and Kelly. Adam was very good in taking care of us and showing us many sights with great knowledge. The best time was meeting Adams family and his wife's English class children. Thank you very much!
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