Classical Silk Road

E-602: 14 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Urumqi - Kashgar - Urumqi - Turpan - Dunhuang - Xian - Shanghai
Tour Type: Private Partially-guided Tour, any parts of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide & experienced driver for specified guided tours
Accommodation: 3-star decent hotels, also be open to your own choice
Tour Features:
    With essential parts like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army with a guide plus some open free days for easy sightseeing in downtown, our itinerary is particularly designed for clients who are on a limited budget and enjoy a measure of independent travel with our professional suggestions.
From $3049 per person Free Inquiry
Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Our clients at the Great Wall, Beijing
Your long-anticipated trip is here and Beijing cordially welcomes your arrival. After claiming your baggage, please proceed to the Arrival Hall. Our enthusiastic guide awaits you at the exit and holding a placard with your name on it. It takes about 50 minutes to reach the hotel by the comfortable air-conditioned private car. You will be given a general introduction to the great city on your way. He/she, upon arrival, will assist you with checking in the hotel. The rest of the day will be up to you. Either take a good rest to recuperate from your tired flight journey or if you still feel energetic, go explore places nearby.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Accommodation: Days Inn Forbidden City Hotel
Day 2 Beijing
Summer Palace, Beijing
Photo by our client Ms. Gillian
Just as magnet attracts iron, our capital city draws millions of holiday maker with its numerous splendid historical and cultural legacies. Let's start the private guided visit with the city's most essential and sight-worthy highlights. Explore Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in the morning. As the world biggest city square, Tiananmen Square represents the establishment and grand development of new China. Groups of significant constructions were also built around it. To the north is the Forbidden City, the largest palace complex in the world. Learn about the life of the Ming and Qing Emperors and their families from the outstanding architectures, priceless treasures and stories. Fast foods are available at the Forbidden City but if time permits, try the local flavors at nearby Wangfujing Food Street. 

After lunch, proceed to the Summer Palace, a must see in every traveler's itinerary. The classic royal garden covers an area of 290 hectares. In addition to the Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake, there are many exquisite halls, pavilions, corridors, rocks and bridges.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 3 Beijing
Our travel consultant Kelly with her guests
Visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu section this morning. Before your visit, please have a full breakfast and pack some snacks with you as meals and services at restaurants out of the city might not be to your liking. With a total length of 5400 meters, the Mutianyu section of the Ming Great Wall is still in a reasonable good condition. With the help of the round-way cable car, you will spend about two hours to conquer the once impregnable pass. Restaurants near the Great Wall are simple and small, so please do not have high expectation should you decide to have your lunch there.

On the way back to downtown, you will pass by the Bird's Nest (Olympic National Stadium). Then visit the Temple of Heaven, the most important political and cultural venue for the emperors to worship the god and pray for harvest. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing - Urumqi
Make your own way to the airport for your flight to Urumqi today. Either take a taxi, fare about CNY80, or go by bus, which takes about 2-3 hours. Since your hotel is located on Nanwanzi Hutong and the Nanheyan Street is to its east, you can easily find the bus station 100 meters north from the T-intersection. First, take bus No. 60 to Ciqikou South Station (Ciqikou Nan) 3 stops away. Then walk backwards to the crossing and turn left to the west for about 200 meters. You are at Ciqikou Station. Take Airport Express Bus No. 7 which goes directly to terminal 2 of Beijing Airport. Fly to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Our local guide will meet and transfer you from the airport to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Lucky Chance Hotel
Day 5 Urumqi - Kashgar
Kashgar Sunday Market
The private guide will accompany you to the airport and help you board a morning flight to Kashgar. Located in the extreme west of China, Kashgar is rich in ethnic endemic and regional culture of Uygur nationality. Having thrived for more than 2000 years, Kashgar Sunday Market best embodies the local special features. Make a visit there. The bazaar was once the largest merchandise distribution center for all Silk Route traders in Asia. The bazaar used to be open only on Sunday before 1992, hence the name. However, it is now open daily although the busiest and liveliest happening is still on Sunday. There are great deals of goods, such as agricultural products, various local specialties, delicate handicrafts, daily commodities, fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of livestock and so on.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: the best local hotel
Day 6 Kashgar - Urumqi - Turpan
Our client Ms. Szajko Len with the local children in Turpan
Schedule today includes the Id Kah Mosque, an old street and the Abakh Khoja Tomb. Built in 1442, the Id Kah Mosque is the largest Islamic mosque in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, not to mention the whole of China. Bearing strong ethnic flavor and religious tone, the time-honored complex is still being used today by the Muslims for their prayer services. The Abakh Khoja Tomb is the burial ground for the 17th century's great Islamic missionary of Kashgar area and his descendants, totaling up to 72 people. It has a distinctive Islamic architectural style admired by visitors from both home and abroad. Fly back to Urumqi after your visit. You will be driven with the guide to the hotel in Turpan. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Huozhou Hotel
Day 7 Turpan
Gaochang Ruins, Turpan
A great numbers of cultural relics and historical evidences explain that Turpan was once the junction of East-West cultural exchanges. An interesting site would be the Jiaohe Ruins, built during the 2nd Century BC to the 5th Century BC. It expanded and flourished during the Southern and Northern Dynasties, as well as the Tang Dynasty, and is the world largest and oldest surviving raw soil architecture. Next is the more than 230 years old Sugong Pagoda, which has a unique design and novel appearance. Then visit the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Cave, consisting of a group of caves and more than 40 murals that still look rich in content and bright in color till today. Your adventure continues to the Flaming Hill to see its peculiar natural landscape and listen to stories filled with myths and legends.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 Turpan - Dunhuang
Camel riding in Dunhuang
Today visit the Karez Well. The extremely dry and rainless weather makes living condition very difficult for plants. Hence, out of necessity, the skillful ancient artisans created a special and great irrigation system to divert underground water. The system is still in use today for farming. Then you will take a high-speed train to Dunhuang. Our guide and driver will be waiting for your arrival at Liuyuan Railway Station. The journey to the hotel in Dunhuang is about two hours. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Dunhuang Hotel - South Wing
Day 9 Dunhuang
After breakfast, you will be guided to the Mogao Caves. Described as the most valuable cultural discovery in the 20th century, the Mogao Caves open up the glorious past of Dunhuang by presenting the large-scale fine murals and sculptures of Buddhist art. Next is the natural wonder of the Echoing-sand Dune, where one can hear the dune whispers as the wind blows. It is something of a special phenomenon. Take a short camel ride to the Crescent Lake, and wait for the sun to set. By then, the western skies will be lit up, whilst the sand dunes and the tranquil lake are gilded brilliant color, making it an awesome sight. Before returning to the hotel, we suggest you purchase adequate food for lunch and dinner for tomorrow, as well as for breakfast the day after tomorrow.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Dunhuang Hotel - South Wing
Day 10 Dunhuang - Xian
Terracotta warriors
Terracotta warriors
Have a big breakfast at the hotel since you will be leaving for Xian by train and 24 hours away. Lunch and dinner are available on board if you are short of food supply. However, meals on the train may not be good and a little overpriced. Again, please take good care of your belongings. During the daytime, you could enjoy the desolate Gebi desert scenery as the train is passing by. At about noon, the train has a two minutes stopover at the Yumen Town, where the Yumenguan Pass was built from 121 BC to 107 BC during the booming trades on the ancient Silk Road. The next stopover is Jiayuguan station. As an important garrison in ancient times, Jiayuguan was the western starting point of the Ming Great Wall. In the following hours before night falls, you will still see mainly desert scenery outside, passing by several small remote villages occasionally.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight soft sleeper train
Day 11 Xian
Our clients having their home-cooked a la carte lunch at the local family home in Xian
The train will arrive at Xian Railway Station at about 09:30. Meet up with the local guide and driver, who will drive you to the hotel. Take a good rest after the long tiring journey before your visit to the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum. The museum is a must for fans of history and museums. It is very near to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda Square, an entertainment centre where you might take your lunch. 

After that, prepare for an exciting close encounter at the archaeological site of the Terra Cotta Army, located about 35 kilometers east of Xian city center. It takes about 40 minutes by car to reach the destination. The site attracted millions of visitors from all over the world for its historical and artistic value.

Meals: No meals
Accommodation: Days Inn City Centre Xi'an
Day 12 Xian - Shanghai
Leave for Shanghai by train later today on your own. Tickets would have been given to you yesterday. Since you still have time in the morning, self-guided explore more about the city. From your hotel, walk southwards to the ticket office of the City Wall at the end of the South Street. As the City Wall is a full circle, you can rent a bicycle to ride on the wall and see the city in general. From your hotel, you can see the Bell Tower located in the city center. Walk westwards along the West Street for about 10 minutes and you will find the entrance to the Muslim bazaar at the north part of the first crossing. You can buy some local products and have your lunch here. 2 hours before the train departure, take bus No. 201 or tourist bus No. 8 to the train station. The bus station is on the south side of the West Street, 50 meters away from the Bell Tower. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight soft sleeper train
Day 13 Shanghai
The Bund area
Upon arrival, please proceed yourself to the hotel already booked. Shanghai Railway Station underground passage has two directions, one to the South Square and the other to the North Square. Please follow the sign and exit at the South Square. Then take subway No. 1 for one stop and get off at Hanzhong Road Station. Your hotel is about 500 meters of the station. After a short rest at the hotel, you may start your Shanghai adventure. The most representative places are Shanghai Museum, Yuyuan Garden, the Bund, Nanjing Road and the Huangpu River. We suggest you take taxi for your visits to save time. The fare is about CNY15 to CNY30 per trip. 

Meals: No meals
Accommodation: Golden River-view Hotel
Day 14 Departure from Shanghai
The scheduled itinerary comes to an end today. If you wish to stay longer, you can feel free to have us make the extension arrangements. Otherwise, please check out of the hotel by 12:00pm. It's easy to find your own way to either Pudong Airport (PVG) or Hongqiao Airport (SHA). To go to Pudong Airport from your hotel, the subway is a comparatively good choice. You can walk for about 540 meters to the subway station at the Hanzhong Road to take Subway Line 1 (to Xinzhuang direction); get off at People's Square Station and then change to Subway Line 2 (to Pudong Aiport direction). If you preferred to take a taxi, it will cost you about CNY 170.

For those who are leaving from Hongqiao airport, subway is also a preferred choice. First, hope onto Subway Line 12 at Hanzhong Rd. Station (to Qixin Rd. direction), then get off at South Shaanxi Rd. Station and then change to Subway Line 10 (to Hongqiao Railway Station direction) to arrive at either Hongqiao Airport T1 or T2. Alternatively, you may take taxi from your hotel by only spending CNY50 - CNY60 to this airport. We hope you a pleasant trip to your next destination.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Tour Prices
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
  • Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
  • Any part of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
Price Includes
  • Domestic airfares & train fares
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • Lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Private guides and drivers on guided tours
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites on guided tours
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Transfers and entrance fees for free days
  • Entry visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
Why Travel With Us
Questions & Answers
Asked by vijayashri from INDIA | Apr. 19, 2017 11:36Reply
How to travel from Beijing Capital Airport to Hotel at Dongsi shitiaoqiao by Xidan Night line/taxi?
We are 6 adults and flight arrival time is 2305 hrs.
Xidan Night Line 2 shuttle runs upto last flight arrival & fare is 30 CNY for bus leave from PEK after 23:00. It means 180 CNY bus fare for 6 and if we take taxi then we required 2 taxis.
Please help me to solve my problem. Thanks.
Answers (1)
Answered by Lillian from FRANCE | Apr. 20, 2017 21:15

Upon landing, you can take shuttle bus Xidan Night Line and get to Dongzhimen first. The bus will operate until the last domestic flight arrival. The ticket fare is CNY 21 per person. Thus, the bus fare of total 6 people is around CNY 130. After arriving, take a taxi to your hotel. And yes, you need to hire two cabs. For one cab, the fare is around CNY 20 at night.
Asked by JoChan from MALAYSIA | May. 19, 2016 08:52Reply
1 Day 1 Night Turpan Itinerary
Could someone please suggest for me a 1D, 1N itinerary in Turpan?

Need details in terms of where to go and how to get there. Any recommendations of food and shopping would be also much appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
Answers (1)
Answered by Cindy | May. 20, 2016 02:36

hi, acutally I suggest you hire a car and a guide to save time as you only get one day in Turpan. The public transportatoin there is not very covenient and if you take bus, you will spend much time to find the bus station in each spot. You can visit Jiaohe Ruins, Sugong Pagoda, Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Cave, Flaming Hill, Karez Well in one day.
Asked by J Hatton from NEW ZEALAND | Dec. 16, 2015 16:15Reply
itinary details
You have photos of people riding camels and eating home cooked meals - yet these activities are not included in the itinerary. Is Shanghai guided at all? It seems not.
As a single traveler, do you ever team two willing travelers up if they are on the same tour?
Answers (1)
Answered by | Dec. 16, 2015 19:41

Dear J Hatton, for this itinerary, a short camel ride experience is included. You can do it in Dunhuang. But the home cooked meal is not included. For Shanghai, we only book the hotel accommodation with daily breakfast. You will explore this city on your own. The itinerary above is a private tour, you can invite your friends or family to join in with you. Or you may consider taking our small group with similar itinerary:
Thanks for your attention.
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