Silk Road In-depth

603: 22 Days Private Tour of Beijing - Urumqi - Korla - Kuqa - Aksu - Kashgar - Hotan - Minfeng - Korla - Turpan - Dunhuang - Xian - Shanghai
Tour Type: Private Tour, any parts of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver with an air-conditioned vehicle
Meals: 21 breakfasts, 15 lunches with some being a la carte style

  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors
  • Travel in depth to the Silk Road of 2,000 years ago & learn about the culture and history
  • Marvel at the pearl in the Gobi Desert - Dunhuang and enjoy an exciting camel riding
  • Experience the Bund, classical garden, modern and old in contrast in Shanghai
From USD6239USD5489Free Inquiry
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Day 1 Arrival in Beijing
Our guide will greet you outside the customs at Beijing Capital International Airport and escort you to the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you. 

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Day 2 Beijing
Forbidden City, Beijing
Your private visit will start from Tiananmen Square this morning. Located in the heart of the city, it is a must before proceeding to the Forbidden City. The largest imperial palace complex does deserve your admiration while walking through these splendid halls in line. Palace of Heavenly Purity can never be missed as the residence for the emperor. It looks similar with other many palaces in the Forbidden City, but our guide will tell you the secret about this mysterious palace. Although Palace of Heavenly Purity has the west and east chambers likewise, there are two floors with nine rooms inside. For the emperor’s safety, it had the same decoration and housed three beds each room. Thus, it became impossible to find the emperor quickly without a sound. You can see the windows here to simply learn the mazy layout under the guidance of our guide. 

To avoid having lunch at the cheap low-quality eateries arranged by most agencies, we will serve you an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at a noted local restaurant to taste the authentic Chinese food. 

In the afternoon, you will visit the Temple of Heaven which is regarded as one of the world's best architecture, especially the heaven-like Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 3 Beijing
After breakfast, we will drive you to the Mutianyu Great Wall in suburban Beijing. The round trip cable car is included. This outstanding section of Great Wall will be a highlight of your 22 days China tour.  

After that, we will transfer you to a local market in downtown area. You could have a glance at the huge Bird's Nest (Olympic National Stadium) on the way to the market. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Beijing - Urumqi
Southern Pasture, Urumqi
You will have a scenic excursion to the graceful Summer Palace this morning. Constructed to please the royal family, the park has centralized the best of ancient buildings and gardening. Its charm also cheers up travelers nowadays. Lunch is arranged on your own. Later, our guide will transfer you to take a flight to Urumqi. Your local guide will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel for a one-night stay. Your private Silk Road adventure will start tomorrow.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 5 Urumqi - Korla
After breakfast, you will take a car for about 6 hours (500 kilometers) down to Korla by crossing Tianshan Mountain. There will be a visit to the Tiemen Pass, which was an importation military throat on the Silk Road of 2,000 years ago. From here, the ancient Silk Road will turn into a narrow and zigzag valley along the Peacock River. Tonight, you will stay at a nice hotel in Korla.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 Korla - Kuqa
Driving eastwards for about 3 hours (280 kilometers), you will arrive in Kuqa, which is the birthplace of Qiuci Culture and noted for the local featured knife. You could visit the Subash Ruins which has witnessed the flourish of Buddhism in Xinjiang during the 6th to the 8th centuries.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 Kuqa - Aksu
Ruins of Subash Ancient Buddha Temple, Kuqa
After breakfast, you are going to the Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves in Baicheng County, about 50 kilometers to the east of Kuqa. On the cliffs of the Mingwudage Mountain, there are hundreds of caves lasting for three kilometers, consisting of exquisite murals and vivid Buddha statues in large quantity. These treasure troves do narrate the prosperous history of Xinjiang in all respects and the external communication from the 3rd to the 13th centuries. Taking another 4 hours (298 kilometers), you will reach Aksu and stay there for one night.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 Aksu - Kashgar
There will be a 6-hour drive for about 500 kilometers to Kashgar today. Upon arrival, you will check in a local hotel for a three-night stay.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 Kashgar - Karakuri Lake - Kashgar
Our clients at the Karakuri Lake, Kashgar
In the morning, you will take the car for 3.5 hours (200 kilometers) to the Karakuri Lake which is located 3,600 meters above sea level. Surrounded by snow mountains to the east of the Pamirs, this lake offers local herds with fertile grassland and travelers with extraordinary charming scenery. You could also see the yurts, camels and horses of the Tajik people inhabiting here.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 10 Kashgar
Abakh Khoja Tomb, Kashgar
The Kashgar city sightseeing is arranged today. Firstly visit the famous Sunday Bazaar where you could experience the real daily life in Xinjiang. On the market, there are various kinds of local goods, such as fresh fruit, snacks, colorful clothes, delicate handicrafts as well as livestock. The following destination is the Id Kah Mosque located in the city center. It is the largest mosque in China originally built in 1142 and the center of Moslem activities in Xinjiang. Finally, you will visit the Abakh Khoja Tomb which is a large and unsophisticated family graveyard of the local leaders in the 17th century. The graveyard consists of gate tower, tombs, pond, garden and mosques, looking like a typical Islamic palace.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 11 Kashgar - Hotan
Leaving from Kashgar, you are going to Hotan, another famous city in south Xinjiang. The 520-kilometer journey, dotted with gobi, desert and oasis, will take you about 7 hours by car. On the way, you could visit the 500-year Yarkant King Mausoleum and Amanishahan's Mausoleum in Shache County (or Yarkant County). Tonight, you will stay at a nice hotel in Hotan.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 12 Hotan - Minfeng
Ancient City of Jiaohe, Turpan
Hotan has been noted for producing jade, carpet and silk. Therefore, it is a must to visit the Silk Village, which also boasts a hundred-year-old walnut tree. After that, the car will run eastwards for 3.5 hours (300 kilometers) to Minfeng County. While passing by Yutian County, you can visit a local bazaar. Please have a good rest in Minfeng tonight.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Day 13 Minfeng - Korla
The most challenging section will occur today. You will take the car running through the Takla Makan Desert from Minfeng northwards back to Korla City. Located in the middle of the large Tarim Basin, Takla Makan is the largest desert in China with shifting dunes and poplar forest. The whole journey is 780 kilometers and takes you 9 to 10 hours.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Day 14 Korla - Turpan
From Korla, you will head for Turpan located in the basin of the east Tianshan Mountain. Having a 400-year recorded history, Turpan has played as a transportation and cultural communication hub on the Silk Road. The 380 -kilometer journey will be finished in 5 hours. Upon arrival, you will check in a local hotel for a two-night stay.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 15 Turpan
Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Turpan
Today's visit includes the Ruins of Ancient City of Jiaohe, the Sugong Pagoda, the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves, and the Flaming Mountains. Jiaohe City was constructed by Cheshi State from the 2nd BC to the 5th AD and gradually declined in the 14th century. You could see the relics of the principal body to recall its glory. The Sugong Pagoda is a novel Islamic pagoda built 200 years ago. The Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves was originally carved since the 6th century on the cliffs of the Mutou Valley of the Flaming Mountain, and once the royal temple during 9th~13th centuries. Due to man-made and natural damage, only 83 caves with rare Buddha murals are preserved. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 16 Turpan - Dunhuang
Mogao Grottoes, Dunhuang
The historical tour of Turpan will be extended to the Karez System which is a widely used underground irrigating system in Turpan. As your Xinjiang tour ends today, our guide will transfer you to take a high speed train to Dunhuang. Upon your arrival, a local guide will pick you up at Liuyuan Railway Station of Dunhuang and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 17 Dunhuang
Today you will visit the fabulous Mogao Caves today, which is the shining pearl and the Oriental Louvre on the Silk route. At the following Dunhuang Museum, you could see more historical and cultural relics excavated in this region.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 18 Dunhuang - Xian
You will experience a short camel-ride along the Echoing-Sand Mountain to reach the Crescent Lake. Later, our guide will transfer you to Dunhuang Airport to take a flight to Xian. Upon arrival in the airport, the guide will escort you to the hotel. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 19 Xian
Our travel consultant Lydia with her guests
You should never miss the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. After breakfast, we will transfer you to the museum, and enough time will be left for you to see these life-size and mighty statues of 2,000 years ago.

In the afternoon, you will proceed to the Provincial Historical Museum to better understand this renowned ancient capital of deep historical and cultural accumulation. After that, you will be taken to visit the majestic Big Wild Goose Pagoda build 1,300 years ago in the Tang Dynasty.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 20 Xian - Shanghai
Terracotta warriors
Your tour this morning will be focused on the ancient City Wall, where you could have a bird's view of this city. After that, you will visit the Great Mosque and the nearby Muslim market. The Silk Road comes to the end in Xian but your tour will be extended to Shanghai. Our professional guide will be waiting for you at Shanghai Airport and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 21 Shanghai
Nanjing Road, Shanghai
In the morning, you will firstly go to Shanghai Museum which exhibits plenty of Chinese historical collections in various aspects. The next destination is the tranquil Yuyuan Garden, a 400-year luxurious and enjoyable private residence. 

A delicate a la carte farewell lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) will be served at a popular local restaurant. In the afternoon, you could take a Huangpu River Cruise to view this metropolis' great changes on the river's two banks. After disembarking on the Bund, it is suggested that you walk around this famous area and then visit an old street in Shanghai.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 22 Departure from Shanghai
Please enjoy your free time before departure! Our guide will transfer you to take the homebound flight on time. May you a pleasant trip home! 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
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This trip can be customized to meet your individual needs!
DestinationsLuxury HotelsStandard Hotels
BeijingHotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong Beijing New World Centre Tongpai Hotel
UrumqiConrad Urumqi Hotel Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
KorlaKangcheng Jianguo International Hotel Bosteng Hotel
KuqaKu Che Grand Hotel Ku Che Grand Hotel
AksuHongfu Jinlan Hotel Hongfu Jinlan Hotel
KashgarRadisson Blu Hotel Kashgar Radisson Blu Hotel Kashgar
HotanWest Lake International Hotel West Lake International Hotel
MinfengNi Ya Hotel Ni Ya Hotel
TurpanMercure Hotel Turpan Downtown Mercure Hotel Turpan Downtown
DunhuangDunhuang Hotel Building No. 8Dunhuang Hotel Building No. 8
XianWyndham Grand Xian South Holiday Inn Xian Big Goose Pagoda
ShanghaiRenaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel Ocean Hotel Shanghai
Tour Prices
Christmas & 2024 Special: 12% off - Book before Dec 31, 2023
Tour Prices with Luxury Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
USD7809 USD6869USD6629 USD5829
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
USD7419 USD6529USD6239 USD5489
  • Prices are per person on twin sharing basis.
  • The prices in red reflect 12% discount.
  • 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 English-speaking guides
  • Private drivers & air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
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