Outbound Silk Route Exploration

S-610: 12 Days Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi - Kashgar - Tash Rabat - Naryn - Bishkek
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: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches
Tour Highlights:
  • Travel from China to Kyrgyzstan & trace back to the Silk Road of 2,000 years ago
  • Marvel at the art treasure - Mogao Caves & enjoy an exciting camel riding in the Gobi Desert
  • Visit the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves and the ruins of ancient cities in Turpan
  • Explore Kashgar Sunday Market and experience the local life with locals
Day 1 Arrival in Dunhuang
Yangguan Pass, Dunhuang
Our guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area at Dunhuang Airport and transfer you to the hotel. After a short rest in the hotel, you will start your vsit with a unique camel-ride at the Echoing-Sand Mountain. As the name suggests, the Echoing-Sand Mountain roars every time when wind blows. Even if it is breezing, the sand also echoes with light music. As you ride on, you will reach the beautiful Crescent Lake. Surrounded by the endless desert, the crystal spring gurgles for thousands of years without drying up.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Accommodation: Dunhuang Hotel - Building No. 8
Day 2 Dunhuang - Turpan
After breakfast, you will come to today's highlight, Mogao Caves. Namely the Thousand-Buddha Caves, it houses over 2,400 vivid Buddhist statues and 45,000 square meters (about 11 acres) of colorful murals. Thus, it is regarded as the existing largest center of Buddhist culture in the world. Then vsit the Dunhuang Museum. Afterwards, you will take a high speed train to Turpan. Our local guide will meet you at the railway station and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Huozhou Hotel
Day 3 Turpan
Our clients with the local Uigur pupils, Xinjiang Photo by our client Ms. Lynn Hurst
After having breakfast, you will set off to visit the Ancient City of Jiaohe (Yarkhoto). With a history of over 2,300 years, Jiaohe is the largest, oldest and best-preserved earth city in the world. Though only the ruins can be found, you can still feel the past glory of the ancient city from the clear outlines. Then continue your tour to the Karez Well, an ancient underground irrigation system in Xinjiang. It is estimated that there are nearly one thousand Karez Wells totaling 5,000 km (about 3,107 miles) in Turpan. Next, you will pay a visit to the existing largest ancient pagoda in Xinjiang, Sugong Pagoda. Built some 200 years ago, it is a novel and unique Islamic pagoda.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Huozhou Hotel
Day 4 Turpan - Urumqi
Today's private itinerary covers the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves, the Ancient City of Gaochang and the Flaming Mountain. About 45 km (about 28 miles) east of the city center of Turpan, the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves consist of 57 (originally 83) caves, housing more than 1,200 square meters (1,435 square yards) of colorful murals. The Ancient City of Gaochang is another famous ruin with a history of 2,200 years. Though two thousands of years have passed, you can still find the previous prosperity from the ruins. The Flaming Mountain is located at the northern path of the ancient Silk Road. It is famous for the red, bald and hot surface as well as the connection with the legendary story Travel to the West. After today's visit, you will go to Urumqi and check in at the Mirage Hotel B Tower.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
Day 5 Urumqi - Kashgar
A free market in Urumqi
You will take a morning flight to Kashgar, the pearl on the ancient Silk Road. Your guide will pick you up outside the baggage claim area of the airport and transfer you to the hotel. After a short rest, you could visit a famous local bazaar, the Sunday Market, which is the grand International Trade Market in Central Asia and West Asia. The market offers a large variety of home-made and imported goods for sale, such as special local products, handicrafts, household articles, dried fruits, vegetables and livestock; therefore, it is dubbed 'a kingdom of small commodities'. On Sundays, the market is bustling with heavy traffic and crowds of people. The most attractive part is the cattle market, which doesn't appear in any other markets in China.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Radisson Blu Hotel Kashgar
Day 6 Kashgar
Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar
Today's first destination is the Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China. Located to the west of the Id Kah Square, it is a cluster of ancient Islamic buildings of strong Uygur flavor. You will then take a stroll along the Old Street which is the old town of Kashgar. When stepping into the old streets, you will be impressed by the traditional earth and timber houses, the labyrinthine lanes, and small stores selling local handicrafts. Afterwards, you could turn to the Abakh Khoja Tomb, a family graveyard for a famous Muslim family. It is said that the only Uygur concubine of Emperor Qian Long in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), Xiang Fei was buried here, so it was also named the Tomb of Xiang Fei.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Radisson Blu Hotel Kashgar
Day 7 Kashgar - Torugart Pass - Tash Rabat
Today we will drive you to Kyrgyzstan via Torugart pass and transfer you to Tash Rabat, where you will stay at Yurta. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Yurta
Day 8 Naryn
After breakfast, you will pay a visit to one of the most famous attractions along the ancient Silk Road, the Tash-Rabat. Constructed in the 15th century, the Tash-Rabat was a stone caravanserai for the merchants, ambassadors, travelers and missionaries. It is surrounded by mountains and far from the bustling city. Then you will proceed to Naryn and check in at the Issyk Kol Avrora Resort. 

Meals: Western style breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Issyk Kol Avrora Resort
Day 9 Naryn - Bishkek
Silk making in Hetian
Photo by our client Ms. Lynn Hurst
In the morning, you will pay a visit to the Song Kol (Lake Son Kul) in northern Naryn Province. With an altitude of 3,016 meters (9,895 feet), the alpine lake is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan. The lake is famous for the picturesque scenery of crystal lake, verdant pasture and distant undulating mountains. Then proceed to the second largest saline lake in the world, the Issyk Kol (Lake Issyk-Kul). In Kyrgyz language, Issyk Kol means hot lake. It is so named because the lake never freezes even though it is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. To fully observe the beauty of Issyk Kol, you will cruise on the lake in a comfortable motor ship. Then come to the Bishkek Ak-keme Hotel and have a good rest.

Meals: Western style breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Bishkek Ak-keme Hotel
Day 10 Bishkek
After breakfast, you will take a short stroll around the Ala Too Square, the central square of Bishkek. Built in 1984, the square was used to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Kyrgyz SSR. Then walk to the Historical Museum where you will see large collection of the historical items including the petroglyphs of Saimaly-Tash, armor and daily objects dating from the Bronze Age, as well as many ceramic, glass and metal articles. You will gain a deep understanding of the city at the Victory Square, the Kyrgyz Philarmony around Bishkek and Folklore Show.

Meals: Western style breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Bishkek Ak-keme Hotel
Day 11 Bishkek
Abakh Khoja Tomb
Today you will take an excursion to the Ala Archa Gorge (Ala Archa National Park). About 40 km (25 miles) away from the Bishkek City, the Ala Archa Gorge is a popular destination for picnic, mountain climbing, skiing, hiking and horse trekking. Based on it, the Ala Archa National Park was established in 1976 to better preserve its beautiful landscape. You will have yourself totally relaxed among the picturesque mountains, valleys and rivers. Then get back to Bishkek in the evening and have good rest.

Meals: Western style breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Bishkek Ak-keme Hotel
Day 12 Departure from Bishkek
Today the guide will see you off at the airport for your homeward flight. Wish you a nice trip home!

Meals: Western style breakfast
Why Travel With Us
Questions & Answers
Asked by Jonathan from CANADA | Jun. 02, 2014 12:44Reply
Very interested in the tour, but we will be arriving in October 20, 2014.
Will this tour be offered in October 2014?
We are a group of two and are very interested in this tour.
Answers (1)
Answered by Jerry | Jun. 03, 2014 01:42

it seems this tour is only available from June to September.
Asked by jeannehayslip from USA/CHINA | May. 15, 2014 08:23Reply
Tour with a group
Please send information regarding travel with a group - I am solo and want to tour in July: Silk Road and grasslands, possibly Mongolia.
Answers (1)
Answered by Emily | May. 15, 2014 20:44

this is a private tour, and no group packages are available. If you travel alone, it is very pricy. it will be better if travel with some friends or family members, so that you can share the fee.
Asked by Mr.M.M | Apr. 28, 2009 16:54Reply
Hi there. This itinerary sounds interesting. I am keen to go on a silk road sometime from Dec 1st 2009. Some questions:
1. How will the weather be like then? Can you advise?
2. The itinerary specified here will be a private one for 2?
3. What is the cost of this itinerary?
4. Can we make changes to the destinations?
5. As we are muslims, will the food provided be halal?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Flora | Apr. 29, 2009 06:51

Hi M.M, please find the answers below:
>1. It is very cold in December since it is winter. The best time to visit Xinjiang province is from May to early October.

>2. Yes, it is a private one for you two people.

>3. Sure, the agency may tailor make the route just according to your requirement.

>4. Usually, vegetarian food is arranged for muslim clients. It is not easy to arrange halal meal for clients at every city, and their meal standard is much higher than normal meals.
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