Silk Road Safari

605: 13 Days Private Tour of Xining - Lanzhou - Xiahe - Lanzhou - Wuwei - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi
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: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches
Tour Highlights:
  • Travel in depth to the Silk Road of 2,000 years ago & learn about the culture and history
  • Visit Sangke Grassland, a typical plateau grassland and Labrang Monastery, a Tibetan University
  • See the rainbow mountains of Zhangye Danxia Landform and the fortress at Jiayuguan
  • Marvel at the art treasure - Mogao Caves & enjoy an exciting camel riding in the Gobi Desert
From $2939 per person Free Inquiry
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Day 1 Arrival in Xining
You will take a flight to Xining today. Our local guide will expect you outside the arrival hall of the airport and transfer you to the hotel in downtown Xining. Relax during the remainder of the day and prepare for the following China private tour.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Day 2 Xining - Lanzhou
Binglingsi Grottoes, Lanzhou
You will visit the Ta'er Monastery this morning. Built in 1577 during the Ming Dynasty in order to commemorate Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the Ta'er Monastery is famous for the three treasures, including the Butter Sculpture, delicate murals and the barbola. Then take a bullet train to Lanzhou, where your local guide will meet you at the railway station and transfer you to the hotel. After a short rest, continue to visit the Gansu Provincial Museum.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 Lanzhou
Boat trip to Binglingsi Grottoes. (B+L)
Today you will take an intensive visit to the Bingling Thousand Buddha Caves by boat. The excavation of the caves could be dated back to about 1,700 years ago during the Western Jin Dynasty. Expansion has been taken in the following dynasties. Now you can see well-preserved 183 niches, 694 vivid Buddha statues, 82 clay sculptures and about 900 square meters (about 1,076 square yards) of colorful murals.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 4 Lanzhou - Xiahe
Lanzhou-Xiahe transfer, Sangke Grassl, a Tibetan Family. (B+L)
Labrang Monastery, Xiahe
It will take you about 4 hours to arrive at Xiahe by car this morning. After the hotel registration, you could visit the Sangke Prairie after a short rest. Surrounded by mountains from all sides, the Sangke Prairie is reputed for the excellent pasture and frequent Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies. You will also visit a Tibetan family on the prairie to have a taste of the traditional Tibetan food and learn about the unique custom.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 Xiahe - Lanzhou
Labrang Monastery, Xiahe-Lanzhou transfer. (B+L)
There is a visit to the Labrang Monastery and watch the morning devotion there. Labrang Monastery is one of the six largest monasteries and one of the most prestigious institutions of Tibetan Buddhism in China. You will not only be impressed by the splendid Tibetan Buddhist buildings but also gain more knowledge about Tibetan Buddhism from the large collection of Buddhist statues, sutras and murals. Finally, we will transfer you back to Lanzhou.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 Lanzhou - Wuwei - Zhangye
Lanzhou-Wuwei-Zhangye transfer, Leitai Han Tombs, Confucius Temple. (B+L)
Today we will drive you to Wuwei. Here, you could tour around the Leitai Han Tomb about 1,800 years ago, which is famous for the bronze statue Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow. Then, go to the Confucius Temple which is the largest and best-preserved Confucius Temples in northwest China. After that, transfer to Zhangye and register in the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 Zhangye
Giant Buddha Temple, Zhangye Museum, Danxia Landform. (B+L)
Today, you will first visit the Giant Buddha Temple. Built in 1098, the temple is said to be where Kublai Khan was born, collecting the largest indoor clay reclined Buddha in Asia, the rare hand-written classics of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and thousands of cultural relics. Then continue to visit the Zhangye Museum to explore the history of this city. Housing more than 10,000 exhibitions, the museum plays a very important role in promoting the culture publicity and exchange. Finally we will transfer you to visit Danxia Landform.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 Zhangye - Jiayuguan
Zhangye-Jiayuguan transfer, Jiayuguan Pass, First Fire Tower of Great Wall, Wei-jin Art Gallery. (B+L)
Monument of Western Jin Dynasty Brick Tomb, Jiayuguan
Continuously going westward, you could arrive in Jiayuguan City and visit the famous Jiayuguan Pass. Reputed as 'the Greatest Pass under Heaven', Jiayuguan Pass is one of the most important and majestic military fortresses along China Great Wall. Your next stop is the First Fire Tower of Great Wall which is the west end of the Ming-dynasty Great Wall. The 56-meter-high (184 feet) tower stands on the cliff of the Gobi desert, with the Talai River flowing by and the majestic Jiayuguan Pass at a distance. Then proceed to the Wei-Jin Art Gallery. Namely Wei-Jin Mural Brick Tomb, it is a huge tomb group of more than 1,400 tombs built between the 3rd and 5th century during the Wei and Jin dynasties. Regarded as the largest subterranean gallery in the world, it houses vast collection of murals which reflect the unique culture about 1,500 years ago.

Meals: Chinese breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 Jiayuguan - Dunhuang
Jiayuguan-Dunhuang transfer, Echoing-Sand Dune (camel-riding) and Crescent Lake. (B+L)
Jiayuguan Pass
After breakfast, you will head for Dunhuang and register in the hotel. Then go for a camel-ride along the Echoing-Sand Mountain to reach the Crescent Lake. As its name indicates, the sand in the Echoing-Sand Mountain echoes when wind blows or when you slide down the slope of the mountain. Amongst the endless sands, there is the Crescent Lake which resembles a crescent naturally. The most amazing part is that for thousands of years, it does not dry up because of the movement of the desert.

Meals: Western style breakfast, Lunch
Day 10 Dunhuang - Turpan
Mogao Grottoes, Dunhuang Museum. High speed train to Turpan. Railway station-hotel transfer. (B+L)
Vendors selling charcoal in a free market
Today's highlight is the noted Mogao Caves treasuring exquisite murals and Buddhist statues. The excavation was started between 3rd and 5th century during the Jin Dynasty and continued in the following dynasties. Now there are altogether 735 grottoes, 45,000 square meters (about 53,820 square yards) murals and 2,415 colorful Buddhist statues. The second stop of the day is Dunhuang Museum where you will learn more about Dunhuang City and the development of the ancient Silk Road. Then take a high speed train to Turpan in Xinjiang. Our local guide will meet you at the railway station and transfer you to the hotel.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 11 Turpan
Jiaohe Ruins, Karez Well, Sugong Pagoda. (B+L)
After having breakfast in the hotel, you will go to visit the Ancient City of Jiaohe (Yarkhoto). In the ancient city with 2,300 years of history, you can still find the past glory from the ruins. After that, go on to the Karez Well which has played an important role in irrigation and potable water supply of this area for 4,000 years. The last stop is the Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta) which is a 44-meter-high (144 feet) conical pagoda with strong Islamic flavor. Built in 1777, it is the largest ancient tower in Xinjiang.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 12 Turpan - Urumqi
Baizikeli Thousand Buddha Cave, Gaochang Ruins, Flaming Hill. Land transfer from Turpan to Urumqi. (B+L)
Jiaohe Ruins, Turpan
Your private Turpan tour will be extended to the Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves, the Ancient City of Gaochang and the Flaming Mountain. The Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Caves were first excavated in the Southern and Northern Dynasties (4th to 6th century) and finished in the 13th century during the Yuan Dynasty. The colorful murals and vivid Buddhist statues show the development of Buddhism and the history of this area. Gaochang is another ruin of ancient city in Turpan. Though has a history of more than 2,000 years, the ancient city is still standing there with clear outline. Not far from the Ancient City of Gaochang is the Flaming Mountain where the temperature on the surface reaches 47.8 C (118.04 F) in the hottest summer, hence the name. After the day's trip, we will transfer you to Urumqi for a one-night stay.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch
Day 13 Departure from Urumqi
Hotel-airport transfer & see you off. A pleasant onward trip! (B)
Today our guide will see you off at the airport for your onward flight. Wish you a pleasant trip home! 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
DestinationsLuxury HotelsStandard Hotels
XiningSofitel Xining Qinghai Hotel
LanzhouGrand Soluxe Hotel Gansu Legend Hotel
XiaheLabrang Civil Aviation Hotel Labrang Civil Aviation Hotel
ZhangyeDinghe International Hotel Dinghe International Hotel
JiayuguanHoliday Plaza Hotel Jiayuguan Holiday Plaza Hotel Jiayuguan
DunhuangDunhuang Hotel Building No. 8Dunhuang Hotel Building No. 8
TurpanHuozhou Hotel Huozhou Hotel
UrumqiSheraton Urumqi Hotel Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
Tour Prices
With Luxury Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
With Standard Hotels
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
  • Train fares within itinerary
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • Lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Private English-speaking guides
  • Private drivers & air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
Price Excludes
  • Airfares of arrival and departure
  • Entry visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
Why Travel With Us
Questions & Answers
Asked by Jirawat Deemuenwai from THAILAND | May. 12, 2017 21:33Reply
I plan to travel in Gansu with cheapest cost? Maybe want to look for friends come together
I have budget not enough for buy tour package.
Please suggest me how to go to each place in my plan and how much for the bus,train,or taxi
Start at Zhangye train station
Day1 : Danxia landform and Giant buddha temple
Day2 : Jia yu guan and overhanging great wall
Day3 : Dunhuang go to Mo Gao Grottoes and saddune
Day 4 : Yumen pass and Yadan landform

Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Cissy from AUSTRALIA | May. 15, 2017 02:11

1. To Danxia Landform Park: Take a taxi from the railway station to West Bus Station. Then take a coach to Danxia Bus Station. After arriving, hire a private car to the scenic area. Or for your convenience, just hire a private car from downtown area to there directly. It would cost around CNY 200 for the round trip.
To Giant Buddha Temple: Take public bus no.1 to China Postal Savings Bank Bus Stop. Then walk southeast around 550 meters to find the temple.

2. To Jiayuguan: Take a taxi to West Railway Station. There are several bullet trains that bound for Jiayuguan South Railway Station. The ticket fare of second class seat is CNY65.5 and first class seat is CNY78.5/US$11.
To Overhanging Great Wall: Take bus no.10 from Jiayuguan South Railway Station to North Bus Station. Then transfer to bus no.7 to Buxiugang Gongyeyuan Bus Stop. After arriving, take the private car to the destination.

3. You are advised to take a taxi from Dunhuang Railway Station directly. The fare is CNY 50-70 in general.

4. After touring around Mogao Caves, hire a car to Yumen pass and Yadan landform. As I know, there is no public transportation.
Asked by Mauter | Apr. 13, 2017 22:02Reply
A question about electricity.
Do the hotels have converters for 110v or do we need to bring that with us?
Answers (1)
Answered by TravelChinaGuide | Apr. 13, 2017 22:02

Most of hotels in China have both 110V and 220V electrical outlets in the bathrooms, but in guest rooms usually only 220V sockets are available. So you may take a converter or buy one in China. It costs around CNY100-200.
Asked by Fong from MALAYSIA | Sep. 08, 2016 20:22Reply
Is Jiayuquan Tower means Jiayuquan Fortress and First Beacon Tower?
Is Jiayuquan Tower means Jiayuquan Fortress and First Beacon Tower?
Answers (1)
Answered by Amy | Sep. 08, 2016 21:06

Yes, Jiayuguan Tower is the First Fire Tower of Great Wall.
Asked by Miller from USA | Aug. 25, 2016 20:35Reply
How long will it take from Beijing to Jiayuguan by plane?
How long will it take from Beijing to Jiayuguan by plane? What is the schedule?
Answers (1)
Answered by Vera | Aug. 25, 2016 20:43

According to the current flight schedule, there are two flights from Beijing to Jiayuguan for your reference. The schedule is as follows, but these flights will have a stopover.

MU2106 10:50/18:05 (7 hours, 3 hours stopover in Xi'an)
MU2412 11:20/16:00 (4.5 hours, 45 minutes stopover in Lanzhou)
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