Visits: Beijing, Xian, Dunhuang, Turpan, Kuche, Kashgar, Urumqi, ShanghaiTour Code: ASR C Ancient Silk Road 19 Days
Day - by - Day Itinerary:
Day 1 West Coast - Beijing
Aboard your transpacific flight to Beijing.
Day 2 Beijing
Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be greeted and escorted to the Capital Hotel (or similar).
Day 3 Beijing (AB,L,SD)
After breakfast, visit Tiananmen Square and the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City, home of Chinese Emperors for more than 500 years. After lunch, visit the Summer Palace, taking a leisure stroll while admiring the thousands of ancient murals along the Long Corridor and a boat ride on the Kunming Lake (weather permitting). Enjoy a fabulous welcome banquet featuring the famous Beijing Duck in the evening.
Day 4 Beijing (AB,L)
The highlight today is an excursion to the Great Wall. Enjoy the dramatic vistas and marvel at the Wall as it climbs and descends steep ridges and narrow valleys. Continue on to visit a cloisonn factory on the way to lunch. After lunch, visit the Ming Tombs starting with a stroll along the Sacred Way guarded by the stone statues; then onto the Chang Ling Exhibition Museum.
Day 5 Beijing - Xi'an (AB)
After breakfast, fly to the ancient city of Xi'an. This afternoon you'll enjoy a tour of the Ancient City Walls, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Bell Tower. Overnight at the Grand New World Hotel (or similar).
Day 6 Xi'an (AB,L,SD)
Today's highlight is a visit to the Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, home to more than 6,000 life-size army excavated from the tomb of the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty. After lunch, visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, renowned for its collection of Han and Tang dynasty antiquities. In the evening, enjoy a special dumpling dinner and cultural show recreating the music, costumes and dance of the Tang Dynasty.
Day 7 Xi'an - Dunhuang (AB,L,D)
In the morning visit the Grand Mosque and the Muslim quarter. Take an afternoon flight to Dunhuang and transfer to the Dunhuang Hotel (or similar).
Day 8 Dunhuang (AB,L,D)
Excursion to the Mogao Grottoes, the world's richest treasure trove of Buddhist manuscripts and art. Begun in 386AD and added to over the next 9 centuries, the grottoes total over 45,000 square meters and boast over 2,000 murals and sculptures. Continue to Crescent Moon Lake and the impressive Singing Sand Dunes, where the oasis meets the desert. Enjoy a camel ride into the dunes.
Day 9 Dunhuang - Turpan (AB,L,D)
Visit White Horse Pagoda, then drive from Dunhuang to Liuyuan, passing sections of the Han Great Wall and several beacon tower ruins along the way. Board the overnight train to Turpan.
Day 10 Turpan (AB,L,D)
This morning you'll arrive in Turpan, lowest place in China. Sightseeing features Gaochang, the ancient walled capital of the Uyghurs, which flourished between the 7th and 14th centuries, and the Flaming Mountains, named for their vibrant color. You'll also visit Grape Valley, in lush contrast to the desert surrounding it, and the amazing 2,000 year old Karez Irrigation Tunnels, which brought water from melting snow on the mountains to this parched city. Attend a music and dance performance in the evening. Overnight at the Turpan Oasis Hotel (or similar).
Day 11 Turpan - Kuche (AB,L,D)
This morning's tour includes Suliman's Minaret and a local village. You'll also visit the ruins of Jiaohe City, where large fragments of actual streets and buildings remain. Transfer to the train station for the mid-afternoon express train to Kuche. Relax and enjoy the scenery as the train travels past Tianshang Mountains, then along the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, second largest in the world after the Sahara. Overnight on board.
Day 12 Kuche (AB,L,SD)
Morning arrival in Kuche, start your tour with a drive through the Gobi Desert to the Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves, with Buddhist paintings dating to the 3rd century AD. Enroute you'll pass several Great Wall Beacon Towers. Dinner is in a local restaurant with a traditional Quci Dance and musical performance. Check in to the Kuche Hotel (or similar).
Day 13 Kuche - Kashgar (AB,L,D)
Early morning transfer to the train station for your ride with merchants to Kashgar, a key hub on the ancient Silk Road. Arrive in Kashgar late afternoon with the rest of the day free at leisure; perhaps stroll along the lively night market. Check in to the Qiniwake Hotel (or similar).
Day 14 Kashgar - Urumqi (AB,L,D)
After breakfast, head directly to the Great Bazaar, alive with storybook scenes: thousands of merchants haggling for camels, carpets and other native goods; imams on donkeys and veiled women in their black robes. After wandering the Great Bazaar, you will visit Id Kah Emin mosque, one of the largest in China, and the Tomb of the Fragrant Lady, before flying to Urumqi in the evening. Overnight at the Xinjiang Grand Hotel (or similar).
Day 15 Urumqi (AB,L,D)
After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Heavenly Lake, nestled in the Tianshan Mountain range. Return to Urumqi after lunch and take a city tour, which gives you a glimpse of the major sights of this northwestern city. Populated by Han people and thirteen ethnic minorities, Urumqi is quite different from the usual Chinese street scene. Here you can see nomadic Khazakhs, a Middle Eastern bazaar, a jade-carving center and more.
Day 16 Urumqi - Shanghai (AB,L)
Today's full day excursion takes you to the pasture by the Southern Mountains where you will visit local herds. Take an evening flight to Shanghai and transfer to the Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar).
Day 17 Shanghai (AB,L)
This morning, you will visit the Shanghai Museum, China's most up-to-date museum showcasing the country's ancient glory. Afternoon sightseeing features the bustling shopping street Nanjing Road, and The Bund, famous promenade along the Huangpu River.
Day 18 Shanghai (AB,L)
Pay a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple, renowned for its huge statue of the Buddha carved from a single piece of white jade. In the afternoon, visit Yu Garden, famous for its rock gardens, pavilions, halls and ponds, and Old Shanghai Bazaar, with shops filled with all manner of interesting curios.
Day 19 Shanghai - West Coast (AB)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your homeward bound flight. Arrive in USA on the same day.
Price and Departure Date
Land & Air
- Air ticket taxes and fuel charges are additional, approximate$250 and subject to change without prior notice.
- Land only rate does not include transpacific air, arrival transfer at port of entry in China and departure transfer from last city.
- West coast gateways are SFO & LAX, add C on fares from other cities available, please refer to fare chart on last page.
- A minimum of 6 passengers is required for guaranteed departures, Supplement charges may apply if group is less than 6 participants.
- Weekend surcharge of $50 p.p each way applies for Fri , Sat , Sun travel on transpacific flights.
- Dates in color are guaranteed departures.
See more about tours