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Mysterious Silk Road Journeys

Travel days:  8 days
 /  7 nights

  • All flights mentioned in the program in economy class including tax.
  • Transfers in customary private air-conditioned coaches.
  • Entrance fee for all sights mentioned in the program.
  • Accommodation in selected hotels in double rooms with bath/shower and WC.
  • English-speaking local guide for all mentioned sightseeing.
  • All meals mentioned in the program (B: breakfast, L: lunch, D: dinner)
  • TUI China 24-hour hotline service (German or English).
  • Tips and personal expenses.
  • All expenses not mentioned above.
  • Dunhuang 4*  
    Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel   
  • Turpan 4*  
    Tuha Petroleum Mansion  
  • Kashgar 4*  
    Middle Western Asia International Hotel   
  • Urumqi 4*  
    Xinjiang Grand Hotel
  • All rates subject to availability.

Travel content

In past centuries, the vital Silk Road used to be the link between the East and the West. Merchant caravans carrying silk, gold, ivory, exotic animals, plants and other precious commodities used to travel from Europe via Central Asia to the heart of the Empire. The Silk Road was not only about trading goods, but also about exchanging ideas and religious beliefs.
This trip will allow you to travel in the footsteps of one of the most famous travelers ever, Marco Polo.

Travel Itinerary

  • Day 1:
    Beijing / Shanghai - Dunhuang (D)

    Fly from Beijing / Shanghai to Dunhuang.
    Meet the tour guide upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and get refreshed.
    Explore the Shazhou night market after dinner.
    Overnight in Dunhuang

  • Day 2:
    Dunhuang - Turpan (B, L, D)

    After breakfast, drive to visit Maogao Grottoes, which is famous for its Buddhist art.
    Then on to the Singing Sands Dunes and Crescent Lake, where the oasis meets the desert. Spring-fed Crescent Lake is set among towering sand dunes, from which you can enjoy spectacular views of the green oasis surrounded by endless desert landscapes.  Experience riding a camel at the Singing Sand Dunes.
    In the evening, transfer to the train station for soft sleeper train to Turpan.
    Overnight on the train

  • Day 3:
    Turpan (B, L, D) Astana Tombs, Flaming Mountains , Bezeklik Caves, Gaochang Ancient City

    Arrive in Turpan in the morning.
    After breakfast, visit Astana Tombs, the Flaming Mountain and the Bezeklik Caves, the site of Buddhist mural art. These 67 caverns are in a cliff face above the stunning Murtuk River gorge. We'll enjoy a meal with a local Uighur family.

    Time permitting we will also visit the ancient city of Gaochang. It was the capital of Uighurs when they moved into the Xinjiang Region from Mongolia in the 9th century. Gaochang Ancient City became a major staging post on the Silk Road as a center for printing and Buddhism during the Tang Dynasty.
    Enjoy a Uygur music and dance performance in the evening.
    Overnight in Turpan

  • Day 4:
    Turpan - Urumqi - Kashgar (B, L, D) Jiaohe Ancient Ruins, Karez Underground Irrigation System, Emin Minaret

    This morning, we will visit Jiaohe Ancient Ruins.  Famous as one of the best preserved ancient cities in the entire world, the site of the ruins was originally developed as a garrison town to defend the borderlands during the Han Dynasty. Some large monasteries with figures of Buddha still can be visited inside.

    Our next stop is Karez Underground Irrigation System. These underground channels rate as one of ancient China's greatest public works projects on a par with the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. The city of Turpan owes its existence to these vital wells and channels, some of which were constructed over 2000 years ago.

    After lunch, visit the Emin Minaret, designed in a simple Afghani style.  It was built in 1777 AD by a local ruler in order to commemorate his father's contribution to the Qing government.
    Afterwards, drive about 200 kilometers to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. On the way, visit the huge Dabancheng Wind Power Station.
    Take the evening flight to Kashgar.
    Overnight in Kashgar

  • Day 5:
    Kashgar (B, L, D) Sunday Bazaar, Id Kah Mosque, Abakh Hoja Tomb,Old Mud City

    After breakfast, visit Sunday Bazaar Market, a massive gathering of farmers and merchants from across the area. This colorful and lively market provides a great opportunity to pick up some of the Silk Road's most interesting souvenirs, from hand made leather boots, to traditional musical instruments, to bags of fresh spices.

    Kashgar is also the heart of Islam within China, and thus we pay a visit to the Id Kah Mosque, the largest in mosque in China. This beautifully decorated mosque more closely resembles a mosque in Pakistan or Afghanistan than in China, and attracts up to 10,000 worshippers for Friday prayers. Then we visit Abakh Hoja Tomb, the burial place of a Muslim missionary and saint, and his 72 descendants. It looks like a multicolored miniature with green tiles on the walls and dome.
    Overnight in Kashgar

  • Day 6:
    Kashgar (B, L, D) Karakuli Lake

    After breakfast, drive to visit Karakuli Lake, located at 3,800 meters above sea level. The lake is close to two great mountains with permanent snow on the peaks. The Tajiks who graze camels and Yaks live in the high mountain pastureland.
    Hiking around the lake and lunch at local Uygur restaurant. Return to Kashgar in the early evening.
    Overnight in Kashgar

  • Day 7:
    Kashgar - Urumqi (B, L)

    After breakfast, take flight back to Urumqi. Meet the tour guide and visit the Xinjiang Regional Museum, where the significant archeological exhibits give you real insight into the various customs and folklore of the area's dozen ethnic minorities. In addition, more than 10,000 cultural relics are displayed, including about eleven intriguing 3,000 year old corpses, some of European origin. Explore Urumqi's biggest bazaar, the International Bazaar.
    Dinner of your own choice.
    Overnight in Urumqi

  • Day 8:
    Urumqi - Beijing / Shanghai (B)

    Time at leisure until transfer to the airport for flight back to Beijing / Shanghai.