Best of Silk Road

Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Kuqa & Kashgar

From $6200 Per Person in low season
From $6300 Per Person in high season

based on 11 nights & daily experiences

Price Guide:

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* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public vacations) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.

Price includes:

  • Accommodation

  • Private transfers

  • Daily experiences

  • Daily Breakfast

  • Domestic flight

per person based on two sharing. 
Please note that the cost of the itinerary will be higher during peak periods of travel, over Chinese National Vacations. 

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At a Glance

  • Get special access to visit restricted caves at the world famous Mogao Caves of Dunhuang.

  • Explore the iconic Jiayuguan Fort and Overhanging Great Wall at Jiayuguan.

  • Unravel architectural wonders of Bezeklik Thousand Buddha caves and the ancient Jiaohe ruins with a history of over 2,500 years.

  • This itinerary features an interesting combination of the colorful culture of the Uyghur ethnic minority, the gorgeous landscapes of the desert and mountains as well as the amazing history that the China Silkroad has to offer.

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Best time to Visit

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China’s ancient Silk Road spans 3 vast provinces, stretching from the city of Xian in Shaanxi province through to the westerly terminus at Kashgar in Xinjiang province, close to the border of Kyrgyzstan. With such a vast range of terrain and topography, there are significant climatic changes as you follow this hallowed trading route across China. Xian’s continental climate makes it pleasant year-round, with more rain during the summer months, mirrored by the cities of Lanzhou, Jiayuguan and Dunhuang in Gansu province. It is only as you cross into the more rugged, arid terrain of Xinjiang that the variations in temperature become more apparent. Summers are scorching and winters are bone-chillingly cold, with snow on the mountains and huge temperature variations from morning to night. May is a spectacular time to traverse the Silk Road, as the snow begins to melt and the meadows spring to life with lush green pasture and wild flowers. Fall is similarly pleasant, with less extreme temperatures and whilst the summers are very hot, the oasis towns across the desert region are bountiful with flowers and fruits and the humidity is low in the westerly reaches of the Silk Road.

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation.


Experience a China like no other in this classic trip of the China Silk Road of Gansu and Xinjiang. Unearth spectacular grottoes, monasteries and temples which marked the exchange of religion and culture between the East and West. Culminate your journey with a feast for your senses at the bustling Sunday market of Kashgar and immerse in the authentic Uyghur culture.

  1. Days 1-3: Zhangye, China

    Arriving into Zhangye, we will spend two nights here. You will visit the famous Zhangye Danxia with its rainbow-colored mountains. It is best seen during the sunrise or sunset when the glow of the sun illuminates the sandstones.

    In the afternoon, you have two options:

    Option 1. Binggou Danxia. If Zhangye is a masterpiece of color, Binggou Danxia is a masterpiece of shapes. Relatively less visited, Mother Nature has sculpted the mountains in the area into unique shapes like grand palaces, corridors, giant pillars, etc!

    Option 2: Hike Pingshan Grand Canyon. Marvel at the Martian-like landscape as you make your way through Nine Dragons at Sea, Miracle Canyon, Lovers' Peak, Stone Forest, etc.

    Accommodation: Zhangye Lvzhou Holiday Hotel (2 nights)

  2. Days 3-4: Jiayuguan

    After a morning transfer by train, you visit the iconic Jiayuguan Fort and the Overhanging Great Wall – a restored section of the wall that offers a bird eye view of the endless Gobi desert and snow-capped peaks in the distance. We continue into the Wei Jin Tombs and if time permits, we can make a stop at the Great Wall Museum.

    Accommodation: Plaza Vacation Inn Hotel (1 night)

  3. Days 4-6: Dunhuang

    This morning, we drive through Yulin Grottoes, the sister cave of Mogao Caves much less known to the tourists. The 42 caves houses impressive wall paintings dating between Tang Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty. Afterwards, we continue to the Dunhuang Museum to learn about the role of the city as a crossroad of civilization, religion and culture of Silk Road civilization. The museum houses impressive collection of sutras and relics from the adjacent caves. We conclude the day with a foodie tour of Shazhou Night Market, sampling Rang Pi, yellow noodle, saozi noodle and apricot peel water!

    We dedicate a day to the famous UNESCO Heritage Site of Mogao caves. We include special access to caves that are not commonly visited by the public and enjoy an exclusive time without the crowds. Take a camel ride and explore the natural wonder of Crescent Moon Lake before enjoying the lovely sunset in the ‘Singing Sands Mountains’.

    As the new day beckons, you will be transferred by train to Liuyuan, where you will then board a train to Turpan. 

    Accommodation: Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel (2 nights)

  4. Days 6-8: Turpan

    Turpan, an oasis town along the ancient Silkroad and also one of the hottest and driest places in China.

    Discover the marvelous invention and ingenuity of the locals to combat the heat in the ancient times - their local irrigation system built more than 2,000 years ago and still in use. Explore the Emin Tower and Jiaohe Ruins, an architectural wonder of more than 2,500 years of history.

    You will also make a visit to the Flaming Mountain, the ruins of Gao Chang, Bezeklik Caves and the famous Grape Valley.

    Accommodation: Mercure Turpan Downtown (2 nights)

  5. Days 8-9: Urumqi

    En route to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. You will take a tour of the Xinjiang Museum that showcases the different ethnic minorities of the province. Continue to Red Hill for a panoramic city view, spend some time in the International Grand Bazaar, before concluding the night with a Silk Road Show at the Xinjiang Grand Theatre with performances from various ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

    Accommodation: Wanda Vista Hotel Urumqi (1 night)

  6. Days 9-10: Kuqa

    A morning flight brings you from Urumqi to Kuqa. In Kuqa, you have the option of visiting either the impressive Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves or the Tian Shan Grand Canyon. If it's Friday, we can also make a visit to the Kuqa Friday Bazaar.

    The next morning, we drive through the landscape of gobi desert and oasis via Aksu before arriving in Kashgar.

    Accommodation: Kuqa Grand Hotel (1 night)

  7. Days 10-12: Kashgar

    End your trip in the fascinating Kashgar. Stroll along the fast disappearing old town and immerse in heart of the local culture. Visit the largest mosque of China, the Id Kah Mosque and Apak Hoja Tomb. Coincide your visit to Kashgar on a Sunday and get a sensory buzz in the bustling Grand Bazaar and Sunday Livestock Market.

    Accommodation: Kashgar Radisson Blu (2 nights)


Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, Kuqa & Kashgar

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation.

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