Set on the edge of the Silk Road, Dunhuang may seem like an unlikely place to find an oasis of Buddhist art. With towering dunes in the background, the caves here reflect the power of divine inspiration.
Dunhuang City, in northwest China's Gansu Province, is a pearl on the ancient Silk Road. It is more than a city's name, it's a witness to the history of cultural treasures that date back thousands of years.
The first of the city's eponymous grottoes was built in 344 AD, spawning a collection of caves that have become symbolic of the city.
Welcome to Dunhuang, The well-known ancient cities along the silk road. Upon you arrive at Dunhuang Train Station/Airport, our tour guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. Have a good rest and be ready for the next day's adventure.
Dunhuang Airport is one of the four civil airports in Gansu Province, located 12 kilometres east of Dunhuang City, Gansu Province.
Jiuquan Railway Station is 12 kilometres away from the south of Jiuquan City.
Today is another day to explore Dunhuang.
Morning meet your guide and driver at the hotel, then head 2 hours to vist the Yangguan Pass, a scenic spot built on the basis of the ancient Yangguan Site. There you can appreciate ancient buildings and exhibition halls displaying cultural relics and historical sites on the ancient Silk Road.
Thereafter, we will travel to the majestic Yadan National Geological Park, also called "Yadan Ghost City". The park stretches twenty-five kilometers from north to south and about two kilometers from east to west. There you can appreciate unique and wonderful scenes and landscapes of Gobi desert.
After an extraordinary day, freshen up and enjoy a good dinner, we continue to appreciate the bustling Shazhou Night Markets dotted with special commodities and souvenirs.
It takes 1hr and 50 mins ( 130 km ) from Yangguan Pass to Yadan National Geological Park.
It takes 2hr and 28 mins ( 163.4 km ) from Yadan National Geological Park to Shazhou Night Market.
After breakfast, let's visit the world famous Mogao Grottoes, which was designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO for its 1600 years accumulated cultural, architectural, and art treasures. There remains 492 cave temple and 45000 square meters of frescos. According to Tang Dynasty records, a monk had witnessed onsite a vision of thousand Buddhas under showers of golden rays. Thus inspired, he started the caves construction work that spanned ten dynasties. Mogao Caves are commonly known as the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas. At 17:00hr, we will take the train to Turpan.
After breakfast, the good day begins. First we drive to Tuyoq Village which is an ancient oasis-village in the Taklamakan desert, 70km east of Turpan in a lush valley cutting into the Flaming Mountains and famous for its seedless grapes and a number of ancient Buddhist meditation caves nearby containing frescos. Then we make our way to Bezekilik Thousand Buddha Caves which are a complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to 14th century between the cities of Turpan and Shanshan (Loulan) at the northeast of the Taklamakan Desert near the ancient ruins of Gaochang in the Mutou Valley. Finally our scenic bus will take you to Astana Tombs, a complex of an ancient tomb where you can see many well- preserved aretifacts including mummies.
Today you will have a full day to explore this fertile oasis. Pay a visit to Karez Well irrigation system that produce the best melons and grapes in China. Following is the visiting to Sugong Minaret, a conduit for cultural exchange between different ethnic and religious groups.
Afterwards explore Jiaohe Ruins, resembles Pompeii, but 300 years older, where you can experience the way of life of the Uighur ancestors.
Back to Urumqi and have a good rest, passing by Salt Lake and the wind power station which is the largest one in Asia spreading at the foot of Tianshan Mountain.
It takes 2 hrs 49 mins ( 193 km ) from Turpan to Urumqi.
The altitude of Urumqi is 800m.
We will drive 1.5 hours to entrance of the Heavenly Lake about 08:30, following is the 40-minutes shuttle bus twisting through the picturesque Tianshan mountains to the edge of the Lake. Either Trek around the lake, enjoy the boating cruise, or even take the cable car to the explore the Maya Mountain for the incredible view of Bogoda Peak.
Lunch will be arranged in the Yurt of the local Kazakhs. Back to Urumqi and head to International Grand Bazaar where you can watch Uygur dance show and taste local delicacies.
Morning head to Xinjiang Regional Museum, where are many archaeological treasures of the Silk Road and Xinjiang's minority cultures. You will learn about the history of Xinjiang and its peculiar ethnic customs.
Then you will say goodbye to Urumqi, be transferred based on your flight or train schedule. Wish you a pleasant journey home!
Private transportation through out the itinerary. SRT will arrange for all travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure based on your flight info.
Shared accommodations in well located, tourist to superior class hotels include breakfast, service charge and government tax.
All entrance fees(shuttle bus) sightseeing; excursions and activities as per the itinerary
Domestic flights and 2nd class express train listed in the itinerary
Private friendly and professional English-Speaking guides (French, Italy, Russian, German can be arranged per your request)
Visa support letter for you to apply Chinese visa easily.
Travel and health insurance when travel with us.
8, A 24/7 helpline while you are traveling.
International and domestic flights not indicated.
Food, Lunch or dinner not specified
Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
Personal expenses and the other tours or activities not mentioned
We will upgrade trains to 1st class where available if book the tour 5 months in advance of departure.
There is no problem to travel Silk Road during Ramadan.
Complimentary 2 bottles of water each person on daily use.
We will use business MPV to luxurious coaches and trains.
All the hotels we selected are 4-5star well-located in the city center with good and proper breakfast for our clients.
Our guides are very friendly, knowledgeable, helpful. And our group tours will be escorted from SRT.
Generally speaking Mid March—End Oct are the best time to visit Silk Road. And we strongly suggest you come in May, June, October to avoid the heat and crowd. No need to worry about high altitude along the Silk Road. We will prepare Oxygen bags if the package includes Xiahe, Qinghai Lake and Taxkorgan County.
We offer beneficial Cancellation Policy to our customers.
Cancellation prior 15-29 days – 15% charge of the total land cost.
Cancellation prior 7-15 days – 30% charge of the total land cost.
Cancellation prior 2-7 days – 50% charge of the total land cost.
Cancellation prior 1-in the process of the tour – No refund unless it is agreed by SRT.
Silk Road Travel pays great attention to protecting your personal information and privacy. In order to provide a better service, we collect personal information with your consent, including names, ID document numbers, telephone numbers, email addresses, addresses in China, and other travel information.
We will not disclose such personal information to any third party. You have the right to require us at any time to delete your personal information.
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