Let the world’s unique train—China Orient Express (also known as Shangri-la Express) take you back to the Silk Road dating back to over 1000 years ago, to explore the best attractions of ancient Silk Road in 2020! With the fabulous design and intimate services on China Orient Express , as well as the various haunting sights along Silk Road, we promise that you'll be dazzled!
Arrival in Urumqi, our guide will greet you at the airport and transfer to hotel. Urumqi is the capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, the farthest city from the ocean. It is Mongolian for 'beautiful farm'. Our bilingual tour guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
After breakfast, visit Heavenly Lake on Tianshan (boat tour). The Mountain Lake stands 1980 meters above sea level and features picturesque scenery of snowcapped peaks. It a great pleasure to boat travel Heavenly Lake, with a layer of magical color covering the lake, and hearing many beautiful myths and legends. Lastly, visit Xinjiang International Bazaar. After dinner, take this deluxe train to Korla at 21:00pm. Have a nice night on the train with wonderful evening and morning views of local countryside.
Korla is a county-level city and the seat of the Bayangol Mongol Autonomous Prefecture in Central Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The city of Korla was known as Weili in ancient times and served as an important staging post in the middle of the Silk Road.After a pleasant breakfast, we visit the Tiemen Pass. It is one of the 26 famous passes in China, and acquired the name 'Iron Gate' for it is solid and firm just like an iron gate. It was an important point along the route into the Tarim Basin in the ancient times. Thereafter, we move to Bosten Lake. Bosten is Mongolian, and means 'stand-up' in Chinese. There are three hills standing in the central part of the lake, hence its name. This lake was once named 'West Sea' and 'Qin Sea' in the Han Dynasty. Bosten Lake is rich in aquatic life with beautiful scenery, being famous as 'a bright pearl of the Oasis'. After dinner, take this deluxe train to Kashgar at 20:30pm.
After breakfast at the China Orient Express, we set out along the Sino-Pakistan Karakorum Highway, on the Pamir plateau (the roof of the world) visit Karakul Lake (3600m above sea level). The lake sits at the foot of the notorious, Muztagh Ata (7546m) and Gongur (7719m) mountains.‘Muztagh Ata’means Father of the Ice Mountains and is one of the most beautiful and mysterious mountains in the world. Return by late afternoon to Kashgar.
Explore the rich, endless culture of the Uighurs in Kashgar. First enjoy the famous Livestock Market which happens only on every Sunday and people bring their horses, sheep, goats, camels,cows, bulls and other livestocks to the market from all the directions for sale. It provides a great opportunity to take photos of the faces of local people, enjoy the traditional local market culture, test-drive a donkey or a horse or even make its shoes. Like opening a window, today is a real glimpse into a time lost in the annals of the Silk Road’s past and an opportunity not to be missed.
Later move on to Sunday market main Bazaar which is considered one of the largest market in Central Asia. From fluffy sheepskin hats to rugged camel-hide boots, not to mention beads, buttons and buckets of locals. Everything-including plenty of kitchen sinks-is for sale at this fairytale bazaar. It is the best to chance to practice your bargaining skills.
After lunch visit the Grand Id Kah mosque, the largest mosque in China and marvel at the intricate architecture of Kashgar’s historic Apak Hoja Tomb which is also known as fragrant concubine tomb).
We’ll enjoy the Old Town of Kashgar by walk. Walking is the best way to see and understand the ancient historical parts,streets,handicraft workshops and many more; enjoy a century-old Kashgar tea house’s atmoshpere for a short break. Sitting by the locals and try various medicinal teas such as those containing rose, saffron, honey and many other ingredients. After dinner 23:00, take the China Orient Express to the Kuqa.
After breakfast at the China Orient Express, then we drive to the Tianshan Grand Canyon, also known as Keziliya Grand Canyon, is a canyon near Keziliy a Mountain (a branch of Tianshan Mountain) formed by wind the rain over billions of years. Thereafter, we move to the Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves are corridor of murals surpassing other existing caves in China in its abundance in content, quantity and long duration. It is significant in Buddhism as well as in the history of Qiuci.The murals in the Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves are reputed as "The most beautiful murals in Central Asia". They are found in 81 caves with a total area of more than 10,000 square meters (11,960 yards). The diamond grid pattern is the most impressive feature. There is a story about Buddha's reincarnation in every gird. Each story was portrayed by a single picture instead of a series of pictures as in Mogao Grottoes.Besides the themes of Buddha, Bodhisattva, Arhat, Flying apsaras, and Buddhist fables, a variety of depictions on production and daily life, farming, hunting, pastures, riding, mountains and rivers in the West Region, animals, birds and ancient architectures can also be seen in the Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves. The styles were not limited to the local arts. Traditional Central Chinese painting styles were also popular. All these revealed advanced art achievements in Qiuci.
It’s a day for Turpan sightseeing! Visit Karez irrigation system to witness the wisdom of Uygur people. The irrigation system is especially designed for desert. If connecting all these underground channels, the total length will reach more than 5000 km, so it is regarded as one of the three engineering miracles of ancient China, along with the Great Wall and the Jinghang Grand Canal. Thereafter, we move to Flaming Mountain, well known by Chinese people because of the legendary story 'Journey to the West'. It is regarded as the hottest place in China. Then We drive to Jiaohe Ancient City, an island-shaped plateau situated at Yar Town. It is the largest, oldest and well preserved earth-structured city in the world, with a history of 2000-2300 years structure. After dinner,take this deluxe train to Dunhuang at 20:30pm.Have a nice night on the train with wonderful evening and morning views of local countryside.
After a pleasant breakfast, we specially arrange Dunhuang experts and professors who'll introduce this exotic city in detail to you.The Crescent Lake & Singing Sand Mountains is an oasis Gobi desert, surrounded by numerous sand dunes, reaching a relative height of 250 meters (820 feet). The Mingsha Shan is so named for the sound of the wind whipping off the dunes. After dinner, we move to Dunhuang Night market - bustling Shazhou Night Market. Never miss its tasty snacks, local specialties, and crafts etc.
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. After lunch, we embark the 'China Orient Express' Charter Luxury Train to Jiayuguan at 15:00 and 20:00pm arrived.
After breakfast, have a visit to the Jiayuguan (Jiayu Pass), the western end of the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty. It is known as 'the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven', and best preserved and most magnificent military fort in China. Then we drive 7 miles away for the Overhanging Great Wall. It got the named for riding on a mountain ridge that is 45 degrees from vertical and resembling a huge dragon. At 20:30pm, we take the China Orient Express to Lanzhou.
In the morning, we will visit the Waterwheel Garden, originated from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the waterwheel is the oldest irrigation tool in Yellow River area of Lanzhou. The Waterwheel Garden is a theme garden exhibiting the waterwheel culture. Here, we could appreciate the waterwheel driven by the flowing water all year round to collect water from the river or cofferdam. After dinner, stay in the hotel to rest.
Today is the day of farewell to your memorable Silk Road trip and the unique China Orient Express. After a pleasant breakfast, free at your own leisure till the assemble time for the transferring to airport for the flight back to your hometown or next destination. Bon voyage!
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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.