Silk Road in 8 Days

Traditionally Silk Road journeys will ideally take 2 weeks or more, probably starting from Xian and stretching all the way to Inner Asia and ending in Europe. However Pat and Will had only 8 days and so we focused on the highlights.

duanghuang-dunes

Highlights:

  • Kashgar (2 Nights) in XinjiangProvince, at the very Western tip of China’s portion of the Silk Road. It was the junction where the Northern Silk Road split off to India and the South Western Silk Road wound its way into Persia. Sightseeing included Abakh Khoja Tomb, Idkah Mosque and the fabulous and exciting Sunday Market or Bazaar where everything possible is available for sale, including camels, and all household items.
  • Urumqi (2 Nights) is surrounded by mountains, and for many years home to herders of sheep and cattle. It has beautiful landscapes, lakes, minority tribes, the small but interesting XinjiangRegionalMuseum.
  • Turpan (1 Night) is an oasis with extremes in temperatures, and has the lowest elevation in China. It is sustained by an amazing irrigation system that brings water from the snow of the TianshanMountain with minimal loss as the system is underground.
  • Turpan is also near ancient cities of Goachang and Jiaohe.
  • Dunhuang (1 Night) is famous for the Mogao Grottoes, with 492 known caves with murals, sculptures, ancient scrolls and thousands of Buddhas. It is also surrounded by giant sand dunes, so camel rides, dune buggies, paragliding are all possible.

Rates from 2850.00 per person which includes air fares from Beijing to Kashgar to Urumqi, and Dunhuang to Beijing, Train fare from Turpan to Dunhuang, 6 nights hotel accommodation using 3 star hotels with daily breakfast, all lunches, sightseeing and transfers as listed with services of a private English speaking guides, cars with drivers.

If you only have 8 days for the Silk Road, here’s what you can do.

Day 1, Beijing to Kashgar (Friday)

Check in on your own no later than 7:50am at BeijingCapitalAirport for your flight to Kashgar. Flight usually makes a one hour stop in Urumqi with no change of plane.Your guide will meet you after baggage claim in Kashgar. Transfer to your hotel.

Day 2, Kashgar

abakh-khoja-tombkashgarYour guide with car and driver will pick you up for a day tour of this exciting city. Sightseeing includes the Abakh Khoja Tomb, Idkah Mosque and so on. (Breakfast / Lunch)

Day 3, Kashgar - Big Bazaar – Urumqi

This is an exciting and colorful day at the bazaar. Please be aware of pick pockets though. You do have to leave for your early evening flight to Urumqi.

Round trip transfers for both Kashgar and Urumqi are included. (Breakfast / Lunch)

Day 4, Urumqi

Your guide will pick you up for a day of sightseeing which will include HeavenlyLake, the Red Hill. (Breakfast / Lunch)

Day 5, Urumqi to Turpan

Your tour today starts with a visit to the fabulous XinjiangRegionalMuseum and the Erdao Qia Bazaar. Continue on a 2 hour drive to Turpan. Visit the Karez System (Turpan’s amazing underground water distribution system) (Breakfast / Lunch)

Day 6, Turpan - train

Famous historical sites include the ruins of Jiaohe and Gaochang cities, and the Bizaklik Thousand-Buddha Grottoes. It is 113 miles from Urumqi with expressways linking the two cities. Transfer to train station for overnight soft sleeper that leaves Turpan at 8:32pm. (Breakfast / Lunch) Accommodation: Overnight Train

Day 7, Arrival Dunhuang

noodle-making-kashgarTrain arrives at 6:30am arrival in Liuyuan (train station) and 2 hour drive to Dunhuang. Check in the hotel in Dunhuang. After breakfast, visit MogaoCaves, Echoing-sandMountain and CrescentLake. (Breakfast / Lunch)

Day 8, Dunhuang – Beijing

Tour in the morning which includes the small but interesting Municipal Museum. Transfer to the airport after lunch for your flight back to Beijing. (Breakfast / Lunch)