14-Day Silk Road Discovery Tours

  • Tour Code: CNSR11

  • Destinations: Kashgar,Yarkant, Hotan, Desert Highway, Aksu, Kucha, Turpan, Dunhuang, Xian

  • Tour Type: Private Tour

FAQ

Tour Highlights

  • Admire the stunning views around while hiking Karakol Lake.
  • Experience a journey through middle of the longest desert highway in the World.
  • Enjoy the earliest Buddhism Art, Ancient Xinjiang Buddhism and the Silk Road center of Xinjiang.
  • Explore the ancient city of Jiaohe, which was built by digging down from the ground.
  • Enjoy the Crescent Moon Spring in the middle of the Desert.
  • Visit the exquisite murals and sculptures at the Mogao Caves.
  • Visit a unique combination Chinese and Islamic architecture of the Great Mosque of Xi’an.
  • Experience the local life by walking in the streets of Old city.

Day 1
Arrive in Kashgar
Activities: Warmly welcome you at Kashgar airport and transfer to your hotel

Our professional tour guide and driver will welcome you at Kashgar airport and transfer to your Hotel. Have a good rest after a long flight.
Kashgar, an oasis city in Xinjiang, is one of the westernmost cities of China, located near the borders of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. It has a history of over 2,000 years and served as a trading post and strategically important city on the Silk Road between China,Middle East and Europe.
Day 2
Explore Kashgar city
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:Visit Grand mosque, Apak Hoja tomb (which is also called Fragrant Concubine Tomb), Old city walking tours, livestock market, Sunday market and dinner at a local Uighur family (only if it is available)

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 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.
Finally, we wrap up one day tour with a dinner at a local family which offers a great opportunity to deeply understand real local life, culture and traditions of Uighurs.
Day 3
Day trip to Karakul Lake
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:Drive along the KKH, Stop at Opal Village, Oytagh Kunlunshan Colorful mountain range, Gaz Valley and check point, Bulungkol Valley (white sand mountain), Karakul lake and local Kyrgyz family visit.

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. By late afternoon return to Kashgar.
Day 4
Kashgar to Hotan
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:Drive along the Southern Silk Road, stop at Yarkant for sightseeing

We set out from Kashgar after breakfast, first stop at Yarkand for a few hours to enjoy local culture and do some sightseeing. visit the Golden Mosque (built in 1533) and its royal graveyard which includes several hundred-years-old tombs. Yarkand was once the capital of many Uighur Kingdoms in ancient times and an important station on the old Silk Road. It has more than 2000 years of history.
After Yarkand we’ll move on to Hotan
Day 5
Hotan for whole day
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:Grand Market, Silk Fabric, Jade River.

After breakfast, enjoy around Hotan grand Bazaar for a few hours; Then drive to Traditional Silk Fabric where you can see how to get the silk and weave into textile by traditional way.
Visit Carpet making workshop, Jade carving workshop and Hotan Museum.
Day 6
Hotan to Aksu
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:Drive through second largest shifting desert

An early start today as we set out for Aksu after breakfast and drive into the desert highway. This desert highway was built from 2005 to 2007 and opened in 2008. it is one of the best and first class highways in Xinjiang.
It is the best opportunity to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Taklimakan desert which is the second largest shifting sand on the planet.
The word ‘Taklimakan’ means Sea of Death: ‘once you come in you can never go back.’ This is absolutely certain to be an unforgettable part of your trip and we arrive Aksu in the evening and check into our hotel.
Day 7
Aksu to Kucha
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:Drive to Kucha via Bay county and visit Kizil Thousand Buddha caves on the way

We set out after breakfast, on the road to Kucha we’ll visit the world-famous Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves which sits on the cliffs of the North bank of the Muzat River, 75km (46miles) from Kucha city. The caves were built between the 3rd and 8th century A.D. and are the earliest Buddhist art treasure trove in China – caves were in use one century before the well-known Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang.
We’ll have our lunch at Kizil Caves and keep driving until Kucha city in the later afternoon. The route gives good photo opportunity as we pass through many interesting formed mountains along the way.
Arrive in Kucha by dinner time and check into the Kucha Hotel.
Day 8
Kucha tours,then to Turpan by overnight train
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:Visit Tianshan mysterious grand Canyon , Kucha grand mosque, old city, Bazaars, Subash Ancient Ruins and Kizil Kagha Beacon tower; Then take overnight train to Turpan

In the morning visit the Tianshan Great Canyon which is located about 70km from Kucha city. The canyon is attractive not only for its colors but also the formation of the mountains there. Today, Tianshan Great Canyon is regarded as one of the ten most beautiful in China.
After Lunch, drive to ancient city of Subash (2nd-3rd century A.D.) and the Ancient Kizil Kagha Beacon tower which is an ancient military outpost.
Before going for dinner we’ll return to Kucha to spend some time in the old town area , local bazaars and a visit to Kucha grand mosque which was built in 17th century and roof of the mosque was constructed with 300,000 eggs, cement and bricks.
After dinner, take overnight first class soft sleeper train to Turpan which is about 8:00 hours train journey.
Train Info
This Tour includes one way train Journey from Kucha to Turpan which is about 8 hours. We book first class soft sleeper tickets, there are 4 beds in one compartment, this tour includes one ticket per person. so if you are less than 4 people and want to get all 4 beds, you have to pay for the rest of beds then you can stay privately without any other strangers. please let us know when you make booking.
Day 9
Turpan for whole day
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:visit Idikut (Gaochang) ancient city, Toyuq village, Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves and Flaming Mountain

After breakfast We start our exciting day in Turpan with a visit to the ancient city of Idikut (Gaochang). The city was built in the first Century BC and later became capital of the Idikut (Gaochang) Uighur Kingdom in the 8th Century. We’ll enjoy seeing the ancient city for about one hour and then move on to Toyuq village, an old, beautiful and timeless village with a friendly Uighur community. Here we visit several local families and have lunch with a local family at their home. This could be the highlight of your tour of the day.
After lunch we visit Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves which used to be an important center for Buddhist worshipers under the Xizhou Huigu government of the Idikut (Gaochang) Kingdom.
On the way back to the hotel we will stop at the Flaming Mountain which people claimed to be hottest and driest along the silk road that “flying birds even a thousand miles away dare not to come”
Day 10
Turpan to Dunhuang
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:visit Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city, Karez underground Irrigations system and Emin Minaret, Take overnight soft sleeper train to Dunhuang

Following breakfast at the Hotel we start our wonderful day in Turpan. Our special itinerary today includes sightseeing in Turpan and take overnight train to Dunhuang.
First we visit Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city which is one of the best preserved ancient cities in China. The ruins of the buildings are divided into temples, civilian dwellings and government offices. Workshops and residential houses are still visible and time there is a time spent in a long lost world. After an hour of visiting around the ancient city, we’ll head to see the world famous Karez irrigation system, unique to this part of the world. The system is considered as one of the three great projects in China with the other two being the Great Wall and the Grand Canal.
Then visit Emin Suliman minaret which is a magnificent combination of ancient Uighur and Islamic architecture. It is the tallest ancient tower in Xinjiang and the only Islamic ancient minaret in the country. Locals call it “pure tower”.
Later in the afternoon drive to Daheyan train station for overnight first class soft sleeper train to Dunhuang. the train journey is about 10 hours.
Train Info
This Tour includes one way train Journey from Turpan to Dunhuang which is about 9-10 hours. We book first class soft sleeper tickets, there are 4 beds in one compartment, this tour includes one ticket per person. so if you are less than 4 people and want to get all 4 beds, you have to pay for the rest of beds then you can stay privately without any other strangers. please let us know when you make booking.
Day 11
Dunhuang for whole day
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:Arrive in Dunhuang train station in the morning and visit Mogao Grottoes, Museum, Crescent Lake and Mingsha Echo-sand Mountain

Our Dunhuang local guide will be holding your name in front of the Dunhuang train station and first have breakfast and then go for sight-seeing.
We spend the whole morning at Mogao Grottoes which were constructed over a millennium ago, from the 4th to 14th centuries. The caves are also known as the Thousand Buddha Caves with two distinctions of being one of the most notable grottoes in China as well as the best-preserved treasure house of Buddhist art, sutras, murals and sculptures in the world.
After lunch, visit Dunhuang Museum which exhibits relics excavated from the local area, such as paper, coins, a model of the Great Wall as it appeared during the Han Dynasty.
Then drive to Mysterious Crescent lake which its name derives from the crescent moon shaped by the small pool of spring water between two large sand dunes. Here you can ride camels on the sand dunes of Sounding Sand mountain which makes sounds when the wind blows.
We highly recommend you to stay till Sunset over the high sand dunes before going back to hotel
Day 12
Dunhuang to Xi’an
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:Take morning flight to Xi’an and visit Xi’an city wall and Provincial Museum

Our guide and driver from Dunhuang see you off at Dunhuang Airport and another Knowledgeable and friendly local guide will meet you with experienced driver at Xi’an airport and transfer to Xi’an city which is about 1.5 hours drive.
First have lunch and then drive to Xi’an city wall which is the symbol of Xi’an and the most ancient existing city wall in China until today. We spend a few hours to enjoy by walking around or riding bicycle as your like.
Finally visit Shanxi provincial Museum which is one of the first largest state museums with modern facilities in China. The museum houses over 370,000 items, including murals, paintings, pottery, coins, as well as bronze, gold, silver and many more objects. The modern museum is built between 1983 and 2001 and its appearance recalls the architectural style of the Tang Dynasty.
Day 13
Explore Xi’an for whole day
Meals: B, L, D
Activities:Visit Terra-Cotta Warriors; Bell Tower; Wild Goose Pagoda and Hui Mosque

After breakfast, we start our wonderful one day tour by visiting Terra-Cotta Warriors which is one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. This site is about an hour drive from Xi’an City.
After lunch Visit Bell tower which is located in downtown area and is a Chinese traditional building and geographical center of the ancient capital, best preserved and largest wooden tower in China.
After enjoy this wooden tower for about an hour then we continue our tour to wild goose Pagoda which is a well preserved ancient holy building for Buddhism.
Finally visit Hui grand mosque located in Hui minority area, construction of the mosque has rich Chinese features combined with Arabic style. It is one of the oldest and largest mosque in China.
Day 14
Xi’an to your Next destination
Meals: B
Activities:See you off at Xi’an airport

Today is the last day of your tour with us , so we hope this tour shouldn’t be the last. We strive to make every day of your time with us the one that you’ll always remember and if you’d like to book some other tours please Contact us for more information

Tour price

  • Our Tour prices are seasonal, and we are specialized in organizing private tours, if you are interested in this tour, please let us know the time of your travel; the number of the PAX; the hotel star rating and other info as detailed as possible.
    So One of our tour consultants will contact you within 24 hours with more details.

Service Includes

  • Air-conditioned private Vehicle for whole land transportation
  • Private excellent English speaking local Tour guides
  • Hotels as you requested
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary.
  • Entrance fee for the sights as listed in the program (including shuttle bus)
  • Expenses of the guides, drivers and vehicles (Accommodation and meals for guide and driver; Highway fee, oil and parking fees for the car)
  • One way flight ticket from Dunhuang to Xi’an
  • Oernight soft sleeper train from Kucha to Turpan
  • Oernight soft sleeper train from Turpan to Dunhuang
  • Visa support

Service excludes

  • Tips for the guides and drivers
  • Beverages
  • Arrival and Departure flights
  • Chinese visa
  • Personal excursions like horse or camel riding at the spots or boating Etc.

Trip Notes

  • Here are some notes for the above tour. If you want to make any changes according to your personal request , please let us know , one of our tour specialist will tailor make your tour just for your needs

1. Accommodation

  • —Different types of Hotels are available, including famous 5-star hotel chains, 4-star hotels in best locations, good value 3-star hotels, or boutique hotels that reflect the style of the region.
    —Hotel fees are based on two people sharing one room with twin beds at the hotels listed above
    All hotels listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities
    –If you have any special requests for hotels, please let us know, our travel experts will try to meet your requests and find out the perfect one for you.

2. Meals

  • Breakfast is usually at the hotels. Lunch and dinners will be provided at good conditioned, clean local restaurants or tourist restaurants.
    You can also taste authentic local dishes of different minorities along the Silk Road.
    sometime also arrange local family meals wherever it is possible to let you deeply understand local life and culture. You Could also join the cooking if you like.

3. Transportation

  • Air-conditioned good conditioned vehicles for whole land transportation including Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing. China is a big country, distance from one city to another is a long way to drive, so We usually arrange flights or trains to your destinations.

4. Drivers and Car Types

  • All of our tour guides are very experienced and helpful, who could create unique and unforgettable experiences to share with you.
    Our tours include excellent English-speaking local tour guides in each destination, so they don’t travel with you on the trains or flights. But our driver/guide always pick up you from railway stations or airports with “your name” on a welcome board.

    All of our drivers are experienced tourism licensed who are very helpful, friendly and easy going.
    We provide following cars for the tour:
    1. 1-2 PAX: Sedan, SUV or MPV
    2. 3-5 PAX: MPV
    3. 6-8 PAX: 13-15-Seater minibus
    4. 9-10 PAX: 17-22 Seater Minibus
    5. 11 or more PAX: 33 seater or bigger coaches.

Welcome to Silk Road Tours

  • Your concerns are ours, and we treat every guest with the highest regard. We are continually striving to provide the best possible experience for all our guests and give them a chance to discover real life and culture along the Silk Road and Xinjiang region
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