22-Day Great Silk Road for Two Senior Couples from Israel

  • Duration: 22 days
  • Departs: 04/09/2018
  • Arrives: 24/09/2018
  • Destinations:Xian, Lanzhou; Xiahe; Tongren; Xining; Zhangye; Jiayuguan; Dunhuang, Turapn, Korla; Kucha;Taklamakan desert Highway; Hotan; Kashgar, Karakul lake and Tashkorgan

  • Number of Pax: 4 PAX (couples)

  • Clients from: Israel

Day 1
2018-09-04 (Tuesday)
Arrive in Xi’an
Hotel:Sheraton Xi’an North City Hotel ()(5 star)
Meals:
Activities: Pick up you from airport and transfer to your Hotel
Our professional, friendly local guide will meet you with experienced driver at the airport and transfer to your hotel. It takes about one hour to your hotel from airport. Rest of the day is your time to explore this ancient city by yourself.
It is said, if you want to see 800 years of China’s history, visit Beijing; if you want to see 3000 years of China’s history, go to Xi’an. The root of Chinese history and culture remains there. It used to be the ancient capital of many dynasties and the starting point of Silk Road of China.
Day 2
2018-09-05 (Wednesday)
Explore Xi’an For Whole Day
Hotel:Sheraton Xi’an North City Hotel ()(5 star)
Meals:
Activities: Visit Terra-Cotta Warriors; Bell Tower; Wild Goose Pagoda and Hui Mosque
After breakfast, we start our wonderful one day tour with a visit to 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. it is a Chinese traditional building and geographical center of the ancient capital, best preserved and largest wooden tower in China.
After an hour here 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 3
2018-09-06 (Thursday)
Xi’an to Lanzhou
Hotel:Legend hotel (4 star)
Meals:
Activities: Visit Xi’an city wall and provincial museum,after lunch catch a bullet train to Lanzhou
After breakfast visit the 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 (on your own expenses).
Then drive to provincial Museum which is a famous first-class museum in China with its outstanding architectural buildings, internal apparatus and exhibits.
After lunch take a fast speed bullet train to Lanzhou, it is about 3:30-4:00 hours train journey. A new driver will wait for you at Railway station and transfer to the hotel.
Day 4
2018-09-07 (Friday)
Lanzhou to Xiahe
Hotel:Civil Aviation Hotel (4-star)
Meals:
Activities: Drive to xiahe and visit Bingling temple on the way
Our guide and driver will be expecting you at the hotel lobby to give you an exciting tour today. Start driving to Xiahe, first stop at Liujiaxia small town to visit Bingling Grottos which filled with Buddhist sculptures carved into natural caves and caverns in a canyon along the Yellow River.
So we have to take a boat from Liujiaxia town to Bingling temple which takes about one hour to get there through Liujiaxia Reservoir and we spend about 2 hours to explore the sculptures, carvings and frescoes which are outstanding examples of Buddhist artwork.
Our driver Waits for us at the other side of the Reservoir and drive us to Xiahe through many small beautiful villages.
Upon arrival at Xiahe at about 5:00pm first check into the hotel take a short rest and have dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 5
2018-09-08 (Saturday)
Xiahe to Tongren
Hotel:Hongfengde Hotel (3.5 star)
Meals:
Activities: Visit Labrang monastery, drive to Tongren visit Wutun and Longwu temples. As time allows
Our guide will meet you at the hotel and take you to Labrang Monastery which is the largest, most influential and major monastery of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The architectural layout follows true Tibetan style, while construction patterns are mixed with Chinese styles.
Then drive to Tongren county visit Wutun temple which was built in 1645 and is known for its precious collections, including sakyamuni’s hair and other Buddhist relics. This classical temple is full of ancient Tibetan treasures such as murals and ribbons. Wutun temple is often referred to as “college of art”.
Then drive to Longwu temple which is one of the oldest and largest temples in Qinghai province. It was built in 1301 and has a history of more than 700 years. The temple is full of rare and precious cultural relics, as well as some imperial handicrafts, including the seals used by the Ming emperors.
Finally check into your hotel and stay overnight in Tongren
Day 6
2018-09-09 (Sunday)
Tongren-Xining to Zhangye
Hotel:Danixa Hotel
Meals:
Activities: Early morning drive to Xining then take a bullet train to Zhangye and visit Danxia national geopark (rainbow mountain)
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Xining (170Kms, about 2:30 hours) and catch a fast speed bullet train to Zhangye (about two hours).
In the afternoon visit Danxia geopark (rain bow mountain ) where we will see different colors and the view is amazing at different times; the scenery is really fantastic and incredible. It is the best representative of China’s colorful Danxia landform and the largest Danxia landscape in an arid area with a wide variety of landforms
Day 7
2018-09-10 (Monday)
Zhangye For Another Day
Hotel:Danixa Hotel
Meals:
Activities: Visit Giant Buddha Temple, Wooden Pagoda Temple and Mati Temple Grottoes
After breakfast visit Giant Buddha Temple and the Wooden Pagoda Temple in the morning. As a landmark of Zhangye, the Giant Buddha Temple is renowned as the largest indoor reclining Buddha in China. Even a single finger of the Buddha can allow one adult to lie down. It is said that this giant Buddha statue is made in the image of Sakyamuni. Our guide will also introduce other statues and delicate murals in the hall. Numerous scriptures and ancient books are also displayed. In this temple, we will not miss the earth tower and a typical folk residence with traditional carved beams and painted pillars. Stepping out of the Giant Buddha Temple, we will drive to the Wooden Pagoda Temple built with wood and bricks.
After lunch drive one hour to visit the Mati Temple Grottoes. It is said that a heavenly horse once left its hoof print on a rock there and you can still see that print in the temple. It is a unique temple house buildings for both Han Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism. Follow the guide to enjoy the Buddha statues carved in the caves and appreciate the painted scriptures of heroes in Tibetan myths.
Day 8
2018-09-11 (Tuesday)
Zhangye to Jiayuguan
Hotel:Jiayuguan hotel (4 star)
Meals:
Activities: Jiayuguan fort ; Overhanging cliff great wall ;Weijin Ancient Tomb ;
After breakfast we will drive to Jiayuguan, 250km 3Hs; then visit Jiayuguan fort the greatest and the best preserved one along all of the Great Walls in China ;
then drive to Overhanging Cliff great wall the north part of Jiayuguan fort defense system, You can climb up to the top according to your body condition;
Later visit Weijin Ancient Tomb which is well-known as the biggest underground art gallery in the world;
Finally check into your hotel we booked
Day 9
2018-09-12 (Wednesday)
Jiayuguan to Dunhuang
Hotel:Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel
Meals:
Activities: After breakfast take train to Dunhuang and visit Crescent lake
After breakfast at the hotel ,see you off at Jiayuguan train station and take a train to Dunhuang which is about 5:00 hours journey. Our driver from Dunhuang pick you up from Dunhuang train station.
First have lunch and then visit 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’ll have chance to ride camels across the sand dunes of Sounding Sand mountain which makes sounds when the wind blows (camel is on your own expenses). If you like you can stay till sunset and back to hotel later
Day 10
2018-09-13 (Thursday)
Dunhuang for whole day
Hotel:Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel
Meals:
Activities: whole day visit Mogao grottoes and Shazhou night market
Our local guide and driver will pick up you from your hotel at appointed time and go for sight-seeing.
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.
In the evening walking around Shazhou night market and stay overnight in Dunhuang 
Day 11
2018-09-14 (Friday)
Dunhuang to Turpan
Hotel:Silk Road Lodges
Meals:
Activities: After breakfast visit the World heritage Mogao Grottoes, the echoing-sand dunes of the Ming Shan Mountains, Crescent Lake and Dunhuang Museum , then take overnight train to Turpan
After breakfast spend the whole morning at World heritage famous 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 drive to Dunhuang Museum which exhibits relics excavated from the local area, including papers and coins. The museum is also home to an excellent reconstruction of the Great Wall during the Han Dynasty.
Later Ride Camels, High Sand Dune Sliding (own expense) or simply walking around the sand by the mysterious Crescent Lake which no-one can explain the formation of such a geological oddity. the trip would be a great experience. If you like you can stay till sunset and back to thehotel later.
At the end, Take overnight soft sleeper train to Turpan
Day 12
2018-09-15 (Saturday)
Turpan For Whole Day
Hotel:Silk Road Lodges
Meals:
Activities: Visit Idikut (Gaochang) ancient city, Astana tombs, Toyuq village, Bizeklik Thousand Buddha caves and Flaming Mountains
After breakfast We start our exciting day in Turpan with a visit to the ancient city of Idikut (Gaochang). The city was first built in the first Century BC and later became capital of the Idikut (Gaochang) Uighur Kingdom in the 8th Century. We’ll spend one hour in this ancient city and then drive to Karakhoja Astana tombs, a Tang-dynasty burial ground which is also known as the “Underground Museum”. Astana means “capital” in the Uighur language and Karakhoja is a name of a legendary hero of an ancient Uighur Kingdom who saved his people by killing a vicious dragon.
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 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 Mountains which people claimed to be the hottest and driest along the silk road that “flying birds even a thousand miles away dare not to come”
Day 13
2018-09-16 (Sunday)
Turpan to Kucha By Overnight Train
Hotel:On the train
Meals:
Activities: Visit Yargul (Jiaohe) Ancient city, Karez underground Irrigations system and Emin Minaret. Take overnight train to Kucha
Following a hearty breakfast at the Hotel we start our wonderful day in Turpan. Our special itinerary today includes sightseeing in Turpan and take overnight train to Kucha.
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,residential houses and the streets are still visible and time there is a time spent in a long lost world.
After an hour of seeing around the ancient city, we’ll drive on 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.
Later 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.”
End of the day Take overnight soft sleeper train to Kucha. The train journey is about 8:00 hours.
Day 14
2018-09-17 (Monday)
Kucha For Whole Day
Hotel:Kucha Grand Hotel (5 star building)
Meals:
Activities: Visit Kizil Thousand Budha caves and Tianshan mysterious Grand Canyon
In the morning visit the Kizil Thousand Buddha caves which sit high on the cliffs over the Northern bank of the Muzat River, 75km (46miles) from Kucha city. The caves were hewn between the 3rd and 8th century and formED one of the earliest Buddhist art treasure troves in China. In fact the caves were in use one century before the famous Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang.
we have lunch at a restuarant next to the caves and drive to Tianshan mysterious Grand Canyon which is about a little more than an hour distance from the caves. Tianshan Great Canyon 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 Grand Canyon is regarded as one of the ten most beautiful in China.
Drive back to Kucha after a long and exciting one day trip and have dinner before going back to hotel.
Day 15
2018-09-18 (Tuesday)
Kucha For Whole Day
Hotel:Kucha Grand Hotel (5 star building)
Meals:
Activities: Visit Kucha old city , Grand Mosque, Bazar , Subash ancient city and Kizil Kagha Beacon tower
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll spend some time at Kucha old city area which is a lovely community of friendly Uighur people. Kucha grand mosque is located in an old city area and the mosque was built in the 17th and roof of the mosque was constructed with 300,000 eggs, cement and bricks.
Then we’ll visit the Ancient City of Subash dating from the 2nd -3rd Centuries as well as the ancient Kizil Kagha Beacon Tower which was once an ancient military outpost.
Day 16
2018-09-19 (Wednesday)
Kucha to Hotan
Hotel:West Lake International Hotel (4*)
Meals:
Activities: Drive through Taklimakan desert Highway.
An early start today as we set out for Hotan after breakfast and driving into the Desert Highway. This desert highway was built from 2005 to 2007 and opened in 2008. Today we drive about 200km through local villages and 420kms on the desert highway.
You’ll love the drive with outstanding sceneries of Sand dunes and we can stop whenever you like for photos, walking around or have fun.
The word ‘Taklimakan’ means Sea of Death: “once you come in you can never go back”, This will certainly be an unforgettable part of your trip.
We arrive Hotan in the evening and check into the Hotel.
Day 17
2018-09-20 (Thursday)
Hotan For Whole Day
Hotel:West Lake International Hotel (4*)
Meals:
Activities: Grand Market, Silk Fabric, Jade River, Carpet factory and Hotan museum.

After breakfast, visit 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 cloth by the traditional way. Carpet weaving workshop, Jade workshop all of these three products are very indigenous to this area of Xinjiang and famous along the Silk Road of Central Asia for thousands of years.

Then visit Hotan Museum.

Day 18
2018-09-21 (Friday)
Hotan to Yarkand
Hotel:super 8 hotel
Meals:
Activities: Drive to Yarkant and stop at Kaghilik. in the afternoon tour around Yarkant
Leave for Yarkand early in the morning. Stop at Kaghilik for visiting the Grand Mosque built in 17th Century and surrounding local bazaars.
Then head to Yarkand to enjoy the local culture and do some sightseeing. visit Golden Mosque (built in 1533) and its graveyard including several hundred years old tombs. Yarkand became the capital of many Uighur Kingdoms in ancient times and was an important station on the old Silk Road.
We also tour around old city of Yarkant which witnessed more than 2000 years its of history
Day 19
2018-09-22 (Saturday)
Yarkant to Kashgar
Hotel:Radisson Blue Hotel (luxury 5-star)
Meals:
Activities: After breakfast Drive to Kashgar and have free time.
After breakfast set out for Kashgar which is about 3 hours driving distance.
Have free time in the afternoon.
If you want,you can walk around the city and our guide will provide you an English Map of the city which helps you walk around by yourself.
Day 20
2018-09-23 (Sunday)
Kashgar Sunday Market
Hotel:Radisson Blue Hotel (luxury 5-star)
Meals:
Activities: whole day visit Livestock market and Main Sunday bazaar
Livestock market: This market happens on every Sunday is sure to be the most interesting highlight of your tour today. 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 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.
Sunday Bazaar: It is said “you can find everything except chicken milk at this bazaar” as this bazaar is one of the largest in Central Asia. “From fluffy sheepskin hats to rugged camel-hide boots, not to mention beads, buttons and buckets of local lard, everything – including plenty of kitchen sinks – is for sale at this fairytale bazaar. It is the best chance to practice your bargaining skills.”
Day 21
2018-09-24 (Monday)
Explore Kashgar City
Hotel:Radisson Blue Hotel (luxury 5-star)
Meals:
Activities: Visit Grand mosque, Apak Hoja tomb (which is also called Fragrant Concubine Tomb), Old city walking tours and dinner at a local Uighur family countryside of Kashgar.
Explore the rich, endless culture of the Uighurs in Kashgar. Spend some time by the 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 spend time in the Kashgar Old Town and have some walking tours through some ancient historical parts; Stop at a century-old tea house for a short break and taste local medicinal teas such as such as those containing rose, saffron, honey and other ingredients.
Finally conclude our city tour with a dinner at a local family in countryside which offers a great opportunity to deeply understand real local life, culture and traditions of local Uighurs.
Day 22
2018-09-25 (Tuesday)
Kashgar to Torugart Pass
Hotel:Not included
Meals:
Activities: Transfer to Torugart pass 170Kms (106 Miles)
Your private guide and driver will meet you at your hotel at agreed time and depart for Torugart pass;
First stop at Topa Immigration where they check all permit documents which should be prepared by our company and given to your guide (you don’t need to worry about it). Here they also check your Kyrgyz visa (that is ok if you don’t need visa for Kyrgyzstan)
It is another 2:00-2:30 hours driving (110kms) from Topa to the border where you will meet your Kyrgyz guide/driver.

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