11 Days Silk Road Trip

Trip name:

11 days China Silk Road Trip

Trip code:


Trip length:

11 Days

Trip overview:

This fortnight long trip will unveil the mysteries and legends of the Silk Road in China. Commencing from the very beginning of this road, Chang’an (present day Xi’an), Terracotta Army and Horses will make up your first highlight. An overnight train will take you to Zhangye to catch a quick glimpse into authentic life back in the Hexi Corridor and admire the spectacular Danxia landform. Switch to another train to access the last outpost of the Han Dynasty - Jiayuguan City, you will pay a visit to one of the most significant forts, Jiayujian Fort, and learn its hidden stories. Depart Jiayuguan, your next destination is Dunhuang, another highlight of this trip. The Mogao Grottoes resonate with tourists with their exquisite artworks and great religious impact. The last part of your trip begins in Turpan, a land of abundance specially famed for its Hami melons, grapes, and other sweets fruits. One of the must-see sites is Flaming Mountains, which is very interesting if you are familiar with Journey to the West. Your second-last city will be Urumqi where you will find peace in your heart and mind exploring the Heavenly Lake. Take a flight to Kashgar to wander in the local market and watch locals bargaining. At this point, your two week’s travel comes to an end and you will return home with a head full of history and culture and phone filled with fantastic pictures.

LCT-XZJDTUK-11-D -01-Ask for a quick response

  • Group size

* Note: This price is per person.

1. See with your own eyes how drastically western China has developed whilst learning about its rich history and culture;
2. Follow the footsteps of hundreds of thousand traders to experience what it might have been like for Marco Polo when he set foot in this exotic land;
3. Enjoy the rainbow-colored Danxia landform in Zhangye and be truly amazed by the divine creation of nature;
4. Visit the mini terracotta warriors in a totally different museum namely the Hanyangling Museum to get a general idea of how powerful the Han Dynasty was;
5. Find peace and relax completely at the Heavenly Lake;
6. Taste the locally grown fruit and experience the locals’ hospitality in Turpan.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Xian

    You will land at the starting point of the Silk Road; Xian city. Your local driver will pick you up upon your arrival and accompany you to check in.

Day 2 Terracotta Army and Horses, City Wall, Muslim Quarter

    09:00: Meet your local Xian guide and start exploring this ancient city.

    09:50 - 12:30: This very first site will lead you right to the highlight. You will visit the UNESCO listed site - the Terracotta Army and Horses Museum. Hosting about 8000 terracotta figures and horses, this museum is built on the site of the pits of funerary goods created to accompany Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor in Chinese history, to his after-life. Visiting here will uncover all the secrets and mysteries of the Qin Dynasty.

    12:30 - 13:30: Enjoy lunch nearby the museum before heading back to the city.

    14:20 - 16:00: Get on the City Wall to catch a glimpse of the city center. It was built as part of the defense system for the city. With its thick walls and tall gates in each corner, this wall has protected the old city for over 600 years. It functions more like a local leisure place now, where many people ride bikes, take wedding pictures or hold competitions.

    16:10 - 17:00: Get off the City Wall and walk about 15 mins to arrive at the most bustling place in Xian - the Muslim Quarter. Strolling slowly along the streets surrounded by lively street stalls and vendors yelling to sell their goods, you might feel a little bit dizzied. Go inside one of the gift shops and you will discover various small traditional artworks.

    17:20: Finish this day tour and return to your hotel.

    Terracotta Warriors Museum    City Wall

Day 3 Hanyangling, take train D2673 (13:40 - 21:28) to Zhangye

    09:00: Meet your Xian guide again and begin your last day trip in Xian.

    09:30 - 11:30 : Visit the other important mausoleum in Xian - Hanyangling Museum (Jingdi’s Tomb). This is the tomb for Emperor Jing in the Western Han Dynasty, who made a considerable contribution to the affluence and prosperity of the Han Dynasty. You will find many mini terracotta figures representing daily life, and others from court-life  indicating the openness  of society back then. From all this pottery and figures, modern people can see what life was like thousands years ago.

    11:30 - 12:30: Enjoy lunch at a nice local restaurant before heading for the train.

    12:50: Arrive at Xian North Railway Station and take D2673 (13:40 - 21:28) to Zhangye.

    21:28: Your Zhangye driver will be waiting for you upon your arrival to transfer you to your hotel.

    Hanyangling Museum    Xian Food

Day 4 Danxia Geological Park, Wooden Pagoda Temple, Giant Buddha Temple, take overnight train to Dunhuang

    09:00: Meet your local guide and start this amazing tour.

    09:50 - 12:00: Access the Danxia Geological Park to admire the Rainbow mountains. When the sunshine is spread everywhere on the mountains, everything looks radiant and resplendent. It is a great time to take many photos. One of the must-see sights is the mountain that resembles a “Large Scallop”, with its two big, reddish shells opening wide and closing separately, leaving all the transparent muscles crystal and clear. What a scene! If you are willing to get up early, it will reward you with even more magnificent views!

    12:00 - 13:00 p.m: Have lunch at a local diner and take a break.

    13:40 - 15:00: Pay a visit to the Wooden Pagoda Temple. It’s the oldest pagoda in Zhangye  dating back to 1000 years ago. According to available records, the construction of this pagoda began in the late Zhou Dynasty. Due to several repairs over time, it displays architectural and painting techniques from different eras. The tower is 32.8 meters high and comprises of 9 stories. The whole tower is made of wood, with its body hollowed in various flower shapes.

    15:10 - 16:30: During this time you will visit the Giant Buddha temple where the largest indoor sitting Buddha is housed. You may also wander in the Wanshou Wooden Pagoda built in the Sui Dynasty, or the Thousand-Buddha Pagoda, Bell & Drum Tower or Qing Dynasty Shanxi Assembly Hall.

    You are advised to explore on your own whilst waiting for the departure time for your train to Dunhuang.

    22:30: Your local driver will drop you off at the Zhangye Train Station. You will head for Dunhuang.

    Danxia Rainbow Mountains    Wooden Pagoda Temple

Day 5 Mogao Grottoes, Shazhou Night Market

    06:30: You will be picked up from the Dunhuang train station and dropped off at your Dunhuang hotel to freshen up.

    13:00: Your local guide will pick you up from your Dunhuang hotel and escort you to visit another highlight of this trip - the Mogao Grottoes.

    13:30 - 16:30: The Mogao Grottoes were designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO due to the 1600 years of accumulated cultural, architectural, and art treasures. Surviving the ages are 492 cave temples and 45000 square meters of frescos. According to the Tang Dynasty records, a monk had a vision of thousands Buddhas under showers of golden rays here. Thus inspired, he started the cave construction work that spanned ten dynasties. The Mogao Caves are commonly known as the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas.

    17:00- 18:30: Stroll in one of the best night markets in China - the Shazhou Night Market. Here, you will find traditional art works and authentic local snacks. You may enjoy your dinner here.

    19:00: Return to your hotel.

    Mogao Caves    Shazhou Night Market

Day 6 Singing Sand Dunes and Crescent Moon Spring, Take train to Turpan

    09:00: Meet your local guide and start this day tour.

    09:20 - 11:30: You will set out for the Singing Sand Dunes and Crescent Moon Spring. The Mingsha Sand Dunes are situated 5 kilometers away from Dunhuang City, and stretch from the Mogao Grottoes in the east. Seen from afar, the dunes appear to be an ordinary golden desert, but are  actually made up of five colors of sand: red, yellow, green, black and white. Stretching 40km from east to west and 20km from north to south, the Singing Sand Dune roars when there is a strong wind and murmurs if its just breeze. Thus came the name of Singing Sand Dune. At the northern foot of the Singing Sand Dune lies the famous Crescent Spring. These two wonders are like twin sisters in the wild Gobi Desert. Surrounded by sand the Crescent Spring stretches 118 meters in  an east-west direction and 25 meters in a north-south direction. It has been nestling in the desert for a long, long time, but is still clear and sweet. Visitors can ride camels to climb the Singing Sand Dune and enjoy the bird’s-eye view of the Crescent Lake. You surely will be amazed by the natural beauty.

    11:30 - 12:30: Enjoy lunch at a local diner and head for Liuyuan Train Station to take D2703 (15:59-17:31).

    17:31: Turpan Train Station pick up and Turpan hotel drop off.

    Crescent Spring    Dunhuang Dessert

Day 7 Karez Well System, Flaming Mountain, Jiaohe

    09:00: After breakfast, your local guide will hold a sign with your name on and be waiting for you in your hotel lobby. You will start to explore this beautiful city.

    09:10 - 12:00: You'll visit the Karez Well System to witness the wisdom of Uyghur people. The irrigation system is especially designed for the desert. If all of these underground channels were connected, the total length would 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.

    12:00 - 13:00: Enjoy lunch in a nice local restaurant and taste the native food.

    13:30 - 15:00: Thereafter, you'll travel to the Flaming Mountain, well known amongst Chinese people because of the legendary story 'Journey to the West'. It is regarded as the hottest place in China.

    15:50 - 17:00: Visit Jiaohe Ancient City, on an island-shaped plateau situated at Yar Town. It is the largest, oldest and best preserved earth-structured city in the world, with a history of 2000-2300 years.

    17:30: Turpan hotel drop off.

    Flaming Mountains    Jiaohe Ancient City

Day 8 Heavenly Lake, Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar

    06:00 : Turpan hotel pick up and Train station drop off for train Z231 (08:07 - 09:32).

    09:32: Urumqi Train Station pick up and start your trip right away.

    11:00 - 13:00: you'll visit the Heavenly Lake on Tianshan (boat tour). The mountain lake stands 1980 meters above sea level and features picturesque scenery of snowcapped peaks. Enjoy a blissful boat trip on the Heavenly Lake, with a layer of magical color covering the lake, and hearing many beautiful myths and legends.

    13:00 - 14:00: Have lunch at a local diner and take a little break.

    15:30 - 17:00: You will return to the city and wander in the Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar. You will find yourself inside of a big commercial area, where minority group people sell featured fruit, nuts and other local snacks. It is a great place to relax and be immersed in the hospitality of the local people and enjoy some local gourmet. You may also be caught up in some activities when local people perform ethnic dancing and singing.

    17:20: Urumqi hotel drop off.

    Heavenly Lake    Erdaoqiao Street

Day 9 Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum, take flight to Kashgar

    09:00 - 10:30: Urumqi hotel pick up and you will head for the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum. It’s the largest museum in Xinjiang Province and the most important one. There are a few exhibitions here, but the following three are the unusual ones. The first one, is the Customs Exhibition, which introduces the various folk customs of the 12 minorities in Xinjiang including clothing, lifestyle, entertainment, weddings, funerals, etiquette, food and religion. The second is the History and Excavations Display, which includes over 1000 priceless relics and antiques like pottery, terracotta figures, stele, scripts, weapons and wares. The Last one is the Ancient Corpse exhibition, which includes several female corpses dating back more than 3000 years.

    11:30: You will be dropped off at the airport and take CA1477, 13:30 - 15:25.

    15:25: Kashgar airport pick up upon your arrival and Hotel drop off.

    Xinjiang Museum    Camel Riding

Day 10 Id Kah Mosque, Apak Hoja Tomb, Zhiren Street

    09:00: Kashgar hotel pick up and start to enjoy this beautiful city.

    09:10 - 12:00: Visit the famous Id Kah Mosque. Most of the people of Xinjiang are Muslims, so this mosque plays an important role in their lives. Please follow your guide closely and do not speak loudly during the visit. Please abide by certain regulations that the mosque has imposed on you.

    12:00 - 13:00: Have a typical Xinjiang lunch at a local diner.

    13:20 - 15:00: Pay a visit to the Apak Hoja Tomb. Located 5km east of Kashgar city, this tomb is a typical Muslim building complex. It’s said that this mausoleum housed 5 generations totalling 72 people, but only 58 were found in the tombs. The tomb’s were named after a famous concubine of Emperor Qianlong. She was a one of the descendants of the master of this grand tomb, who was selected as a concubine for Emperor Qianlong. After her death from de-acclimatisation, it’s said people delivered her corpse back and buried it in this tomb. However, she was actually buried in mausoleum of Concubine Yu in the Ming tombs.

    15:20 - 17:00: You will wander along Zhiren Street. Visiting this street will enable you to enjoy the customs and history of Uyghur ethnic group. It’s world famous for traditional artisan works including exquisite ethnic caps, ancient ethnic embroidery, dazzling gold and silver jewellery, old wooden works, antique pottery, elegant red bronze, melodious musical instruments, fine silk, and richly decorated knives. There is so much to learn here.

    17:00: Return back to your hotel.

    Id Kah Mosque    Apak Hoja Tomb

Day 11 Departure Kashgar

    Kashgar hotel pick-up 3 hours before your flight and airport drop-off.

Additional Information

What’s included:

Air-conditioned vehicles with experienced driver.
Licensed Chinese- English bilingual speaking tour guide.
Entrance fee for sights mentioned.
Bottled water.
2nd class high-speed train tickets and soft sleeper train tickets listed above
Economy class air tickets needed above.

What’s not included:

Personal expenses or private entertainment items at sights.
Tips or gratuities for guide and driver if we did a good job (recommended)

What to take:  smile and a relaxed enthusiastic attitude.

Good to know:

1.This trip involves several cities that host mostly minority people, some of whom don’t even speak Mandarin, let alone English. They have their own language. We can’t promise that the local guides will possess the English language skills as masterfully as the guides in Xian, but we do promise that you will understand them. They will be very polite, enthusiastic, and eager to share what they know about their hometown. Please do not hold too much expectation.
2. As our customer, your time is very valuable to us. We will never take you to any factories or shops for shopping.
3. For lunch, we will take you to a nice local restaurant, where you can enjoy the local food at a fair price. Please inform us about your food preferences in case you have any allergies.
4. A regular day tour will last 8-9 hours. If you want a tour with a duration exceeding the working period of our tour guide and driver, we need to charge you for your extra hours at the standard rate of 100 RMB per hour.
5.The tour we provide you is based on days, not the hours. A regular day tour will last 8-9 hours. In case you only need our service for between 6 hours to 8 hours in one day, we will consider it a day tour.
6. Please be aware that your itinerary can be changed at anytime. Whenever you want to adjust it, we will help you with that.
7. What we provide are high-quality private tours, you will only be with your families or friends. There are no other people joining your tour.
8. Wheelchairs are available, please advise prior to your trip in case you need any.


Add a review

Your Review
Verification code

Download Tour Information

All the necessary information about this tour are available in the following file. Feel free to click it and download for later reference.

Tour information.pdf

Terms and Conditions

You are advised to view these terms and conditions before booking this trip. We are not liable for any possible consequence due to your unawareness of certain terms listed here.

Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellation Policy

In case of any unexpected issue that you have to cancel this booking, your deposit is non-refundable. You are free to use it for your next trip with Lilysun China Tours or grand it to anyone else who travel with us.

If we already booked your train tickets or air tickets in advance, you will get some refund based on the amount that the train station or airline company charge.

Book Now

You are free to book this trip by clicking the following button when you are well aware of all the necessary information and you agree on them.

All the bookings shall be processed within 12 hours.

Quick question

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave us a message. You will expect a reply within 24 hours.