China's Silk Road
Enjoy the incredible food and cultural sites of Beijing—like the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, before you set off along the ancient Silk Road. Visit temples, pagodas, mountain oases, desert landscapes, historical fortifications, and archaeological sites on this unforgettable journey through the ages.
Best time to visit: March-November
Ideal for: Couples
Day 1 – Arrive Beijing
Arrive in Beijing, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure to relax after the long flight.
Day 2 – Beijing Highlights & History
Start exploring the city’s dynamic blend of ancient and modern history and architecture on a full-day guided tour. Highlights include visits to Tiananmen Square, the immense complex of the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. This evening, enjoy a traditional Beijing Duck dinner, a dish that has been prepared since the imperial era.
Day 3 – The Great Wall
This morning, take off on an excursion to several well-preserved sections of the Great Wall, which are within an hour or two of Beijing city center depending on which areas you opt to visit. There are nearly 400 miles of walls around Beijing dating back to between the 14th and 17th centuries. In the afternoon, take a rickshaw tour of the narrow alleyways, called hutongs, of one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.
Day 4 – Fly to Urumqi
Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Urumqi, a major city on the ancient Silk Road in the northwestern corner of the country. On arrival, enjoy a guided city tour of the Provincial Museum, with its 2,000-year-old mummies, and then visit Red Hill Park and the Bazaar.
Day 5 – Along the Silk Road to Turpan
Drive along the historical Silk Road across the Heavenly Mount to Turpan, an oasis surrounded by desert and mountains. Tour the ruins of Jiaohe, an ancient city with natural defenses and an ancient underground water supply and irrigation system, set in the picturesque Yarnaz Valley. Spend the night in the city of Turpan.
Day 6 – Turpan to Kashgar
Spend the day exploring the area around Turpan; visit the Sugong Pagoda, the red sandstone Flaming Mountains, and the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Grottoes. In the afternoon, return to Urumqi for an evening flight to Kashgar.
Day 7 – Grand Bazaar of Kashgar
Start the day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, a daily market that blossoms into Central Asia’s largest outdoor market each Sunday, selling local products and crafts and goods from across the region. In the afternoon, visit the tombs of the Fragrant Concubine and the Old Town of Kashgar. After a full day in Kashgar, take a late flight back to Urumqi.
Day 8 – Fly to Dunhuang & Visit Mogao Caves
Take a morning flight to Dunhuang to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Mogao Caves. Also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes, this complex of cave-temples protects nearly a millennium of sculpture, murals, architecture and manuscripts from the 5th to the 14th centuries.
Day 9 – Yumen Pass & Singing Sands
Today, drive 2 hours across the desert to Yumen Pass, known as the Jade Gate, which is the western terminus of the Great Wall and was built over 2,000 years ago. On the way back to Dunhuang, visit Crescent Moon Lake and the Singing Sands Dune, a spectacular desert landscape to explore on camelback and to enjoy the sunset.
Day 10 – Xi’an & the Terracotta Army
Depart Dunhuang on a morning flight to Xi’an, home of the World-Heritage Terracotta Army, which was buried with the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, around 200 BCE. Visit archaeological sites and Bronze Chariots Museum, and then take a bicycle tour along the Old City Wall of Xi’an. This evening, enjoy a traditional dumpling dinner and Tang Dynasty music and dance performance.
Day 11 – Fly to Shanghai
This morning, take a guided city tour starting with the Shaanxi Provincial Museum and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. After lunch, transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight to Shanghai. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy the evening to explore the city on your own.
Day 12 – Explore Shanghai
Get to known Shanghai on a full-day tour of the city, starting with a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple. Stroll along the waterfront area of the Bund, which offers views across the river to the skyscrapers of Pudong, visit the Yu garden, the Shanghai Old Town, and the Shanghai Museum. In the evening, enjoy an acrobatic show.
Day 13 – Gardens of Suzhou
Take a full-day tour to Suzhou, a city known for its canals, bridges, and elegant gardens. Visit the classical Lingering Garden, Penman Gate, and take a boat ride along the Grand Canal. Return to Shanghai in the late afternoon.
Day 14 – Depart Shanghai
Transfer to the airport for your international flight home.
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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