Chinese Silk Road - The Great Silk Road Adventure

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• Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian
• 5th century Buddhist temples at Bingling (UNESCO)
• Labrang Monastery and the Yellow Hat sect Tibetans
• Jaiyuguan and the western end of the Great Wall of China
• The Magao Grottos (UNESCO) of Dunhuang
• Oasis town of Turpan and the 1st century ancient city of Gaochang
• Camel safari in the Taklamakan Desert
• The famed Sunday Market in Kashgar
• Travel along the Karakoram Highway and visit the Khunjerab Pass

Fact File

• 23 land days
• Maximum 16 travelers
• Start in Xian and finish in Urumqi
• Includes 1 domestic flight
• All meals included
• Activity Level: 3


The ancient Silk Road was a route that connected Imperial Rome with China. For centuries it was the main exchange between East and West, a conduit for religion and philosophy as well as goods and ideas. It was a place of great ancient cities as well as religious and spiritual centers of faith. Extending 4,000 miles (6,437 kilometers), the heart of the great Silk Road was China.

Our adventure to a seldom-visited part of the forbidden kingdom starts in the old imperial capital of Xian, the terminus of the Silk Road. Terra Cotta Warriors are a testimony to once powerful ancient armies. Evidence of the spread of Buddhism can be seen in the stunning carved grottos in Bingling (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as at Labrang Monastery, home to the yellow-sect Tibetans. We explore the seldom-visited western portion of the Great Wall in Jiayuguan to witness the extent of Chinese efforts to protect their empire.

The great Taklamakan Desert may have instilled fear in the hearts of intrepid travelers of the past but we will enter this vast desert for a camel safari, stopping at a number of oasis towns. We conclude our adventure on the border of the great Pamir Mountain Range before visiting the Uighur town of Kashgar and the famed Sunday Market before ending our tour in Urumqi.

Join us as we explore the stunning landscapes, ancient sites and fascinating cultures on our Chinese Silk Road adventure.

FROM: $7495 USD



We stay in comfortable accommodations, both hotels and guesthouses, with private bathrooms. The only exception is the one night camping in the Taklamakan Desert.

Comfort notes

Some long drives. 2 nights over 10,000 ft.

Itinerary - detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Xian
Day 2: Terra-Cotta Warriors of Xian
Day 3: Xian Sites, train to Lanzhou
Day 4: To Bingling Grottos (UNESCO), to Xiahe
Day 5: Labrang Monastery (Tibetan)
Day 6: Train to Jiayuguan. Western Great Wall, Wei-Jin Ancient Tombs
Day 7: To Dunhuang, Ten-Thousand-Buddha Gorge
Day 8: Mogao Grottos, Train to Turpan
Day 9: Ancient City of Idikut, Visit & Lunch With a Local Uighur Community
Day 10: Ancient City of Yargul, to Korla
Day 11: To Kuche, City Sites
Day 12: Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves, Tianshan Great Canyon
Day 13: To Hotan
Day 14: Desert Trekking with Bactrian Camels
Day 15: Sunrise Over the Dunes, to Hotan
Day 16: Hotan Sites, to Yarkand
Day 17: Ancient Capital of Yarkand, to Kashgar
Day 18: Tashkurgan, Tajik Villages and Nomadic Herdsman
Day 19: Khunjerab Pass - Highest International Border in the World, to Karakul Lake
Day 20: Karakul Lake, to Kashgar
Day 21: Kashgar's Ancient Sunday Market
Day 22: Urumqi, Heavenly Lake
Day 23: Depart Urumqi
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