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15 Days of Silk Road Adventure

    

Day 1 Beijing Hotel: Crown Plaza Hotel (5 star)
On arrival in Beijing, you will be met & transferred by our professional English speaking guide to your hotel. Visit the great wall at mutianyu, and then transfer to temple of heaven-here ancient emperors prayed for good harvest. Lunch at good local restaurants. The Roasted Beijing Duck as optional in the evening.

Great Wall at Mutianyu: This less-crowded section of the Great Wall is a pleasant drive 90km NE of Beijing,where you can walk along the wall, through the watch towers and enjoy superb views as it snakes across the hills and mountains. Wear good walking shoes and protection from the weather.
Temple of Heaven: One of the most famous sites in Beijing, this is Ming architecture at its best: beautiful, controlled, and highly symbolic. The surrounding gardens are full of interesting activity, particularly weekend mornings. Wear good walking shoes and protection from the weather.
Roasted Beijing Duck: In the evening enjoy the Peking Roasted Duck which is renowned as the most delicious food of Beijing

Day 2 Beijing(B/L/D)  Hotel:same as above
Buffet breakfast at hotel.Full day city excursion to Tiananmen Square-the largest square in the world Forbidden City-imperial palace of Ming (AD1368-1644)and Qing Dynasty (AD 1644-1911), Hall of Clocks and Watches.

The Tian'anmen Square: The world's largest city square and enduring symbol of China's national pride, surrounded by many imposing buildings including the Heavenly Gate (entry to the Forbidden City), Museums, government buildings and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum.
The Forbidden City: The Imperial Palace, home to 24 Emperors between 1420 and 1911. Great squares, halls and gates contrast with the intricate networks of side halls, gardens, courtyards and quarters for those who lived in this 'city within a city'. The exhibitions, both permanent and temporary, are also absolutely fascinating. Expect to spend at least 2-3 hours, wear good walking shoes and protection from the weather.
Hall of Clocks and Watches: Hall of Clocks and Watches set in the Forbidden City,2208 square meters,show us the clock history of the past 200 years.

Day 3 Beijing(B/L/D) Hotel:same as above
Buffet breakfast at hotel. Visit at Summer Place Much-loved summer retreat of the Imperial families and Hutong Tours in Rickshaw after lunch at local Chinese restaurant.

Summer Palace
: Much-loved summer retreat of the Imperial families, the lovely landscaped gardens, halls, pavilions and corridors are set around the lake and rivers in natural harmony. You can expect to spend 2-3 hours here, including a 10 minute boat ride. Renovations (complete in 2010) mean that an individual section or building may be closed at any one time, but this is a huge site. Wear good walking shoes and protection from the weather.
Hutong Tours in Rickshaw: A maze of historic alleyways and old single storey traditional courtyard houses, now fast disappearing. Dotted around the hutong are the Drum and Bell Towers, Kindergarten, Tea House, and local people's houses. Your tour includes a visit with a local family

Day 4 Beijing/Urumqi  (B/L/D)   Hotel: Kempinski Hotel Urumqi (5*)
Buffet breakfast at hotel, then transfer to the airport for the flight to Urumqi. Upon arrival, meet and transfer to the hotel, visit Bazaar and mosque in the city.

Day 5 Urumqi (B/L/D)   Hotel:same as above
Buffet breakfast at hotel, then take full day excursion to Southern Mountain Pasture, visit Kazak family Yurt and Xinjiang Minority People’s Museum. Have the lunch and dinner at local restaurant.

Southern Mountain Pasture: It is a vast natural area with fascinating scenery. It's landscape stretches into the distance and is painted with flocks of sheep and horses and yaks grazing among the wild flowers. Deep in the lush valley, a waterfall gently drops down and integrates with the peaceful surroundings.   
Xinjiang Minority People’s Museum: The Museum includes an extensive collection of local artifacts as well as items from other areas on the ancient Silk Road. The building is an Uygur style building with the strong ethnical decor within. It has a 7,800 sq meter exhibition hall.

Day 6 Urumqi/Kashghar (B/L/D)  Hotel: Barony Bangchen Hotel
After breakfast, take the flight CZ6803(08:05/09:50)Urumqi/Kashgar, an important hub on the Old Silk Road, a vibrant Islamic centre within Chinese territory. It is the largest oasis city in Chinese Central Asia and 90 per cent of its population of over 300,000 is Uygur. Check in the hotel and visit the Idkah Mosque.

Id Kah Mosque: It is the largest mosque in China and the religious center of Kashgar. The call to Prayer booming from the mosque can be heard throughout the city center. This is a rare thing in Socialist China. The ornate structure of today (renovated and expanded) is based on the original mosque which was built in 1442 for Shakesirmirzha, the ruler of Kashgar. The mosque, constructed of yellow brick, is easily recognizable from its dominant spot on the west side of Id Kah Square.

Day 7 Karshgar/Karakui/Karshgar (B/L/D)  Hotel: Barony Bangchen Hotel
One day trip to Lake Karakui by the Karakoram Highway, then back to Kashgha.  

Lake Karakuli: A sparkling glacial lake, surrounded by stunning rocky mountains, and snowcovered peaks as high as 7500m (the lake's at 3,600). After eating in one of the collection of yurts at the water's edge you can walk around the lake (about 4 hours), or take a ride by pony, camel or motorbike, or just enjoy the scenery before returning to Kashgar. Camping is avail- able in the yurts (best to come well prepared), and longer treks available by arrangement.

Day 8 Kashgha/Urumqi Hotel:Kempinski Hotel Urumqi (5*)
Full day tour in Kashgar, visit the Sunday Bazar and Karshgha Old Town (It is said that town has been existing for more than 2,000 years.), afternoon flight, back to Urumqi Sunday Bazaar: The famous Sunday bazaar has been operating since ancient times, attracting merchants from all over Xinjiang and neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Kirghizstan. farmers from the suburbs of Kashiga come to the bazaar early in the morning.

Day 9 Urumqi/Turpan Hotel:(B/L/D)  Hotel: Silk road Turpan Oasis Hotel (5 *)
Buffet breakfast at hotel, then bus transfer to Turpan, visit Grape Valley and Karez Well. Have the lunch and dinner at local restaurant.

Grape Valley: Grape Valley of the Flaming Mountains, is a world of unique beauty, presenting a striking contrast with the hot, dry and barren outside. Cushioned by green grass and graced with green trees, the valley is a world of green with brooks, canals and sparkling springs. There is a poetic flavor to the idyllic beauty of the valley. Scattered everywhere in the valley are trees: mulberry, peach, apricot, apple, pomegranate, pear, fig, walnut, elm, poplar and willow; also watermelons and muskmelons, making the valley into a "garden of one hundred flowers" in spring and an "orchard of one hundred kinds of fruits" in summer.  

Karez Well
: As one of the 3 ancient key irrigation projects along with the Ling Canal and Dujiangyan, Karez systems are the life source of Turpan. In a sense, without the karez, there would be no Turpan culture. According to records, the history of the karez in Xinjiang dates back to 103 B.C. Karezes have been found in Iran, the Sahara, etc., but the ones in Turpan are most intact. Currently there are still over 400 systems in the land.

Day 10 Turpan/Dunhuang (B/L/D) (Soft sleeper bed, 1st class)
Buffet breakfast at hotel, then full day trip to Gaochang Ruins, where inside take donkey riding into the ruin city and Flaming Hill then visit Baizikeli Thousand Buddha Cave. In the evening catch the night train to Dunhuang.  Have the lunch and dinner at local restaurant.

Baizikeli Thousand Buddha Cave: The Caves stand high on the cliffs of west Mutou Valley under the Flaming Mountain, 45km east of Turpan and 15km north of the Gaochang Ruins. Of the 83 original caves, 57 caves currently remain. The murals cover an area over 1, 200sqkm in more than 40 caves.  

Day 11 Dunhuang/Lanzhou (B/L/D) Hotel: Lanzhou Sunshine Plaza Hotel (5*)  Arrive at Duanhuang, have a shower and breakfast at Dunhuang Hotel (local best), then visit Mingsha Sand Dunes and Crescent Lake. After lunch, visit Mogao Grotto, Take an evening flight to Lanzhou.Transfer to Hotel.  

Mingsha (Sighing) Sand Dune:The dune, a sand crusted hill of dozens of meters high, is 40km east to west, and 20km south to north. In fine days, sand roars like thunder which can be heard in the city, hence the name. when visitors climb up to the dunes and slide downward from the summit, the sand can collapse with them and give out a pearl of loud sound.

Yueyaquan (Crescent Lake)
: It is a crescent-shaped lake in the oasis, It was named Yueyaquan since Qing Dynasty.  
Mogao Grotto: The Mogao Grottoes, commonly named housand-Buddha Caves, and praised as "a glittering pearl that adorns the Silk Road", are the most famous grottoes in China. The grotto was first chiseled in 366 AD. According to legend, this area was marshland over 1000 years ago. A monk called Yue Zun dreamed of 1000 golden Buddhas when he was traveling home across this region and he decided to turned his dream into reality.

Day12 Lanzhou/Xi’an (B/L/D)  Hotel: Sofitel Hotel (5 Star)
Tour in Lanzhou, visit White Pagoda Mountain with the bird view of th city and Yellow river; afternoon flight to Xi’an.

White Pagoda Mountain:Owes its name to the amazing White Pagoda within it. Legend has it that the White Pagoda was built in honor of a well-known Tibetan Lama who died of an illness in Lanzhou when on his way to Mongolia as representative of the leader of Sakyapa in order to meet Genghis Khan, founder of the Yuan Dynasty (AD1271-1368). Unfortunately, the original pagoda later toppled down. The present White Pagoda was constructed by an official in the reign of Emperor Yingzong of the Ming Dynasty (AD1368-1644), and later extended by an imperial inspector in Qing Dynasty (AD1644-1911).

DAY 13 Xi’an(B/L/D) Hotel: Sofitel Hotel (5 Star)
Arrive at Xi’an, Check in the hotel visit the Shaanxi Historical Museum, City Wall.

Shaanxi Historical Museum: The history of Shaanxi is said to be the history of China, and this museum is quite simply one of the nation's best. Four major galleries in large, Tang-style buildings house a vast and impressive collection, beautifully displayed. Most of the item labels are in English, although some other information on the exhibitions is not, but your guide can help here. Wear comfortable walking shoes.  
City Wall: The walls, ramparts, gates and watchtowers form one of the oldest and most complete city defence still around. It was rebuilt in the 14th Century AD on the foundations of the original Tang Dynasty’s Forbidden City surrounding the city centre. You can walk, rent a bike or take an electric cart around the full 14km circuit, with great views of the city on either side.  

Day 14 Xi’an(B/L)  Hotel: same as above
Buffet breakfast at hotel, visit the famous the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum and have the lunch at the museum. Afternoon, visit the Big wild Goose Pagoda, The Great Mosque, The Tang Dynasty Dinner & Show in the evening.
The Terracotta Warriors and Horses: The most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century, the army of terra-cotta warriors and the bronze chariots entombed in vast underground vaults at emperor Qin's tomb.
The Tany Dynasty Dinner & Show: The show that presents the palace dances and sings in the Tang Dynasty. The Big wild Goose Pagoda: It is one of the city's most distinctive and outstanding landmarks, possibly the most beautiful building left in Xi'an today. In AD 652, the Big Goose Pagoda was built to store the sutras and the figurines of Buddha, which were brought from India by a famous Buddhist translator and traveler Tang Sanzang, also known by his Buddhist name as Xuanzang.
The Great Mosque: It is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosques in China.

Day 15 Xi’an/Beijing (B/L)
Buffet breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport for the flight to Beijing, end of the service.  


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