14 days 13 nights Beijing/Urumqi/Turpan/Kashgar/Dunhuang/Xi’an/Shanghai (PT14D-1)
As the capital of China, Beijing is one of the world’s truly imposing cities, with a 3,000-year history and 11 million people. Covering 16,808 square kilometers in area, it is the political, cultural and economic center of the People’s Republic of China. Situated in northeast China, Beijing adjoins the Inner Mongolian Highland to the northwest and the Great Northern Plain to the south. Five rivers run through the city, connecting it to the eastern Bohai Sea. Administratively, the Beijing municipality equals the status of a province, reporting directly to the central government. Rich in history, Beijing has been China’s primary capital for more than seven centuries. China’s imperial past and political present meet at Tiananmen square, where the Forbidden City palace of the emperors gives way to the Great Hall of the People congress building and the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong. The old city walls have been replaced by ring roads, and many of the old residential districts of alleys and courtyard houses have been turned into high-rise hotels, office buildings and department stores. Beijing, a dynamic city where the old and new intermingle, remains a magnet for visitors from inside and outside China.
Story of Silk Road is fascinating and full of military conquest, fearless explorers, religious pilgrims and great thinkers, along with the humble tradesmen who risked life and limb for profit as they led their loaded caravans across dangerous deserts, mountains and steppes. Historical figures like Alexander the Great, Marco Polo, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane were all familiar with Silk Road which was established by 100DC. It lasted until 15th century when newly-discovered sea routes to Asia opened up.
This tour is focused on the ancient Silk Road of China. The Silk Road is a great East to West trade route and vehicle for cross-culture exchange started in the second century BC. It was first traveled by the adventure of Zhang Qian started the journey to the far West for the political contact with Yuezhi, a nomadic tribe, in 138 BC. But, it was only in 1870s that the geographer, Ferdinand von Richthofen gave the name by which we now know as the Silk Road. This road wriggle from Xi’an, cross Gansu, Xijiang to ancient Middle East. To the many merchants, wandering armies, and adventurers of our ancient civilizations, the Silk Road served as an important communication link between cultures and economies. During the time of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), this 5000-mile stretch of trade routes was possibly the world’s first ‘Internet’ linking Asia to Europe and Africa. Today one can travel the Silk Road and still find evidence of the people, ideas, and goods that traveled and transformed its links.
Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is located in an alluvial fan-shaped basin on the northern slope of the Tianshan Mountains. The city opens on to the Junggar Basin in the north. In the Mongolian language, Urumqi means “Beautiful Meadow.”
Turpan is located in a depression with the area of more than 1000 square kilometers of the eastern part of Xinjiang and some 80 meters below the sea level. In history, Turpan was the capital of ancient Gaochang Kingdom (from the sixth century) and later the administration residence of Xizhou. It was a very important juncture on the Silk Road through which the western cultures and Chinese culture encountered and crashed and exchanged. A great many historical sites and cultural relics have remained. And the city is known as a “natural museum of man and culture.”
Kashi Prefecture, 141,600 square kilometers in total area in the southern part of Xinjiang, is contiguous with the Taklimakan Desert. Kashi, short for Kashgar, was called Shule in ancient times and has a history of more than two thousand years.
The national, historical city of Dunhuang is a renowned tourist city famous for the Mogao Caves. It is situated in the common boundary of Gansu Province, Qinghai Province and Xinjiang Province. Dunhuang, long ago referred to as ‘Sha Zhou’ (beautiful desert oasis), was the hub of middle and eastern silk routes in ancient times. The city landmark is an attractive statue, the idea of which comes from the mural in Mogao Caves, a shrine to the culture and arts of Dunhuang. From Mt.Qilian in the south, Mt. Mazong in the north and desert from east to west, the landform of Dunhuang City is a declining basin-plain from west to northeast, high in the north and south, and low in the middle. The western cities of China, especially those in the desert, are known for their sandstorms, so tourists should protect themselves with glasses, hats and gauze kerchiefs, etc.
Xi’an is a city with incredible history, as well as a prosperous modern city. As the capital city of Shannxi province, it holds a key position in the fertile plain between the highland plateau of the north and the Qinling Mountains to the south. Xi’an has been the capital of eleven dynasties for more than 2000 years. Along with Rome and Constantinople, this city played a vital role in bridging the gap between east and west. There are important sites and relics in this city. The Terracotta Army of Qin Emperor is regarded as the eighth wonder of the world.
Shanghai is China’s most comprehensive industrial and commercial city, ranking the first in population and population density. As a tourist city, it attracts travelers from both home and abroad by its commercial activity rather than scenic beauty. Shanghai is situated on the bank of the Yangtze River Delta, with East China Sea in the east and Hangzhou delta in the south. Housing a population of over 16 million at present, it was once a small town supported by fishing and weaving before the first Opium War. Late in 1990, the central government started developing the area, and has since become the well-known booming metropolis city.
|1||Arrive at Beijing. Transfer to Days & Suites Beijing Hotel for 2 nights stay. (D)|
|2||Full Day Beijing City Tour (Forbidden City & Temple of Heaven). (B,L,D)|
|3||Beijing to Urumqi by air. Transfer to Urumqi Hoi Tak Hotel for 2 nights stay. Half day city tour (Hongshan park) (B,L,D)|
|4||Drive 60 miles northeast to Heavenly lake elevation 8,500 feet. Back in the city visit the Provincial Museum to view the incredible 2,000 year old mummies. (B,L,D)|
|5||In the morning, we will drive for 3 hours southeast from Urumqi to Turpan. On the way, we will pass the biggest windmill power station in Asia and Salt lake. Turpan is an Uighur town set in a large oasis surrounded by desert and dry mountains. Upon arrival, we visit the mysterious death city—the ruins of Jiaohe, which reveals traces of a prosperous ancient trading center and military stronghold at 1600 years ago. This city used to be the most frontal barrier at the west for the dynasties. Then we visit Ancient Karez, the underground water supply & irrigation system and its museum. Turpan is famous throughout China for its big and sweet grapes and gourds. We will visit the grape valley and enjoy fruits. Stay at Oasis Hotel, VIP Building (B,L,D)|
|6||Morning visit Sugong Pagoda, The Flaming Mountain & Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Grottoes, and have our lunch at local family. We drive back to Urumqi in the afternoon and take the flight from Urumqi to Kashgar. Stay at Barony Hotel. (B,L,D)|
|7||We visit Sunday Morning Moslems Pray. It is incredible that thousands of all Moslem kneel down on the streets and the squares facing to the temple. Then we visit the Sunday Bazaar, which is the largest outdoor market in the Mid-Asia. Fly to Urumqi. Transfer to Urumqi Hoi Tak Hotel. (B,L,D)|
|8||We take a morning flight to Dunhuang In the afternoon visit the world wonder-Mogao Grottoes. Stay at Dunhuang Hotel VIP Building for 2 nights stay. (B,L,D)|
|9||Today we drive 2 hours west forward across the desert to Yumen Guan (Jade Gate Pass) which was the west terminal of Great Wall built in Han Dynasty in 2100 years ago. After we return back to the city our sightseeing is to tour Moon Lake & Sander Sand by riding on camels to see the sunset. (B,L,D)|
|10||Take morning flight to Xi’an. Half day City Tour (Shaanxi History Museum & City Wall). Stay at Xi’an Sheraton Hotel for 2 nights stay. (B,L,D)|
|11||Full Day Terra Cotta Tour(Terracotta Museum & Big Wild Goose Pagoda & Banpo Museum) (B,L,D)|
|12||Morning flight to Shanghai. Afternoon half day city tour (Yu Yuan Garden & The Jade Buddha Monastery). Transfer to Shanghai Hotel for 2 nights stay. (B,L,D)|
|13||Full Day Zhouzhuang Water Town Tour. (B,L,D)|
|14||Departure from Shanghai. (B)|
The price includes:
- Days & Suites Beijing Hotel Standard room for 2 nights, with ABF daily
- Urumqi Hoi Tak Hotel Standard room for 3 nights, with ABF daily
- Turpan Oasia Hotel Standard room for 1night, with ABF daily
- Kashgar Barony Hotel Standard room for 1night, with ABF daily
- Dunhuang Hotel Standard room for 2 nights, with ABF daily
- Xi'an Sheraton Hotel Standard room for 2 nights, with ABF daily
- Shanghai Hotel Standard room for 2 nights, with ABF daily
All airport transfers
All entrance fees to all sightseeing
Private English Speaking tour Guide, and Driver
All domestic airfare (Economy Class)
- Beijing to Urumqi
- Urumqi to Kashgar
- Kashgar to Urumqi
- Urumqi to Dunhuang
- Dunhuang to Xian
- Xian to Shanghai
This price excludes:
- Gratuities for the Guides and Drivers
- Incidentals in hotel such as dry cleaning, phone, mini bar
- Inbound and outbound international air
- Hotels used may be changed prior to tour but will be replaced with similar category of hotels
- Price and availability subject to change without notice until deposit is received