Silk Road Explorer
From $5,978 - 24 Days, Fully Inclusive from selected Australian cities
The Silk Road trading route was the world’s first super-highway, a 4,500km series of desert and mountain crossings. Almost 2,000 years before being named, this route was first travelled by emissaries of the Han Dynasty. As the centuries passed many traders set out from Xian and ventured westward to Kashgar, over the Pamir Mountains to Central Asia and finally to Rome. The trading route allowed links between China and the west to flourish and encouraged an exchange of art, ideas, culture and trade. Many of our customers who have travelled on this tour congratulate us for an outstanding journey that leaves a long-lasting and favourable impression.
As you travel along the original trade route you will be following in the footsteps of Marco Polo and Genghis Khan. This is a remarkable journey, one that seamlessly joins modern-paced adventure with ancient culture.
DAYS 1-2: AUSTRALIA TO XIAN
Fly overnight with Cathay Pacific Airways to Xian, the former imperial capital of China, for a two night stay.
DAY 3: XIAN
Explore one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th Century, the life-sized Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Later, visit the ancient City Wall.
DAY 4: XIAN TO LANZHOU
Visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, stroll through the lively Muslim Quarter and take in the sights of the Islamic food market. Later this evening you will board your overnight soft sleeper train to Lanzhou.
DAY 5: LANZHOU
Arrive in Lanzhou this morning where you will visit the Baita (White) Temple. For dinner this evening sample the local specialty, Hand Stretched Noodles.
DAY 6: LANZHOU
Travel by speedboat on Lioujiaxia Lake to see the extraordinary Thousand Buddha Caves of Bingling Temple.
DAYS 7-8: LANZHOU TO XIAHE
Journey through the scenic Jishi Mountain Pass to Xiahe, set in a beautiful valley and home to a largely Tibetan population. Tomorrow you will visit the Labrang Monastery, which boasts thousands of Buddhas made from gold, silver, copper and aluminium. Later, you will explore the local township.
DAYS 9-10: XIAHE TO JIAYUGUAN
Return to Lanzhou where you will board your overnight soft sleeper train to Jiayuguan, an ancient pass of the Silk Road. Tomorrow, see the Jiayu Fortress which marks the beginning and the end of the Great Wall. Take a walk along the western end of the Great Wall.
DAYS 11-12: JIAYUGUAN TO DUNHUANG
Travel by road to Dunhuang, formerly an ancient hub of the Silk Road. Tomorrow, enjoy a tour to the Magao Grottoes, also known as ‘Caves of the Thousand Buddhas’.
DAY 13: DUNHUANG TO TURPAN
Visit the Crescent Moon Spring and Singing Sand Dunes before boarding your overnight soft sleeper train to Turpan.
DAYS 14-15: TURPAN
Arrive in Turpan this morning where you will visit the ancient city ruins of Jiaohe and see the Flaming Mountains. Tomorrow, see the Emin Minaret, visit the local homes at Grape Valley and learn about the 2,000-year-old Kerez irrigation canals.
DAYS 16-17: TURPAN TO KASHGAR
Travel by overnight train to Kashgar, a journey of about 24 hours which skirts the Taklamaken Desert, one of the most remote parts of China. Arrive in Kashgar early tomorrow morning. Kashgar was once the flourishing centre of the Silk Road. Visit the Abakh Hoja Tomb and the Id Kah Mosque. Explore the old alleys that intertwine around Id Kah Square.
DAY 18: KASHGAR TO URUMQI
See the world’s largest Sunday Bazaar in Kashgar before flying to Urumqi.
DAY 19: URUMQI
Travel to Tian Chi (Heavenly Lake), enjoying breathtaking views of the crystal-clear lake at the top of a mountain range. Dinner this evening will be a traditional meal of Uyghur lamb skewers.
DAY 20: URUMQI TO BEIJING
Visit the Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum, where some 1,000-year-old mummies are housed. This afternoon fly to Beijing for a three night stay.
DAY 21: BEIJING
It is often quoted in Beijing that `you have not been to China until you have climbed the Great Wall’. Walk along the wall, admire the panoramic views and reflect on the immensity of the material and labour required for its construction. Visit the Forbidden City and Summer Palace.
DAY 22: BEIJING
Stroll through Tiananmen Square, passing Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum. Later, see the 15th-century Temple of Heaven. This evening your farewell dinner will include a sample of the local delicacy, Peking Duck.
DAY 23: DEPART BEIJING
This morning is free at your leisure before you are transferred to Beijing airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.
DAY 24: ARRIVE AUSTRALIA
Arrive home today.
Important Note: Above prices include Fuel surcharges and tipping of $450 (correct as at Nov 2013 and subject to change). Please note the Tipping amount of USD98 (AUD106) is payable on arrival in China.
Though status is regularly updated, availability above is indicative only, not live and hence does not guarantee that space is available on your selected tour when you or your agent calls Wendy Wu Tours to book. Booking early is the only way to ensure availability of your selected departure date.