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Silk Road Explorer

28 days Go Beyond Group Tour

Silk Road Explorer

Follow in the footsteps of adventurers by journeying along one of the world's most famous trading routes, the Silk Road. Beginning in ancient Xian, venture across this vast land to reach the fascinating outpost of Kashgar and its famous Sunday market.

  • Included Meals
    Breakfasts: 25 , Lunches: 24 , Dinners: 25
  • Flights
    International flights and current taxes
  • Accommodation
    25 nights in 3+/4 star accommodation
  • Visas
    Visa fees & processing for Australian passports
  • Group Tour
    Max Group Size: 18
  • Physical Rating 2
    A reasonable level of fitness is required, as you'll be spending time on your feet and doing a bit of walking to cover short distances during your daily sightseeing. There will also be some climbing of steps and climbing on and off of coaches and boats.
    Learn More
    Walking, some steps and extended time on your feet.
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Go Beyond Group Tour
28 DAYS
From $9,280PP
Xian (2N) - Lanzhou (3N) - Xiahe (2N) - Zhangye (1N) - Jiayuguan (2N) - Dunhuang (3N) - Turpan (2N) - Kurla (1N) - Kuqa (1N) - Aksu (1N)- Kashgar (2N) - Urumqi (2N) – Beijing (3N)
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Tour Highlights

Our Silk Road Explorer tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.

Day by Day Itinerary

Xian (2N) - Lanzhou (3N) - Xiahe (2N) - Zhangye (1N) - Jiayuguan (2N) - Dunhuang (3N) - Turpan (2N) - Kurla (1N) - Kuqa (1N) - Aksu (1N)- Kashgar (2N) - Urumqi (2N) – Beijing (3N)
  • Days 1-2
    Fly overnight To Xian
    Dinner
    DAYS 1-2: Fly overnight To Xian

    Fly overnight to Xian, the ancient former capital. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

    Dinner
  • Day 3
    Terracotta Warriors
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 3: Terracotta Warriors

    Gaze over the ranks of warriors and horses, each one unique, whilst your guide introduces you to these life-like soldiers' fascinating story. Later, enjoy a gentle cycle ride that will take you the nine miles around the ancient city wall and take a walking tour of the narrow and winding streets of the Muslim Quarter. Tonight, enjoy a traditional dumpling dinner and take an optional 'Xian by night' tour.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4
    Train To Lanzhou
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 4: Train To Lanzhou

    Start the day with a visit to Xian Museum and the Little Wild Goose Pagoda. Later, board the bullet train to Lanzhou.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Days 5-6
    Explore Lanzhou
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAYS 5-6: Explore Lanzhou

    Begin today with a leisurely walk along the Yellow River and then head to the hilltop Baita Temple for a moment of tranquillity. Along the river and in Baita Park you can see locals practising tai chi. Later, tuck into some delicious Lanzhou-style noodles made with hand stretched dough. The next day, cross Liujiaxia Lake by speed boat and head into the green hills around Liujiaxia to explore the extraordinary Thousand Buddha Caves of Bingling Temple and their wealth of Buddhist murals, statues and sculptures. Also visit the statue of Maitreya.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7
    Tibetan Xiahe
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 7: Tibetan Xiahe

    Conquer the scenic Jishi Mountain Pass to arrive at Tibetan Xiahe and spend time acclimatising to the altitude.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 8
    Labrang Monastery
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 8: Labrang Monastery

    Giving a taste of the mysteries of Tibet, Labrang Monastery is a fascinating maze of prayer wheels, chapels and chortens. Dine on traditional Tibetan food for lunch, including Tibetan dumplings, known as momos.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 9
    Travel To Zhangye
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 9: Travel To Zhangye

    Return to Lanzhou and take the speedy bullet train to Zhangye, once an important commercial town along the Silk Road.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 10
    Rainbow Mountains
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 10: Rainbow Mountains

    Rise early this morning to witness the sunrise over the kaleidoscopic mountains in Danxia National Park. Return to Zhangye and visit the Giant Buddha Temple before boarding your bullet train to Jiayuguan.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 11
    Great Wall At Jiayuguan
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 11: Great Wall At Jiayuguan

    Seen as China's western gateway, Jiayuguan is the perfect place to get to grips with your Silk Road history. Visit the Jiayu Fortress and take a walk on the western extremes of the magnificent Great Wall for panoramic views over the starkly beautiful Gobi Desert.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 12
    City Of Sands
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 12: City Of Sands

    Drive to Dunhuang. Located on a major trade and cultural crossroads, Dunhuang, known as the 'City of the Sands', sits in a verdant oasis on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert. Visit the Shazhou Night Market where you can wander amongst the stalls.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 13
    Mogao Grottoes
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 13: Mogao Grottoes

    A system of temples and sanctuaries, visit the Mogao Grottoes that exhibit wonderful examples of Buddhist paintings and statues that span thousands of years.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 14
    Singing Sand Dunes
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 14: Singing Sand Dunes

    Visit Crescent Moon Spring, nestled amongst rolling dunes and the famous Singing Sand Dunes, a phenomenon produced by the wind blowing through grains of sand.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 15
    Turpan
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 15: Turpan

    Take the bullet train to Turpan, a lush green oasis set in a barren landscape. An easy-going town famed for its grapes, its pleasant streets are lined with lush vine trellises.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 16
    Explore Turpan
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 16: Explore Turpan

    Visit the ruins of ancient Jiaohe and see the elegant Emin Minaret, the tallest in China.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 17
    Kurla
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 17: Kurla

    Learn about the fascinating 2000-year-old Kerez irrigation canals and drive to Kurla.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 18
    Kurla to Kuqa
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 18: Kurla to Kuqa

    Over the next 3 days travel along the original Silk Road through the Xinjian Region, viewing ruins and sights largely unvisited by tourists. Today, drive to Kuqa where you will visit the Subashi Ruins, a lost city of the Silk Road.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 19
    Kuqu to Aksu
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Day 19: Kuqu to Aksu

    Drive to Aksu, stopping en-route at the Kyzil Thousand Buddha Caves, a spectacular caves built between 3rd and 8th centuries.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 20
    Aksu to Kashagar
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAYS 20: Aksu to Kashagar

    The journey continues through the Taklamakan Desert, along the ancient Silk Road, all the way to Kashgar.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 21
    Explore Kashgar
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 21: Explore Kashgar

    Its skyline punctured by minarets, Kashgar feels a million miles from China – in fact, it feels a million miles from anywhere! Although now a modern city, the sights and sounds of Kashgar's bazaar have remained unchanged for millennia. Sightseeing today includes a visit to Abakh Hoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque and stroll through the narrow atmospheric alleyways around Id Kah Square.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 22
    Kashgar Sunday Bazaar
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 22: Kashgar Sunday Bazaar

    Dive headlong into Central Asia's largest bazaar. Within this riot of textures, vivid colours and traditional dress, you can browse hundreds of stalls selling anything from spices and carpets to boots and blenders. Later, fly to Urumqi.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 23
    Heavenly Lake
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 23: Heavenly Lake

    Escape to the tranquillity of Tianchi (Heavenly Lake), formed in a crater. Visit a Kazak minority family in their yurt and spend some time learning about their way of life.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 24
    Urumqi
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 24: Urumqi

    Make a short visit to the Xinjiang Museum before flying to Beijing, China’s historic capital.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 25
    The Great Wall
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 25: The Great Wall

    This morning is dedicated to China's most iconic sight – the Great Wall. In the afternoon, enjoy the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace as you wander through traditional Chinese gardens and see the exquisite architecture.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 26
    Imperial Beijing
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    DAY 26: Imperial Beijing

    Head to Beijing's symbolic heart, Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City where you will find a complex full of imperial treasures. Soak up the ambience of the Temple of Heaven before visiting Yandaixiejie, where you will have some free time to wander the hutongs. This evening, dine on Peking duck and enjoy a Chinese acrobatic show.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Days 27-28
    Fly Beijing To Australia
    Breakfast
    DAYS 27-28: Fly Beijing To Australia

    Fly to Australia, arriving home the same or following day.

    Breakfast
Silk Road Explorer map

Download Tour Dossier & Trip Notes

Accommodation

We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.

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When to go

The best times to visit China are in spring, April to May and autumn, September to October, when the days are warm and rainfall and humidity low.

City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • -14
    0
    -7
  • 2
  • Beijing
  • -8
    2
    -3
  • 3
  • Dunhuang
  • -15
    -1
    -8
  • 1
  • Kuqa
  • -13
    -2
    -8
  • 2
  • Lanzhou
  • -12
    1
    -6
  • 2
  • Turpan
  • -13
    -2
    -8
  • 1
  • Urumqi
  • -17
    -7
    -12
  • 10
  • Xian
  • -4
    5
    0
  • 7
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • -10
    4
    -3
  • 2
  • Beijing
  • -6
    5
    0
  • 5
  • Dunhuang
  • -10
    5
    -3
  • 1
  • Kuqa
  • -7
    4
    -2
  • 2
  • Lanzhou
  • -8
    4
    -2
  • 3
  • Turpan
  • -8
    5
    -2
  • 0
  • Urumqi
  • -14
    -5
    -9
  • 10
  • Xian
  • -1
    8
    4
  • 10
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • -1
    13
    6
  • 2
  • Beijing
  • 0
    12
    6
  • 8
  • Dunhuang
  • -3
    13
    5
  • 2
  • Kuqa
  • 1
    13
    7
  • 3
  • Lanzhou
  • -2
    11
    4
  • 9
  • Turpan
  • 3
    16
    10
  • 1
  • Urumqi
  • -5
    3
    -1
  • 18
  • Xian
  • 4
    14
    9
  • 29
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • 7
    22
    14
  • 3
  • Beijing
  • 8
    20
    14
  • 21
  • Dunhuang
  • 4
    21
    13
  • 2
  • Kuqa
  • 9
    21
    15
  • 5
  • Lanzhou
  • 4
    18
    11
  • 20
  • Turpan
  • 12
    26
    19
  • 0
  • Urumqi
  • 5
    16
    10
  • 32
  • Xian
  • 10
    21
    15
  • 43
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • 12
    27
    20
  • 9
  • Beijing
  • 14
    26
    20
  • 34
  • Dunhuang
  • 10
    27
    18
  • 2
  • Kuqa
  • 14
    27
    20
  • 8
  • Lanzhou
  • 9
    22
    16
  • 40
  • Turpan
  • 18
    33
    26
  • 1
  • Urumqi
  • 11
    23
    17
  • 39
  • Xian
  • 14
    26
    20
  • 60
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • 16
    30
    23
  • 7
  • Beijing
  • 19
    30
    24
  • 78
  • Dunhuang
  • 14
    31
    22
  • 8
  • Kuqa
  • 17
    30
    24
  • 16
  • Lanzhou
  • 12
    26
    19
  • 42
  • Turpan
  • 23
    38
    30
  • 4
  • Urumqi
  • 16
    28
    22
  • 36
  • Xian
  • 19
    31
    25
  • 54
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • 18
    32
    25
  • 16
  • Beijing
  • 22
    31
    26
  • 185
  • Dunhuang
  • 16
    33
    25
  • 15
  • Kuqa
  • 19
    32
    26
  • 15
  • Lanzhou
  • 15
    27
    21
  • 69
  • Turpan
  • 25
    40
    32
  • 3
  • Urumqi
  • 18
    30
    24
  • 30
  • Xian
  • 22
    32
    27
  • 99
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • 16
    31
    24
  • 13
  • Beijing
  • 21
    30
    25
  • 160
  • Dunhuang
  • 15
    32
    23
  • 6
  • Kuqa
  • 18
    31
    24
  • 12
  • Lanzhou
  • 14
    26
    20
  • 83
  • Turpan
  • 23
    38
    30
  • 3
  • Urumqi
  • 17
    29
    23
  • 23
  • Xian
  • 21
    31
    26
  • 71
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • 11
    26
    18
  • 6
  • Beijing
  • 15
    26
    20
  • 46
  • Dunhuang
  • 8
    27
    18
  • 2
  • Kuqa
  • 13
    26
    20
  • 7
  • Lanzhou
  • 10
    21
    16
  • 52
  • Turpan
  • 16
    32
    24
  • 2
  • Urumqi
  • 11
    23
    17
  • 26
  • Xian
  • 16
    25
    21
  • 92
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • 3
    19
    11
  • 2
  • Beijing
  • 8
    19
    14
  • 22
  • Dunhuang
  • 1
    19
    10
  • 1
  • Kuqa
  • 6
    19
    12
  • 3
  • Lanzhou
  • 4
    15
    10
  • 25
  • Turpan
  • 7
    22
    14
  • 1
  • Urumqi
  • 3
    13
    8
  • 26
  • Xian
  • 10
    20
    15
  • 60
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • -4
    9
    2
  • 1
  • Beijing
  • 0
    10
    5
  • 7
  • Dunhuang
  • -6
    8
    1
  • 1
  • Kuqa
  • -3
    9
    3
  • 3
  • Lanzhou
  • -4
    8
    2
  • 4
  • Turpan
  • -3
    9
    3
  • 1
  • Urumqi
  • -6
    2
    -2
  • 19
  • Xian
  • 3
    12
    8
  • 24
City
Min
Average Temperate(°C)
Max
Monthly Rainfall(mm)
  • Aksu
  • -11
    2
    -4
  • 1
  • Beijing
  • -6
    4
    -1
  • 3
  • Dunhuang
  • -12
    1
    -6
  • 1
  • Kuqa
  • -10
    0
    -5
  • 1
  • Lanzhou
  • -10
    2
    -4
  • 1
  • Turpan
  • -11
    -1
    -6
  • 1
  • Urumqi
  • -13
    -4
    -9
  • 15
  • Xian
  • -2
    6
    2
  • 6

Pricing & Availability

All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price unless a land only option is selected

2024
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Departure: All
  • Departure: All
1 Room, 2 Guests
  • 1 Room, 2 Guests
  • 1 Room, 1 Guest
    Depart AUStart Date
    Return DateEnd Date
    Price
    Availability

    Additional Price Information

    • Flight Inclusive rates only: These include airline fuel surcharge and taxes. Correct as of 1 August 2023. Please note supplements may apply if lead in economy rates are not available.
    • Customary tipping amount of approximately RMB1,360pp (AU$302pp) is paid locally in China.
    • Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2. Extra nights' accommodation (pre or post tour) or stopovers may be required at an additional cost.
    • Flight Inclusive rates only: Based on departures from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth. Departures from other cities and flight upgrades available on request.
    • Price listed is based on new bookings only

    Group Tour includes

    • International flights and current taxes (excluded if a land only option is selected)
    • All Meals (refer to itinerary)
    • Domestic transportation
    • Touring with guides and entrance fees
    • 3-4 star accommodation
    • Visa fees for Australian passport holders

    Important Information For Your Tour

    Before Booking
    Travel Protection, Booking Conditions
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    Before you go
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