Silk Road Explorer
From $6,215 - 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.
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 for a two night stay. Adelaide passengers may depart one day earlier and Brisbane passengers may depart on Day 2.
DAY 3: XIAN
Explore the life-sized Terracotta Warriors and Horses and the ancient City Wall. This evening feast on a traditional Shui Jiao Dumpling banquet while watching a performance of music and dance dating back to the Tang Dynasty.
DAY 4: XIAN TO LANZHOU
Visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Little Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim Quarter and Islamic food market. This evening, board your overnight soft sleeper train to Lanzhou.
DAY 5: LANZHOU
Arrive in Lanzhou this morning and visit the Baita (White) Temple. For dinner, sample the local specialty, Hand Stretched Noodles and then explore the night markets.
DAY 6: LANZHOU
Travel by speedboat on Liujiaxia Lake to see the extraordinary Bingling Temple and Great Maitreya Buddha.
DAYS 7-8: LANZHOU TO XIAHE
Journey through the scenic Jishi Mountain Pass to Xiahe. The afternoon is free to acclimatise to the higher altitude. Tomorrow, visit the Labrang Monastery, which boasts a collection of thousands of Buddhas and explore the local township.
DAYS 9-10: XIAHE TO JIAYUGUAN
Return to Lanzhou to board your overnight soft sleeper train to Jiayuguan, an ancient pass of the Silk Road. Tomorrow, see the Jiayu Fortress and Museum. Walk along the western end of the Great Wall.
DAYS 11-12: JIAYUGUAN TO DUNHUANG
Travel by road to Dunhuang, an ancient hub of the Silk Road. Visit a silk carpet museum. Tomorrow, tour the Mogao 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 the Flaming Mountains. Tomorrow, visit the Emin Minaret, the local homes at Grape Valley and learn about the 2,000-year-old Karez irrigation canals.
DAYS 16-17: TURPAN TO KASHGAR
Travel to Kashgar by overnight train, a 24-hour journey which skirts the Taklamakan Desert, one of the most remote parts of China. Early tomorrow you will arrive in Kashgar. Visit the Abakh Hoja Tomb and Id Kah Mosque. Explore the old alleys around Id Kah Square and visit a handicrafts gallery.
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 said in Beijing that ‘you have not been to China until you have climbed the Great Wall’. Walk along the wall and reflect on the labour required for its construction. Later, visit a jade factory and wander through the landscaped beauty of the Summer Palace.
DAY 22: BEIJING
Stroll through Tiananmen Square, passing Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum. Visit the Forbidden City and the unique 15th-century Temple of Heaven. Enjoy an exciting acrobatics performance and for dinner, sample 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.
Dates & Prices
Cathay Pacific Airways - Above prices include fuel surcharges and tipping of $259. Please note the Tipping amount of USD98 (AUD107) 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.