Silk Road Explorer
From $6,359 - 24 Days, 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.
You will find our 2015 tour prices have also been listed for your convenience. While these departures are not included as part of our Early Bird Specials, we have a great range of tours available for travel in 2015! Take advantage of these great prices before 2016 increases.
Please note that itineraries are based on 2015 programmes. Variations to itineraries and durations may occur for travel in 2016 – please refer to our Early Bird brochure. 2016 Specials are valid when flying Cathay Pacific. Road to Samarkand utilises China Southern Airlines. 2016 Early Bird savings are based on the price reduction from the 2016 group tour prices published 26 May 2015
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.
"We were delighted with the Wendy Wu Tours"Reviewed:
Jenny and Alan Tippet
My husband and I have just returned from an extended tour of Mainland China over the last 3 months. We were delighted with the Wendy Wu Tours that we went on and would like to thank your company for excellent service. We really appreciated the kind, caring and conscientious dedication of our 3 Xian based National escorts; Erin on The Silk Road: August 31st- September 26th, Wendy on The Grand Tour of China: 28th September- 21st October and Nick on The Yunnan Adventure: November 3rd- 17th. We also enjoyed 2 independent guided tours to the Nine Villages Valley with local guides Mary and Harry and Mt Huang short tour with Sunny.
The role of the National Escort catering for the needs and complaints of foreigner tourists is immense. Congratulations to these three dedicated and professional young guides for always doing their very best to skilfully make our holiday a fantastic and memorable experience in fascinating China. With English being their second language, we were very impressed with their communication skills to us as non Mandarin speaking tourists.
Erin was very helpful, Wendy was always a positive leader saying she was available 24/7 (even helping me obtain a haircut in Kunming) and Nick was outstanding. We were also very impressed by the wonderful local guides in each location (Lily in Lanzhou, Simon in Jiayuguan, Neisha in Urumqi, Rita and Grace in Beijing, Bill in Chongqing, Jessie in Kunming, James in Dali, Effie in Guilin, April in Shanghai, Aaron in Hangzhou, Daisy in Kunming, Cindy in Lijiang, Nema in Zhongdian and Lucy in Kunming) and the Wendy Wu network in place to collect us from transport locations as needed. We are very impressed by the organization of our selected tours and always felt safe and well cared for while we were in China with Wendy Wu Tours.
Travelled on: Silk Road Explorer
Dates & Prices
Cathay Pacific Airways - Above prices include fuel surcharges and tipping of $201. 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.