A once in a lifetime journey travelling through historical towns and the lesser explored desert regions of China's ancient Silk Road
Flight - 1 night
Xian - 2 nights
Tianshui - 1 night
Lanzhou - 2 nights
Zhangye - 2 nights
Jiayuguan- 1 night
Dunhuang - 2 nights
Turpan - 2 nights
Beijing - 2 nights
Gansu, the 1200 kilometres Hexi corridor, was the artery of the ancient silk road, connecting the trade and cultural exchange of three continents; Asia, Africa and Europe. Routes shifted as empires rose and fell and traffic declined with the rise of maritime trade but trade like fashion is cyclical and regional powers are looking to revive these historic commercial lifelines to reconnect Asia with Europe, and beyond. With the foothills of the Tibetan plateau, in the form of the Qilian Shan range, soaring up to the south and a merciless combination of waterless desert and mountain to the north, the Hexi Corridor offered the only feasible route. Today, the Hexi Corridor is a must for Silk Road travellers to explore the Mogao Grottoes with their fabulous frescos and statues, Jiayuguan Pass, the best-preserved and most magnificent of all 1000 passes along the Great Wall, Crescent Lake and the singing sands in Mingsha, the majestic geology of Binggou and Gaochang, the ruins of a former ancient Silk Road trading post.
Xian and Dunhuang are two of the most important cities along the ancient Silk Road. Xian, known as Chang’an (Eternal Peace) marked the eastern end of the Silk Road and was once the world’s most prosperous city. Dunhuang, on the edge of the Gobi Desert served as a rest stop and the gateway in which Buddhism, Islam and Christianity entered China, where western and eastern nations merged and created a vibrant and creative culture, a plethora of great art works.
Cultural & Natural Wonders Tour
Jules Verne Sightseeing
High-Speed Trains Included
5 UNESCO Heritage Sites
13 Lunches and 13 Dinners
UK Tour Manager
Group Size: 10 – 25
Day 1 Overnight flight to Xian via Beijing.
Day 2 Transfer to the 5-star Grand Noble Hotel for two nights. (D)
Day 3 Visit the Terracotta Warriors, created by the first emperor Qin Shihuang to protect him in the afterlife. Later on, visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and walk the ramparts of the ancient City Wall. Enjoy a dumpling dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Visit the Grand Mosque and the Muslim Quarter. High speed train to Tianshui (2 hrs). Overnight at the 4-star Tianshui Emperor International Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Visit the Maijishan Grottoes, a series of caves cut in the side of the hill. Afternoon high speed train to Lanzhou (1½ hrs). Two nights at the 4-star Lanzhou Legend Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Visit Bingling Temple, a series of grottoes with Buddhist sculptures carved into natural caves in a river canyon. Visit Zhongshan Bridge, the first permanent bridge over the Yellow River. (B, L, D)
Day 7 High speed train to Zhangye, two nights at the 4-star Zhangye Lvzhou Holiday Hotel. Visit the Giant Buddha Temple, the largest architectural relic in Gansu and Matisi Grottoes, a combination of cave art and the Qilian Mountain scenery. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Visit Danxia Scenic area, Qicai Park and Binggou, a landscape of red cliffs with isolated peaks formed by erosion of red sandstone. (B, L, D)
Day 9 High speed train to Jiayuguan (1 hr). Visit Jiayuguan Pass, the western starting point of the Ming Great Wall and a vital pass on the ancient Silk Road. Overnight at the 4-star Jiayuguan Holiday Plaza Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Transfer to Dunhuang, visiting en route the Yulin Grottoes with their delicate and colorful murals painted from various dynasties. Arrive in Dunhuang for two nights at the 4-star Dunhuang Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Visit the Mogao Grottoes, known as the “Louvre of the East” for its exquisite mural paintings and statues. The Yumen Pass once a military defensive pass and Yangguan Pass an important border for international trading along the ancient Silk Road. (B, L, D)
Day 12 Visit Mingsha Sand Dunes and Crescent Lake, renowned for the coexistence of mountain and spring, sand and water, the sand mountain being famous for its flute-like sounds when the wind picks up! Transfer to Liuyuan for the high speed train to Turpan (3 ½ hrs). Two nights at the 4-star Mercure Huozhou Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 13 Visit Gaochang Ruins, Jiaohe Ruins and Karez. In the stark Gobi desert stand the ruins of the ancient city of Gaochang, shining like a precious jewel on the Silk Road. Although not as widely known as the Great Wall, the karez and its vast maze of underground tunnels is one of China’s most remarkable ancient engineering feats. (B, L, D)
Day 14 Travel to Urumqi, visit Xinjiang museum. Fly to Beijing for two nights at the 5-star Park Plaza Hotel Wangfujing. (B, L)
Day 15 Visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu with 22 original watchtowers and one of the best preserved sections and the Forbidden City; the palatial heart of the Middle Kingdom and the largest palace complex in the world. Peking duck dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 16 Return flight to London Heathrow arriving later the same day. (B)
Tour involves carrying luggage on and off trains and some uneven surfaces and inclines.
This 5-star hotel is centrally located, a five-minute walk from Bell and Drum Tower. Restaurants, bar, gym, spa and WiFi (free). 428 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
Emperor International is a 4-star hotel that provides comfortable accommodation. Amenities include restaurant, bar and fitness centre. 153 rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, minibar, TV, tea/coffee making facilities and free WiFi.
4-star Lanzhou Legend Hotel is situated in the Chengguan district in Lanzhou, 350 yards from Lanzhou University. Amenities include restaurant, bar/lounge and a wellness centre. 361 rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, minibar, TV, tea/coffee making facilities and free WiFi.
The 4-star Zhangye Lvzhou Holiday Hotel in Zhangye offers comfortable accommodation. Amenities include restaurant, bar/lounge and a wellness centre. 117 rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, TV, tea/coffee making facilities and free WiFi.
The 4-star Jiayuguan Plaza Holiday Inn has one of the best-rated locations in Jiayuguan and offers comfortable accommodation. Amenities include restaurant, bar/lounge and a fitness centre. 114 rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-fridge, TV, tea/coffee making facilities and free WiFi.
Conveniently located in the city center, the 4-star Dunhuang Hotel (Dunhuang Fandian) is an elegant business hotel that offers European style rooms. Amenities include restaurant, bar and lounge. 106 rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-fridge, TV, tea/coffee making facilities and free WiFi.
Located at the south side of Shuiyun Square in downtown Turpan, the 4-star Huozhou Hotel is close to the museum and surrounded by an artificial lake. Amenities include restaurant, bar and lounge. Pool. Free WiFi in designated public areas. 134 rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-fridge, TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
A modern 4-star hotel, close to Tian An Men Square and the Forbidden Square. Restaurant, bar, gym and WiFi (free). 216 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
Shanghai Pre-tour Extension
Shanghai, China’s most populous city contrasts the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings and across the Huangpu River the Pudong district’s futuristic skyline. Includes: 2 nights at the 5-star Jinjiang Tower Hotel, breakfast daily, 1 lunch and 1 dinner, acrobatic show, visits to the Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum, the Bund, and onward flight to Xian.
Day 1 - Fly overnight from London Heathrow to Shanghai.
Day 2 - Arrive in Shanghai, transfer to the Jinjiang Tower for a two night stay.
Day 3 - Full day visit to Shanghai Museum, Yuyuan Garden, the Bund and Xintiandi area. Acrobatic show in the evening. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Transfer to the airport for the flight to Xian and join the main group. (B)
In the heart of Shanghai’s Old French Concession, the historical 5-star hotel features European architecture and luxurious rooms. It has a heated indoor pool, 5 restaurants and 3 bars. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, TV, tea and coffee making facilities and free WiFi.
per person in a twin room
Air China from London Heathrow
Supplements per person
Single supplement £695
Business Class from £1595
Pre-tour Extension - Shanghai
Jinjiang Hotel 2 nights – £725
Single supplement £115
Arrival transfer add £30
Departure transfer add £25
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 14 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 13 lunches and 13 dinners, itinerary as described, UK Tour Manager, services of expert local guides and representative. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, tipping, visa, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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