Along the Silk Road

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Following in the footsteps of the caravans along this ancient trade route, you will pass through numerous cultural relics and historical sites across China's vast west areas.

Cities along the Silk Road

Xi'an
The starting point of the Silk Road. As one of China’s seven ancient national capitals, it served as the capital for 12 dynasties over 1,000 years. Xi’an is blessed with a great number of precious relics and historical sites. They include the Army of Terra Cotta Warriors (the eighth Wonder of the World), two historical Buddhist Pagodas (Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Small Wild Goose Pagoda), the Great Mosque, the Ancient City Wall, Banpo site and the Stele Fores.

Attractions
Terra cotta Warriors and Horses Museum /Bell Tower /Drum Tower/ Ancient City Wall/ Big Wild Goose Pagoda /Small Wild Pagoda / Great Mosque/Shaanxi Provincial Museum

Lanzhou
An important stop along the Silk Road, Lanzhou is an ancient city with about 2,000 years of history. It began to flourish after the appearance of  the Silk Road but little has happened in Lanzhou since the decline of the Silk Road at the end of the Tang dynasty.  Even though it is an industrial city, Lanzhou may provide many pleasant surprises for visitors who venture there. The best attractions include The Green Corridor along Binhe Road, Five Spring Mountain, White Pagoda Mountain, Sun Yat-sen Bridge(Iron Bridge), Waterwheel Garden, and Sculptures of the Mother River.

Attractions:
Bingling Monastery / Iron Bridge on the Yellow River/ White Pagoda Mountain / Five Spring Mountain Park

Xiahe
Xiahe is a tiny, bustling town centered in a valley of the Ganan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, southwest Gansu, to the southwest of Lanzhou. At three thousand meters above sea level, and surrounded by hilly mountains, this rural haven hugs neighboring Tibet. The town is centered around the famous Labrang Monastery, and nearby the gorgeous Sangke Praire.

Attractions:
Labrang Monastery / Sangke Prairie

Wuwei
"Liangzhou" in the past. It is a place of affluence bordering Qilian Mountains to the southwest and Tenggeli Desert in the north. Wuwei is a historical and cultural city. Anicent Liangzhou was a big and flourishing city with crowds of caravans coming and going to the Western Region. Monk Xuanzang once preached Buddhist doctrines here.

Attractions:
Confucius Temple/ Leitai Han Tomb

Zhangye
A historical city in the central part of the Hexi Corrior. Nourished by the melting snow from the Qilian Mountains, Zhangye is quite different from the rest of Gansu, which is dry and barren. The area is characterized by lush cultivated fields, vast grassland and its diverse culture.

Attractions:
Giant Buddha Temple / Yugur Ethinic Groups / Wooden Pagoda Temple

Jiayuguan
Named after the well known impregnable pass on the westernmost end of the Great Wall, Jiayuguan city was an important stop on the Silk Road and served as a significant trade link between China and the other parts of the world. Its great historical role over years has endowed the place with abundant historical sites and cultural relics including the Jiayuguan Pass, overhanging the Great Wall.

Attractions:
Jiayuguan Pass / Overhanging Great Wall

Dunhuang
Many overseas visitors know Dunhuang because of the Silk Road passed through it, and as one  of China's most important ancient trading posts. History has endowed the city with abundant historical sites and cultural heritage. Apart from the unrivaled Buddhist carvings in Mogao Grottos, the White Horse Pagoda, the old Yangyuan City and Han Dynasty Beacon Lights are all well worth seeing.

Attractions:
Mogao Grottos / Echoing-Sand Dune & Crescent Moon Spring / Yumen Pass / Yangguan Pass

Urumqi
Located at the foot of the snow-capped Tianshan Mountain Range, Urmuqi is the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest of China. The place became known to foreign visitors mainly for its role as the last stopover along the” Silk Road”. The place has been home to a mix of ethnic groups for nearly 2,000 years and became a heavily guarded fort in the Han Dynasty. Sights in and around Urmuqi are The Southern Pasture, The Erdaoqiao Bazaar, Heavenly Lake and Xinjiang Autonomous Museum.

Attractions:
Red Hill / South Pasture / Tianchi Lake

Turpan
Turpan in the Uygur language means red rocks, and got its name from the dark red sandstone dominating the area. Despite its harsh conditions Turpan is nationally known for its grapes, cantaloupe and sun dried raisins. Popular sights here are Gaochang Ancient City, the Astana Tombs, and the Flaming Mountain.

Attractions:
Astana Tombs / Gaochang Ruins/Jiaohe Ruins / Karez System / Grape Valley/ Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves / Emin Minarets / Flaming Mountain / Aydingkol Lake 

Korla
471km north of Urumqi, it's a center of transportation for the Southern Region to Urumqi and China's inner provinces. Travelers can fly over or drive through the vast Taklimakan desert to the city. Korla served as an important outfitting station on the Silk Road.

Attractions:
Bayandulak Grassland / Yadan Spectacle / Bosten Lake / Loulan Ruins / Tiemen Pass / Lop Nur

Kuqa
In the middle of the northern section of Tarim Basin, was a famous city on the Silk Road and the center of Buddhism in the Western Regions after the Northern and Southern Dynasties. The city was culturally prosperous during the Tang Dynasty.

Attractions:
Kilzil Thousand Buddha Caves / Taklimakan Desert /Kuqa Great Mosque
 
Hotan
Hotan has remained famous for centuries for its jade, silk and carpets. Located on the southern rim of the Taklimakan Desert, it is a place where the state of Pishan, Yutian, and Jingjue were established. There are historic sites and various unearthed cultural relics in Hotan.

Attractions:
Mallikurwatur Ruins / Niya Ruins / Buzake Tombs
 
Kashgar

China's Muslim center. It used to be an important stop on the centuries-old Silk Road, and trade remains timeless still in this vibrant oasis, at least on Sundays, when the bustling markets are  packed with uniquely dressed Uygurs, ambitious Central Asian traders and veiled Muslim women. Main attractions include Id Kah Mosque, The Abakh Khoja Tomb, Sunday Bazaar, Karakul Lake and so on. 

Attractions:
Abakh Khoja Tomb/ Adgar Mosque / Bazaar

Xining
The boom of the Silk Road in the Han Dynasty is a major factor for the city's rise. But its historical role gradually declined as the trade route fell into disuse. Xining's importance in the ancient trade route leaves it with some historical sites.

Attractions:
Qinghai Lake / Bird Island / Kumbum Monastery/ Dongguan Monastery

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