Xi'an to Kashgar Tour

Category:

Location: Shaanxi, Gansu and Xinjiang

Attraction Type: Historical relics, natural wonders

Route
Xi'an-> Lanzhou-> Xiahe-> Lanzhou-> Wuwei-> Zhangye-> Jiayuguan-> Dunhuang-> Turpan-> Urumqi-> Korla->Kuqa-> Aksu-> Kashgar

Itinerary

D1: Xi'an
Visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, the Bell Tower and the Wild Goose Pagoda. Enjoy the Tang Dynasty show in the evening.

- The Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses: The greatest archaeological findings of the century: the army of terra-cotta warriors and the bronze chariots entombed in vast underground vaults at emperor Qin’s tomb.
- The Bell Tower: The Symblem of Xian city.
- The Tang Dynasty show: The show that presents the palace dances and sings in the Tang Dynasty when Xian was the capital.

D2: Xi'an to Lanzhou
Visit the Provincial Museum, the Ancient City Wall and the Hanyang Tomb in Xi'an. Take the sleeper train to Lanzhou. K119 for around Y164~175, dpt.22:30, arv.7:13 next day, 676km.

- The Provincial Museum: One of the main museums in China which holds numerous unearthed cultural relics of China.
- The Ancient City Wall: An extension of the old Tang Dynasty structure boasting the most complete city wall that survives through Chinese long history.

D3: Lanzhou  
visit Thousand Buddha Caves and have a short boat cruise from Liujiaxia Gorge to Binglingsi. The Binglingsi Grottoes was constructed in the Qin Dynasty. On both sides of it the landscape is splendid.

D4-5 Lanzhou-> Xiahe  (by coach)
Sights: Labrang Monastery/Sangke Grassland

- Labrang Monastery:280km southwest of Lanzhou, is the second largest of China's six great lamaseries practicing the Yellow Sect (Gelug) of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery has more than 2,000 monks in residence and six academic institutes, as well as important Buddhist cultural relics and 10,000 books of Tibetan scripture.

D6:Xiahe-> Lanzhou-> Wuwei
Xiahe to Lanzhou 280km by bus, Lanzhou to Wuwei 300km by bus or train,5~7hrs

D7 Wuwei
Visit the Leitai Temple / Culture Temple

- Leitai Han Tombs: discovered in 1969 at Leitai Park, the site of a temple built to honor the Chinese god of thunder, Leishen, during the middle Ming Dynasty. The most famous find there was the Bronze Galloping Horse. The horse, known in Chinese as "Ma Chao Long Que", is depicted in a full gallop supported on just one foot upon the back of a bird in flight.
- Culture Temple: The Confucian Temple, established in 1439 during the Ming Dynasty on instructions from the reigning emperor and with the strong backing of public subscription. The Confucian Temple occupies a central position in the Confucian Temple complex and offerings are made here in honor of Confucius.

D8:Wuwei-> Zhangye (250km, by bus or train)
Sights:Grand Buddha Temple/Wooden Tower of Sui Dynasty /Mati Temple

D9: Zhangye->Jiayuguan
frequent trains, about 3hrs.
Visit the Overhanging Great Wall / Jiayuguan Pass / Weijin Tomb.

- The Overhanging Hanging Great Wall: a nearby section of the Great wall which was built on the cliff, and includes sections at a 45 degrees angle, making it seem as if the wall is hanging from a cliff.
- The Jiayuguan Pass: It is the western end of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty as well as the most magnificent and best-preserved pass among the over thousand passes along the Ming Great Wall.
- Weijin Tomb: 15km northeast of Jiayuguan, there are over 1,400 tombs which were built during the Wei and Jin dynasties (between the 3rd and 5th century). They feature brick wall paintings showing various social activities of the times.

D10-11:Jiayuguan-> Dunhuang (by train or coach)
Visit the Yumen Guan Pass, the Great Wall of the Han Dynasty(about 2000 years ago), the Hecang Fortress and the Yang Guan Pass.

- The Yumen Guan Pass: Once as one of the west gates out of the country of the Han Dynasty (206 B. C. -220 A. D.), it is quite ruined by the shifting sands but still shows the ever splendor.
- The Great Wall of the Han Dynasty: Though made in clay and bulrushes, the wall still remains very well.
- The Hecang Fortress: Supplies like food and wine were transported here from nearby towns to be stored for the armies that guarded the Yumen Guan Pass.

D11:Dunhuang -> Turpan
Transfer via: Over night train T192/193 22:46-6:50
Visit the Mogao Caves and the Crescent Lake. In the evening, catch the over night train to Turpan.

- The Mogao Caves: Constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to the 14th centuries, the caves hold the world’s richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.
- The Crescent Lake: The lake and the Sounding Sand Dune which can make sounds when the wind passes are located in the place where the sand and the oasis meet.

D12 Explore Turpan
Visit the Gaochang Ruins, the Astana Tombs, and the Flaming Mountain. Enjoy the cultural show of Uygur songs and dances.

- The Gaochang Ruins: The city's name means "the King City". It is laid in the first century B.C. and abandoned roughly in the 15th century.
- The Flaming Mountain: Crustal movements and years of efflorescence fashion its unique geological feature. When the sun’s rays beat down in mid-afternoon, the red rocks on the crisscross gullies and ravines reflect and the heat is intense as if the hillsides were engulfed by tongues of fire, hence the name.

D13 Turpan to Urumqi (by train or coach)
Continue visiting the Karez Well, the Emin Minaret and the Grape Valley in Turpan. Travel to Urumqi after. Transfer via: Coach(2.5 hours)

- The Emin Minaret: It was built in 1777 to commemorate and praise ruler of Turpan, Emin Khoja who achieved brilliant military success in suppressing the armed rebellion.
- The Grape Valley: Grape Gorge, with its shady vineyards and fruit-laden trees, provides you with a welcome place of relaxation amidst hundreds of square miles of sand.

For more details, pls click Turpan / 吐鲁番

D14 Urumqi ( pls click Urumqi / 乌鲁木齐)
Visit the Southern Pasture and Khazak Yurts.

- The Southern Pasture: Located in the valley of Tian Mountain, the pasture is a very beautiful nice place for graze with mountains, valleys, fountains, waterfalls, cypress and pine trees.
- The Khazak Yurts: Of the three main types of yurt in use today, Khazak yurts, with a bent-wood roof and crown, are mainly used by Uygur people.

Day 15 Urumqi to Korla
Visit the Heavenly Lake, Transfer to Korla by coach.

- The Heavenly Lake: The lake is 1900m above the sea level. It is particularly refreshing for travelers arriving in Urumqi from the barren deserts in Xinjiang.

D16  Korla.
Visit the Tiemen Pass. Overnight in Korla.

D17: Korla-> Kuqa
Take bus to Kuqa westwards. Visit the Subashi Ruins. Overnight in Kuqa.

D18: Kuqa-> Aksu
Visit the Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves in Kuqa,then ride to Aksu. Overnight in Aksu.

D19: Aksu-> Kashgar
Take bus to Kashgar along G314. Overnight in Kashgar.

D20: Full Day Kashgar Sightseeing
Kashgar is a giant oasis and key city on the Silk Road. Visit the Id Kah Mosque, the Abakh Khoja Tomb the Bazaar. Overnight in Kashgar.

- The Idigar Mosque: The mosque was built in 1426. It is the largest mosque in Xinjiang and the centre of the Moslem activities, as well.
- The Abakh Khoja Tomb: The tomb served as the family tomb of Abakh Khoja, the powerful ruler of Kashgar in the 17th century who was revered as a prophet and second only to Mohammed.

D21 Kashgar ->Urumqi->Shanghai: Exit.

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