9 days
The Silk Road

After arrival by flight or train journey from other cities, you’ll be met by our guide, driven through Riyue mountain pass, arrive at Qinghai Lake (Koko Nor), the largest inland lake in China.

The beautiful lake is a sacred Tibetan Buddhist site. There are many devoted Buddhist coming from afar to worship to Qinghai Lake each year.

Today, we drive to Ta’er Monastery, where we can appreciate the famous butter sculptures, the barbolas, and the murals. In the Tibetan language, the Monastery is called “gongben” which means 100, 000 figures of Buddha.

Later on, we take bullet train and arrive at Zhangye.

Zhangye Danxia is known for the unusual colours of the rocks, the result of deposits of sandstone and other minerals that occurred over 24 million years. Thousands of mountains and stiffs stretch like the colourful sunset glow. It is one of the most beautiful landform areas in China

(Includes Breakfast, lunch, Dinner)

Today’s visit is starting from the enchanting Mogao Grottos. It is also known as the Magao Caves and the Caves of the Thousand Buddha. Unravel the caves of 492 temples, forming a treasure trove of Buddhist shrines and art work


After lunch, continue to the dunes in the Singing Sand Mountains. The Crescent Spring forms a lake between two huge sand dunes. Some legend said this oasis spring has never dries up. Take the chance to ride on a camel (pay on spot).


In the evening, we recommend to visit the night market which has various selection of local produces, arts etc.

(Includes Breakfast, Lunch)

We take the bullet train in the morning. After arrival in Turpan, our guide and driver will take you to your hotel for some refreshment and later picked up to see some of the ancient sights: Suleiman Minaret (Sugong Tower), the biggest ancient pagoda exiting in Xinjiang and it is also the only ancient Islamic minaret left in China, and the Karez Wells, one of the three ‘great ancient projects' in China. 

 After lunch, continue visit to the Grape Valley. The Grape Valley itself is quite touristy, so instead we arrange to visit a local family who run a local vineyard, giving you a taste of local life.

After breakfast, take a fast train from Turpan to Urumqi (about 1h). Our guide and driver will pick you up at the train station and visit the Heavenly Lake. A cruise on the Heavenly Lake is one way to enjoy this natural beauty. There is also a cable car going up the mountainside for an even better vantage point and some great walking paths.

 Later, have a stroll in Erdaoqiao Bazaar. With the architecture complex decorated in a traditional Uyghur style, Erdaoqiao Market is the largest retail and wholesale market for ethnic minority goods in Xinjiang.

(Includes Breakfast)

 Transfer to the airport for your flight to the next destination, such as Beijing, Shanghai etc.

Dates & Prices

Interested in this tour? Download Itinerary
July - October 2018
Per person based on twin share
March - May 2019
Per person based on twin share
June - October 2019
Per person based on twin share
  • Private small group tour (average 15 people)
  • Hotel accommodation based on twin sharing with western breakfast
  • Bullet train tickets
  • Private car / mini-bus transfers with English speaking guide
  • All sightseeing entrance fee as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals specified in the itinerary
  • Flight/train tickets to Xining and out from Urumqi, which can be booked according to your other travel plan.


4 star example hotels: Dunhuang - DunHuang HuaXia International Hotel, Turpan Huozhou Hotel, Urumqi Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel  or similar.

Please note some areas in this tour are remote so some hotel standard is lower than in modern cities. We will use one of the best in the area. (Upgrade to 5 star option available in Dunhuang and Urumqi)

Signature Experiences for This Tour

The Silk Road tour is designed and operated exclusively for our groups. Our latest inspection in June 2018, along with attending the Silk Road International Tourism Festival invited by China National Tourism Board was a great success. We have added a number of places in this new programme, such as Yadang, and the Han Dynasty original Great Wall.

Ling says: "I'd highly recommend the Silk Road journey because not only it is very different to the traditional China, but also most of the sights you will see still remains their authentication and filled with rich local culture. The landscapes are amazing too. The World Cultural Heritage Site Mogao Grottoes have already limited number of visitors to 6000 per day and tickets are normally tricky to get hold of." 

This tour is for explorers either have a knee interest in the Silk Road (China section), or if you have been to China before but wish to see different parts of China. It can also be added easily as an extension from other of our Small Group tours i.e. after visited Beijing, Xian, Chengdu etc. 

* Feedback from our guests: "A truly unforgettable experience to the Wild West of China!"

Magical Explorer Ltd thank China National Tourism Organisation London Office for invitation to the Silk Road Festival 2018. 

How to book