12Days Silk Road Highlights


                     Silk Road Highlights Express Tour


Beijing-Xi’an–Dunhuang- Turpan- Urumqi-Kashgar-Karakoram Highway

Tour Overview: This is a private tour, we will assign private guide, car, van and bus in each city and no other participants will be allowed to join in your group. Also the tour is totally flexible. Moreover, if you would like to do some adjustment in this itinerary, please Email: silkroadexpedition@hotmail.com, in what area you are not satisfied, we can adjust the itinerary according to your every request. For groups more than 7 participants, we will arrange national Tour Guide to travel with group for entire tour while we also arrange local Guides in each city.

Tour Description:  you are about to explore the most fascinating sites in whole Silk Road cities like Beijing, Xi’an, Dunhuang ,Turpan, Urumqi and Kashgar. Trip begins fromBeijingand end in Kashgar   

Duration: 12 days

Best Time: April to November

Departure Date: Any Time (recommended starting date of the Trip is any Friday or any Wednesday to catch the Kashgar Sunday Market which is biggest one in all over centralAsia)

Proposed Hotel Arrangements for This Trip






Day 1 ,2

Holiday InnCentralPlaza or similar

4 star


Day 3 ,4

Grand Park Hotel or Similar

4 star


Day 5

 Feitian Grand Hotel

4 star

Train to Turpan

Day 6


4 star


Day 7

 Huozhou Hotel

4 star


Day 8,9,11

TianYuan International Hotel

4 star

Karakul lake

Day 10

 Kyrgyz Yurt

4 star

Daily Itinerary

Day 1   ArriveBeijing   

Be met at the arrival hall of airport with our representative Guide and Transfer to the Hotel, Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure

Day 2    BeijingCityTour ­­­

After Breakfast in Hotel, Enjoy Full day City Excursion to Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square andTemple ofHeaven

Forbidden City:  It is in the heart ofBeijing, 720,000 Square Miter Palace Museum Known as Forbidden City was built during the 1406-1420 period, and became the Imperial palace for the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is UNESCO the largest royal palatial complex in existence inChinawith its unique Chinese architectural features

Tiananmen Square:  Being theLargest City Squarein the World, Tiananmen Square can hold 1 million people, It is one of the Must see places inBeijing

Temple ofHeaven:  it was built in 1420 and was most holyImperialTemplefor five centuries during the Imperial period ofChina, UNESCO site.

Peking Opera Show:  Peking opera is a national treasure with a history of 200 years, the repertoire ofPekingopera is mainly engaged in fairy tales of preceding dynasties, important historical events and emperors

Day 3    BeijingTour then Fly toXi’an

After Breakfast in Hotel, We will Visit the Great Wall, Ming Dynasty Emperors Tombs, and then fly toXi’anin the afternoon.

Great Wall: One of the three biggest human creativity in China, Cultural phenomenon, UNESCO site .6350km long Great Wall was began to construct in 7th century BC, and later Completed during the reign of Qinshihuang who was Emperor of Qin dynasty in 3rd century BC.

 Ming Dynasty Emperors Tombs: The Ming Tombs are scattered over an area 40km in circumference inChangpingCounty. Ming dynasty dominatedChinafrom 1368 to 1644, and the last Empire established by Han Chinese people, Thirteen Ming emperors who ruledChinaafter they moved the capital in 1421 fromNanjingtoBeijingwere buried there.

Day 4        Xi’anCity Tour

Xi’an is one of the world’s major ancient civilization capitals, Known as Chang’ an in the History. This city is historical and cultural significant Chinese capital throughout the history ofChinafor 2000 years as well as the abundant relics and ancient sites,

Today we will visit the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, andProvincial Museum,

Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses:  It is the most significant UNESCO archeological excavations of the 20th century, the army of terra-cotta warriors and the bronze chariots entombed in vast underground vaults at Emperor Qin’s tomb

Big Wild Goose Pagoda: It is s most distinctive and outstanding landmarks, possibly the most beautiful building left inXi’antoday. In AD 652, the Big Goose Pagoda was built to store the sutras and the figurines of Buddha, which were brought fromIndiaby a famous Buddhist translator and traveler Tang xuanzang

Provincial Museum: one of the best Museum inChinaand where you can learn a lot about the 5,000 year brilliant history ofChina.

Day 5     Xi’anTour then Fly to Dunhuang

Today we will visit the Xi’an Grand Mosque, Ancient City Wall in the morning, take afternoon flight to Dunhuang, and meet with local Tour Guide and Driver transfer to the hotel.

Xi’an Grand Mosque: is the one of the oldest and largest mosques inChina

Ancient CityWall:  Xian City Wall was constructed in the early Ming Dynasty on the basis of the Imperial Capital City of Chang’an of the Tang Dynasty.

Day 6        DunhuangCityTour

Today visit MogaoCaves, Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Lake,Yumen Pass.

And take night Train in Liuyuan station to Turpan ,

Mogao Caves: a shrine of Buddhist art treasures, also known as theThousandBuddhaCaves, it is the UNESCO site which is the largest Buddha caves inChina,

Mingsha MountainCrescentLake: it is Highest Sand Dune Mountain in which little crescent oasis located.

Yumen Pass: it was most western Gate out of the Country of Han dynasty in 3rd century.

Day 7      TurpanCityTour

Today we will start our breathtaking Xinjiang Silk road from Turpan,

Turpan is located in theTurpanBasinwhich is deepest basin inChina, northeastern part ofTaklimakandesert. it is the Key city on the Middle Silk Road and  unique Uyghur Buddha cultural City throughout the Buddha cultural period in the history of Uyghur’s until the 14th century ,then Islam became completely dominant in this area since mid 14th century ,

Visit Jiaohe ancient city, Tuyuk valley, GaochangAncientCity, Bezaklik ThousandBuddhaCaves    

Jiaohe ancient city: it is called Yarghul ancient city Uyghurs and well preserved, excavated mud ancient city ruin in the world.earlest settlers of this city was no later than 1800 years BC, it is abandoned in 13th century AD when the Islam became dominant in the area ,

 All the houses, even few stores as well, were built by excavating the clay ground .that’s the distinctive part than any other ancient cities in the world .it abandoned in 13th century AD when the Islam became dominant in the area ,

The city was built on a large islet (1650 m in length, 300 m wide at its widest point) in the middle of a river which formed natural defenses, which would explain why the city lacked any sort of walls. it is UNESCO site ,

Tuyuk valley: lovely valley in which the small Uyghur village located, when we walk around the village we can absorb the Uyghur residential lifestyle in Turpan,

Gaochang ancient city: called Idiqut(also called Karahoja) city in Uyghur, located 30km south east of modern turpan ,Gaochang was built in the 1st century BC; it was an important site along the Silk Road. It played a key role as a transportation hub in western China. A busy trading center, it was a stopping point for merchant traders traveling on the Silk Road. There is some documented history surviving today, perhaps stories passed on through oral tradition exist to detail the history. It was burnt down in wars in the 14th century. Old palace ruins and inside and outside cities can still be seen today.

Bezaklik Thousand Buddha caves: complex of Buddhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to the 9th centuries. There are 77 rock-cut caves at the site. Most have rectangular spaces with rounded arch ceilings often divided into four sections, each with a moral of Buddha. The effect is of entire ceiling covers with hundreds of Buddha murals. Some ceilings are painted with a large Buddha surrounded by other figures, including Indians, Persians and Europeans. The quality of the murals varies with some being artistically naive while others are masterpieces of religious art.

Day 8Urumqitour then evening flight to Kashgar

Visit the Emin minaret and Karez wells in the morning, drive toUrumqito visit the Heavenly Lake and Regional Museum

Emin Minarate (Sugong Pagoda): Islamic Uyghur mosque with tallest minaret inChina (44m, 144ft), built in 1777, an elegant and circular Uyghur traditional architecture  

Karez Wells: More than 5000km long Karez was one of the greatest constructions of China ,Turpan's Karez water system is made up of a horizontal series of vertically dug wells that are then linked by underground water canals to collect water from the watershed surface run off from the base of the Tian Shan Mountains and the nearby Flaming Mountains. The canals channel the water to the surface, taking advantage of the current provided by the gravity of the downward slope of the Turpan Depression. The canals are mostly underground to reduce water evaporation.

Now drive toUrumqito visit the heavenly lake and regional museum,

Heavenly lake; one of the most naturally beautiful lakes inChinasurrounded by pine trees and snow capped mountains. Located 120km northeast ofUrumqi

Autonomous RegionalMuseum: best museum to get to know the ethnic minority people’s history and culture, possibly the must see place while you are in Xinjiang.

Day 9          Kashgar city Tour

Kashgar has been claimed "the best-preserved example of a traditional Islamic city to be found anywhere in Central Asia", although the city is becoming more developed.

Being the Islamic cultural center ofChina, Kashgar is very important western most special economic zone inChinaas it was also most important hub in central Asia onSilk Road.

So far today we will do full day excursion in this city, and visit Kashgar Sunday livestock Market, south and centralAsiaMarket, Apak Hoja tomb, Idkah Mosque and Kashgar old town, and enjoy the Uyghur local cuisines like kebab, hand pulled noodle in best Uyghur food restaurant in kashgar.

Kashgar Live stock Market:  Open field agricultural market held every Sunday, Uyghur farmers type, very local atmosphere, business is all about the animals like sheep, yaks, goats, donkey, cows and horses,

South andCentral AsiaMarket: it is regular commodity market that has all sort of goods, Market attracts more than hundred thousand people every Sunday from nearby towns around the kashgar and from central Asian countries as well.

Apak Hoja tomb: Mausoleum is finest examples of Uyghur Islamic architecture in China, large dome of 17m is at the center surrounded by four corner minarets with strips and arabesque floral patterns  initially built in 1640, powerful religious and political leader Apak hoja’s five generations of relatives buried inside the tomb,

Idkah Mosque:  Being largest mosque in China and 12th largest in the world, Idkah mosque is unique best preserved Uyghur architecture in nowadays and can hold more than 20 thousand worshipers on Friday prayer. The mosque built in 1442.

Kashgar old town: well preserved more than 1000s years old Uyghur residential area, people began to settle down there 11 hundred years ago after Uyghur people converted to Islam during the period of Great Karakhanid Dynasty which was dominated whole central Asia from 9th century to 13th century, Kashgar was a capital .and it was cultural, political and important transportation hub in Central Asia’s silk road, it is treasure of silk road. Karakhanid dynasty imperial palace was also located in this old town, and still some parts of palace wall visible in the town,

Because of it’s unique natural style, old town attracted the attention ofHollywood to shot the film “Kite Runner”, most parts filmed in this old town,

And more than 40 thousands of Uyghur families still live here behind hand-carved poplar doors, many in tumbledown rentals, others in two-story homes that vault over the alleys and open on courtyards filled with roses and cloth banners. Current architectural and life style of people directly derived from Medieval Karakhanid Uyghur culture. Possibly we have chance to visit one of the family.

Day10 Karakoram Highway& KarakulLakeTour 

After buffet breakfast in the hotel, we’ll take breathtaking highest and adventurous paved highways in the world to go though High Mountain range to Karakul Lake, and stay overnight in nomad Kyrgyz Yurt, visit Opal village on the way ,

Karakul Lake: it is rare highland lake in the world at the elevation of 3600m, surrounded by many snow capped high mountains like Mt Muztagh Ata. You will have chance to hike around the lake,

Kyrgyz Yurt: made of stone, still some are made of local embroidered mats; it is living house of local Kyrgyz people living around the karakul lake, talk to them and get to know their adventurous life in the remote mountains going to be your lifetime experience.

Day 11         Drive back to Kashgar       

After Kyrgyz breakfast in Kyrgyz yurt, we’ll drive back to Kashgar, Spend the rest of the day at your leisure, visit night market and food stalls inOpen Street,

Day 12           End the Tour

Transfer to theKashgarAirport, Fly back Home

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Kashgar : 120 Seman Road(beside chinibagh hotel) , Kashgar 844000  , Xinjiang PR China

Urumqi : 436  shengli Road , Urumqi 830000  , Xinjiang PR China

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