Details

Unique Experiences:

•  Follow the ancient and less-travelled Silk Road from East to West China.
•  Make the most of your time, where we take care of the practicalities, so you just focus on exploring.
•  Pre-booked overnight and bullet trains connecting the cities along the Silk Road.
•  Pre-booked handpicked Backpack’it accommodation and arrival transfer in each city.

Participants:

Small Group Exploration – normally no more than 2-5 travellers. Being few brings you closer to local life and flexibility to go to places less travelled; to go beyond the ordinary.
You can be min. 1 and max. 8 travellers on this tour. You can book 1 person, but we cannot guarantee more participants.

Trip Length: 16 Day(s) 15 Night(s)
Tour Departure Dates: Every day
Travel Season:

Travel season is from early April to the end of October, as winters are cold, and many hotels, guesthouses and trains are closed in this period.
The best season to travel is in May, September and October, where the weather is pleasant, and the cities showing their best side.

Type of Accommodation: Local 2-3 star hotels with Chinese food breakfast One night in train in hard sleeper berth class
Physical Rate: 2/5
Child Policy:

Children will be seen as and pay as adults.

Included in Price:

Meals: 14 x Breakfast
Accommodation: 14 x nights of accommodation at local 2-3 star hotels. 1 x night in overnight train in hard sleeper berth.
Transport: Trains connecting Xian – Lanzhou – Zhangye – Jiayuguan – Dunhuang // Liuyuan (Dunhuang) –Turpan – Urumqi. Local arrival/departure transfer Lanzhou, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan and Urumqi.

There is no overall guide on the tour. There will be drivers, who speak very limited English only. In general, we recommend you to bring a phrase book for a better experience.

Excluded from Price:

•  Personal Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
•  Tips to local driver
•  Meals not mentioned as included
All other expenses not stated as included in the above

Map

Locations Visited:
Xian, Lanzhou, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi
Start City:
Xian
End City:
Urumqi

Itinerary

Day 1: Xian to Lanzhou by overnight train

Embark on your epic journey on the ancient Silk Road.
Go on your own to Xian Railway Station and board your train to Lanzhou (train No K119, dep.: 22:37). Train journeys are one of the best ways to meet the locals for a chat and a cup of tea. Bring a phrase book though!
Spend the night on the train in hard sleeper berth.

Accommodation: Overnight on the train in hard sleeper berth

NOTE! Please make sure to arrive at the train station at least 1 hour prior to departure time. If you have not booked your Xian accommodation through us, please inform us your hotel detail in Xian at least 48 hours in advance. Our local staff will deliver the train tickets to your hotel in advance, and leave it in the reception with your name.

Day 2: Arrival in Lanzhou

Lanzhou is located along the Yellow river, and is the capital of Gansu province. It marks the halfway point for overlanders crossing the country. The location between the competing Chinese and Central Asian empires and a frequent change of hands has given the city a unique flavour mixing ethnic groups and cultures. Over the coming days, explore the city’s dynamic pulse, its night markets and its tasteful cuisine.

You will arrive in Langzhou at 06:57AM, where you will meet your local driver. He will hold a sign with you name at the exit of the station, and transfer you to your hotel for the nights ahead. Check-in time is at 12:00, but if your room is ready, you can check-in.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore the city.

Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 3: Lanzhou

Free day for you to explore Lanzhou.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 4: Lanzhou to Zhangya by daytime bullet train

In the early morning, you will be taken to the train station in time for your train to Zhangya. The train departs at 08:12AM and you will arrive in Zhangya at 11:03AM. A driver will meet you upon arrival and transfer you to your hotel. Go to the exit and look for a sign with your name.
The rest of the day is free for you to settle in, and explore the city.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 5: Zhangya

Free time for you to explore the city and outskirts.
Zhangya is a prefecture city in the central Gansu Province, bordering Inner Mongolia. It is home to the Zhangye Danxia National Geopark, which by National Geographic is characterised as one of the six most beautiful landforms in China. Others see the park as “the eye candy of Zhangye with its red rocks and rainbow ridges. We recommend you a visit, which is easily arranged from the city.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 6: Zhangye to Jiayuguan by daytime bullet train

After breakfast, you will be taken to the train station in time for your train to Jiayuguan. The train departs at 12:13PM and you will arrive in Jiayuguan at 13:25. A driver will meet you upon arrival and transfer you to your hotel. Go to the exit and look for a sign with your name.
Check in to your hotel, and the rest of the day is free for you to explore the city.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 7: Jiayuguan

Today is a free day for you to explore the city and its surroundings.
Jiayuguan is surrounded by lunar landscape, and is most famous for its nearby Jiayu Pass, which is the largest and most intact pass of the Great Wall of China. As one of the defining points of the Silk Road, a Ming Dynasty fort was erected here in 1372 and Jiayuguan became knows as “the mouth of China”. Today the Jiayuguan Fort still stands tall, and is well worth your time.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 8: Jiayuguan to Dunhuang by daytime train

The morning is free on your own. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel at a pre-arranged time, and transfer you to Jiayuguan Railway station. Your train to Dunhuang departs at 13:30 and arrives at 18:15. Upon arrival, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Go to the exit and look for a sign with your name.
Check in to your hotel, and the evening is free

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 9:
 Dunhuang

Free day in Dunhang on your own.
Dunhang was once a frontier on the Silk Road, and is today known for its Mogao Caves – a complex of 492 grottos carved into the cliffs above the Dachuan River, and adorned with Buddhist relics. Forts, towers and cave temples still stands, and it’s a magnificent place to explore the dwarfing sand dunes and desertscapes. The city itself is a great walking town inviting you to discover its narrow alleyways, squares, markets and local life.
 
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 10: Dunhuang to Turpan by daytime bullet train

After breakfast you will check out from you hotel and the morning is free. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel and drive around 2,5 hours to Liuyuan Railway Station, where you train for Turpan departs at 14:54. Upon arrival in Turpan at 18:48, you will be met by your driver and be transferred to your hotel. Go to the exit and look for a sign with your name.
Check in to your hotel, and the evening is free.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 11: Turpan

You will have the day free to explore the city.
Turpan is China’s Death Valley, being 154 metres below sea level and the hottest spot in China. Despite these conditions, Turpan is and was an oasis in the desert with its fertile soil, and its centuries-old remains of ancient cities, imperial forts and Buddhist caves can still be seen today. Turpan city has a mellow vibe today and is a great place to hangout after a day of explorations.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 12: Turpan

Explore more of the city and surroundings; soak up the vibe of the city and dig into the stories from the past.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 13: Turpan to Urumqi by daytime bullet train

After breakfast, your driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Turpan North Station. You train to Urumqi departs at 11:12AM and you will arrive in Urumqi Railway Station at 12:31. Upon arrival, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel. Go to the exit and look for a sign with your name.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore the city.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 14:  Urumqi

You day is free to explore Urumqi on your own.
Urumqi is located in the far Northwestern part of China, and was a major hub on the Silk Road with a reputation for being the leading cultural and commercial centre during the Qing Dynasty. With its location on the border to Central-Asia Urumqi today is a colourful mix of people and cultures. Chinese, Arabic, Latin and Cyrillic scripts are commonly seen side-by-side and the faces are an exotic mix of stories and ethnicities.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 15: Urumqi

The day is free for you to soak up the city’s vibe.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at local 2-3 star hotel

Day 16: Urumqi – onwards to your next destination

It is time to leave the Silk Road behind. The check out time before 12:00 noon. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel at a pre-arranged time, and transfer you to the train station or airport for your next destination.

Meals: Breakfast

NOT SURE WHERE TO GO FROM HERE?
Go Beyond Asia has our Travel Service Center in Beijing, and we are ready to empty our backpack of knowledge into yours. Whether you are looking for a soft landing with transfer in China or around Asia, we will be happy to inspire or help you. Just contact us with your questions or ideas.

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