The Silk Road Route starts from Dunhuang's Mogao Grottos, which was located on the former terminal of the ancient Silk Road. It has one of the richest collections of ancient Buddhist murals and statues in China, then fly to Xinjiang to explore Kashgar, the heart of Chinese Islam which owns the largest Muslim community and best market in China. Drive to Karakuri Lake and Snow Mountains, a majestic glacial lake fed by century-old glaciers and sits at the base of Mount Muztagh Ata.
The trip out here from Kashgar takes travelers 200km through treeless sand dunes, past grazing camels and yaks until suddenly this dramatic and spectacular lake appears by the roadside, as if from nowhere. The surface of this huge lake reflects the snow-covered peaks of Mount Muztagata, which towers in the background. Continue from the lake, you will see Kazakh yurts and grassland.
Dunhuang Grottos & Sand Dunes
Dunhuang, "City of the Sands", is located in Gobi desert in Gansu, northwest of China. It was a former terminal of the ancient Silk Road, perched on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, one of the world's largest deserts (272,000 sq km). Dunhuang is home to the Mogao Grottos, one of the richest collections of ancient Buddhist murals and statues in China. These grottos were carved into a 1600-meter high cliff and created during over nine dynasties (4th - 14th centuries). They contain 492 caves, each housing murals (45,000), Buddhist paintings and terra-cotta statues (2,000). At the "Mingshashan Sand Dunes" -which Marco Polo referred to as the "rumbling sands"- one can visit "Crescent Moon Lake", a lush green oasis. A stunning view of a green oasis surrounded by endless desert scenery will open to you when climbing to the top of the dunes.
Xinjiang （Urumqi (capital); Kashgar)
Urumqi is the capital of Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Regions. It has served and is still serving as a main entry for those crossing into Central Asia. Today it becomes a lively metropolis with an urban population of 1.08 million (You will see Carrefour Shopping Mall). The main attraction now for Xinjiang is the exhibits of mummies and other artifacts of Uigur ethnic culture and treasures from Silk Road in Xinjiang Regional Museum. The Id Kah Mosque is the largest in mosque in China. It attracts more than 10,000 worshippers for Friday prayers.
Kashgar is in the heart of Chinese Islam, owns the largest Muslim community and best market in China! Kashgar was once the key trading post bridging the East and the West. Today they sell, bargain and trade everything ranging from camels and donkeys to embroidered caps and ornate knives. Situated at the foot of the impressive Pamir mountains, The ancient oasis city still retains the exotic feel of the Silk Road era
The Lake Karakuri; Kazakh Yurts & grassland
The Lake Karakuri is a majestic glacial lake fed by century-old glaciers and sits at the base of Muztagh Ata (7,545 meters). The trip out here from Kashgar takes travelers 200km through treeless sand dunes, past grazing camels and yaks until suddenly this dramatic and spectacular lake appears by the roadside, as if from nowhere. The surface of this huge lake reflects the snow-covered peaks of Mount Muztagata, which towers in the background. Continue from the lake, you will see Kazakh yurts and grassland.
While in Lake Karakuri and in Tajikistan highland, we reach heights of up to 3,660 & 3,220 meters above sea level respectively. People respond to an increase in altitude differently. You may response general discomfort, breathlessness, poor sleeping patterns or limited capacity for physical exertion. Please consult with your local travel clinic or physician for specifics about altitude sickness and your personal health.
* Autumn from late August to early October
* Spring but direct flights to Dunhuang is not available until after May 1st holiday (or available only if there are enough booking, so last minute cancellation is possible).
Day 1. Fly in Dunhuang (camel-riding & sand-sliding in desert)
- Beijing departure Fly into Dunhuang by air in the morning. CA 1287 07:05-10:20
Shanghai Pudong -- Dunhuang by air stopover in Xi'an or Lanzhou for 2 hours. It is likely that Shanghai participants will miss the Mingshashan Mountains and Sand Dunes due to the limited flights schedule. However, you can fly into Dunhuang the previous evening with additional cost, please let us know at the time of booking.
If you go from other locale, we will check the available flights from your locale to Dunhuang.
- Land in Dunhuang.
Dunhuang, "City of the Sands", is located in Gansu, northwest of China. It was a former terminal of the ancient Silk Road, perched on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert. Dunhuang is home to the Mogao Grottos.
- Drive to Mingshashan Mountain and Sand Dunes, which Marco Polo referred to as the "rumbling sands" and ride camels on the Sand Dunes leading to the Crescent Moon Lake - a lush green oasis.
A stunning view of a green oasis surrounded by endless desert scenery will open to you when climbing to the top of the dunes.
You can do the sand-sliding down the dunes or drive the Karting (optional).
- Stay overnight in Dunhuang.
(L, D) (Dunhuang Tang Dynasty Style Villa Hotel nestled in desert)
Day 2. Dunhuang (Mogao Grottos) / Liuyuan/ Urumqi
- Have breakfast on the balcony of the hotel while enjoy the sunrise over the desert.
- Head to the Mogao Grottos, one of the richest collections of ancient Buddhist murals and statues in China. These grottos were carved into a 1600-meter high cliff and created during over nine dynasties (4th - 14th centuries). They contain 492 caves, each housing murals (45,000), Buddhist paintings and terra-cotta statues (2,000).
- Drive to the Liuyuan Train station to catch the train to Urumqi.
- stay overnight in Urumqi.
- (B, L)
Day 3 Urumqi / Kashgar (Bazaar & Animal Market !)
- Take the morning flight to Kashgar.
- Kashgar is the heart of Chinese Islam, which owns the largest Muslim community and best market in China !
- Walking along the bustling street of Kashgar till you arrive in the square and see the Id Kah Mosque, the largest in mosque in China. It attracts more than 10,000 worshippers for Friday prayers.
- Shop around the Bazaar, massive gatherings of thousands of farmers and merchants from the far corners of the region. At this colorful and lively market, you can find some of the Silk Road's most interesting souvenirs, from hand made leather boots, to traditional musical instruments, to bags of fresh spices.
- After lunch, visit the exciting Animal Market (live cattles, sheeps, etc.), where they barter and bargain for goats, cows and donkeys.
(please note that if the itinerary could not meet the Sunday animal market, CCC will take you to another animal market in a village, which is also exciting and even more authentic.)
- Head to the tomb of Abakh Khoja, considered the holiest Muslim site in Xinjiang. Built in the 17th century, the tiled mausoleum 5 km northeast of the city centre also contains the tombs of five generations of his family.
- Dine in a local Uigur family featuring their delicacies such as their yoghurt, Kebab and fruits.
- Stay second night in Kashgar.
(B, L, D)
Day 4 Kashgar / Lake Karakuri and Snow Mt. Muztagata / Tajikistan County
- Take Kashgar's side trip to Lake Karakuri & Snow Mount Muztagata. It will be 4 hours' drive one way, but you wouldn't feel bored on the bus, it is durable as you will stop and take pictures of the magnificent landscapes with diversified lakes, mountains, field, wildflowers and plants. We will also meet Kazaks, Tajiks as well as Tibetans, Uighurs. On enroute we drive pass the border Zone sentry to Pakistan,(Note that we are still in China after passing the border sentry, so we do not need the Pakistan visa.) where we will have our baggage and documents checked.
- Finally we will arrive Lake Karakuri, a majestic glacial lake fed by century-old glaciers, which sits at the base of Muztagh Ata (7,545 meters).
- Drive to a Tajikistan county on the highland and stay overnight.
(B, L, D)
Day 5 Tajikistan highland & village / Kashgar
- Explore the "stone city" - a castle ruin and then a Tajikistan village and visit local residents on the grassland. Have lunch.
- Drive back to Kashgar in late afternoon.
- Stay another night in Kashgar.
(B, L, D)
Day 6 Urumqi / Fly out
- Fly from Kashgar to Urumqi and then connect the flight out in the afternoon.
Kashgar-Urumqi - Beijing (arrival around 6-7pm)
Kashgar-Urumqi - Shanghai Hongqiao (arrival around 8pm)
- Please be aware that Xinjiang is 2 hours behind Beijing Time.
- Please note that the flights or timing of flights mentioned in the above itinerary may change subject to ticket availability and airline scheduling. Alternative hotels of similar standards will be used if any of the hotels mentioned in the itinerary is unable to provide enough accommodation.
Beijing price: RMB 14500 Single Supplement: RMB 2600
Shanghai price: RMB Single Supplement: RMB
Children ages 2-4 pay 50% of total tour price. (Single supplement would be applied if there is a need of extra bed)
Children ages 5-7 pay 60% of total tour price.
Children ages 8-11 pay 80% of total tour price.
Children ages under 2 pay nothing for the tour but may incur the transport costs listed below:
Train tickets cost:
If they require their own berthat on the train they will have to purchase an adult ticket
10% of adult ticket if the child does not require his/her own seat
50% of adult ticket if the child requires his/her own seat
CCC calculates its trip prices and books its trip accommodations based on dual-occupancy rooms. Therefore, single travelers who is booking this trip as a lone passenger, and for whom CCC cannot find a room-mate when booking or paying for the trip, will have to pay the “Single supplement”. Should a room-mate be found, the Single Supplement paid shall be refunded.
CCC services include:
--All air and train tickets involved
--4 nights accommodation in the best 4-star hotels and one night in 3-star hotel(local best)in the destinations.
--Transfers in customary air conditioned coaches
--Entrance fee for all sights mentioned in the program
--All sightseeing and transfers with English-speaking tour guides
--Gratuities to the guides and drivers
--Local travel insurance
Payment Terms and Conditions
Payment must be received before published deadline to receive corresponding price. Please refer to the following terms and conditions associated with each method of payment:
Payment at office: CCC must receive the amount (Cash or from credit card) before the published deadline to receive corresponding price.
Credit card: If paying by international credit card authorization form (moto form), CCC must receive your form 2 days before the published deadline in order to have time to process it, and for funds to be received on/by the published deadline.(click to view details)
Bank Transfer: CCC now requires that your payment must be transferred into Chinese RMB before you wire your bank transfer. We must receive a copy of the bank transfer receipt before the published deadline in order to guarantee your price.
Last minute booking: CCC cannot guarantee that we will be able to reserve tickets and rooms at this late stage but we will try our best. Thank you for your understanding.
CCC will respond to every email concerning payment immediately. If you do not hear from us this may indicate that we may not have received your email and we would advise you to call us to confirm. We cannot guarantee that we receive every email so the onus is on you to ensure we receive the payment information before the published deadlines. Thank you for your understanding.
- Explore Xinjiang (from Turpan, Kashgar to Tajikistan Highland)
- Explore Gansu (Dunhuang, Jiayuguan Pass, Xiahe and Lanzhou)
- Tibetan Gannan (Xiahe's Labrang & Langmu Monasteries)
- Sacred Tibetan Lands & Stunning Landscape Of Qinghai & Xiahe
- In-depth Silk Road Journey (Xinjiang's Kashgar, Kucha and Takalamakan Desert)
- Maijishan Grottoes & Famen Temple
- North Xinjiang's Kanas Lake & Hemu Village