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The Silk Road Expedition

Highlights

  •  Venture far along the legendary "path to the West"
  •  Admire the Great Fortress at Jiayuguan
  •  Visit Kashgar's Sunday bazaar and beautiful Lake Karakul
  •  Tour Dunhuang's Mogao Grottoes
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from £ 3600

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Overview

For centuries the Silk Road was the thread that linked east and west. From as early as 200BC the silk merchants of Xian, China’s ancient capital, set off with their camel caravans on the long trek to distant Constantinople. They skirted the Gobi and the ferocious Taklamakan deserts, and crossed ‘the Roof of the World’, over the Pamirs and the Karakorams. This tour allows you to follow in their footsteps, to trace the legendary route taken by Marco Polo from west to east, with the inclusion of exotic places like Xiahe, and the dramatically-located fortified town of Jiayuguan.

  • Departures 2017

    Our tours are tailor-made to suit you, call us today to discuss possible departure dates.

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Price Includes:

* Economy class domestic flights
* Twin-shared accommodation with breakfast
* Transfers, transportation, meals and sightseeing as listed
* Services of English-speaking local Tour guides 
* Most air taxes

Not Included:

* International flights
* Tipping payable locally £102 per person
* Optional excursions, travel insurance, personal expenses and gratuities
* Any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after brochure publication
* Chinese visa

Pre Tour Extension to Beijing and Xian

From £595 per person twin shared.

Further details on request.

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If you have a particular itinerary in mind our specialist advisors will be very pleased to help you design it completely in accordance with your own requirements.

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The Silk Road Expedition

The Silk Road Expedition

The legendary path to the West

Day 1
London - Beijing

Depart London Heathrow at around 20:25 on the non-stop Air China flight to Beijing.

Day 2
Beijing - Xian 2 nights

Arrive Beijing around 13:30 and connect to your onward flight to Xian. Stay at the Grand New World Hotel for 2 nights.

Day 3
Xian

Day at leisure. Enjoy a hotpot dinner. (BD)

Day 4
Xian - Lanzhou 1 night

Take the train to Lanzhou, the ‘Golden City’ and an important citadel along the Silk Road. Stay at the Legend Hotel. (B Packed Lunch D)

Day 5
Lanzhou - Xiahe 2 nights

Visit White Pagoda Hill Park with its 80ft high Buddha, and the Yellow River Mother Statue. Drive to Xiahe across grasslands and into a beautiful valley, with an en-route visit to the Liujiaxia Reservoir on the Yellow River, and a ferry ride to Bingling Temple, known as the ‘thousand buddha caves’. Stay 2 nights at the Labrang Aviation Hotel. (BLD)

Day 6
Xiahe

Nick-named ‘Little Tibet’ Xiahe is the site of Labrang Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery outside of that province. Also visit the Sangke grasslands, where Tibetan nomadic farmers herd their yaks and visit a local family in their camp. (BLD)

Day 7
Xiahe - Lanzhou 1 night

Drive back to Lanzhou and stay overnight at the Legend Hotel. (BL)

Day 8
Lanzhou - Jiayuguan 1 night

Early morning train to Jiayuguan. Transfer on arrival to the Plaza Holiday Inn. (B Packed Lunch D)

Day 9
Jiayuguan - Dunhuang 2 nights

Visit the Great Fortress and the overhanging Great Wall that guards the mountain pass. Drive (4.5h) to Dunhuang, a strategic staging post on the Silk Road, at the end of the Great Wall. Stay 2 nights at the Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel. (BD)

Day 10
Dunhuang

Tour the Mogao Grottoes, an art gallery in the desert. The caves are lined with Buddhist frescoes and sculpted figures, said to be the finest examples of Buddhist art in the world. Mixing Indian and Chinese styles, they are a remarkable record of Silk Road civilisation. (BL)

Day 11
Dunhuang - Urumqi 1 night

Visit Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Moon Lake, set in an amphitheatre of sand dunes. For the adventurous, the optional ascent of these sand ‘mountains’ by camel offers truly breath-taking vistas. Fly to Urumqi and overnight at the Grand Mercure Hotel. (BD)

Day 12
Urumqi - Turpan 2 nights

Visit the Xinjiang Museum then depart for Turpan (210km). This oasis town is famous for its melons and vineyards. Here Marco Polo first encountered spaghetti, an idea he took home to Italy. Visit the Emin Minaret, one of the finest buildings on the Silk Road. Inspect the remarkable 2000-year-old Karez underground irrigation system, and sample the ‘mare’s nipple’ grapes which Turpan used to ship to the Emperor’s court in Beijing. Stay at the Tuha Petroleum Hotel. (BLD)

Day 13
Turpan

Visit the ruined cities of Jiaohe and Gaochang. Continue to the Bezeklik Caves whose walls are adorned with Buddhist frescoes, and the legendary Flaming Mountains, then see the underground Tombs of Astana. Evening performance of traditional folk music and dance. (BL)

Day 14
Turpan - Urumqi 1 night

Morning at leisure before an afternoon drive back to Urumqi. Overnight at the Grand Mercure Hotel. (BD)

Day 15
Urumqi - Kashgar 3 nights

Fly to Kashgar and transfer to the Jin Jiang International Hotel. Hemmed in by deserts and the Pamirs, Kashgar is a fabled city embracing a rich mix of peoples and cultures, with Mosques and veiled women contributing to its Middle Eastern atmosphere. (BLD)

Day 16
Kashgar

No visitor to Kashgar should miss the Sunday bazaar. In this teeming market, you can buy anything from herbal medicines to carpets, from a cradle to a camel. Lunch with a typical Uygur family, then walk through the old town, a warren of twisting alleys and white-washed walls. Visit the Tomb of Abakh Khoja, known as the ‘fragrant concubine’, and the vast Id Kah Mosque. (BLD)

Day 17
Kashgar, Lake Karakul

Excursion to beautiful Lake Karakul, in the shadow of Mt. Kongur and Muztagh Ata. Return to Kashgar. (BLD)

Day 18
Kashgar - Urumqi - Beijing 1 night

Fly to Beijing. Stay a final night at the Langham Place Hotel. (B)

Day 19
Beijing - London

Air China flight to London, arriving Heathrow at around 17:45 the same day. (B)

Hotels

xian-grand-new-world_1.jpg

Grand New World Hotel, Xian

Just a 10-minute walk from Xian’s old city walls and West Gate, the 5-star Grand New World is a large, modern and comfortable hotel with rooms featuring IDD telephone, internet access, tea & coffee making facilities, cable TV, hairdryer and safe. There is also a beauty salon, massage, gym, indoor pool, sauna, business centre, restaurant and coffee shop. A good buffet breakfast is offered and both Chinese and western food is served in the hotel restaurants and coffee shop.

Labrang Aviation Hotel Xiahe.jpg

Labrang Aviation Hotel, Xiahe

This hotel is designed in Tibetan Buddhist style and offers a total of 148 guest rooms which are equipped with modern amenities.  The hotel’s Chinese restaurant provides guests with Sichuan, Hunan, Shandong, Cantonese and Tibetan cuisines.  For recreation and relaxation, there is a fitness centre, foot massage, table tennis room, chess and card room, sunbathing area and beauty salon.

Silk Road Hotel, Dunhuang1.jpg

Silk Road Hotel, Dunhuang


Situated against the backdrop of the picturesque Mingsha Sand Dunes in Dunhuang, Gansu Province, the hotel captures the essence of the Tang Dynasty with its unique architectural design - the large rooftops and winding corridors of the Han and Tang dynasties.  The hotel offers a selection of rooms and suites with facilities including air conditioning, tea making facilities, mini-bar, satellite TV and mini-bar.  There are 4 food and beverage outlets offering a variety of dishes.

Grand Mercure Hotel, Urumqi.jpg

Grand Mercure Hotel, Urumqi

Located in the downtown area, this international hotel has 250 comfortable and modern guest rooms.  All rooms have air conditioning, safety deposit box, radio, TV, hairdryer, tea/coffee facilities and mini-bar.  Dining options include International buffet, Chinese including local Xinjiang specialities, and Thai cuisine.

Jin Jiang International Hotel, Kashgar.JPG

Jin Jiang International Hotel, Kashgar

This comfortable international hotel has 323 guest rooms all with modern amenities.  A range of dining options are available including a Chinese restaurant, Korean restaurant, and a coffee bar with International buffet selection.  The lobby bar provides a place to relax and enjoy a tea or a cocktail, and the cigar bar offers a selection of wine and cigars.  There is also a tennis court, gym and a swimming pool.

Your Stories

We are pleased to share feedback that we received from some of our valued clients.

  • Sunhuang Sand dunes.jpg

    I enjoyed the entire trip and would not have missed a minute of it...I would never do this trip with anyone other than CTS.

    - Mr Hailwood, The Silk Road Expedition

  • Sand city.gif

    I expected this trip to be a once in a lifetime visit and I wasn't disappointed.

    - Mr Hickford, The Silk Road Expedition

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