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SILK ROAD SPLENDORS 11 DAYS 10 NIGHTS(2012)[RDS]Tour Code:RDS

Visiting:Beijing(3 nts) - Urumqi(2 nts) - Turpan(1 nt) - Urumqi(1 nt) - Dunhuang(2 nts) - Beijing(1 nt) 

Journey to the ancient world of the Silk Road, filled with marvelously diverse landscapes and exotic cultures. Highlights include Dunhuang's Mogao Grottoes, the oasis town of Urumqi and the centuries-old Buddhist frescoes in the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves.

  • Date:
  • Price From:$0.00 Land Only
  • Maximum number of Travellers:32
Itinerary Date/Pricing Features Hotel Extension Optionals

Day 1   |  Arrive-Beijing 

Arrive in the nation s capital and check in to our deluxe hotel for a good night s rest.

Day 2   |  Beijing  (AB ,L )

We begin our tour with a walk through Tiananmen Square, the world s largest public square. Arrive at the Forbidden City, an enormous palace complex so-called because it was off-limits to the public for over 500 years. Continue to visit the Summer Palace, an Imperial retreat lined with graceful arched bridges and wispy trees surrounding Kunming Lake. Later on we stop for photos at the 2008 Beijing Olympic sites, Bird s Nest and Water Cube. This evening we may feast on a local specialty that can t be missed when in Beijing – an optional Peking Duck Banquet.

Day 3   |  Beijing  (AB ,L )

Arrive at China s best-known attraction, the Great Wall of China, which was created piecemeal over a period of 2,000 years. This sprawling defense system winds its way across China s northern borders like an imperial dragon. Ascend the wall and walk across its ancient pathways, admiring the sweeping panoramas of China s rugged mountains and valleys. Afterward we continue to the Sacred Way, a "divine road" leading to the Ming Tombs Museum at the foot of the picturesque Tianshou Mountain.

Day 4   |  Beijing-Urumqi  (AB ,DH )

We begin our journey to the ancient world of the Silk Road as we board a flight to Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the world s most inland city. A lush green oasis amidst Xinjiang s barren landscape, Urumqi is home to a number of colorful ethnic minorities. Upon arrival we visit Hongshan (Red Mountain) Park and enjoy the marvelous vistas of the diverse landscape.

Day 5   |  Urumqi  (AB ,L )

Drive east of Urumqi to the crescent-shaped Heavenly Lake (Tianchi), where cool alpine meadows offer a welcome respite from the desert heat. Enjoy a peaceful cruise on the lake and then visit Xinjiang Museum, which boasts a wealth of artifacts from the Silk Road s rich history. Continue to stroll through a colorful open-air bazaar, where we can sample some local snacks and browse traditional ethnic handicrafts unique to the region.

Day 6   |  Urumqi-Turpan  (AB ,L ,DS )

Depart by coach to the legendary oasis town of Turpan. Situated over 500 feet below sea level, it is the second lowest depression in the world (after the Dead Sea) and the hottest spot in China. Drive by the Flaming Mountain and stop at Grape Valley along the way for lunch and to sample some of the sweet fruit. Back in Turpan we visit the Karez underground irrigation system, a feat in ancient engineering. This evening we enjoy a traditional roast lamb dinner followed by a Minority Folklore Dance Show.

Day 7   |  Turpan-Urumqi  (AB ,L )

This morning we drive to Urumqi, stopping along the way to survey the ancient ruins of the 1st century city of Gaochang and the Astana Ancient Tombs. Browse the historical relics, including mummies and paintings, and then continue on to the nearby Bezeklik Thousand Buddhist Caves, situated in a ravine deep in the Flaming Mountains. After admiring the centuries-old Buddhist frescoes and inscriptions we continue on our drive to Urumqi.

Day 8   |  Urumqi-Dunhuang  (AB ,L ,DS )

Fly to Dunhuang and step into a landscape of lush, green fields and rolling sand dunes. A critical junction of the Silk Road in the Han Dynasty, Dunhuang was a highway for goods as well as ideas. Upon arrival we embark on a sightseeing tour to the Singing Sand Hills, aptly named for the audible roars created from the friction of undulating dunes. Continue to Crescent Moon Springs, a natural wonder amidst the sand dunes of the Gobi Desert, then complete our day with a visit to the Dunhuang City Museum. This evening we enjoy a colorful Minority Show following dinner.

Day 9   |  Dunhuang  (AB ,L ,D )

Embark on a city tour beginning at the Mogao Caves, one of the Silk Road s legendary landmarks. The caves showcase the world s most extensive collection of Buddhist paintings and sculptures, and encompass a thousand years of superb Buddhist art. Continue to visit the White Horse Padoga and Dunhuang Film City, a film set created in 1987 to resemble the ancient city of Dunhuang.

Day 10   |  Dunhuang-Beijing  (AB )

We have reached the end of our Silk Road adventure and we transfer to the airport to catch our flight to Beijing. Upon arrival in Beijing we have the remainder of the day to explore the city on our own.

Day 11   |  Beijing-USA  (AB )

Depart this fascinating land on our international homebound flight or extend our China experience with a side trip to Hong Kong.