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Lanzhou - Xining - Qinghai Hu - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Urumqi

Description :With the launching of the new high speed railway from Lanzhou to Xinjiang, this route is designed in the purpose of a fast and more economical tour than flight. It travels along the ancient Silk Road, gathering the essential sites around this area and presenting travelers the natural scenery, history and local customs.
Tour Code : LXT-001
Price : from US$3174 p/p
Departure Date : You choose

Day 1

Lanzhou   (No meal included)

Pick up from Lanzhou Airport. Transfer to hotel. Free for the rest of day. Recommendation: walk by the Lanzhou Bund – Nanbinhe Road. View the marvelous Yellow River. Take a look at the Baitashan Park on the way; you can also view the river on the Zhongshan Iron Bridge. In the waterwheel park, we can get to know the oldest irrigation tool and see the statue of Mother Yellow River. In the evening, we can go to the Zhengning Road Muslim night market to taste some local food.
Sites info:
Baitashan Park: a white tower stands atop the peak, hence the name. This is the best spot to have a full view of the whole Lanzhou city. Have a seat here with a cup of tea; this could be the best experience.
Zhongshan Iron Bridge: the oldest bridge in Lanzhou, also the first bridge on Yellow River. With hundred year’s history, we can watch the white tower up and yellow river down.
Waterwheel Park: Lanzhou waterwheel has a long history. This is an old irrigation tool in the ancient times. The park reproduces the old scene of countless waterwheels on banks.
Zhengning Road: best place to taste authentic Lanzhou flavor. The milk, eggs, and lamb are famous.
There are many muslin people in Lanzhou and their dietary custom should be respected. They do not eat pork or drink alcohol. No outside food is allowed in muslin restaurant. And please avoid mentioning pig or things related in front of the muslim people.

Accommodation: Legend Hotel Lanzhou 4 star

Day 2

Lanzhou   (B, L, D)

After breakfast, our guide and driver will pick you up from hotel and transfer you to Liujiaxia Hydropower Station for 4 hours drive. Then we will take a cruise from here to Binglingsi Grotto. This is one of the relics left on the Silk Road, also listed as one of the World Heritage sites. On the road, we can view the astonishing Yellow River until the grotto. We will stay there for about 3 hours.
Sire info:
Binglingsi Grotto: created in 3 A.D. on the north cliff of the Yellow River bank, this grotto is now a part of the World Heritage of Silk Road, applied by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in 2014. The grotto has four levels and 183 caves, 694 stone statues and 82 mud statues and 900 sqm murals. All spread on the 200 meters long and 60 meters high cliff. Among them, the No. 169 cave is a natural cave and also the most important one.
No photograph is allowed inside the grottos.

Accommodation: Legend Hotel Lanzhou 4 star

Day 3

Lanzhou   (B, L, D)

After breakfast, our guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to Xiahe Labrang monastery for 3.5 hours. This is one of the main temples of China Tibetan Buddhism. It belongs to the Gelug Sect. It’s also world’s famous School of Tibetan Buddhism with the most complete Tibetan Buddhist teaching system. The monastery is located at the bank of Xiahe River; it’s even larger than the downtown Xiahe County. The outer wall is as long as 3.5km and consists of more than 2000 prayer wheels. It is the longest prayer wheel corridor. The Gongtang pagoda next to it has the Wuliangguang Buddha invited from Nepal. Here we can have the whole view of the Labrang monastery. Out of the pagoda, walk by the wooden bridge on Xiahe River and we will get to the Buddha basking podium on the slope. This is also a good spot to watch the monastery. Visit time: 2 hours.
There are grand chanting ceremonies at 6:30 and 11:00 every day in Labrang monastery. Every lunar month Jan 3rd to 17th, Jun 29th, Jul 15th we can participate in or watch the big events.
Then go to the Sankoh prairie to join local Tibetan family, where we can have Tibetan yogurt, lamb and other local food. We can also have horse riding and take part in their traditional festivals.
Please respect local customs. When you do pray wheel, do it clockwise. Please ask for permission before taking pictures.

Accommodation: Legend Hotel Lanzhou 4 star

Day 4

Lanzhou -> Xining   (B, L)

After breakfast, get to Lanzhou West Rail Station for High Speed train to Xining (8:30-9:44). On the way, we can observe the beauty of the Silk Road. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel for a break. After lunch, visit the must-visit site in Xining - Kumbum Monastery for 2 hours. We can learn the culture of Tibetan and the past and present of Tibetan Buddhism. Then go to the Dongguan Great Mosque that has the most prayers in China. Visit time 2 hours.
Afterwards, you can have free time; we suggest you go to the Mojia Street which is a 6 hundred years old street with featured local food.
No photos at praying scene in Dongguan Great Mosque.
Site info:
Kumbum Monastery: this is one of the six monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, also the birth place of world's second Buddha of master Caba. This monastery has 640 years of history, is the treasure of Tibetan religion and culture. The architecture mixes Han and Tibetan style with precise layout, majestic momentum and magnificent colors. The butter sculpture, murals and embroidery are considered as the three Buddhist skills. Every certain date on lunar month, there will be ceremony and activity.
Dongguan Great Mosque: this is now the biggest mosque in Qinghai Province, also one of the biggest in the northwest of China. This is the largest scale and best preserved architecture which has the Chinese ancient and ethnic features. It has been listed as the most prayer mosque in China by China Islamic Association. Its main hall can hold 3000 people. Every Friday is the big day for Xining Muslim. By then, all muslin in the city will get to the mosque for praying.

Accommodation: Enraton Internation Hotel Xining 4 star

Day 5

Xining -> Qinghai Hu   (B, L, D)

In the morning, we will get to the China's largest inland plateau lakes – Qinghai Lake. Move forward along the lake, we can see the marvelous view of the lake for 3 hours. Then we will drive over the 3000 meters high Riyue Mountain and past the road that Wencheng Princess used to come to Tibet. We will also see the inverted River which is the only one that flows to the west here. At last, reach the Erlang Sword scenic area. This is the main scenic area around Qinghai Lake. Due to a more than 10 km long peninsula stick into the lake, hence the name. We can walk along the peninsula and watch the lake, or take a boat on the lake. There is also motor cycle, water bike, horse racing etc.
After lunch, drive to the Caka Salt Lake which has the reputation of mirror of heaven. The car will drive over 3800 meters high Rubber Mount and you can watch the cattle and goat feeding. Under the sunshine, the lake has many fascinating colors, and then reaches the Caka Salt Lake. Visit 1.5 hours. The lake is famous natural saline lake. It has been listed as one of the 55 must go places in life. This is paradise for photographers. The white salt and blue lake are reflecting the Snow Mountain and grassland. With the sunshine, the view is just so peaceful. We can also take small train here to watch the salt dredger and the view of sunset.
Tips: the temperature difference here is high; it’s only about 20 degrees centigrade in daytime in August. At night, it’s only 3-6 degrees centigrade. If you are coming in spring and fall, thick coat is needed. Also, on the plateau, UV radiation is strong so protection is necessary. 

Accommodation: Qinghai Lake Hotel 3 star

Day 6

Qinghai Hu -> Xining -> Zhangye   (B, L)

Heimahe County is one of the best places to watch sunrise at Qinghai Lake. After breakfast, we can go to the Bird Island for 1.5 hours. The road from Heimahe to Bird Island is the most beautiful part. With the flowers and birds on sides, cattle and sheep wandering aside, there’s nowhere like this until you see the Bird Island. This island has the name because there are 10-thousand migratory birds living here. It consists of two islands; the one on the west is also called Egg Island. As every May to June, numberless bird eggs can be found here. The one on the east is called Cormorant Island, 10-thousand cormorants are living here and we can see countless nests on the cliff. Here at Bird Island, we can observe the birds as close as possible. Visit time: 3 hours
After lunch, we will take the car to have a cycling around the lake. We will pass the Jinyintan grassland, Yuanzi Town, and takes about 4.5 hours to get back to Xining. Then take the train to Zhangye (18:47-20:39), and transfer to hotel.
Photography spot: Heimahe County, Bird Island

Accommodation: Zhangye Xiyu Hotel 3 star

Day 7

Zhangye   (B, L, D)

In the morning, we will drive for 2 hours to Mati Temple. This is another must see site in Zhangye except Danxia landform. Mati Temple has a profound history. As one of the three grottos in west river district, it has wide forest, high snow mountain and clear stream. Under the mountain where temple sets, live the Yugu ethnic people who can really dance and sing. We can live in the tent and have their local food while enjoying their party and ceremony. Visit time: 1.5 hours.
After lunch, we will get to the Zhangye Danxia landform park for 2.5 hours. It has two parts: ice valley area and color hill area. The color hill part is the best developed Danxia landform in China, the representative of Danxia landform, also the one and only area that has Danxia and hill combined. Zhangye Danxia is not like other regular Danxia. Under the sunshine, it takes on many colors. While for the ice valley area, the best part is its shape. It has typical window style palace Danxia. In 2005, Zhangye Danxia has been listed as one of the seven best Danxia in China. In 2011, American National Geographic listed it into the top 10 geographic wonder in world. Visit time: 4 hours.

Accommodation: Zhangye Xiyu Hotel 3 star

Day 8

Zhangye -> Jiayuguan   (B, L, D)

In the morning, we will go visit the Giant Buddha Temple for 1 hour. The temple has 900 years history, with mixed Han and Xixia culture; it’s an important site on the Silk Road. It’s also the landmark of Zhangye. There’s a statue inside the hal. It is the biggest Buddha statue in China with 34.5 meter high and 7.5 meter wide. Only the middle finger can hold one man on it. After that, take the train to Jiayuguan (10:51-12:13).
After lunch, go visit the NO.1 Pass – Jiayuguan for 1.5 hour, the Overhanging Great Wall for 1 hour and the starting point of the Ming Great Wall for 1 hour. Then get back to hotel.
Site info:
Jiayuguan is an important pass of the Ming Great Wall, also an important transportation point on the Silk Road. It’s the best preserved part of the Ming Great Wall. It has inner wall, outer wall and moat. We can have a distant view of the pass – Snow Mountain, dessert, trees and houses. The museum inside the area can show us more about its history.
Overhanging Great Wall: it’s on the Black Mountain. The wall is on 150 meter high and 45 degree angle slope, like the wall is on the cliff, hence the name. Climb up along the wall; we can feel lots of fun here. There are murals on the cliff, reflecting the life here in the old times.
Ming Great Wall: this is the west point of Ming Great Wall. The natural scene is beautiful and dessert, river and mountain make the scenery unique. Taolai River is the mother river of Jiayuguan. It comes from the melting snow on the mountain. In the museum here, we can see the view of the Taolai River.

Accommodation: Jiayuguan Holiday Hotel 3 star

Day 9

Jiayuguan -> Dunhuang   (B, L)

Today we will drive 4 hours to Dunhuang. On the way, we can see the view of the Qilian Mountain. We might also see the mirage on dessert if lucky. Upon arrival, we will go to visit the world famous Mogao Grottos. This is one of the four grottos in China, also called Thousand Buddha Caves. In the grotto, there are Buddha, Bodhisattva, king, lux, arhat and many other statues, totaling 2300 pieces and murals assembling an area of 4500 square meters. We can also see many carvings, wooden pagodas here. This is one of the largest art treasures in the world. Visit time: 2.5 hours.
Then we will get to Mingsha Mountain Crescent Spring. Due to the loud noise of the sand when windy, the place has the name. The spring is one clear place in the mountain area in a shape of new moon. This is such a rare sight. Visit time: 1.5 hours.
After today’s tour, we will get back to hotel. In the evening, we suggest you could take a walk on the Shazhou Night Market. Here we can find the most authentic food such as donkey meat noodle, apricot peel water.
Tips: the weather here is dry, temperature difference is high. It could reach to 40 centigrade in summer, the UV is strong. So we suggest you have enough protection ahead. And sneakers are needed.

Accommodation: Grand Sun Hotel 4 star

Day 10

Dunhuang -> Jiayuguan -> Urumqi   (B, L)

After breakfast, we will drive back to Jiayuguan for the train to Urumqi (13:18-20:17). Upon arrival, transfer to hotel.

Accommodation: Urumqi City Hotel 4 star

Day 11

Urumqi   (B, L)

Today we will go to the Heaven Pearl - Tianchi Scenic Area for 2 hours. On the road, we can see the economic crops and the endless dessert with yurt spread. The area sets heaven pool as the center. With the view of forest, grassland, snow mountain and humanity site, it has formed unique scenery. The heaven pool is under the mountain Bogeda. We can take a boat in the pool to take a good look at this pure nature.
Then we will get back to downtown and free for the rest of the day. We suggest you can explore the International Grand Bazaar. This place has the most concentrated and best preserved Uygur culture. The architectures here have strong Islamic style, reflects the strong national features and the regional culture of the Western Regions. Here we can buy many products from the whole Xinjiang or even nearby countries. The local food is also necessary. Moreover, there is dancing and singing banquet at night.
Photography spot: Heaven Pool

Accommodation: Urumqi City Hotel 4 star

Day 12

Urumqi   (B)

After breakfast we will transfer you to Urumqi airport for your flight home. If you flight is in the afternoon, we can go to the Redhill Park first. The park is famous for its red hill. The red hill is the landmark of the city. Due to the cliff on the west is in maroon color, hence the name. Stand on the top of the mountain we can have a bird view of the whole city and see the skyline. There are also historical buildings and lovely lakes and waterfalls.
Pax Quote (USD) SSP (USD)
2 3174 484
3-5 2586 484

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