Fly from either Beijing or Shanghai to Dunhuang on the edge of the desert to travel the ancient Silk Road in western China on this 8 day tour.

Explore the night market before camel riding at the Singing Sands Dunes. An overnight train takes you to Turpan to discover the ancient Bezeklik Caves, Jiaohe Ruins one of the best-preserved ancient cities and Karez Underground Irrigation System. In Kashgar visit the largest mosque in China and the huge bazar for souvenirs. Karakuli Lake at 3,800m surrounded by mountains provides amazing photo opportunities. Ending in Urumqi a return flight to either Shanghai or Beijing is included.

Destination China
Cities & Locations Beijing / Shanghai / Dunhuang / Singing Sands Dunes / Turpan / Kashgar / Karakuli Lake and Urumqi
Duration 8 Days / 7 Nights

Tour Schedule

Departure Dates: Departs on Selected Dates


Day 1: Dunhuang

Arrive in Dunhuang and transfer to your hotel. Explore the Shazhou night market at your leisure.

Day 2: Dunhuang- Turpan (B/L)

This morning drive to visit the Maogao Grottoes, famous for its Buddhist art. Explore the Singing Sands Dunes and Crescent Lake, where the oasis meets the desert. Spring-fed Crescent Lake is set among towering sand dunes, from which you can enjoy spectacular views of the green oasis surrounded by endless desert landscapes. Experience riding a camel at the Singing Sand Dunes followed by lunch before spending the evening on a soft sleeper train to Turpan.

Day 3: Turpan (B/L)

Wake up in Turpan, ready to explore the Astana Tombs, the Flaming Mountain and the Bezeklik Caves, the site of Buddhist mural art. These 67 caverns are in a cliff face above the stunning Murtuk River gorge. Time permitting you will also visit the ancient city of Gaochang, a major staging post on the Silk Road renown for printing and Buddhism during the Tang Dynasty.

Day 4: Turpan - Kashgar(B/L)

This morning visit the Jiaohe Ancient Ruins. Famous as one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the entire world, the site of the ruins was originally developed as a garrison town to defend the borderlands during the Han Dynasty. Some large monasteries with Buddha figures can still be seen. The next stop is the Karez Underground Irrigation System. These underground channels rate as one of ancient China’s greatest public works projects on a par with the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. Afterwards, drive through to Urumqi for the flight to Kashgar. On the way to Urumqi, visit the huge Dabancheng Wind Power Station.

Day 5: Kashgar (B/L)

Spend the morning strolling through the colourful and lively bazaar picking up some of the Silk Road’s most interesting souvenirs. Pay a visit to the beautifully decorated Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China, attracting up to 10,000 worshippers for Friday prayers. Then we visit Abakh Hoja Tomb, the burial place of a Muslim missionary and saint, and his 72 descendants. The mausoleum is perhaps the finest example of Islamic architecture in Xinjiang.

Day 6: Kashgar (B/L)

After breakfast, drive to visit Karakuli Lake, located at 3,800 metres above sea level. The lake is close to two great mountains with permanent snow on the peaks. The Tajiks who graze camels and Yaks live in the high mountain pastureland. Hike around the lake with a stop for lunch at local Uygur restaurant. Return to Kashgar in the early evening.

Day 7: Kashgar - Urumqi (B)

This morning, fly to Urumqi where you will meet your tour guide. Visit the Xinjiang Regional Museum, where the significant archaeological exhibits give you real insight into the various customs and folklore of the area’s dozen ethnic minorities. In addition, more than 10,000 cultural relics are displayed, including about eleven intriguing 3,000-year-old corpses, some of European origin. Explore Urumqi’s biggest bazaar, the International Bazaar before you venture out for dinner of your own choice.

Day 8: Urumqi / Beijing or Shanghai (B)

Time at leisure today until your transfer to the airport.


7 nights accommodation
Meals as indicated
Transportation throughout
Sightseeing and first entrance fees
The services of a local English speaking guide
Domestic flights Urumqi to Kashgar (Day 4) and Kashgar to Urumqi (Day 7)
Excludes: International flights, beverages, gratuities and any other personal expenses

Terms & Conditions

Itinerary and price subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. Please refer to our full terms and conditions available on our brochure or from our website. Active Asia reserves the right to alter the hotels and/or the itinerary if needed due to availability and/or adverse weather conditions.


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