“Two week small group tour from Xi'an to Kashgar on the border with Tibet. Travel by train and plane to some of the key cultural sites on China's fabled Silk Road.”

Highlights

Xi'an | Qin Terra-Cotta Army | Shanxi History Museum | Bingling Temple Grottoes | Yellow River | Giant Buddha Temple | Zhangye | Qilian Mountains | Great Gobi Desert | Singing Sand Mountains | Dunhuang City | Yadan National Geologic Park | Caves of the Thousand Buddha | Gaochang Ancient City | Turpan | Wood Valley of the Flame Mountain | Kashgar | Tashkurgan | Karakuri Lake | Muztagh Mountain | Heavenly Lake Heavenly Lake | Bogda Peak of Tian Shan |

Travel Team

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
11 May 2020
US $3735
including domestic flights only
6 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 11 May 2020 departure
08 Jun 2020
US $3875
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Jun 2020 departure
24 Aug 2020
US $3875
including domestic flights only
6 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 24 Aug 2020 departure
14 Sep 2020
US $3984
including domestic flights only
6 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Sep 2020 departure
12 Oct 2020
US $3875
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Oct 2020 departure
Top tip:
Take a blow up pillow for the drives, a headscarf for the desert and sensible walking shoes. Also, keep a diary that you can update on flights and train rides - remember to leave space on the pages so you can add photos when you return home.
Trip type:
Small group.
Activity level:
Active. Overland drives, camel rides, hiking and leisurely walks.
Accomm:
Twin bed accomm in good standard hotels. Soft sleeper train and night flight.
Meals:
14 breakfasts and 14 lunches.
Included:
Accomm, domestic flights, transfers, sleeper train, entrance fees, English speaking guide, and camel ride in Gobi Desert.
About this vacation company:
This company specialise in tailor made active vacations across China for people who prefer independent travel away from tourist hot spots. They work closely with local businesses and communities to offer an authentic experience that benefits both travelers and local people alike.
Vouchers
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Responsible tourism

China Silk Road tour

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

This tour will transport you to an eclectic and culturally significant range of heritage sites that date back to ancient times and it will also take you to unique places of natural beauty, including lakes, deserts and mountain ranges of spectacular beauty. It therefore exceptionally important that we fully understand and appreciate the importance of developing tours that are sustainable and reduce the impacts of tourism on the human and natural environment wherever possible. Indeed, all of our tours maintain a great respect for the cultural and natural surroundings in which we visit and travel, and we have opted to use only essential methods of public or private transport for this itinerary.

To help us protect and preserve what remains of both China’s wonderful cultural and natural heritage, we ask that all of our travel participants help care for the environments they visit by being respectfully aware of the unique locations we take them to. The importance of sustainable travel, particularly in sensitive natural environments and ecosystems, is something we also value highly. As a bonus of our unique approach, you will also discover that our tour groups are small in size so that are impacts are minimised, and of course, so that we can afford you the attention you deserve!

Community

Our itinerary has been designed to fully incorporate the local communities of the regions we visit. We value their unique insights, knowledge, and hospitality, and believe that they too should benefit from tourism too. We respect their traditions and beliefs, and are acutely aware of the need to respect indigenous people and religious sites in particular.

Wherever possible, we use locally-owned guesthouses, hotels, restaurants, and services to ensure that local communities and business prosper in a highly competitive market. An added bonus of using locally-owned services and people is that they will often be highly enthusiastic, generous and proud to welcome you into the places where many have been born and raised.

We are also exceptionally aware of the need to use local ‘green’ tourism services and businesses to ensure that the natural and social environments that host tourism are protected and well-managed. This includes the use of locally-sourced produce such as food and crafts, for example. However, perhaps one of the greatest reasons for using locally-owned accommodation is that you will see the ‘real’ China in its various guises. You will sample traditional villages, entertainment shows, cuisines and ways of life that can be significantly different to anything you may have experienced before. We will also take you to incredible places away from the tourist crowds to ensure that your experiences are genuinely unique. We fully believe that this is a wonderful way to learn about this spectacular country and have no doubt that you will agree!

3 Reviews of China Silk Road tour

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 09 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Difficult to choose between all the sights, but the Rainbow Mountains and the Karakorum Highway scenery were undoubted highlights!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The security for boarding the high-speed train from Dunhuang to Urumqi is very high. Don't pack scissors bigger than nail scissors and don't pack a penknife. We had both these items confiscated! Also, be prepared for some long days on the road, but it's woth it!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We ate in restaurants that were used by local people and seemed to be run by locals too, so I hope we provided business for them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic! The arrangements went like clockwork, the guides were all friendly, helpful and attentive and we saw so many interesting historical sites and so much superb scenery. Xinjiang is a beautiful province. well worth seeing despite the extra-high security everywhere.

Reviewed on 15 Sep 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We thoroughly enjoyed our whole trip and had difficulty picking the most memorable from the Terracotta warriors, the night markets at Xi'an and
Dunhuang, the visit to the Bingling Grottoes, the Rainbow Mountains, seeing the Gobi desert and the various forms of renewable power ( wind and solar
farms and solar collector, but also coal fired power stations), the camel ride on the huge sand dune at Dunhuang to Crescent Lake, the drive through the
mountains past Lake Bulong and Lake Karakul, and the livestock market in Kashgar. It was a great mixture of history, religion, culture, food and scenery.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for lots of security checks in Xinjiang province (it can be quite variable including not being able to take manicure scissors or a small Swiss
Army knife in a suitcase on a bullet train, or hand sanitiser containing alcohol on an airplane), and lots of local tourists. Realise that you will get the official
position on various issues. Women should remember to take toilet paper with them each day and be prepared for squat toilets. Also Google, gmail,
facebook and WhatsApp aren't available and you need to use alternatives. In some places, there is no internet access, but it can be worth trying. Rely on
cash not credit cards and US$ work best.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We were conscious of being environmentally responsible and mostly ate in small local restaurants.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The trip for us is very dependent on the knowledge and communication skills of the local guides. Most were very good to excellent, but sometimes one was
not very forthcoming with information. Overall a great experience and excellent mixture - the only thing which we added and would recommend for
inclusion, was an evening performance of a Chinese ballet of a legend, in Dunhuang, or something similar.

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The people we met, the range of places we visited, the quality of our guides. The drive through the Karakoram Mountain range from Kashgar to Tashkurgen

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't go with any fixed ideas about what it might be like. Be open to everything you see.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The vacation was excellent and I would recommend it to others.
If I was redesigning the itinerary I would not include the Yadan National Geologic Park - too much driving in one day.
Include a visit to Yar ancient city
Have the extra day by not visiting the national geological park in Urumqi

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