China's Silk Road

  • days: 16
  • from $9,195

Flights Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • China

Description

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1 country

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2 UNESCO World 
Heritage-listed sites

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Travel part of the famous Silk Road and discover the history of ancient dynasties. From stone-carved grottoes and Tibetan temples to bustling bazaars and ancient villages, discover the fascinating culture and diverse scenery of China’s north on this in-depth journey.

Pagodas & Terracotta Warriors

Our tour starts in Xi'an where we will see the well-preserved ancient city walls and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. We'll explore the Muslim Market and pass through it's narrow bazaar street - this was the starting point of the famous silk road more than 1,000 years ago. Next we'll see the world famous Terracotta Warriors - one of the greatest archaeological finds of the last century with more than 6,000 life-sized warriors and horses individually sculpted and arrange in battle formation to protect the mausoleum of China's first emperor.

Travel the Silk Road

After a flight to Lanzhou, we start our journey along part of the famous Silk Road. Enjoy a cruise along the Yellow River stopping to see the cave grottoes of Bingling Temple and visit Labrang Monastery; the most important Tibetan Monastery outside of Tibet. Our journey continues via the Jiayu pass to see the "Overhanging Great Wall’, then through vast open dessert to Dunhuang where we explore the incredible Mogao Caves, a system of 492 temples carved into rock face. As we head North to Turpan, we visit the ancient tombs of Astana and travel through the dramatic red landscape of the flaming mountains.

Ancient Markets

Our adventure continues as we head to Kashgar to wander through what was once the Silk Road's most important trading market, where famous explorers like Marco Polo once traded goods. We will then stop by the beautifully scenic Heavenly Lake at Urumqi. 

Itinerary

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia - Arrive Xi'an

Welcome to China and the city of Xi’an, gateway to the famous Silk Road.

Day 2. Xi'an

Enjoy a morning at leisure to relax or explore before we see the well-preserved ancient city walls and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty. We’ll also explore the Muslim Market, and pass through its narrow bazaar street filled with local delicacies and souvenirs - this was the starting point of the famous Silk Road more than 1,000 years ago. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group welcome dinner. [B,D]

Day 3. Xi'an - Lanzhou

After breakfast we’ll visit the world-famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Discovered in 1974 by local farmers, the Terracotta Warriors were one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century. More than 6,000 life-sized warriors and horses were sculpted individually and arranged in battle formation to protect the mausoleum of China's first emperor, Emperor Qin Shihuang. This afternoon we fly to Lanzhou. [B,L]

Day 4. Lanzhou - Xiahe

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Special Experience: Today we cruise along the Yellow River to see the Bingling Temple, which is a series of grottoes filled with Buddhist sculptures. Bingling means 'ten thousand Buddhas' in the Tibetan language and the construction of these caves dates back to the Western Jin Dynasty some 1,700 years ago.

After lunch we’ll continue east to Xiahe. [B,L]

Day 5. Xiahe

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Special Experience: Begin the day at the most important Tibetan Buddhist monastery outside of Tibet, Labrang Monastery, characterised by its white walls and gilded roof with views out over the city.

Later we travel to the site of Bajiao, an old Chinese village inhabited by Tibetans. [B,L

Day 6. Xiahe - Lanzhou - Jiayuguan

This morning we return to Lanzhou where we board the fast train to Jiayuguan. [B,L]

Day 7. Jiayuguan - Dunhuang

The Jiayu Pass is the largest and best-preserved pass of China’s Great Wall. This morning we’ll visit the pass, along with an amazing portion of the Wall now known as the ‘Overhanging Great Wall’. This afternoon we travel through the vast open desert to Dunhuang. [B,L]

Day 8. Dunhuang

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Special Experience: Visit the incredible Mogao Caves, a system of 492 temples carved into the rock face. Also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes, the caves are a shrine of beautiful Buddhist art. Constructed over a millennium, the caves hold an impressive array of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.

This afternoon we’ll discover the ancient oasis of Crescent Lake, an amazing crescent-shaped lake completely surrounded by sand dunes. [B,L]

Day 9. Dunhuang - Turpan

This morning we’ll visit the Dunhuang Town Museum before our afternoon fast train to Turpan, one of China’s oldest cities and one of the Silk Road’s key points since ancient times. [B]

Day 10. Turpan

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Special Experience: Venture out into the Silk Road's vast open expanses this morning in the Turoq Valley, visiting Gaochang and the Tombs of Astana. Gaochang was once a prosperous city along the Silk Road, but today not much remains. The city's inhabitants were interred in the Tombs of Astana. Three of these tombs are open for us to explore and we will see the well-preserved paintings on the tomb walls and artefacts dating back to the 5th century. 

The amazing Flaming Mountains await after lunch where the mountains radiate the heat of the midday sun, so much so that they can appear to be on fire. We also visit the Bezelik Thousand Buddha Caves. Here 57 of the original 83 caves remain, but have been subject to damage over the centuries from foreign explorers. [B,L]

Day 11. Turpan - Urumqi

Leaving Turpan this morning, we head out to the ruins of a 2,300 year-old city located along the Silk Road, Jiaohe. Now an archaeological site, it is considered one of the oldest, largest and best preserved earthen cities of its time in China. We continue to the Emin Minaret and the Turpan Museum before heading to the Karez Irrigation Site, an indigenous method of irrigation developed by the Turpan people. [B,L]

Day 12. Urumqi - Kashgar

This morning we fly to Kashgar, another important trading city on the Silk Road, famous for its buzzing Sunday bazaar. We’ll explore the Old City, which was home to the revered and powerful ruler Abakh Khoja. Later we visit Id Kah Mosque, considered the biggest mosque in China. [B,L]

Day 13. Kashgar

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Special Experience: Wander through what was once the Silk Road's most important trading market, the Kashgar Sunday Bazaar, imagining how Marco Polo and other famous explorers would have stopped here to trade their goods.

This afternoon we'll visit the Xiangfei Tomb. The Xiangfei Tomb belongs to his granddaughter who was forced to marry an emperor of the Qing dynasty. She spent 28 years in the Forbidden City, never to see her family again. After her death, her body was brought on a three year journey back to the city. [B,L]

Day 14. Kashgar - Urumqi

This morning we fly to Urumqi. Here we’ll visit the incredible Heavenly Lake, nestled in the middle of Bogda Peak. Lying 1,900m above sea level, one of the lake’s main water sources is melted snow, meaning it enjoys crystal-clear water. We'll also visit the Erdaoqiao Grand Bazaar before our group farewell dinner this evening. [B,L,D]

Day 15. Depart Urumqi

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 16. Arrive Australia

Inclusions

Travel

  • Economy-class flights between Australia and Asia. Taxes included
  • 4 economy-class flights within China
  • 2 train journeys based on 1st class reserved seats
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles (excluding some water-based activities)
  • Tipping Made Easy, $420pp pre-paid

Accommodation & Meals

  • 14 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 14 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 2 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based guides
  • English-speaking national guide throughout

Porterage

  • Porterage included where available

Sightseeing

Explore the once ancient capital of China and the start of the famous Silk Road, Xi'an

  • Visit the spectacular Terracotta Warriors & Horses Museum, the most significant archeological excavation of the 20th century.
  • Stroll along the Ancient City Walls of Xian and visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, built during the Tang Dynasty in 652.
  • Visit Xian's Muslim Market, the starting point of the Silk Road more than 1,000 years ago.

Centuries old grottoes, Buddhist temples, monasteries, markets and contrasting landscapes form the amazing Silk Road

  • Take a boat trip to Bing Ling Temple, a series of grottoes filled with Buddhist sculptures carved into natural stone.
  • Visit Labrang Monastery, Tibetan Buddhism's most important monastery outside of Tibet.
  • Explore the historical ruins of Bajiao City, once a transportation hub enroute from Qinghai to Gansu during ancient times.
  • Visit Jiayuguan Pass, the western end of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty, a vital traffic fort along the Silk Road.
  • Travel to the Mogao Caves, a shrine of Buddhist art treasures.
  • See Crescent Lake, an Oasis in the Gobi Desert.
  • Journey to the vast open expanses of the Tuyaq Valley, near Turpan.
  • Travel to Flaming Mountain, located north of Turpan and considered to be the hottest place in China during summer reaching temperatures of around 50 celcius.
  • Visit Turpan's Tombs of Astana, the burial ground of Xinjiang's ancient kings from the nearby Gaochang Kingdom.
  • Study the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, a complex of Budhist cave grottos dating from the 5th to 14th century.
  • Continue to the ancient ruins of Gaochang and Jiaohe, sitting proudly in the Gobi Desert and considered the best preserved ruins of the ancient cities in China.
  • Explore Turpan including The Emin Minaret (Sugong Tower), Turpan Museum and Karez Irrigation Site - an indigenous method or irrigation developed by the Turpan people.
  • Explore the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar including the famous Kashgar Sunday Bazaar, Id Kah Mosque, Xiangfei Tomb and the Old City.
  • Visit the incredible 'Heavenly Lake' and admire its crystal-clear water sourced from melted snow.
  • Visit the Erdaoqiao Bazaar, a combination of modern and ancient Islamic architecture.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
13/05/19 28/05/19   $9,195 Available book now
27/05/19 11/06/19   $9,195 Available book now
10/06/19 25/06/19   $9,195 Available book now
01/07/19 16/07/19   $9,195 Available book now
29/07/19 13/08/19   $9,195 Available book now
26/08/19 10/09/19   $9,195 Available book now
23/09/19 08/10/19   $9,195 Available book now
07/10/19 22/10/19   $9,195 Available book now
21/10/19 05/11/19   $9,195 Available book now
Valid From: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane & Perth
Other departure cities: Please contact our office for applicable pricing
Tips: Total cost includes – Tipping Made Easy, $420pp pre-paid
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes, $245pp
Single supplement: from $1,375
  • Day/Date Variations: Due to airline flight schedules day of arrival and day of departure may vary depending on your city of departure
  • Taxes & Fuel Costs: Total cost includes air taxes. Taxes and fuel surcharges change regularly so above levies are shown as a guide only
  • T&C: All prices shown are per person based on twin share and include airfares, all taxes and tips (if applicable). Prices and itineraries correct at current time but are subject to change. Please call for more details. View our full terms & conditions here.

Optional Excursions

Dumpling Dinner and Tang Dynasty Show – 1hr 10mins – CNY 338 pp (Seat in Coach)

Dumpling or Jiaozi in Chinese is a traditional popular food in China, especially in the north. At the dinner, nearly 20 varieties of dumplings that are steamed and stuffed with different delicious fillings such as vegetables, meats and seafood are served, these dumplings are not only tasty, but also characteristic with their colours and fragrance, style and culture meanings, all these make the dinner so unique that you should not miss it when travelling in Xi’an. The Tang Dynasty, 618-907AD, was one of the most glorious dynasties in China’s history. Xi’an was the capital during the Tang Dynasty and called as Chang’an. Tang Dynasty Show is a performance of Chang’an music and dances in Tang Dynasty style musical instruments and the dancers dance by wearing a Tang Dynasty-style robe with long white silk sleeves, you will certainly enjoy this national art that reflects the glory and richness of the Tang Dynasty. Includes dinner and return transfers.

 

Dynamic Yunnan – 1hr 30mins – CNY280 pp (Seat in Coach)

Dynamic Yunnan is a unique song and dance performance produced by the famous Chinese dancer Ms. Yang Liping. The show is the showcase of life of ethnic minorities in Southwest China.

Please Note: All tours are based on minimum 2 participants (unless otherwise stated) and are subject to availability. The length of tours and price are a guide only and are subject to change without notice. Optional tours should be booked directly with your Tour Director whilst on tour. Payment by Cash in local currency.

Fitness to Travel

Let's Talk Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
At Bunnik Tours our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently minded travellers with good levels of mobility.

Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation

In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas

Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats

Accommodation

Accommodation

Accommodation listed is subject to change and the list should be used as a guide only. Every effort is made to avoid changes however if a change becomes necessary then accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

Grand Noble Hotel, Xian

The Grand Noble Hotel in Xian is conveniently located in the commercial centre, shopping and entertainment area of downtown Xian. It is close to major attractions such as the Bell Tower and the Forest of Stone Steles Museum. Hotel amenities include a souvenir shop, Business Centre, Post Service, Clinic, Laundry Service, Spa and Concierge service.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities (public areas)

LanZhou Legend Hotel, Lanzhou

This international hotel is located conveniently along the famous Silk Road. Boasting three restaurants, other amenities include a fitness centre, hair & beauty salon, sauna, jacuzzi, massage service, foreign exchange, kiosk, cake shop and florist.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box

Labrang Civil Aviation Hotel, Xiahe

Located in the southwest of Labrang Town, this hotel boasts a rich Tibetan style and includes amenities such as Chinese restaurant, bar and concierge service. and free wifi in public areas.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities

Holiday Plaza Hotel, Jiayuguan

Centrally located, this hotel is close to the railway station and offers amenities such as currency exchange, Chinese restaurant, coffee shop & lobby bar. Services include: Laundry service, business centre, room service, luggage storage and postal service.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities

The Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel, Dunhuang

Situated against the backdrop of the picturesque Mingsha Sand Dunes in Dunhuang, the hotel has a unique architectural design. Much of the design has captured the Tang, Han, Ming & Qing dynasties working together to capture their simplicity and use of natural building materials. Amenities include two restaurants serving traditional Sichuan and Cantonese cuisines as well as modern Asian and international cuisines.

Facilities: air-conditioning; fridge/minibar; tea & coffee making facilities

Huozhou Hotel, Turpan

Located on the south side of Shuiyun Square in downtown Turpan, the Huozhou Hotel is close to the museum and restaurants, bazaar and Qingnian Road. Amenities include a Chinese restaurant, lobby bar and ATM, as well as a business centre, postal service, laundry service and ironing service.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi (public areas); safe deposit box (at reception); fridge/minibar; outdoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

Luxemon Qinibagh Hotel, Kashgar

Located in the centre of Kashgar city, this hotel is within 5 minutes walk to Id Kah Mosque. The property boasts Chinese & Muslim restaurants, coffee shop, lobby bar, room service (limited), currency exchange, laundry service and dry cleaning.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi (public areas); safe deposit box (at reception); tea & coffee making facilities

Yilite Hotel, Urumqi

Conveniently located, the hotel is in the vicinity of Changjiang Road, railway station and Urumqi International Airport. The property boasts a Chinese & western restaurant, business centre, laundry service and room service.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities

Weather

Weather

Xian

Summer: June to August 

Autumn: September to November 

Winter: December to February 

Spring: March to May

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Rainy Days

3

 

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Kashgar

Summer: June to August

Autumn: September to November

Winter: December to February

Spring: March to May

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Rainy Days

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1

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Currency

Currency

Yuan Renminbi

The official currency of China is the Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY; symbol ¥).

  • 10 Fen make up 1 Jiao and 10 Jiao make up 1 Yuan
  • Notes are in denominations of ¥100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1; 5 and 1 Jiao
  • Coins are in denominations of ¥1; 5 and 1 Jiao; and 5 and 1 Fen

Visa Information

Visa Requirements

Passport-AU2

Please note, Australian passport holders need to obtain a visa for this tour. Please check with your travel agent for further details.

  • Australian passport holders
    • A visa for China needs to be applied for prior to travel.
  • Non-Australian passport holders
    • Please check with your travel agent on visa requirements.

The following government websites are also a handy source of general information.

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Special Experiences!

  • Cruise along the Yellow River to see the Bingling Temple, a series of grottoes filled with Buddhist sculptures dating back 1,700 years.
  • Visit Labrang Monastery, Tibetan Buddhism’s most important monastery outside of Tibet, characterised by its white walls and gilded roof with views out over the city.
  • Explore the incredible Mogao Caves, a system of 492 temples carved into the rock face.
  • Venture out into the Silk Road’s vast open expanses visiting Gaochang and the Tombs of Astana.
  • Wander through what was once the Silk Road’s most important trading market, the Kashgar Sunday Bazaar.

Trip Info

Group Size

Min: 6 | Max: 20

Transportation

Coach, boat, train & plane

Tips

Total cost includes – Tipping Made Easy, $420pp pre-paid

Tour Highlights

See the famed Xi’an Terracotta Warriors • Visit Xian's Muslim Market, the starting point of the silk road more than 1,000 years ago • Visit Jiayuguan Pass at the Great Wall, built during the Ming Dynasty • Discover the incredible Crescent Lake Oasis, surrounded by dunes • Explore Turpan’s dramatic Flaming Mountains • Explore the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar • Visit the incredible 'Heavenly Lake' and admire its crystal-clear water sourced from melted snow

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