Day 1 Beijing-Urumqi (D)
Take a flight to Urumqi, widely known as "beautiful pasture" and also a major industrial center and the capital of Xinjiang Uygar Autonomous Region. Xinjiang is a large (comparable in size to Iran), sparsely populated area. You will not only observe Islamic culture of Uygar people and daily lifestyle of many other ethnic groups but also vast natural scenery and the Gobi Desert.
Day 2 Urumqi (AB, L, D)
Urumqi is considered furthest away from the ocean and has also played an intricate role in the northern pathway of the Silk Road. Begin by visiting the surreal Heavenly Lake, local name Tian Chi. Thereafter, you will explore the nomadic Khazak community and witness the lifestyle of local people. You will visit the International Grand Bazaar built in the traditional Muslim style displaying a Middle-Eastern feel. It is a highly frequented local hot spot for shopping at a bargain price.
Heavenly Lake, Urumqi
Day 3 Urumqi-Turpan (AB, L, D)
You will spend your last hours in Urumqi by touring the Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum. We will make our way overland to Turpan, also known as Oasis in the Gobi Desert. You will be brought to the Jiaohe Ruins where the remains of ancient Chinese ruins are found along with an ancient monastery and palace. Turpan, prevalent of grape orchards and fields of grains, is considered the hottest place in China. Enjoy an exotic Uygar singing and dancing show in the evening.
Day 4 Turpan (AB, L, D)
In the morning you will visit the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves located in the legendary Flaming Mountain. Thereafter, you'll visit the western front of the Flaming Mountain, where the Grape Valley lies. Next, awaits the 2,000-year-old system Karez Underground Irrigation Channels. Prior to your unique experience on an overnight train to Dunhuang, you will have a chance to visit the local Uygar family to witness the daily lifestyle of the Muslims in Turpan.
Day 5 Turpan – Jiayuguan (AB, L, D)
After breakfast, you will take High speed rail to Jiayuguan. While in transit, you may even get the opportunity to see a mirage.
Day 6 Jiayuguan – Dunhang (AB, L, D)
After breakfast, you will visit Jiayuguan Fort, located at the western end of the Great Wall. At the base of Jiayu Mountains, situates the legendary Jiayuguan Pass, known as the most strategic point along the ancient Silk Road. You will also have an opportunity to visit the First Beacon Tower, which was used as a warning signal against enemies in the 11th century. You will follow this excursion with a visit to the Overhanging Great Wall that was built as an extension to the Jiayuguan Pass as an integral part of its ancient defense system. After lunch, you will catch a coach to Dunhuang.
Great Wall of China
Day 7 Dunhuang (AB, L, D)
Today is primarily devoted to touring the Mogao Grottos, also widely referred to as the "Caves of the Thousand Buddhas." The cave contains the most impressive and well-preserved examples of ancient Buddhist cave art more than 1,000 years old. The treasure house contains hundreds of sandstone caves holding more than 2,000 statues and 45,000 brilliantly stroked paintings of Buddha and Chinese mythological figures. After lunch , you will tour the Crescent Moon Lake in the Singing Sands Dunes. Visit the Humming Sandy Mountain and keep your ears peeled for the whistling tunes. Take an optional camel ride at additional cost.
Crescent Moon Spring in Dunhuang
Day 8 Dunhang – Xian (AB, L, D)
After lunch, you will catch a flight to Xian , meet and transfer to your hotel.
Day 9 Xian (AB, L, D)
Today we visit the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Terracotta Warriors excavation site. This site contains more than 7,300 sculptures crafted more than 2,000 years ago to honor China's first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. After lunch, we visit the Ancient City Wall and Big Goose Pagoda.
Day 10 Xian-Shanghai (AB, L)
You will take a flight out to Shanghai and visit the Yu Yuan Garden, Old Shanghai District and Pearl TV Tower. Later, take a leisurely stroll along Nanjing Road and the Bund. A side excursion of a Shanghai harbor cruise or Shanghai ERA Acrobat Show can complete your evening at an additional cost.
Skyscrapers in Shanghai
Day 11 Shanghai (AB)
This is a free day to explore Shanghai on your own. Make the most of it!
Day 12 Shanghai (AB)
Today you will get a delicious breakfast before we escort you to the airport.