Tour Around along the Silk Road

On March 16, 2011, in China Travel Gossip, Shanghai, by Jack Li

The Silk Road was a famous trade route in ancient times connecting the Asia to Europe. It started at Xi’an in the east and ran for 7,000 km through China, Central Asia and Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria before it reached the east coast of Mediterranean. The section in China is over 4,000 km long, more than half of the total length.

The 2,000-year-old silk road has offerd a lasting charm through the centuries. Today it still attracts thousands of tourists who Travel to China from across the world with its rich historic sites, cultural relics, beautiful scenery and colorful folklore. In the past the camel was a major means of transportation. Today tourists can travel along the route in more efficient and comfortable ways by air, rail and land. Now let’s embank on this mysterious and adventurous trip of the distinctive western China Tours.

The Starting Point—Xi’an

The Terra Cotta Soldiers of Xi’an are one of the most important archaeological finds in the world, and it takes an entire day to explore the site and surrounding area. After lunch with a noodle maker, you can take a cable car ride over Huaqing Hot Springs Park and visit Banpo, an old Neolithic (and possibly matriarchal) village.


Dunhuang – City of the Sands, a former terminal of the ancient Silk Road perched on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert. Dunhuang is home to some of the finest Buddhist art. Artifacts discovered at Dunhuang span from the Northern and Western Wei to Northern Zhou and Tang dynasties, and include what is believed to be the oldest printed script in the world, dating back to 868 AD. After lunch, we head out to the Mogao Caves, which consist of 492 grottoes honeycombing a giant cliff face, each of them housing murals, Buddhist paintings and statues.

And then we can continue to explore the Mogao grottoes, followed by Crescent Moon Lake, where the oasis meets the desert. The spring-fed lake is set amidst towering sand dunes from where you can take in a spectacular view of the green oasis surrounded by an endless desert landscape. 


Lying 154 meters below sea level, the Turpan Basin not only sits in the second largest depression in the world, but it is one of the hottest places China. Despite its desert location, Turpan boasts fertile land producing cotton and grapes, thanks to the karez, an ancient irrigation system. In Turpan, we can visit the Bezelik Caves, a set of Buddhist cave temples that was an important Buddhist center in the 6th to 13th centuries which today house rare examples of Buddhist mural art. We can also tour the ancient city of Gaochang and its necropolis, Astana, and wander the city bazaar in the evening.


Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is a growing metropolis inhabited mainly by Han Chinese and serves as a transport hub for those crossing to Tibet, Pakistan and Central Asia. Here you can visit the lively market at Erdaoqiao, where anything from Uygur handicrafts, silk carpets to fruits and kebabs are sold.


Situated at the foot of the impressive Pamir mountains, Kashgar was once the key trading post bridging the East and the West on the Silk Road. Largely inhabited by the Uygurs, this ancient city is dotted with Muslim architecture and still retains the exotic feel of the Silk Road era. Kashgar’s lively markets attract thousands of people from the far corners of the region. They come here to sell, bargain, and trade everything ranging from camels to raisins. Our sightseeing tour will also include the the famous Eidgah Mosque and the tomb of Abbak Hoja. Our tour also includes visit to the most unique old town with typical Uyghur styled homes. Tourists can visit the various shopping alleys full of noodle shops, bakeries, teashops, blacksmiths and carpenters. Time has stood still – try a local taxi, which is a donkey cart. At last, we can take Xi’an Flights back to Xi’an.

Jack Li

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