Travel with a different perspective

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Silk Road Image

Trip type: PhotographyDestination: Gansu, XinjiangDuration: 14 daysHighlights: History,culture and landscape along the Silk Road

Best time to go: April to November
Departure Date
On Request

·                              Trip Overview
·                              Dates & Pricing
·                              Detailed Itinerary
The Silk Road, a great transcontinental route linking the Roman Empire in the West with empire of China in the East, retains its charm to both the Chinese and Westerners. The eastern starting point of the route was at Chang'an (the ancient name of Xi'an), the capital of the Tang Dynasty, through the Yellow River valley via Lanzhou, it then extended westward along the deserts and mountains before dividing into three routes at the oasis of Dunhuang. In ancient times, the route attached merchants from Europe and China to trade gold, tea, porcelain, spices, jade, ivory and above all silk; which is where of course the Silk Road gets its name. Today, the Silk Road is no longer a popular means of trading silk but the long history, diverse cultures, valuable relics, and brilliant art offers us an unforgettable trip.
Note: The price would be varied based on the difference of accommodations and group size. Please kindly contact us at
for details.
·                              Domestic flights as in itinerary
·                              Airport tax for the relative flights
·                              English speaking tour guide service
·                              Nice vehicle with AC on the entire trip as in itinerary
·                              Accommodations as in itinerary
·                              Admission fee to scenic sites as in itinerary
·                              All meals included, soft drinks on meals
·                              Domestic travel insurance 
·                              Gratuities to the tour guide and driver
·                              National escort service
·                              Alcohol drinks
·                              Personal telecommunication/laundry charges.
·                              Excursions not included in the itinerary
·                              International Travel insurance
·                              International flights and airport taxes
·                              Expenses of personal nature, e.g. mini bar, phone calls
The above detailed itinerary is what we commonly operate.
Meanwhile, the itinerary can be tailored to meet your requirements.
So, please kindly send us your further requirements at

Day 1 Arrive Beijing
Today we arrive in Beijing and transfer to the hotel. Our trip orientation will be conducted over a Peking Duck welcome dinner.
Overnight hotel in Beijing
Day 2 Beijing to Dunhuang
In the morning we fly to Dunhuang, known as the City of the Sands, a former hub of the ancient Silk Road, perched on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, one of the world's largest deserts. We visit the Mingsha Sand Dunes, the Crescent Moon Lake and enjoy a spectacular view of a green oasis surrounded by an endless desert landscape. We photograph the sunset from Mogao Cave. At night, we explore the Shazhou Night Market and get a taste of local life in Dunhuang.
Overnight Dunhuang
Day 3 Dunhuang to Jiayuguan
In the morning we visit the Mogao Caves, whose 492 caves featuring 450,000 square feet of murals date from the fourth to the fourteenth centuries. The caves were abandoned in the fourteenth century and lay untouched until the beginning of the twentieth century.
In the afternoon, we drive to the Jiayuguan Great Wall. Construction of the Great Wall began here during the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC) and Warring States period (475-221 BC) by the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. Later dynasties from the Han (206 BC-AD 220) to the Ming (1368-1644) kept building and improving the wall, extending it more than 1,000 kilometres. It lies right on the desert, providing photographers with a fantastic subject to capture.
Overnight Jiayuguan Hotel
Day 4 Jiayuguan/Train
After we photograph the sun rising over the Jiayuguan Great Wall, we explore the area around Jiayuguan and visit the Great Wall museum. In the afternoon, we drive to the railway station and catch an overnight train to Turpan.
Overnight on train and in Turpan
Day 5 Train to Turpan
Turpan is a town built by an oasis in the Turpan depression in east Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is an agricultural center producing cotton, textiles, silk, wheat, grapes, dried fruit, and wine. Turpan is the largest town in the Turpan depression, the lowest point (505 ft/154 m below sea level) in China. In the past (A.D. 200-400), the depression was the center of a flourishing civilization in which Indian and Persian influences were combined with local culture.
Today, we will visit the ruins of the ancient city of Jiaohe and the Bezeklik cave temples.
Overnight hotel
Day 6 Turpan to the Heavenly Lake
After a leisurely morning, we drive from Turpan to Urumqi where we have lunch and then drive 4.5 hours (350 km) to Heavenly Lake for sunset photography. Heavenly Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in far western China and really worth staying at overnight.
Overnight Heavenly Lake Hotel
Day 7-8 Heavenly Lake to Kucha
After photographic the sunrise at Heavenly Lake, we drive back to Urumqi for the afternoon flight to Kucha, a quaint oasis town that was once the centre of a Buddhist civilization in the Tare Basin.
We will tour Kizilya and the Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves, both are truly worth the visit.
Overnight hotel in Kucha
Day 9-10 Taklimakan Desert
We drive 5.5 hours (380 km) from Kucha to Tazhong (Minfeng area) and photograph the Taklimakan Desert as the sun sets. The next morning we shoot the sunrise over the Taklimakan Desert and then drive to Khotan on the expressway before taking the chance to photograph the sights around town, including markets and a mosque. Khotan was an important supplier of jade, silk, and carpets on the Silk Road for centuries.
Overnight hotel in Khotan
Day 11 Khotan to Kashgar
We wake up early and start traveling across the desert to Kashgar via Shache and Yecheng, visiting Zawa town en-route for the wonderful local bazaars. The road to Kashgar is lined with many small oasis towns and occasionally we stop to visit the local mosques and bazaars. For example Yarkand (Shache), once had a larger bazaar than Kashgar and today retains the quaint atmosphere of a small trading town. In the late afternoon, we arrive at Kashgar.
Overnight Kashgar
Day 12 Kashgar to Kalakuli Lake
We photograph the Sunday morning bazaar, a massive gathering of farmers and merchants from across the area. This colorful and lively market provides a great opportunity to pick up some of the Silk Road's most interesting souvenirs including hand made leather boots, traditional musical instruments and bags of fresh spices. We then drive to Lake Kalakuli (3600 metres ASL) for sunset photography of the lake and mountain.
Overnight yurt
Day 13 Kalakuli Lake to Urumqi via Kashgar
As the sun rises we take photographs by the lake, then head back downtown for a chance to capture the Id Kah Great Mosque. Kashgar is the heart of Islam within China and the Id Kah Mosque, the largest in mosque in China is really worth a visit. It attracts up to 10,000 worshippers for Friday prayers.
In the evening, we take a flight back to Urumqi after our farewell dinner.
Overnight Urumqi
Day 14 Depart Urumqi
We take the morning flight out of Urumqi
Trip ends.

Inner Mongolia Shadow of the wind

Trip type: Featured TripDestinations: Inner Mongolia; HebeiDuration: 7 days
Features: grassland, natural reserves, horse riding & overland drive, ChengdeBest time to go: May to September
Departure Date
On Request

·                              Trip Overview
·                              Dates & Pricing
·                              Detailed Itinerary
Bordering the Republic of Mongolia and Russia, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is the widest province by its latitude in China. It is over 1.1 million square kilometers or 424,736 square miles, making it the third largest Chinese province next to Xinjiang and Tibet. Much like the aforementioned provinces, it is not very populated despite its vast size. It is the home to the Mongolian, Daur, Oroqen, Ewenki, Hui, Han, Korean and Manchu peoples. It is the home town of Genghis Khan (1162-1227), the great leader of Mongolians. This trip is an overland trip to central Inner Mongolia from Beijing. We will drive through the Huitenghot grassland which is the most spectacular grassland in China and visit Xanadu, the capital of the Yuan dynasty on the grassland, the national park around it and then the Summer Resort in Chengde.
Land Cost:
For group of 10 persons, USD950 per perosn, on twin sharing basis;

For group of 6-9 persons, USD1070 per perosn, on twin sharing basis;

For group of 2-5 persons, RMB7,500 or USD1,100 per perosn, on twin sharing basis;
Airfare: RMB550 per person
·                              Flight from Chifeng to Beijing, economy seat with tax
·                              Land transfers of a  Van with 11 seats for whole trip.
·                              Accommodations of family suite (with extra beds) or a yurt could hold a family of 4 persons. In some Binguan, if no family suite available, we arrange 2 twin rooms. as on itinerary
·                              All admissions and activity expenses as noted on itinerary
·                              Meals as on the itinerary
·                              Bottle Water for drink & snacks
·                              Mandarine Speaking guide along the entire trip
·                              Local guide when necessary
·                              Programs as per itinerary, as Horse Riding, 4wd vehicle drive (in Mulanweichang), archery, fishing, camel carriage riding
·                              Personal Travel Accident Insurance
·                              Airport pick-up in Beijing
·                              Discretionary gratuities for drivers, local guides, and staff
·                              Horse-riding, camel riding, motor boating
·                              Expenses of personal nature, e.g. mini-bar, laundry, telecommunications, alcoholic beverages etc.
·                              Excursions not included in the itinerary
·                              The local delicacy as baked leg of lamb
Day 1  Beijing to Mulanweichang
Depart Chengde in the morning. After 3 hours, get to Chengde and visit Chengde Summer Resort.
From Chengde, we will head into the mountains and the countryside road is getting zigzaaging.
Arrive Mulanweichang in late afeternoon.Upon our arrival, we check into hotel. Have good rest afgter the long drive.
Today, we will drive about 450 kms, about 6-7hours.
Overnight Hongshan Binguan (L, D)
Day 2  Mulanweichang
Today, we will spend a whole day to explore around Wulanbutong Grassland near Hongshan
In the morning, we will ride horses to Jiangjunpaozi, the best of the best grassland, with high grass, flowers and small lakes; then to Lamashan, where we can enjoy the grassland landscape on the top of it. We also will take a rafting in Jiehe (Boundary River) and practice archery.
In the afternoon, if you prefer, we hire a 4wd vehicle (which is BJ2020, there is no Landcruiser or Cherokee available) to drive about 1 hour to Wucaishan, Jiapigou, Daxiagu. At dusk, we find a nice location to enjoy the sunset on the top of the hills.
Overnight Hongshan Binguan (B, L, D)
Day 3  Mulanweichang to Xanandu
This morning, we check out the hotel and drive to Xanadu via Duolun County.
About 2-3 hours drive, we get to the Dahanguju Yurt hotel on the grassland near Zhenglanqi. After lunch, we head out for Xanadu. We will walk around Xanadu for a while before dirve to the Wuheerqing Aobao Hill for a short hiking. Aobao hill is the place where the Mongolians hold sacrifice ceremonies. Since most of Mogolians believe in Tibetan Buddhism, we may see the colorful praying flags on top of Aobao Hill. From Aobao Hill, we can take a bird??s eys view of the green grassland, the hills around.
Overnight Dahan Guju Yurt Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 4  Xanandu to Dali Lake
After breakfast in the yurt hotel, we will drive about 220kms, about 3-4 hours from Xanandu to  Dali Lake. Different from the former days, out of Xanadu, we will drive along the edge of Hunshandake Desert. The land on both sides of the road is getting barren and quite sandy though the plantation project is trying to stop the sands coming.
After check into the hotel and get refreshed, we can go out for fishing or walk along the lake front and there are motorboat available as well if you want take a ride on the lake. If weather permits, we can enjoy the the breathtaking beautiful sunset over Dali Lake.
Overnight Dalinuoer Binguan (B, L, D)
Day 5  Dali Lake
After the breakfast in the hotel, we drive to further north to see huge wind power fans on the grassland covered with different colored flowers.  If you have interest, we take another horse ride on the grassland nearby. Or can get to the north bank of Dali Lake to take a motorboat ride.
In the afternoon, we drive to the south bank and take a Camel-carriage ride in the sandy area (the edge of Huanshandake Desert) . It is quite fun to drive the camels around.
If time permits, we go out for fishing before our dinner.
Overnight Dalinuoer Binguan (B, L, D)
Day 6  Dali Lake to Reshui
After breakfast, we will drive about 2-3 hours to Asihatu National Nature Reserve to see the stunning stone forest. Different from the Karst Stone Forest from Yunnan, the stone here is granite and the the color is more bright as well. We will hike up to the stone forest and walk around for a while to explore around. After the stone forest, we drive back. En route, there lies a well know Hot Spring, therefore, the place is named after the Hot Spring, Reshui in Chinese. Tonight, we stay in Reshui to enjoy hot spring after the one week tour.
Overnight Reshui Shanzhuang Binguan (B, L, D)
Day 7 Reshui to Beijing
After breakfast in the hotel, we will drive to Chifeng. En route, the scenery keeps on changing, from grassland to algricultured fields.
In the afternoon, we arrive Chifeng, where we are going to take the flight GS7632(17:20/18:10) back Beijing.
Today, we drive about 250 kms.
Trip ends. (B, L) and The Travel Guru Solution becomes partners in travel market

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