16 Days Silk Road Tour with Helicopter experience: Lanzhou-Zhangye-Dunhuang-Turpan-Urumqi-Kashgar

This 16-day tour allows you to see the Gansu and Xinjiang scenery from a bird-eye view and offers you the chance to gain an in-depth understanding of the Silk Road culture and history.

Trip Highlights

  • Sheepskin rafting tour in Yellow River
  • See the Danxia Landscape by a helicopter
  • Try the camel riding in the desert in Dunhuang
  • Learn to cook Xinjiang cuisines with the guidance of the locals
  • Helicopter tour at camp base in Keluge to see Biezhentao Mountain and Sayram Lake
  • Drink local tea at 100 Years Old Teahouse

Customizable Tour Itinerary

Welcome to China for a 16-day China tour. Our guides will take care of you from the very beginning to the last minute and show you the Silk Road culture and history.

Meals: No meal, advice freely available

  • Hotels: Crowne Plaza Lanzhou, Sunshine Plaza Hotel

Lanzhou is famous for the sheepskin raft, which had once been an important transportation tool for locals living along the banks of the Yellow River. The sheepskin rafting tour allows you to experience the culture and appreciate the scenery along the Yellow River.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
sheepskin rafting in Yellow Riversheepskin rafting in Yellow River

Zhongshan Bridge is the First iron bridge over the Yellow River. It was named ‘Lanzhou Yellow River Iron Bridge’ and later renamed as ‘Zhongshan Bridge’ in memory of Sun Yat-Sen, forerunner of Chinese democratic revolution.

Gain an insight into the irrigation tools of ancient times by visiting Waterwheel Garden. The White Pagoda Hill is named after a white pagoda on its hilltop, where you could have a panoramic view of the cityscape and the winding Yellow River – mother river of Chinese.

After lunch, drive to the train station in Lanzhou and take the bullet train to Zhangye.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Jinyang International Hotel
White Pagoda HillWhite Pagoda Hill

Site of Black Water State and Tombs Complex of Han Dynasty belongs to Neolithic Age and covers 4 square kilometers Han tombs, most of which were unfortunately buried by sand.

In the afternoon, visit Zhangye National Geological Park (the red colored mountain), a masterpiece of the nature. To take in more scenery, you will take the helicopter to avoid other travelers and see the whole area.


  • Sightseeing buses will be used within the national park because no private cars or tourist buses are allowed.
  • It is best to visit at dusk, especially at sunset, when the colors change continuously, showing yellow and red layers covered by a light gray layer.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Zhangye Danxia LandscapeZhangye Danxia Landscape

Zhangye Bell & Drum Tower is the largest existing drum tower in Hexi Corridor. It was built in imitation of Xi 'an Bell Tower and became a landmark building that embodied the wisdom of the ancient working people.

Go on visiting Grand Buddha Temple, a landmark of Zhangye. There are many ancient buildings, towering ancient trees and green grass in the temple area.

Go directly to the train station after lunch. The Dunhuang guide will wait for you with a warm smile at the exit and escort you to the hotel for the check-in.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Grand Soluxe Hotel Dunhuang, Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel
Bell & Drum TowerBell & Drum Tower

Though there is not too much to see nowadays, Yumen Pass used to play an important role of protecting and ensuring the safety and smooth travels for passing caravans, and visitors in and out of China via ancient Silk Road.

In China, there are many scenic spots called ‘Singing Sand Mountain’, among which Dunhuang Singing Sand Mountain is the most representative because of its long history and culture as well as its scenic features. Here you could try the camel riding and see the amazing Crescent Spring. At night, experience the nightlife at Shazhou Night Market with its featured local specialties as well as strong flavor of local culture.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Yumen PasYumen Pas

Mogao Grottoes is a treasure house of Buddhist art. It includes 492 caves on the natural cliff body, which still contain colorful sculptures and murals. With an area of 2,400 square meters (about 25,834 square feet), Dunhuang Museum houses more than 14,000 cultural relics of various types, including stone tools, pottery, calligraphy, silk, jade beads, tiling, painting and calligraphy and so on.

After lunch, you will be transferred to the train station in Liuyuan (about 2 hours). Meet the guide at Turpan train station exit.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Mercure Hotel Turpan Downtown
The Mogao GrottoesThe Mogao Grottoes

With a total area of about 10 square kilometers, Astana Tomb is a public cemetery for residents of Gaochang from the Western Jin Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty.

Follow on is the tour to the most valuable Buddhist cave in Turpan, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves and then go to Tuyugou Canyon and Maza Village, which retains many Muslim features with Islamic green-topped mosques towering above the adobe houses.

On the way to Urumqi, you will pass through the Flaming Mountain, one of the hottest places in China.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Bezeklik Thousand Buddha CavesBezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

Jiaohe Old City is the largest, oldest and best preserved raw earth building city in the world. It is also the most complete urban relic preserved in China for more than two thousand years. Karez Well is a special irrigation system in desert area, which is widely used in Turpan area of Xinjiang.

Suleiman Minaret, also known as Emin Pagoda, is a novel and unique tower - shaped Islamic architecture. It was named so as it was built by Suleiman, the son of The Governor of Emin. Get a close contact with the locals by visiting a local Uyghur family and learning to cook Xinjiang dishes with the guidance of the hots. After enjoy the lunch cooked on your own, you may pick grapes at the local family if it is the harvest season.

Go to the train station with the guide and driver by the private transfer after lunch. The guides will take care of you at the train stations.

Note: Grapes are available from August to September.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Hilton Urumqi Hotel, Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel
The Karez WellsThe Karez Wells

Take a morning tour to Heavenly Lake, which is surrounded by snowy mountains. A big boat cruise will offer you the chance to get close to the crystal water.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Heavenly Lake Heavenly Lake

Get really close to the local life at Erdaoqiao Market and have a relaxing walk at Red Hill Park. Red Hill Park, with its beautiful environment, strong cultural atmosphere, and various landscapes combined with archaized architecture and modern civilization, exciting amusement facilities, has won the care and love of Urumqi citizens for several generations.

Nang is a kind of crusty pancake in Xinjiang. Here you could find many local Nang shops. Walk in a Nang shop, see how the owner makes it and talk with them to gain a better understanding of their life and culture.

A private transfer will bring you to the airport in Urumqi. You will take the flight to Bole. The guide will wait for you at the airport arrival hall and escort you to the camp base in Keluge.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Keluge Camp Yeshe Hotel
 Red Hill Park Red Hill Park

Wake up naturally. There are many optional activities like hiking, horse riding, band performance and picnic etc. at the camp base. You could choose the ones you like and pay to the camp base directly.

  • Meals: Breakfast,
  • Hotels: Keluge Camp Yeshe Hotel
Keluge Base CampKeluge Base Camp

Though more expensive, helicopter tour allows you to take in more scenery than the regular tour. Besides, you could see the places in different angles. Today, you will have an overview of Biezhentao Mountain and Sayram Lake by helicopter.

After lunch, you will be transferred to the airport in Bole and take the flight to Kashgar, your last destination.

Note: Other tour routes are also available with different prices. If you are interested in them, let me know.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Radisson Blu Kashgar, Luxemon Qinibagh Hotel Kashgar Prefecture
Biezhentao MountainBiezhentao Mountain

Id Kah Mosque is the biggest mosque in China with strong ethnic style and religious features. You can see many worshippers coming here to pray every day. Next you will visit Abakh Khoja Tomb, a typical Islamic ancient building complex and mausoleum Muslim holiness.

In the afternoon, stroll at Kashgar Old Town and visit a local smithy or copper-smith. If you wish to buy the bracelet or ring, you are allowed to participate in the making process.

End the day tour with a visit to the bazaar in Kashgar, where you could find numerous commodities, like dried fruit and delicacies, clothes, shoes, leather, textiles, rugs and carpets as well as scarves, souvenirs and other goods.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Id Kah MosqueId Kah Mosque

The colorful and lively Zhiren Street provides a great opportunity to pick up some of the Silk Road's most interesting souvenirs, from hand-made leather boots to traditional musical instruments and bags of fresh spices. Refresh yourself by drinking a tea in the 100 Years Old Teahouse. Some snacks like Nang or nut are also served. Continue your tour to a Kirgiz ethnic minority family and get to know the local nomadic tribes.

End your Kashgar tour with a tour to Silk Road Museum where you could gain a better understanding of the history and development of the Silk Road.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
100 Years Old Teahouse100 Years Old Teahouse

After breakfast, your private guide and driver will take you to the airport for your departure. Wish you a safe flight home or to your next destination.

  • Meals: Breakfast,

Price Includes

  • In-country transportationas noted in the itinerary.
  • Admission fees and activity expenses as noted in the itinerary.
  • Luxury or boutique hotels centrally located.
  • Meals in local restaurants as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water.
  • Your own English-speaking guide service.
  • Your own chauffeur and vehicle service.

Price Excludes

  • International transportation.
  • Chinese tourist visa. (which enquired for most foreign passport holders)
  • Travel and medical insurance.
  • Meals, snacks, alcohol, etc. apart from those included in the itinerary.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Sights, excursions and activities not included in the itinerary.
  • Gratuities to guide and driver.


This tour is tailor-made and we can tailor to meet your reqeusts. Your personal travel consultant will contact you within 24 working hours!


CHINA OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2019 We researched several companies and studied reviews on Trip Adviser before contacting who did a very China Culture Tour with an initial query. Right from the outset Grace who owns the company was excellent. She emailed detailed with pictures information and a suggested…read more details

Karen from US

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