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Silk Road Explorer

  • Duration

    27 days
  • Tour Type

    Group Tour
  • Tour Style

    Go Beyond
  • Price From

    £4,490pp
  • Read Reviews

    6 Reviews
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New Year Sale 2021 & 2022

No Single Supplement for a room of your own. Save up to £1890pp on over 50 tours worldwide. Book by 31 Jan.

Follow in the footsteps of intrepid adventurers by journeying along one of the world's most famous trading routes, the Silk Road. Beginning in ancient Xian, venture across this vast land to reach the fascinating outpost of Kashgar.

Tour Highlights

Our Silk Road Explorer tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.

Coronavirus Update for China

China currently has one of the lowest rates of new infections with 63 new daily infections reported yesterday* which makes us optimistic that we will return to life as normal and be able to enjoy our dream holidays soon. *Correct as of 8 January 2020.

Authentic Experiences

Our Silk Road Explorer Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.

Tour Itinerary

This tour is ideal for those with an extensive amount of time available and who are interested in touring the main sights and cities on the famed China section of the Silk Road. This tour incorporates road and train travel which allows you to witness the stunning scenery of this area, but also experience the different modes of travel, making your tour more immersive.

  • Days 1-2

    Fly overnight to Xian

    Days 1-2: Fly overnight to Xian

    Fly overnight to Xian, the ancient former capital. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

    • Dinner
  • Day 3

    Terracotta Warriors

    Day 3: Terracotta Warriors

    Gaze over the ranks of warriors and horses, each one unique, whilst your guide introduces you to these life-like soldiers' fascinating story. Later, enjoy a gentle cycle ride that will take you the nine miles around the ancient city wall and take a walking tour of the narrow and winding streets of the Muslim Quarter. Tonight, enjoy a traditional dumpling dinner and take an optional 'Xian by night' tour.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 4

    Train to Lanzhou

    Day 4: Train to Lanzhou

    Start the day with a visit to Xian Museum and the Little Wild Goose Pagoda. Later, board the bullet train to Lanzhou.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Days 5-6

    Explore Lanzhou

    Days 5-6: Explore Lanzhou

    Begin today with a leisurely walk along the Yellow River and then head to the hilltop Baita Temple for a moment of tranquillity. Along the river and in Baita Park you can see locals practising Tai Chi. Later, tuck into some delicious Lanzhou-style noodles made with hand stretched dough. The next day, cross Liujiaxia Lake by speed boat and head into the green hills around Liujiaxia to explore the extraordinary Thousand Buddha Caves of Bingling Temple and their wealth of Buddhist murals, statues and sculptures. Also visit the statue of Maitreya.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 7

    Tibetan Xiahe

    Day 7: Tibetan Xiahe

    Conquer the scenic Jishi Mountain Pass to arrive at Tibetan Xiahe and spend time acclimatising to the altitude.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 8

    Labrang Monastery

    Day 8: Labrang Monastery

    Giving a taste of the mysteries of Tibet, Labrang Monastery is a fascinating maze of prayer wheels, chapels and chortens. Dine on traditional Tibetan food for lunch, including Tibetan dumplings, known as momos.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 9

    Travel to Zhangye

    Day 9: Travel to Zhangye

    Return to Lanzhou and take the speedy bullet train to Zhangye, once an important commercial town along the Silk Road.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 10

    Rainbow Mountains

    Day 10: Rainbow Mountains

    Rise early this morning to witness the sunrise over the kaleidoscopic mountains in Danxia National Park. Return to Zhangye and visit the Giant Buddha Temple before boarding your bullet train to Jiayuguan.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 11

    Great Wall at Jiayuguan

    Day 11: Great Wall at Jiayuguan

    Seen as China's western gateway, Jiayuguan is the perfect place to get to grips with your Silk Road history. Visit the Jiayu Fortress and take a walk on the western extremes of the magnificent Great Wall for panoramic views over the starkly beautiful Gobi Desert.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 12

    City of Sands

    Day 12: City of Sands

    Drive to Dunhuang. Located on a major trade and cultural crossroads, Dunhuang, known as the 'City of the Sands', sits in a verdant oasis on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert. Visit the Shazhou Night Market where you can wander amongst the stalls.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 13

    Mogao Grottoes

    Day 13: Mogao Grottoes

    A system of temples and sanctuaries, visit the Mogao Grottoes that exhibit wonderful examples of Buddhist paintings and statues that span thousands of years.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 14

    Singing Sand Dunes

    Day 14: Singing Sand Dunes

    Visit Crescent Moon Spring, nestled amongst rolling dunes and the famous Singing Sand Dunes, a phenomenon produced by the wind blowing through grains of sand.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 15

    Turpan

    Day 15: Turpan

    Take the bullet train to Turpan, a lush green oasis set in a barren landscape. An easy-going town famed for its grapes, its pleasant streets are lined with lush vine trellises.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Days 16-17

    Explore Turpan

    Days 16-17: Explore Turpan

    Visit the ruins of ancient Jiaohe and see the elegant Emin Minaret, the tallest in China. The next day, learn about the fascinating 2000-year-old Kerez irrigation canals and drive to Kurla.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Days 18-20

    The Silk Road

    Days 18-20: The Silk Road

    Over the next three days travel along the original Silk Road through the Xinjiang Region, viewing ruins and sights largely unvisited by tourists. Start with a visit to see the ruins of Subashi, before arriving in Kuqa to see the Kyzil Thousand Buddha Caves. Continue travelling to Aksu, and on to the fabled city of Kashgar.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 21

    Explore Kashgar

    Day 21: Explore Kashgar

    Its skyline punctured by minarets, Kashgar feels a million miles from China – in fact, it feels a million miles from anywhere! Although now a modern city, the sights and sounds of Kashgar's bazaar have remained unchanged for millennia. Sightseeing today includes a visit to Abakh Hoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque and a stroll through the narrow atmospheric alleyways around Id Kah Square.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 22

    Kashgar Sunday Bazzar

    Day 22: Kashgar Sunday Bazzar

    Dive headlong into Central Asia's largest bazaar. Within this riot of textures, vivid colours and traditional dress, you can browse hundreds of stalls selling anything from spices and carpets to boots and blenders. Later, fly to Urumqi.

  • Days 23-24

    Heavenly Lake to Urumqi

    Days 23-24: Heavenly Lake to Urumqi

    Escape to the tranquillity of Tianchi (Heavenly Lake), formed in a crater. Pay a visit to a Kazakh minority family in their yurt and spend some time with them, learning their way of life. Tonight, enjoy local Uyghur lamb skewers for dinner. The following day, make a short visit to the Xinjiang Museum before flying to Beijing, China’s historic capital.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 25

    The Great Wall

    Day 25: The Great Wall

    This morning is dedicated to China's most iconic sight – the Great Wall. In the afternoon, enjoy the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace as you wander through traditional Chinese gardens and see the exquisite architecture.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 26

    Imperial Beijing

    Day 26: Imperial Beijing

    Head to Beijing's symbolic heart, Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City where you will find a complex full of imperial treasures. Soak up the ambience of the Temple of Heaven before visiting Yandaixiejie, where you will have some free time to wander the hutongs. This evening, dine on Peking duck and enjoy a Chinese acrobatic show.

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 27

    Fly Beijing to UK

    Day 27: Fly Beijing to UK

    Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day.

    • Breakfast

We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.

  • Nights 2

    King Dynasty Hotel 3 Star Hotel

    No.1 Daqing Road, Lianhu District, Xian, Shanxi, China

    Located opposite the ancient city walls, the Xian King Dynasty Hotel offers spacious rooms equipped with a flat screen satellite television, a minibar, a safety deposit box and an en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries. The hotel also boasts an indoor pool, a sauna and a fitness centre. Guests can enjoy both Chinese and Western cuisines in the onsite restaurant.

  • Nights 2

    Changxin International Hotel 4 Star Hotel

    788 Xijin West Road, Qilihe District, Lanzhou

    Located in the centre of Huzhou City, Changxing International Hotel Lanzhou offers cosy rooms with air conditioning, safety deposit box, minibar and satellite television. It features an indoor swimming pool, a spa and a gym, as well as 2 onsite restaurants offering both Chinese and Western cuisine.

  • Nights 2

    Xi Ling Hotel 4 Star Hotel

  • Night 1

    Great Wall Hotel 4 Star Hotel

    Jianshe West Road 6, Jiayuguan, Gansu Province

    The Great Wall Hotel offers fantastic views of the nearby Qilian Mountains and is in easy reach of the Great Wall Museum and the Jiayuguan Great Wall Pass. There are 150 modern rooms equipped with satellite television, air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms.

  • Nights 2

    Jin Ye Hotel 4 Star Hotel

    No.37 Mingshan Road, Dunhuang, Jiuquan, China

    Conveniently located in Dunhuang, Dunhuang Jinye Hotel is a great base from which to explore this vibrant city and its local attractions. Each of its air conditioned, modern en-suite rooms include satellite television, a minibar, wired internet and tea making facilities. There is an onsite fitness centre and spa, and the hotel’s restaurant serves Chinese and Western dishes.

  • Nights 2

    Turpan Hotel 4 Star Hotel

    Right in the heart of the wooded Turpan, the Turpan Hotel has comfortable en-suite rooms with modern amenities, including air conditioning, tea making facilities, satellite television and a safety deposit box. The hotel also features an onsite restaurant serving local Chinese cuisine.

  • Night 1

    Tianyuan International Hotel 4 Star Hotel

    8 Renmin East Road, Kashgar

    The Tianyuan International Hotel, located in the city centre of Kashi, has traditionally adorned en-suite rooms with modern amenities, including tea making facilities, a minibar, free Wifi and complimentary newspapers and toiletries. The hotel’s onsite restaurant serves local Chinese dishes. There is also a spa onsite.

  • Nights 2

    Bintuan Grand Hotel 4 Star Hotel

    551 Youhao South Road, Shayibake District, Urumqi

    The Bintuan Grand Hotel located in Urumqi city centre offers spacious rooms with city views, en-suite bathrooms, complimentary toiletries, satellite television and a minibar. The hotel has 2 onsite restaurants, as well as a fitness center, a sauna and a spa.

  • Nights 3

    Zhongle Six Star Hotel 4 Star Hotel

    Building 4, Block 3, Fangqunyuan, Fangzhuang, Fengtai District, Beijing

    The luxurious Zhongle Six Star Hotel, conveniently located in Beijing, has spacious en-suite rooms which include, spacious and modern rooms featuring a hot tub, refrigerator, flat-screen cable TV, in-room safe, work desk and a sofa. The hotel’s onsite restaurants serve local Chinese and Western flavours. There is also a spa centre and TV area.

The best times to visit China are in spring (April to May) and autumn, (September to October) when temperatures are warm and humidity low.

City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • -6°c
  • 2mm
  • Dunhuang
  • -8°c
  • 1mm
  • Turpan
  • -8°c
  • 1mm
  • Kuqa
  • -8°c
  • 2mm
  • Aksu
  • -7°c
  • 2mm
  • Urumqi
  • -12°c
  • 10mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • -2°c
  • 3mm
  • Dunhuang
  • -3°c
  • 1mm
  • Turpan
  • -2°c
  • 0mm
  • Kuqa
  • -2°c
  • 2mm
  • Aksu
  • -3°c
  • 2mm
  • Urumqi
  • -9°c
  • 10mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • 4°c
  • 9mm
  • Dunhuang
  • 5°c
  • 2mm
  • Turpan
  • 10°c
  • 1mm
  • Kuqa
  • 7°c
  • 3mm
  • Aksu
  • 6°c
  • 2mm
  • Urumqi
  • -1°c
  • 18mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • 11°c
  • 20mm
  • Dunhuang
  • 13°c
  • 2mm
  • Turpan
  • 19°c
  • 0mm
  • Kuqa
  • 15°c
  • 5mm
  • Aksu
  • 14°c
  • 3mm
  • Urumqi
  • 10°c
  • 32mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • 16°c
  • 40mm
  • Dunhuang
  • 18°c
  • 2mm
  • Turpan
  • 26°c
  • 1mm
  • Kuqa
  • 20°c
  • 8mm
  • Aksu
  • 20°c
  • 9mm
  • Urumqi
  • 17°c
  • 39mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • 19°c
  • 42mm
  • Dunhuang
  • 22°c
  • 8mm
  • Turpan
  • 30°c
  • 4mm
  • Kuqa
  • 24°c
  • 16mm
  • Aksu
  • 23°c
  • 7mm
  • Urumqi
  • 22°c
  • 36mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • 21°c
  • 69mm
  • Dunhuang
  • 25°c
  • 15mm
  • Turpan
  • 32°c
  • 3mm
  • Kuqa
  • 26°c
  • 15mm
  • Aksu
  • 25°c
  • 16mm
  • Urumqi
  • 24°c
  • 30mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • 20°c
  • 83mm
  • Dunhuang
  • 23°c
  • 6mm
  • Turpan
  • 30°c
  • 3mm
  • Kuqa
  • 24°c
  • 12mm
  • Aksu
  • 24°c
  • 13mm
  • Urumqi
  • 23°c
  • 23mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • 16°c
  • 52mm
  • Dunhuang
  • 18°c
  • 2mm
  • Turpan
  • 24°c
  • 2mm
  • Kuqa
  • 20°c
  • 7mm
  • Aksu
  • 18°c
  • 6mm
  • Urumqi
  • 17°c
  • 26mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • 10°c
  • 25mm
  • Dunhuang
  • 10°c
  • 1mm
  • Turpan
  • 14°c
  • 1mm
  • Kuqa
  • 12°c
  • 3mm
  • Aksu
  • 11°c
  • 2mm
  • Urumqi
  • 8°c
  • 26mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • 2°c
  • 4mm
  • Dunhuang
  • 1°c
  • 1mm
  • Turpan
  • 3°c
  • 1mm
  • Kuqa
  • 3°c
  • 3mm
  • Aksu
  • 2°c
  • 1mm
  • Urumqi
  • -2°c
  • 19mm
City Average Temperate Monthly Rainfall
  • Lanzhou
  • -4°c
  • 1mm
  • Dunhuang
  • -6°c
  • 1mm
  • Turpan
  • -6°c
  • 1mm
  • Kuqa
  • -5°c
  • 1mm
  • Aksu
  • -4°c
  • 1mm
  • Urumqi
  • -9°c
  • 15mm
Silk Road Explorer map
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Tour Dates & Prices

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Your Wendy Wu Stories

Who better to show you the delights of this tour than those who have experienced it for themselves? Our customers tell us they love the fact that everything is included on their tour, from fabulous hotels and delicious dining to thrilling sightseeing and authentic experiences they just couldn’t get anywhere else. Filmed by our wonderful National Escorts, here are some of our customers enjoying Silk Road Explorer with Wendy Wu Tours.

Independent Traveller Reviews

We have teamed up with trusted independent review platform feefo to show you the views of those who have experienced this tour for themselves. Here are the latest reviews, completely unedited by us, so you can trust them 100%.

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