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The Silk Road

The Experience

The Silk Road has inspired human imagination and avarice for centuries. This ancient trading route linked the empires of the east with wealthy Mediterranean trading ports. In addition to luxury goods such as silks and spices, trade throughout this region led to the development of unique artistic styles, combining eastern and western influences. These once great cities are now ethereal shadows of their former glory, yet still fascinate visitors with their colorful desert locations and their elaborate cave temples and frescoes. Begin your journey with a three-night stay in Beijing, and explore the wealth and power of the city. Fly to Xi’an and visit the city’s many famous sights, including the Terracotta Army. Continue to Jiayuguan, where the Great Wall ended and the far western borders were protected by the stronghold of the city’s momentous fortress. Fly to Lanzhou for your train ride out to Jiayuguan for two nights. Next drive to Dunhuang, world famous for its cave temples and superb frescoes. Spend one night here, then take the overnight travel train to Turpan and visit the Thousand Buddha Caves of Bezeklik. These superb frescoes date from the 6th to 14th centuries and illustrate the definite overlap between the artistic styles of Asia Minor and Asia Major. Drive to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Province, with its predominantly Uighur population. Stop en route at the glorious alpine Heaven Lake. Overnight in Urumqi before flying to Kashgar, famous for its Sunday Market where you can buy everything from camels to carpets. Spend two nights in Kashgar, before returning to Urumqi for the flight to Beijing.

Detailed itinerary

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