# Chengdu 2N: Shangri-La Hotel or similar
# Tibet 3N: Inter Continental Lhasa Paradise or similar
# Sigaze 1N: Wanrun International Resort or similar
# Qingzang Rail 1N: Quad Share Cabin
# Xining 1N: Sofitel Xining or similar
# China Orient Express 2N: Twin-share Gold Cabin
# Jiayuguan 1N: Holiday Plaza or similar
# Dunhuang 1N: Grand Soluxe or similar
# Urumqi 2N: Hilton Urumqi or similar
Please contact our team for the next available tour dates
Departure Cities: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane*, Perth* or Adelaide*
Retrace the footsteps of Chinese traders on a 15-day luxury tour that uncovers the mesmerising Silk Road, a fragile network that connected the great civilisations of East and West for centuries. Begin in Chengdu, where you'll enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come face to face with beautiful Giant Pandas and continue through the monasteries of Tibet and Xining. Board the Qingzang Rail, the world's highest railway, and experience unforgettable luxury in a Gold Cabin aboard the China Orient Express. Visit Lanzhou and the western end of the Great Wall in Jiayuguan, and experience Dunhuang and Turpan, before finishing with a boat tour on the Heavenly Lake in Urumqi.
* Return international airfares (economy class; ex-MEL & ex-SYD)
* 11-night premium twin share hotel accommodation
* 1-night quad share Qingzang Rail
* 2-night Gold Cabin China Orient Express
* Intra-China transportation
* Tours, transfers & admissions as per itinerary
* Local English-speaking guides
* Meals as indicated in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
* All tipping
* Single entry Tibet entry permit
* Visa to China
* Travel insurance
* Applicable surcharge, i.e. optional activities, single supplement & etc.
* Anything not listed in the itinerary, i.e. laundry, personal items, alcoholic drinks & etc.
# Single Supplement: AUD4,300 per person
# Qingzang Rail Upgrade to Twin Share Private Room: AUD450 per person (Subject to availability)
# Ex-Brisbane Surcharge: AUD380 per person
# Ex-Perth Surcharge: AUD480 per person
# Ex- Adelaide Surcharge: AUD4580 per person
Please take the time to read and understand the conditions of booking set out below prior to booking a trip with us. We strongly recommend that you also read the essential trip information relating to your tip prior to booking to ensure that you understand the itinerary, style and physical demands of the trip you are undertaking.
DAY 1: ARRIVING CHENGDU | MEALS: N/A
Today begins your spectacular tour through China! Upon arrival at Chengdu Airport, you will be warmly greeted by our professional tour guide and escorted to your hotel. Take the evening to relax and prepare for your first day of touring tomorrow.
DAY 2: CHENGDU | MEALS: B
Enjoy a heart-warming adventure when you come face to face with beautiful giant pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. In addition to witnessing these beautiful, once endangered creatures, you'll also get a chance to spot the elegant black-necked cranes, white storks and other varieties of panda that call this sanctuary home.
DAY 3: CHENGDU LHASA | MEALS: B
Lhasa - the capital of the Tiber Autonomous Region. Upon arrival, meet by your guide and represent you a hada, a white scarf which is the Tibetan traditional way to wish you good luck. Then transfer to hotel to take rest for acclimatization of the high altitude.
DAY 4: TIBET | MEALS: B/L/D
Following breakfast, we begin our exploration of the famous Potala Palace, perched on the northern side of Mountain. Throughout the ages, it had been the winter palace of Dalai Lamas. Its name means 'sacred Buddhist site' in the Tibetan language. This palace-like complex of buildings was first built in the 7th century AD by King Songtsen Gampo to mark his marriage with the Tang princess Wencheng as well as to house the Buddha images brought by Wencheng and the Nepalese princess Bhrikuti Devi. The palace also houses priceless artifacts and artworks. Continue to Jokhang Monastery, situated in the center of Lhasa. It was first built in 674A'D to celebrate the marriage of King Songtsen Gampo with Princess Wencheng and Bhrikuti Devi, both devout Buddhists. This monastery underwent expansion over the years and today, its four-level main hall sports a gilded roof and a blend of Han Chinese, Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian architectural styles. Proceed to Barkhor Street in the old city, which offers glimpses of traditional Tibetan life. The faithful chant and circumambulate around Jokhang Monastery. In this circular street there are also shops selling a wide variety of crafts such as Tibetan knives, bangles, shoes and more.
DAY 5: SIGAZE | MEALS: B/L/D
Following breakfast, we depart for Sigaze. Along the way, we pass Yamzo Lake, whose name means 'swan lake'. Also known as Baidi Lake, it is wedged between two mountains, hence like a swan spanning its wings. The crystal-clear lake, located over 4,000m above sea level, has an area of 638m2. It is the largest freshwater lake in Tibet, with a depth of up to 59m. Thereafter, we continue to Sigaze.
DAY 6: SIGAZE GYANTSE TIBET | MEALS: B/L/D
In the morning,visit the famous Tashi Lhunpo monastery, where you can see the well preserved largest statue of Jampa (future Buddha) in the world. This monastery, whose beauty is on par with that of Potala Palace, is located 2km west of Shigatse. It was founded by the first Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drup, in 1447AD. Its name means 'all fortune and happiness gather here. The Main Chanting Hall houses the Panchen Lama's throne and several chapels, including a Sakyamuni chapel, Bodhisattva chapel and Tara chapel. Don't miss the Tenth Panchen Lama's Stupa. The Tenth Panchen Lama was a highly respected Tibetan Buddhist leader. We proceed back to Lhasa. On the way, we can enjoy scenic views of the Yarlung Zangbo Gorge/ Bhamaputra River (the Longest and largest river in Tibet).Stay Overnight in Lhasa.
DAY 7: QINGZANG RAIL | MEALS: B/L/D
After breakfast, free at own leisure till we onboard the train on the world's highest railway. Thereafter, we begin the scenic train journey through the highest Point in the world. Along the way, we pass magnificent sights: snow-capped mountains such as Yuzhu Peak and Mt Kunlunshan; Kekexili reserve; Tuotuo River, the source of Yangtze River; Fenghuo Mountain Tunnel, the world's highest mountain tunnel; Tanggula Station, the world's highest railway station located at 5,072m above sea level; Qiangtang Grassland and more.
DAY 8: XINING | MEALS: B/L/D
You could enjoy the fabulous scenery along your train trip. Today you will arrive Xining station and visit the Ta'er Monastery, whose name means '10,000 Buddhas'. Its construction began in the Ming Dynasty during the Jiaqing period. In 1560AD it was one of the six principal temples of the Tibetan Buddhist Yellow Sect. Don't miss its three treasures, which are of high artistic value. Buttered figurines, sculpted from coloured butter, are lively and realistic depictions of stories, nature and humans, while colorful murals adorn the monastery's walls. The third treasure is satin appliques in the shapes of Buddha and nature subjects, which are filled with cotton or wool and sewn on large fabrics. Thereafter, we embark on our night train to Lhasa. And then you will be escorted to the hotel for check in.
DAY 9: LANZHOU | MEALS: B/L/D
After breakfast, we will visit Zhongshan Bridge, also called the first bridge over the Yellow River. In the year 1907, under the proposal of local officers in Lanzhou and Gansu and the help of a Germany businessman, the Qing Government began to build this first iron bridge over the upper reaches of the Yellow River. All materials, even the rivets, were transported from Germany to China using ships, trains, carts and any other means possible. The bridge was completed in two years, and named 'Lanzhou Iron Bridge over the Yellow River'. We will continue drive to Lanzhou after a visit to the Waterwheel Garden. Originated from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the waterwheel is the oldest irrigation tool in Yellow River area of Lanzhou. The Waterwheel Garden is a theme garden exhibiting the waterwheel culture. Here, you could appreciate the waterwheel driven by the flowing water all year round to collect water from the river or cofferdam. We will take the 'China Orient Express' train to Jiayuguan at 16:30pm. Have a nice night on the train with wonderful evening and morning views of local countryside.
DAY 10: JIAYUGUAN GREAT WALL | MEALS: B/L/D
After breakfast, have a visit to the Jiayuguan (Jiayu Pass), the western end of the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty. It is known as 'the First and Greatest Pass under Heaven', and best preserved and most magnificent military fort in China. Then we drive 7 miles away for the Overhanging Great Wall. It got the named for riding on a mountain ridge that is 45 degrees from vertical and resembling a huge dragon.
DAY 11: DUNHUANG | MEALS: B/L/D
After a pleasant breakfast, take this deluxe train to Dunhuang at 10:00am. We specially arrange Dunhuang experts and professors who'll introduce this exotic city in detail to you. After arriving in Dunhuang, we visit beautiful Crescent Lake & Singing Sand Mountains. The Crescent Lake is an oasis Gobi desert, surrounded by numerous sand dunes, reaching a relative height of 250 meters (820 feet). The Mingsha Shan is so named for the sound of the wind whipping off the dunes. After dinner, we move to Dunhuang Night market - bustling Shazhou Night Market. Never miss its tasty snacks, local specialties, and crafts etc.
DAY 12: TURPAN | MEALS: B/L/D
After breakfast, let's visit the world famous Mogao Grottoes, which was designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO for its 1600 years accumulated cultural, architectural, and art treasures. There remains 492 cave temple and 45000 square meters of frescos. According to Tang Dynasty records, a monk had witnessed onsite a vision of thousand Buddhas under showers of golden rays. Thus inspired, he started the caves construction work that spanned ten dynasties. Mogao Caves are commonly known as the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas. At 17:00hr, we embark the 'China Orient Express' Charter Luxury Train to Turpan.
DAY 13: URUMQI | MEALS: B/L/D
It's a day for Turpan sightseeing! Visit Karez irrigation system at 07:00am, to witness the wisdom of Uygur people. The irrigation system is especially designed for desert. If connecting all these underground channels, the total length will reach more than 5000 km, so it is regarded as one of the three engineering miracles of ancient China, along with the Great Wall and the Jinghang Grand Canal. Thereafter, we move to Flaming Mountain, well known by Chinese people because of the legendary story 'Journey to the West'. It is regarded as the hottest place in China. We will continue to drive to Jiaohe Ancient City, an island-shaped plateau situated at Yar Town. It is the largest, oldest and well preserved earth-structured city in the world, with a history of 2000-2300 years.
DAY 14: URUMQI | MEALS: B/L/D
After breakfast, visit Heavenly Lake on Tianshan (boat tour). The Mountain Lake stands 1980 meters above sea level and features picturesque scenery of snowcapped peaks. It a great pleasure to boat travel Heavenly Lake, with a layer of magical colour covering the lake, and hearing many beautiful myths and legends. Then head for Urumqi, and visit Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum. It is of Uygur and Russian styles, and collects over a thousand pieces of precious relics from four to five thousand years ago until modern times. Lastly, visit Xinjiang International Bazaar.
DAY 15: TOUR ENDS | MEALS: B
Today is the day of farewell to your memorable Silk Road trip and the unique China Orient Express. After a pleasant breakfast, free at your own leisure till the assemble time for the transferring to airport for the flight back to your hometown or next destination. Bon voyage!