In order to gain a thorough comprehension of the ancient Silk Road, you should travel the whole length of this journey from Beijing to Istanbul. However, we have divided the trip into three sections, thereby allowing those with limited time an opportunity to experience a portion of this significant route .

SECTION1

Day 1              Arrive Beijing Arrive in Beijing and transfer to hotel. Welcome dinner. ( Kunlun Hotel) (Section A begins)

Day 2              Beijing B/L/D   (Kunlun Hotel)

Day 3              Beijing/Xian Morning rickshaw tour of Beijing's old residential area of twisting lanes and courtyard homes. Enjoy lunch as the guest of one of the local families. Afternoon transfer to the airport and fly to Xian. Transfer to hotel upon arrival. B/L/D (ANA Grand Castle Hotel)

Day 4              Xian Visit the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum, the Wild Goose Pagoda, Tang Art Museum and City wall.  Xian is the start of your Silk Road journey. B/L/D (ANA Grand Castle Hotel)

Day 5              Xian/Pingliang Today is your first driving day! You will try to drive around for sometime and learn about the traffic signs. Afternoon drive to Pingliang and Mt. Kongtong, one of China's famous Taoist mountains. Overnight on top of the mountain. B/L/D   Kongdong Mountain (Top Guest House)

Day 6              Pingliang/Wuwei A driving day.  Enjoy the scenery of the Yellow Clay Plateau. B/L/D Wuwei (Tianma Hotel)

Day 7              Wuwei/Jiayuguan Drive to Jiayuguan.  On the way, tour the Zhangye Museum.  This museum is located in the Giant Buddha Temple, which is the largest architectural relic in Gansu Province, of the Western Xia (1038-1227) period. China's largest reclining Buddha is well preserved in this temple. Overnight in Jiayuguan. B/L/D (Jiyuguan Great Wall Hotel)

Day 8              Jiayuguan/Dunhuang Visit the Jiayuan Pass - the western end of the great Wall. Then drive to Dunhuang.  An important junction on the Silk Route, where it split into different branches, this oasis in Gansu province in northwest China, on the edge of the Gobi Desert, is surrounded by sand dunes. By the 4th century AD, the route had brought the city both commercial prosperity and a growing Buddhist community. B/L/D (Shazhou Grand Hotel)

Day 9              Dunhuang This morning, visit the Maogao Grottoes, a series of 500 caves which contain the world's most valuable display of Buddhist art - manuscripts, some 2,400 painted sculptures and 45,000 square metres of frescoes. In the late afternoon, tour the Singing Sand Hill and Crescent Moon Lake. B/L/D (Shazhou Grand Hotel)

Day 10             Dunhuang/Hami Half-day drive to Hami located in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Visit some villages en route. B/L/D

Day 11             Hami/Turpan Drive to Turpan, located in the Turpan Basin at the southern foot of the Tianshan Mountains. The city has a population of nearly 200,000, most of whom are Uygurs, The Turpan Basin is the lowest area in China, in which the Aiding Lake, with its surface being 154 meters below sea level, is the second lowest spot in the world, next only to the Dead Sea in Jordan.  En route, visit the Astana Tombs and Flaming Hill. B/L/D

Day 12             Turpan Visit to the Kan-er Waterwell, and the ruins of Jiaohe City, now on the list of UNESCO's historical and cultural sights, which protects the Tang Dynasty ruins of homes, garden walls, government offices, pottery kilns, temples and pagodas, all of which are still easily recognisable. B/L/D

Day 13             Turpan/Korla Drive from Turpan to Korla; visit the Bosten Lake en route. B/L/D   (Bay Inguoleng Hotel)

Day 14             Korla/Tazhong B/L/D

Day 15             Tazhong/Minfeng Drive from Tazhong to Minfeng crossing the Taklamakan Desert from north to south on the longest desert highway in the world. B/L/D   (Minfeng Hotel)

Day 16              Minfeng/Khotan Drive from Minfeng to Khotan; visit the local ethnic groups en route.  On the southern part of the Silk Road, Khotan was an early centre for the spread of Buddhism from India into China. It fell to the Arabs in the 8th century and grew wealthy on the proceeds of the caravan trade that travelled the route between China and the West. B/L/D

Day 17              Khotan/Kashgar Drive from Khotan to Kashgar, the largest oasis city in China and Central Asia.  A city of bazaars, two-wheeled carts, dusty streets and 4000 mosques, Kashgar reveals a strong Islamic influence. Its narrow maze of alleyways and open air markets display all the myriad faces of Central Asia with Uygur, Kyrgyz, Tajik and Kazakh merchants and locals, all busy haggling over camels and sheep, brightly coloured fabrics, fur hides and hats, handmade carpets and knives. B/L/D (Section B begins)

Day 18             Kashgar Sunday market. B/L/D

Day 19            Kashgar/Naryn From Kashgar drive to the Torugart Pass, and cross the border into Kyrgyzstan. Continue on to the Tash Rabat Caravanserai, a carefully restored stone building that once housed an inn on the Great Silk Road. Its date of origin is strictly unknown, but there is archaeological evidence to suggest that the site was occupied in the 10th century. There is evidence that it was a place of both rest and worship and would have served to protect caravans to and from China from both the ravages of the weather and of bandits from before the time of either Tamerlane or Genghis Khan.  Later, drive to Naryn for your overnight stay. B/L/D

(End of Section A those not continuing will depart from Kashgar today)