11 Days China Silk Road Muslim Tour from Urumqi to Dunhuang and Xian

Embark on an 11-day adventure along the ancient Silk Road, a route that has connected civilizations for centuries, spanning from the cultural melting pot of Kashgar to the historical treasures of Xi’an. This tour provides an immersive experience into the heart of China’s diverse heritage, showcasing the unique landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cultures of Xinjiang and beyond.


The journey begins in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, where you will be introduced to the region’s cultural and historical significance. From there, travel to Turpan, an oasis city known for its ancient ruins and ingenious irrigation systems. The tour continues to Dunhuang, home to the world-renowned Mogao Caves and the mesmerizing Singing Sand Dunes.

Next, you’ll explore the historical and cultural heart of Xi’an, the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and home to the awe-inspiring Terracotta Army. The final leg of the journey takes you to Kashgar, a city that epitomizes the cultural crossroads of the Silk Road, with its bustling markets and rich Uyghur heritage.

Throughout this tour, you will experience the stunning natural landscapes of the region, from the Flaming Mountains to the serene Crescent Lake, and delve into the diverse cultures that have shaped the Silk Road’s legacy. This comprehensive exploration of the Silk Road offers a unique opportunity to connect with history, culture, and the enduring spirit of one of the world’s most legendary trade routes.


  • Experience the Sunday Livestock Market in Kashgar: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling market, a vital part of the local culture.
  • Drive Along the Karakoram Highway: Enjoy the breathtaking views of the majestic Pamir Plateau as you traverse this iconic route.
  • Picturesque Heavenly Lake and Tianshan Mountain Ranges: Marvel at the serene beauty of Heavenly Lake nestled among the stunning Tianshan Mountains.
  • Wonder City of Turpan: Discover the historical and cultural treasures of Turpan, a key stop along the ancient Silk Road.
  • UNESCO Mogao Grottoes and Camel Ride in the Desert: Explore the world-renowned Mogao Caves and experience a camel ride across the vast desert landscapes.
  • Ancient Capital of China, Xi’an, and the Terracotta Warriors: Visit Xi’an, the cradle of Chinese civilization, and witness the awe-inspiring Terracotta Army.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Kashgar
  • Day 2: Drive along Karakom Highway to Karakul Lake (260 kms)
  • Day 3: Kashgar City Tour, Fly to Urumqi
  • Day 4: Visit Heavenly Lake (120 kms) and Grand Bazaar
  • Day 5: Xinjiang Regional Museum, Turpan Uighur Village
  • Day 6: Karez Well, Sugong Minaret and Jiaohe Ruins
  • Day 7: Train to Dunhuang
  • Day 8: Visit Mogao Grottoes then Flight to Xi’an
  • Day 9: Visit Terracotta Warriors and Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Day 10:Xi’an City Tour
  • Day 11:End of Silk Road Tour

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Kashgar

Sightseeing and Activities: Arrive in Kashgar
Accommodation: Kashgar
Meals: None

Welcome to Kashgar, the ancient city brimming with special local cultural and ethnic characteristics along the historic Silk Road. As you arrive, you will be warmly greeted and transferred to your hotel.

Kashgar, a key trading post for centuries, offers a fascinating blend of Uyghur culture, Islamic architecture, and bustling bazaars. Take the day to unwind after your journey. You might stroll around the hotel’s vicinity to get a first glimpse of the city or relax in your room and enjoy the hotel’s amenities. Prepare yourself for the exciting Natural Wonder and Culture Adventure that lies ahead, as you embark on an unforgettable journey through this vibrant and historical region.

Day 2 Drive along Karakom Highway to Karakul Lake (260 kms)

Sightseeing and Activities: Karakul Lake, Karakorum Highway, the Hindu Kush Mountains and the Himalayas
Accommodation: Kashgar
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

  • Morning:
    • Start your day with a delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel in Kashgar.
    • Depart from Kashgar around 09:00 AM for Karakul Lake, a journey of approximately 4 hours.
    • After about 1 hour of driving, make a stop at Opal village. Here, take a break and explore the local bazaar, experiencing the traditional lifestyle of the locals.
  • Scenic Drive:
    • Resume your journey along the Karakorum Highway, renowned for its breathtaking views of sand dunes, mountains, and sandstone valleys. Marvel at the majestic Hindu Kush Mountains and glimpses of the Himalayas as you drive. This highway is celebrated as one of the world’s highest and most scenic cross-border roads.
  • Exploration at Karakul Lake:
    • Arrive at Karakul Lake and immerse yourself in its stunning natural beauty. Take a trek around the lake, soaking in the magnificent landscape surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
    • Encounter the nomadic lifestyle of the local Kirghiz people, who reside in traditional yurts (nomadic tents) around the lake. Learn about their customs and traditions amidst this picturesque setting.
  • Return to Kashgar:
    • In the afternoon, return to Kashgar, retracing your route along the Karakorum Highway.
    • Arrive back in Kashgar later in the day, where you can relax and reflect on the day’s adventures.

This day offers a blend of scenic drives, cultural immersion, and natural exploration, providing a memorable experience of the Xinjiang region’s diverse landscapes and local life.

Day 3 Kashgar City Tour, Fly to Urumqi

Sightseeing and Activities: Id Kah Mosque, kashgar old town, the Sunday Bazaar, The outdoor Animal Bazaar
Accommodation: Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

  • Morning:
    • 09:00 AM: Begin your day with a visit to Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China and a significant center for Islamic activities in Kashgar.
    • 10:30 AM: Explore the Old Town of Kashgar, known for its well-preserved Uighur residential area. Join the open ceremony of the Maxilap show, experiencing the vibrant local culture.
  • Afternoon:
    • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
    • Visit the Sunday Bazaar, a bustling market divided into two sections:
      • Covered Bazaar: Browse stalls selling clothing, nuts, household goods, and various unique items.
      • Animal Bazaar: Witness the lively scene where farmers and buyers arrive with animals by various means including donkey carts, trucks, bicycles, and more. Experience the vibrant atmosphere of bargaining and trade.
  • Evening:
    • Later in the afternoon, transfer to Kashgar Airport for your flight to Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang.
    • Upon arrival in Urumqi, meet and greet at the airport and transfer to your hotel.
    • Enjoy the evening at leisure to relax and unwind after a day of exploration.

This day offers a rich cultural experience in Kashgar, from religious landmarks and traditional markets to the vibrant atmosphere of the Old Town and bustling bazaars. Transitioning to Urumqi provides a change of scenery and prepares you for further adventures in Xinjiang’s capital city.

Day 4 Visit Heavenly Lake (120 kms) and Grand Bazaar

Sightseeing and Activities: the Heavenly Lake, Tianshan mountains, the Maya Mountain, Xinjiang International Bazaar
Accommodation: Urumqi
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

  • Morning:
    • 08:30 AM: Depart for Heavenly Lake (Tianchi), located approximately 120 kilometers from Urumqi. The journey takes about 1.5 hours.
    • Arrive at the entrance of Heavenly Lake and board a 40-minute shuttle bus that winds through the scenic Tianshan Mountains to the lake’s edge.
    • Explore options at Heavenly Lake: Trek around the lake, enjoy a boat cruise, or take a cable car to explore Maya Mountain for stunning views of Bogoda Peak.
  • Afternoon:
    • Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant near Heavenly Lake.
    • Return to Urumqi in the afternoon.
    • Visit the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, the largest bazaar in the city. Experience a bustling market filled with fruits, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets, and a wide variety of goods.
  • Evening:
    • Enjoy dinner at the Grand Bazaar, immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this cultural hub.
    • After dinner, return to your hotel and relax for the evening.

This day combines natural beauty at Heavenly Lake with cultural immersion at Urumqi’s bustling Grand Bazaar, offering a diverse experience of Xinjiang’s landscapes and local life.

Day 5 Xinjiang Regional Museum, Turpan Uighur Village

Sightseeing and Activities: Xinjiang Regional Museum, Oasis Turpan, the vast Gobi desert, Tuyoq Valley, the local Uygur family,
Accommodation: Turpan
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Morning: Xinjiang Regional Museum

Start your day at the Xinjiang Regional Museum, a significant hub for cultural relics in Xinjiang. Discover exhibits showcasing costumes, festivals, marriage customs, tools, food, religion, lifestyles, and traditions of 12 ethnic minority groups. View historical artifacts such as silk, cotton, embroidery, pottery, porcelain, iron & bronze wares, tomb clay figures, coins, stone inscriptions, literature, and weaponry.

Afternoon: Turpan Oasis and Tuyoq Valley

  • Drive to Turpan: Embark on a 3-hour drive to Turpan, passing wind power stations and the expansive landscapes of the Gobi desert.
  • Tuyoq Valley: Proceed to Tuyoq Valley, an ancient oasis-village renowned for its traditional Uygur culture and architecture.
  • Lunch with Local Uygur Family: Enjoy a local Uygur family lunch, immersing yourself in their hospitality and savoring traditional cuisine.
  • Explore Tuyoq Village: Wander through Tuyoq Village, surrounded by impressive grape trellises and historical sites that recount tales of adventurers from across the globe.


  • Free Time or Cultural Experience: Spend your evening relaxing or engage in a cultural experience recommended by your local guide or host.

Day 6 Karez Well, Sugong Minaret and Jiaohe Ruins

Sightseeing and Activities: the Karez Well irrigation system, the Sugong Minaret, the Yarnaz Valley
Accommodation: Turpan
Meals: Breakfast and lunch


  • Karez Well Irrigation System: Visit the Karez Well irrigation system, renowned for producing some of the best melons and grapes in China.
  • Learn about the ancient underground aqueduct system that has sustained agriculture in the arid region for centuries.


  • Sugong Minaret: Continue to Sugong Minaret, an iconic symbol of Turpan and a historic site of cultural exchange between different ethnic and religious groups.
  • Explore the architectural beauty and cultural significance of this ancient Islamic minaret.


  • Jiaohe Ruins: Spend 2 hours exploring the Jiaohe Ruins, often likened to Pompeii but older by 300 years.
  • Located in the Yarnaz Valley, these ruins are a natural fortress atop a steep cliff, offering insights into the ancient Uygur way of life.
  • Experience the layout and architecture of this archaeological site, which reflects the historical significance of the region.

Transportation Note:

  • If the group size is less than 4 persons, transportation may include a high-speed train for transfers, providing efficient travel between locations.

This itinerary offers a comprehensive exploration of Turpan’s historical sites, providing insights into its rich cultural heritage and architectural marvels.

Day 7 Train to Dunhuang

Sightseeing and Activities: the Echoing Sand Mountain, Shazhou Night Markets
Accommodation: Dunhuang
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Morning: Departure from Turpan to Dunhuang

  • Bid farewell to Turpan and head to the train station.
  • Board a 4-hour train ride to Liuyuan Station, Dunhuang. Enjoy scenic views along the journey as you travel through the landscapes of Xinjiang and Gansu provinces.

Afternoon: Echoing Sand Mountain and Camel Ride

  • Upon arrival in Liuyuan, drive for approximately 2 hours to Echoing Sand Mountain (Mingsha Shan).
  • Experience a 40-minute camel ride amidst the picturesque desert scenery. Feel the tranquility and marvel at the vast sand dunes and the unique acoustic phenomenon that gives the mountain its name.

Evening: Dinner and Shazhou Night Markets

  • After your desert adventure, return to Dunhuang for a refreshing break.
  • Enjoy a delightful dinner, savoring local specialties and relaxing after an eventful day.
  • Explore the bustling Shazhou Night Markets, where you can shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, and local treats. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this vibrant marketplace.

This itinerary ensures a blend of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and leisure activities, making your journey from Turpan to Dunhuang memorable and enriching.

Day 8 Visit Mogao Grottoes then Flight to Xi’an

Sightseeing and Activities: the Holy Center of Buddhism Culture and Art-UESCO of Mogao Grottoes, the 40mins 4D movie
Accommodation: Xian
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Morning: Mogao Grottoes Exploration

  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mogao Grottoes, a renowned center of Buddhism culture and art.
  • Watch a 40-minute 4D movie to learn about the history and development of the grottoes.
  • Explore 8 main caves accompanied by professional guides, admiring the intricate sculptures, murals, and architecture that depict Buddhist artistry and history.

Afternoon: Transfer to Xi’an

  • Bid farewell to Dunhuang and transfer to the airport.
  • Take a flight to Xi’an, the ancient capital of China known for its profound history and cultural heritage.
  • Upon arrival, be greeted by a local guide who will escort you to the hotel for check-in.

This day offers a blend of cultural immersion and historical exploration, from the ancient Buddhist caves of Dunhuang to the imperial capital of Xi’an.

Day 9 Visit Terracotta Warriors and Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Sightseeing and Activities: the Terracotta Warriors, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda,
Accommodation: Xian
Meals: Breakfast

Morning: Terracotta Warriors

  • Depart at 08:00 and drive approximately 1 hour to the countryside of Xi’an.
  • Visit the Terracotta Warriors, one of the most imposing historic sites and significant archaeological excavations of the 20th century.

Afternoon: Big Wild Goose Pagoda

  • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
  • Proceed to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a traditional Chinese-style pagoda with 7 floors.
  • Explore the pagoda adorned with Buddha statues and ascend to the top floor for a panoramic view of Xi’an city.

This itinerary offers a journey through ancient history and cultural landmarks, from the awe-inspiring Terracotta Warriors to the serene surroundings of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

Day 10 Xi’an City Tour

Sightseeing and Activities: Shanxi Museum, the Ancient City Wall of Xian, the Muslim Quarter Streets
Accommodation: Xian
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning: Shanxi Museum

  • Visit the Shanxi Museum, one of China’s major museums housing numerous unearthed cultural artifacts.
  • Explore exhibits representing the rich history of Xi’an as a capital city spanning 13 dynasties.

Afternoon: Ancient City Wall and Muslim Quarter

  • Drive to the Ancient City Wall, the most well-preserved city wall and one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.
  • Walk along the wall for a bird’s-eye view of Xi’an city.
  • Explore the bustling Muslim Quarter Streets, experiencing the local lifestyle and browsing through street vendors selling souvenirs, handcrafted products, and local snacks. Bargaining is common when purchasing goods.


  • Enjoy a delicious dinner.
  • Return to the hotel for a relaxing evening and a good rest.

This itinerary provides a comprehensive exploration of Xi’an’s history and culture, from ancient artifacts to vibrant local markets and culinary delights.

Day 11 End of Silk Road Tour from Xian

Sightseeing and Activities: Departure from Shangri-la
Accommodation: End of Silk Road Tour from Xian
Meals: Breakfast

After a hearty breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to Xi’an and the incredible journey along the Silk Road. You will be transferred to the airport or train station according to your schedule.

Thank you for choosing our tour. We hope you enjoyed your adventure and look forward to welcoming you again in the future.

Service ends.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostels
Urumqi /
Kashgar /
Turpan /
Dunhuang /

Service Included:

  • Private Transportation: Throughout the itinerary, SRT will arrange for all travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure based on your flight info.
  • Shared Accommodations: Well-located, tourist to superior class hotels, including breakfast, service charge, and government tax.
  • All Entrance Fees: Including shuttle bus, sightseeing, excursions, and activities as per the itinerary.
  • Domestic Flights: From Kashgar to Urumqi, and Dunhuang to Xi’an.
  • 2nd Class Express Train: From Turpan to Dunhuang (Liuyuan Station) as listed in the itinerary.
  • Private Guides: Friendly and professional English-speaking guides. French, Italian, Russian, and German guides can be arranged upon request.
  • Visa Support Letter: To assist you in applying for a Chinese visa easily.
  • Travel and Health Insurance: Provided when traveling with us.
  • 24/7 Helpline: Available while you are traveling.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • All optional programs.


  • Train Upgrades: We will upgrade trains to 1st class where available if the tour is booked 5 months in advance of departure.
  • Travel During Ramadan: No problem to travel the Silk Road during Ramadan.
  • Water: Complimentary 2 bottles of water per person daily.


  • Vehicles: From business MPVs to luxurious coaches and trains.


  • Hotels: All selected hotels are 4-5 star, well-located in the city center, with good and proper breakfast for our clients.


  • Guides: Our guides are very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. Our group tours will be escorted by SRT.


  • Best Time to Visit: Generally, mid-March to the end of October is the best time to visit the Silk Road. We strongly suggest visiting in May, June, or October to avoid the heat and crowds.
  • Altitude: No need to worry about high altitude along the Silk Road. We will prepare oxygen bags if the package includes Xiahe, Qinghai Lake, and Taxkorgan County.


  • Beneficial Policy: We offer a beneficial cancellation policy to our customers.