This add on takes you into the relatively undiscovered region of Gansu Province, which lies on the ancient Silk Road. The extraordinary landscape of Zhangye National Geopark, with its colourful rock formations, is not to be missed. Near the city of Dunhuang are the Mingsha sand dunes and the unusual Cresent Moon Lake, an oasis in the desert. The nearby Mogao Grottoes, displaying a rich array of Buddhist art are considered to be the best of their kind within China.
Day 1 Bullet train from Xian to Zhangye
Take a bullet train from Xian to Zhangye (approx 7 hours). Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 Zhangye – Rainbow Mountains (B)
Visit Zhangye Danxia Mountains, also known as China Rainbow Mountains. The mountains are magnificent with gorgeous colours, which developed around 200 million years ago. Covering an area of over 400 square kilometres, it is composed of lots of smooth and sharp cliffs, most of which are several hundred meters high. In the afternoon, you will visit the Giant Buddha Temple in Zhangye, 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.
Day 3 Bullet train from Zhangye to Jiayuguan (B)
Transfer to the train station for the bullet train to Jiayuguan. In the afternoon visit jiayuguan Fort, the Great Wall Museum and the Overhanging Great Wall.
Day 4 Drive to Dunhuang (B)
Visit the Weijin tomb murals. Drive to Dunhuang, upon arrival check into your hotel. in the late afternoon visit the Mingsha sand dunes and the Crescent Moon Lake.
Day 5 Dunhuang (B)
Morning visit to the impressive Mogao Grottoes. In the afternoon, visit the west thousand Buddha cave. Continue to see the Yumen Pass, which was originally built more than 2000 years ago. You will also have the opportunity to see the ruined Great Wall of the Han Dynasty. In the evening, visit the fascinating night market.
Day 6 Dunhuang and onward journey (B)
Transfer to the train station for the bullet train to Turpan or to the airport for a flight to Xian.
Zhangye: Tianyu International Hotel
Located in the heart of Zhangye, around a 6-minute drive from the downtown area. The Tianyu International Hotel offers guestrooms with modern amenities including TV, kettle, toiletries, slippers and hairdryer. The on-site restaurants provides a selection of dishes.
Jiayuguan: Jiayuguan Hotel
Located in the centre of Jiayuguan, the gateway to the Silk Road. There are 176 guestrooms all with modern amenities including air conditioning, satellite TV, in-room safe, hairdryer and free internet access. The on-site restaurants serve a selection of Cantonese and Western cuisine, including specialities of the Gobi Desert.
Dunhuang: Grand Sun Hotel
Located in the downtown area of Dunhuang, the Grand Sun Hotel offers comfortable accommodation with modern amenities. Rooms have flat-screen TV, minibar, workdesk, private bathroom and hairdryer. There are 2 on-site restaurants serving a selection of Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine.