23 Days Xinjiang Gansu Yunnan Xi'an and Chengdu

Combined with the Silk Road tour, this 23-day tour also offers you the opportunity to discover Yunnan ethnic custom and amazing natural beauty. A chance to ‘date’ with the giant pandas is included at the end of the tour.

Trip Highlights

  • Learn to cook Xinjiang dishes
  • Camel riding in the desert in Dunhuang
  • Very great photography opportunity at Danxia Landscape in Zhangye
  • Listen to the interesting stories about Terra-Cotta Warriors in Xi’an
  • Feel the minority culture and life in Yunnan
  • Close encounter with the adorable creatures in Chengdu – pandas

Customizable Tour Itinerary

With a warm smile, your private guide will be on time and waiting for you in the arrival hall. A comfortable private vehicle and experienced driver will be ready to serve you during your stay in Urumqi.

Meals: No meal, advice freely available

  • Hotels: Hilton Urumqi Hotel, Excemon Xinjiang Yilite Hotel

Surrounded by jagged snow-covered peaks, forests of pine trees and green meadows, Heavenly Lake is a popular resort for visitors. A boat cruise will bring you closer to the crystal water. Erdaoqiao Market occupies an area of 8,818 square meters (94916 square feet) and is the largest retail and wholesale market for ethnic minority commodities in Xinjiang.

Pay a visit to a local Nang shop and watch them how to make it. Do not hesitate to chat with the owner and listen to their interesting stories.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Erdaoqiao MarketErdaoqiao Market

After a good sleep, head to Turpan by private transfer. Go to see the one of the three great ancient projects, Karez Well. It is a very old horizontal water-collecting structure for the development and utilization of groundwater. The Ancient City of Jiaohe was unique is because it was built on a plateau or terrace which gave this City a natural barrier from any attacking enemies.

You will never know what the real local life is if you haven’t talk with the locals. Knock a local’s door, step your feet in a local family and learn to cook Xinjiang dishes with the help of the host.

Optional tour to pick grapes and a night market tour by local carriage are available.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Mercure Hotel Turpan Downtown
The Karez WellsThe Karez Wells

Astana Tombs are a series of underground tombs located outside Turpan, with thousands of ancient Silk Road artifacts, like mummies.

Follow on is the tour to the most valuable Buddhist cave in Turpan, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves and then go to Tuyugou Canyon and Maza Village, which retains many Muslim features with Islamic green-topped mosques towering above the adobe houses.

After lunch, go to Liuyuan train station (about 2 hours’ drive) for the bullet train to Dunhuang.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Grand Soluxe Hotel Dunhuang, Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel
Tuyugou CanyonTuyugou Canyon

The Mogao Grottoes, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage site in the city of Dunhuang, is a treasure house of Buddhist art. Despite years of erosion, the murals are still brightly colored, with clear lines. Set yourself free or go for sand skiing and ride a camel at the Singing Sand Mountains. Crescent Spring at this area is in a natural lake in the desert with the shape of half-moon, hence the name.

End the day with Shazhou Night Market, where you could feast your stomach with the local specialties and feel the night life of Dunhuang people.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Shazhou Night MarketShazhou Night Market

Yumen Pass used to protect and ensure the safety and smooth travels for passing caravans, and visitors in and out of China via ancient Silk Road. Now it is just a mud brick gate and an ancient castle with many historical stories.

The great and magnificent Great Wall of Han Dynasty was a great creation of the working people in ancient China to defend against Xiongnu (an ancient nationality of China).

Western Thousand-Buddhas Cave got its name from its location at the west of Mogao Grottoes (known as Thousand-Buddhas Cave). It is cut into the cliffs along the Banks of the Danghe River and also an important part of Dunhuang art.

Go to your next stop, Jiayuguan by bullet train.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Jiayuguan Hotel, Holiday Plaza Hotel Jiayuguan
Yumen PassYumen Pass

You must have heard or even visited the world famous Great Wall in China. Well, Jiayuguan Pass used to be the starting point of the ancient Great Wall built during Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). First Fire Tower of the Great Wall is a mound of yellow loess which is believed to the remaining ruin of a watching tower of ancient Great Wall.

Known as an underground gallery in China, the 13-square-kilometer (5 square miles) Fresco tombs from the Wei and Jin Dynasty is home to more than 1,000 ancient tombs.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
The Jiayuguan Pass The Jiayuguan Pass

Have breakfast in the hotel before going to the train station in Jiayuguan. A direct train travel will bring you to Zhangye. Go directly to Grand Buddha Temple, a landmark of Zhangye. There are many ancient buildings, towering ancient trees and green grass in the temple area. More like a landmark of the city, Bell & Drum Tower exists in many historical cities, like Beijing and Xi’an. It now becomes the best viewing spot for people to enjoy the modern street scenery and colorful night views.

In the afternoon, visit Zhangye National Geological Park (the red colored mountain), a masterpiece of the nature. The guide will help you choose the best viewing platform and you just need to be ready with your camera.


  • Sightseeing buses will be used within the national park because no private cars or tourist buses are allowed.
  • It is best to visit at dusk, especially at sunset, when the colors change continuously, showing yellow and red layers covered by a light gray layer.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Jinyang International Hotel
Zhangye Danxia LandscapeZhangye Danxia Landscape

Mati Temple is 65 kilometers to Zhangye city, which is a tourist area integrating grotto art, Qilian Mountain scenery and Yugur folk customs. In addition to strange peaks and caves, experiencing a unique lifestyle and characteristic culture will also give you a pleasant feeling.

This is your last day in Gansu Province. Afterwards, you will go to Xi’an.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel Xian, Wyndham Grand Xian South
Mati TempleMati Temple

Terra-Cotta Warriors may be just a simple word to you before coming to China. Today you will see it in person. It is a large-scale imperial grave found by a local farmer in 1974.

Shadow play is an ancient traditional Chinese folk art. After lunch, you will be transferred back to the city area to watch a shadow play in Gao's Family Courtyard. It is the home to Yuesong Gao, who won the second place at palace examinations. Going out, it is the Muslim Quarter, where you can search for so many local specialties. Hidden in the Muslim quarter, there is a Great Mosque. With three courtyards, the whole building forms a powerful and magnificent classical building complex.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch at local restaurant near the Terra-Cotta Warriors scenic area with a la carte menu

Feature Dinner option: Defachang Dumpling Restaurant, Lao Sun Jia Muslim Restaurant, First Noodle under the Sun

Optional evening activity: Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show with Dumpling Banquet

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Shadow PlayShadow Play

Xi'an Ancient City Wall, also known as Xi'an Ming City Wall, is the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. A biking tour on the wall allows you the cnace to view the surrounding scenery of the inner city. Xi’an is famous for its flour food. Be ready to visit a local family and learn to make dumplings with the guidance of the locals. The dumplings made on your won will taste more delicious.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda was first constructed in 652 during the Tang Dynasty and was used to keep the Buddhist sutras and relics brought back from India by famous hierarch Xuanzang.

After that, go to the airport and say goodbye to your Xi’an guide and driver. The Kunming guide will wait for you at the arrival hall and help you do the check-in at the hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Green Lake Hotel, Intercontinental Kunming, Crowne Plaza Kunming City Centre, Ytel Premium
Big Wild Goose PagodaBig Wild Goose Pagoda

After a good rest, today a 1.5 hours’ drive is needed from Kunming city to visit the Stone Forest. The various shapes of limestone were formed due to millions of years' movement of the Earth, like bamboo shoots, forests and pagodas. Enjoy a local lunch here. After that, you will be transferred back to the city area to visit Green Lake Park, one of the most picturesque parks in Kunming downtown. Here you may take a leisure walk or enjoy the performance (playing Taichi, Mahjong and local opera) by local people. You are welcome to join them if you like.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Green Lake ParkGreen Lake Park

There are various kinds of flowers in Kunming. Today your tour will start with Bird and Flower Market. It is an interesting places either for a leisurely stroll or to purchase some lovely things to take home. Follow on is the visit to the Black Dragon Pool, which was named after a legend stating that in ancient times there was a black dragon living in this pool. Then you will take a 2 hours’ bullet train from Kunming to Dali. The Dali guide will escort you to the hotel and help you do the check-in.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Hilton Dali Resort & SPA, The Linden Centre
Bird and Flower MarketBird and Flower Market

Dali Ancient Town is a historic town with rich culture located between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake with profound Bai culture. It can be dated back to more than 600 years ago. Step on the ancient city wall and feel the trace of time. It is also a good place to overlook the whole ancient town.

Erhai Lake is named so because of its resemblance of human’s ear. With a vast area, Erhai Lake has seven main functions: water supply, agriculture irrigation, power generation, climate regulation, fishery, shipping and tourism. A boat cruise is included in the lake.

Often regarded as the symbol of Dali, The three Pagodas are 1.5 kilometers northwest of Dali Ancient Town, facing Yinglefeng of Cangshan in the west and Erhai Lake in the east. Flower cake is quite popular and famous in Yunnan. Today, try your hands at it with the guidance of the locals. You can bring home some of your work as souvenirs.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Dali Ancient townDali Ancient town

Start your day tour with Xizhou Bai Minority Village. Xizhou Bai people have rich folk customs, unique wedding and funeral etiquette, numerous festivals, inheriting the ancient history and culture. Local market is a good place to feel the local life. Enjoy the unique Bai ethnic folklore in Xizhou Farmer’s Market. Flower cake is one of the specialties in Yunnan. Instead of a simple taste of it, you will make it on your own from the very beginning with the teacher’s guidance.

Drive to Lijiang after Xizhou tour. The Lijiang guide will guide you to Lijiang Ancient Town upon arrival. Appreciate the ancient buildings and get to know its national customs by walking around it.

Black Dragon Pool Park has another name, Yuquan Park. Near mountains and rivers, there are ancient buildings in graceful shapes and beautiful colors, which make visitors linger here and forget to leave.

The Wangu Tower is located on the high point of Lion Mountain in Lijiang old town, which is adjacent to Mu Fu outside. From the Wangu Tower, you can overlook Lijiang old town and its idyllic scenery as well as the glacier of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: InterContinental Resort Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang Ivy Garden Resort
Xizhou Bai Minority VillageXizhou Bai Minority Village

Have a closer contact with the Naxi people by visiting a local family and have lunch with them. Hone your cooking skills and learn some Naxi language at the local family. Continue your tour to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the southernmost glacier found in the northern hemisphere. With thirteen perennial snow peaks, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain resembles a jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence the name. Today you will visit the Yak Meadow by cable car to save energy.

You may see the Impression Show of Lijiang (optional) here if you like. It is a magnificent outdoor singing and dancing performance demonstrating the tradition and lifestyle of the local ethnic people.


  • Do not do violent exercises in the high land to avoid the altitude sickness.
  • Prepare a jacket even though during the summer time as the temperature difference between day and night is very big.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Jade Dragon Snow MountainJade Dragon Snow Mountain

After breakfast, driver to the Tiger Leaping Gorge to see the rushing water in the gorge. Get close to it and feel your heartbeats. You will also visit the Stone Drum Town including the First Bend of Yangtze River before heading to Shangri-La hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Shangri-La Resort, Songtsam Shangri-La (Lvgu) Lodge, Songtsam Linka Shangri-La
Tiger Leaping GorgeTiger Leaping Gorge

After breakfast, immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty and holy religious atmosphere of the unspoiled Shangri-La. Pudacuo National Park retains a well-preserved ecosystem within the virgin forests. In the reserve itself, century-old pines and cypresses grow around Bita Lake, in which the water is crystal clear. Built in 1679, Songzanlin Monastery is the oldest and largest Tibetan Buddhism temple in Yunnan province. It was built along the mountains with a magnificent facade. The present monastery is a faithful imitation of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. After the natural scenery, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family, have a view of the life of a local Tibetan family. Do some simple communication with the family members via the guide.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Pudacuo National ParkPudacuo National Park

Zhongdian is also called "Shangri-La". Its Ancient County is divided into two areas: Dukezong Ancient Town and a more modern city-like area. Dukezong, located in the southeast section of the county, has a history dating back over 1300 years. Almost all the buildings are white in color and feature the Tibetan style architecture. If you want to get to know more about local life, a visit to the local market is a must.

After lunch, you will be taken to the airport in Shangri-La and fly towards the cute pandas in Chengdu.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu, JW Marriott Hotel Chengdu, Chengdu Xijinge All Suites Apartment
Zhongdian Ancient TownZhongdian Ancient Town

It is impossible to keep the cute panda as a pet, but you can get really close to them and take care of them by taking the one-day panda keeper program. You will never have such a chance to get this close to them. Your tasks will include preparing their food, hand-feeding them, cleaning their enclosures and weighing their poops.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch in the panda base

Feature Dinner option: Lao Ma Tou Hotpot, Huang Cheng Lao Ma

Optional evening activity: face changing show and taste the local tea in Shufengyayun Theater

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
cute pandascute pandas

2 hours’ drive from Chengdu, sits the Leshan Giant Buddha statue. Carved into the side of Mt. Lingyun, the colossal statue is over 1,300-years-old and is considered to be the largest stone Buddha in the world. A big boat cruise will be arranged for you to look the statue from a long distance.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
 Leshan Giant Buddha Leshan Giant Buddha

After several extension, the present People’s Park is a developed park combined gardening, culture, tea-tasting, leisure and recreation. How cozy it is to taste the local tea in the park. Jinli Street is a good place for visitors from all over China and abroad to relax, admire the traditional-style buildings, and taste some local snacks. Appreciate the Chinese style architecture, compact but beautiful tranquil garden, Wuhou Ancestral Hall near Jinli Ancient Street.

Explore the Jinsha Site Museum for its numerous collections, like gold, bronze, jade, stone, ivory objects and lacquerware, tens of thousands of pottery pieces, tons of ivory, and thousands of wild boar tusks and antlers.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
 Jinli Ancient Street Jinli Ancient Street

As your journey concludes, your tour guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport. They will assist you with your luggage and check-in, and accompany you until the security checkpoint to wave goodbye.

  • Meals: Breakfast,
Giant PandasGiant Pandas

Price Includes

  • In-country transportationas noted in the itinerary.
  • Admission fees and activity expenses as noted in the itinerary.
  • Luxury or boutique hotels centrally located.
  • Meals in local restaurants as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water.
  • Your own English-speaking guide service.
  • Your own chauffeur and vehicle service.

Price Excludes

  • International transportation.
  • Chinese tourist visa. (which enquired for most foreign passport holders)
  • Travel and medical insurance.
  • Meals, snacks, alcohol, etc. apart from those included in the itinerary.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Sights, excursions and activities not included in the itinerary.
  • Gratuities to guide and driver.


This tour is tailor-made and we can tailor to meet your reqeusts. Your personal travel consultant will contact you within 24 working hours!


CHINA OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2019 We researched several companies and studied reviews on Trip Adviser before contacting who did a very China Culture Tour with an initial query. Right from the outset Grace who owns the company was excellent. She emailed detailed with pictures information and a suggested…read more details

Karen from US

Ready to Create a Unique Dream Travel?

Create My Vacation