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SCIC Chinese Medicine Study Course and Silk Road Explorations is available in Easter Period. Special offer from USD$1980 per person. This 14 days fully exclusive trip that covers Beijing, Dunhuang, Turfan and Urumqi. Don't miss it. More trips are available including the Yangtze River Cruise, Yellow Mountain Painting Trip, Shaolin, Wudang Mt and Terracotta Warriors Trips.




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The way you organized the tour was superb and from a cultural aspect gave good insights into Chinese customs, their civilization and their achievements from both past and present. Give a great thanks to you and your team!

-Barry Phelon UK-

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Extraordinary Silk Road

 

This international trade route in ancient times is extremely significant in the histories of both East and West. The Silk Road crosses Asia from China to Europe, connecting civilizations. It starts in Chang'an, an ancient capital of China (now Xi'an), and ends on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, with nearly half of it running across Xinjiang.

 

Major Attractions
Mogao Grottoes: regarded as the greatest gallery of Buddhist art in the world, these are situated on cliffs 25 km southeast of Dunhuang. The first cave of the Mogao Grottoes was carved out in the year 366 and taken together they have are over 1600 years old. There are 492 caves still preserved, with 2,415 colored statues and 45,000 sq m of murals.

The Crescent Lake: 
surrounded by Echoing-Sand Mountain, this is a blue lake in a green basin, famous for its shape and the clear water. In ancient times it was in a huge desert and was called Sha Jing (meaning 'a well in the desert'). Over the past 2,000 years, this lake was never buried under the shifting sands and never dried up. Visitors walking along the lake can appreciate the fish swimming leisurely in the water and the reflection of the standing poplars and graceful pavilions on the bank. 

 

Echoing-Sand Mountain:
As one of the wonders of Dunhuang City, Echoing-Sand Mountain is an attractive visiting site. These vast dunes are so named because the sands make their own sounds: if you climb up or slide down the mountain, sometimes it can seem like orchestral music, and at other times like thunder. Very mysterious! 

Karez Well: in the dry regions, people of various ethnic groups invented and built many underground water works to protect their natural environment. Karez Well is one of these. Located at the Ya'er country in Turpan city, this irrigation system is praised as one of the three great ancient projects of China.


Suleiman's Minaret: the Sugong Tower is the biggest ancient pagoda existing in Xinjiang and the only Islamic ancient pagoda in the country. It is located at the Munage village, 2 kilometers away from the Turpan city in the east, and was built in 1777 to commemorate and praise Turpan's ruler, Emin Khoja, who had achieved brilliant military success in suppressing armed rebellions.

Grape Valley: amidst the hundreds of square miles of sand, Grape Valley is a perfect place to relax. Visitors can rest, savor various grapes, enjoy the local costumes and culture, and wonder at the 'palace of grapes'. Every year over 300 tons of raisins are made here.

Flaming Mountain: located on the northern verge of Turpan Basin, over 10 kilometers away from Turpan city, Flaming Mountain is the cradle of the Turpan ancient civilization. Many years of volcanic activity have formed the distinctive crisscrossing gullies and ravines. As the sun's rays are reflected off the red rocks, the heat becomes intense, as if the hillsides become engulfed by tongues of fire.

Mount Nan Pasture: it is a huge mountain embracing West Baiyanggou, Juhuatai, East Baiyanggou, Mount Zhaobi, Miaoergou and Daxigou from west to east. Tourists can visit local houses to have milk tea and mutton, and afterwards rent horses to ride across the grassland. If you are fortunate, you can watch the local horse race and sheep catching.


The Terai Camp: An unusual experience of Kazak nomad life can be found here. Visitors can have a cup of milk tea and taste some local food.

 


Lake Kalakuli:
located in Kashgar, this lake is about 1500 kilometers away from Urumqi in southwest Xinjiang and about 3600 meters above sea level. Mount Muztagata (said to be one of the five most beautiful mountains in the world) provides a beautiful backdrop with the nearby Gongeer Peaks rising to 7719 meters above sea level.

The Erdaoqiao Bazaar: this is a bustling market in Urumqi. Fruit, clothing, crafts, knives, carpets and almost anything that you can imagine are available here. On Sunday, there are more stalls and more goods to buy than any other day. The old streets around the bazaar are well worth visiting.

Sunday Bazaar:

 

In ancient times, this famous Sunday bazaar operated, and merchants from all over Xinjiang and neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Kirghizstan came here. Today the highways are crowded with bicycles, trucks, tractors and donkey-drawn carts. The transportation may have changed, but the purpose of the market has not! A great visiting spot. 

Abakh Khoja Tomb:
this is an ancient Islamic building nestling among poplar trees, 5 kilometers northeast of Kashgar. This tomb is considered to be a masterpiece of Uigur architecture, and was built in the 17th century. It is the resting place of Islamic leader  Abakh Khoja, who was a powerful ruler , revered as a prophet and second only to Mohammed.

Heavenly Lake: this lake formed over a million years ago in the 4th glacial epoch. It is famed as the "jewel in the crown". To the east of the lake stands the Bogda Peak - the highest peak in the east part of Tian Shan Mountain, which is capped by glacier and snow and glistens in the sun. 

Local Food:
as a multi-ethnic city, Xingjiang is famous for its diverse people and food produce. At present, Xingjiang food can be easily found throughout the nation. Xinjiang kebabs are chunks of mutton thread on skewers and roasted over charcoal. Zhua Fan ('Rice Eaten with Hands') is cooked with ingredients from fresh mutton, carrot, vegetable oil and rice. Roasted Stuffed Buns are another food very popular at festivals or weddings.

Shopping: 
Xinjiang carpets and rugs are renowned for their exquisite craftsmanship and brilliant artistic style. Their design and color vividly display both national and regional features. They are all woven manually by the Uygur people. Also available is Atlas silk, noted for its multiple and glorious colors. It is a kind of silk fabric with fine elaborate patterns that Uygur women like very much. 

 
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